09 August 2014

Society Cleans Town Pound Historic Site

The Town Pound on Pound Road in Farmington.
Members of the Historical Society cleaned up around the Town Pound on Sunday, August 10, at 1:00 PM.  The clean up did not take too long, but the Society hoped that sprucing up the historical site will allow for easier recognition and appreciation of our landmark.  The Town Pound was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.  The Pound was sold to the Raab Family  in 1918 after it was no longer in use by the town. The family donated the structure back to the Town of Farmington in 1975.  The Town Pound site is maintained by the Farmington Historical Society.  The Society hopes to continue improvements to the site.

Collage of photos before clear up began.
Collage of photos after the clean up.
Historical Society Members display their hard work.
The pound as it survives today is a substantial structure, whose fieldstone walls are seven-feet high and three-feet wide at the base. Along the top, the walls terminate with long granite capstones. There is a five-and-a-half-foot wide opening on the southeast side (facing Pound Road). Some of the stones have been removed, the lintel has fallen and broken into three pieces, and the wooden gate is no longer extant, but the pound is otherwise similar in appearance to the photograph which appears in the 1904 publication, Souvenir of Farmington, New Hampshire. (The presence of saplings growing on the lot was evident even in 1904.)

Photo of Farmington Town Pound from the 1904 Souvenir Book
The pound occupies a small lot measuring 120 feet by 130 feet in the geographical center of the town. The balance of the parcel supports a young growth of mixed hardwood and conifers.

The pound was built in 1823 by the Town of Farmington to replace an earlier wooden structure that was built in 1802.  It is one of a few well-preserved pounds in southeastern New Hampshire. It remained in use until late in the 19th century.  It was sold to a private owner in 1918. Eventually, it was given back to the town, and is now maintained by our historical society.

Learn More

Farmington Town Pound on Wikipedia

Strafford County Listing of Historic Places on National Register of Historic Places

Town Pound Registration Form on National Register of Historic Places

Souvenir of Farmington New Hampshire 1904 Booklet on Scribd

Town Pound as it appears in satellite photos from Google Earth.  Look for the Farmington Town Pound pin on Google Earth.  http://www.google.com/earth/

27 July 2014

Interesting Article About an Excavation in Portsmouth

"Bath discovery rekindles interest in Portsmouth's Jewish history"
Laurenne Ramsdell
Foster's Daily Democrat

Pictured here is a Jewish ritual bath, also known as a mikvah, 
which was recently discovered in Portsmouth at Strawbery 
Banke.  (Ryan McBride/Staff photographer,
Foster's Daily Democrat)
PORTSMOUTH — A recent discovery within the grounds of Strawbery Banke has offered new insight into the Seacoast's rich history of Jewish culture.

A century-old mikvah — a ritual immersion bath — was unearthed by the museum's archaeological staff after a former resident shared his memory of the structure. As there is no written record of this particular mikvah's existence, the discovery will allow local historians an opportunity to more accurately detail the history of Jewish culture in Portsmouth.

While starting a vegetable garden on the site of what once held the Pecunies homestead, Ronald Pecunies casually mentioned his memory of a mikvah located in the basement of his family's former home. Rather than using it for its original purpose of ritual cleansing, Pecunies noted that his family, which owned the home from the late 1930s to the 1960s, used the structure to brine fish.

The mention of the mikvah greatly intrigued former museum archaeologist Sheila Charles, who soon kick-started an effort to uncover this piece of history.

Learn More
Read the entire story in Foster's Daily Democrat at http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140727/GJNEWS_01/140729507


26 July 2014

Historical Society to Meet August 1st

"August Business Meeting"
Friday, August 1st
6:00 pm
Henry Wilson Museum
Goodwin Library Lower Level

Our New Logo was approved at the July Meeting.
There will be no presentation this month, just a business meeting.

Call to order

Pledge of Allegiance

Review of Minutes: 11 July 2014

Treasurer's Report

2014-15 Presentations: discussion

Town Pound: Clean-up

Website updates

Vista Print: Caps and T shirts. Set prices.

Hayday:  Discussion/Plan. 23 August - 8 am - 3 pm.
Still need volunteers to man the booth.

Need to update and reproduce brochures for distribution.

Fifty-Fifty Raffle (tickets/bowl) drawing 2:30 pm

Museum open 10am - 2pm

Meetings: September - 5 Sept - no presentation - byor.
          October -  3 Oct - Presentation TBD - Refreshment to be provided.
          November - 7 Nov - Annual Meeting - Pot luck  - Elections.


Come join us.  Dues are only $5.00!  


