06 December 2013

December 6: Sounds of the Seacoast with The Usual Suspects

"A Capella Sounds of the Seacoast"

Friday, December 6th
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Second Floor Woman's Clubroom

presented by 
The Usual Suspects Quartet
Acapella Quartet

The quartet is a women's a cappella quartet comprised of four unusually suspicious women who all belong to Sounds of the Seacoast Chorus of Harmony Incorporated.  The Portsmouth-based Sounds of the Seacoast women's a cappella chorus is a diverse group of over 40 women all ages and walks of life from many communities throughout  the greater Seacoast area.   The group performs at a number of outdoor festivals and special functions throughout the year.  They also host their own annual concert every spring and a Christmas Cabaret in December.  Founded in 1978, and in keeping with the style of barbershop music (unaccompanied, four-part a cappella harmony), the Sounds of the Seacoast Chorus enjoys singing and performing a variety of music from standards to gospel songs to more modern pieces.

Sounds of the Seacoast also enjoys traveling to and competing at two contests each year -- Area in the spring and International in the fall -- as a member of Harmony, Inc