10 July 2014

July 11: Historical Society Meeting

"July Monthly Business Meeting"

Friday, July 11, 2014
7:00 pm
Henry Wilson Society Museum
Goodwin Library
Main Street, Farmington, NH

Call to order
Pledge of allegiance
Review of Minutes: 02 May 2014
Treasurer’s Report
Discussion re: hanging xmas trees.
Discuss Supplies
Sanborn Mills Farms Tours - coming soon. Will contact Mr. Huppe to arrange the recon tour.
Town Pound: Clean-up  - Lets pick a time and date.
Need copies of minutes - last twelve months - Joyce.
Vista print: Caps and T shirts.
Cataloging museum contents.  Tom Ransom, Rod & Judy Thompson, Dottie Bean, Kyle Leach, and Jim Horgan.
Hayday: Looking for folks to hold down the table. Sell baked goods and raffle tickets,  hand out brochures, guide folks to the museum.
Need folks to guide folks through the museum: hours to be
Need folks to bake items for sale: suggestions?
any ideas for trinkets - for resale (promoting museum).
Souvenir type stuff.
23 August - 8 am - 3 pm.

Meetings will continue over the summer. Bring you own refreshments.  These will be working meetings - no presentations For JUNE through September.

Thank you all for your attendance and participation, especially for allowing us to move forward in advancing  the condition of the Museum. Don’t be strangers, stay in touch, come to the meetings. Have a good summer.

Our next meeting:  August 1st.


06 June 2014

Meeting: 7:00 PM Friday, June 6, 2014

"Come Join Us!"
Friday, June 6th
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

The Society will be meeting on Friday, June 6th at 7:00 in the museum to discuss business and plan for the future.  New members are always welcome. Bring your $5.00 dues and your ideas.    Hope to see you there.


03 May 2014

Issues of the Farmington News Now Available Online

"The Farmington News Digitization Project is Complete"

This digital archive contains all issues of the Farmington News, of Farmington, New Hampshire. The newspaper was published every Friday by J. E. Fernald and Son.  Over the course of time, the paper moved to a Wednesday publication and was published by the Farmington News Company.  The Farmington News circulated from March 14, 1879 through April 7, 1976. The circulation reported in 1898 was 1200. The paper was 17 inches X 24 inches in size.
The first edition of the Farmington News was published on Friday July 11, 1879. 
The project began over a year ago and was the result of the Library having microfilm copies of the paper, but no operational microfilm reader through which the papers could be viewed.  Patrons had to take the film to the Rochester Library in order to read it. While the original microfilm conversion was not the best quality, the digitization included cleaning the film as best as possible.  Unfortunately, digitization cannot repair damages, so damages in the film are carried over to the digital copies and some of the text may be difficult to read in the older papers.  This is most likely the result of smudging on the original copy of the newspaper that was transferred onto the microfilm when converted into film.  While some of the original newspapers remain, the bulk of the issues were given to the late Roger Belanger, our unofficial town historian, when the newspapers were converted into microfilm in order to save space.  

The last edition of the Farmington News was published on Wednesday, April 7, 1976.
To access the archive, click on the Farmington News tab on this website.  You will be taken to the digital archives.  If you need help with searching the archive, visit the "Help" tab.  There are extensive instructions on how to search and locate the papers you want.  Each page is offered as a separate file for viewing and can be enlarged on the screen.  

The Digital Archive of the Farmington News was provided to the Goodwin Library by the Farmington Historical Society.  The Digitization was completed by Advantage Preservation, with offices in Iowa and Minnesota.  Learn more about digitization at http://www.advantage-companies.com/preservation.


17 April 2014

May 2: Women Soldiers in the Civil War with David Decker

"Women Soldiers in the Civil War"

David Decker
Friday, May 2nd
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

presented by 
David Decker
Civil War Expert

In 1861, women had few opportunities for employment:  nurse, teacher, or governess, but some women wanted to fight for their country. Between 250 and 1,000 women disguised themselves as men and fought as soldiers during the American Civil War, during which they had more freedom than they would for the next century.  Civil War expert David Decker posits that these women soldiers played an important role in the women's rights movement.  At first, these women soldiers were scorned, but by the 1900's, they were praised, especially in their obituaries.  With an accompanying PowerPoint slide show, Mr. Decker will provide biographical sketches of heroic women who served for both the north and the south.  These women joined the army usually seeking adventure or out of patriotism or a desire to be with a brother or a husband, often staying with their units after a husband was killed in action.  They volunteered in all capacities and even served as officers, demonstrating equality with men in their fighting ability and bravery in the midst of battle.  When pregnant, ill, or wounded, they were frequently discovered and sent home, although some stayed with their units as nurses, laundresses, or spies.

Only in the last two decades have women achieved the same amount of freedom and opportunity in the military as they had in the Civil War.

Disguised as a man (left), Frances Clayton served many months in Missouri artillery and cavalry units. (Photos courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library)

Learn More

The Women Who Fought in the Civil War on the Smithsonian at

Women Soldiers of the Civil War on Prologue Magazine in the National Archives at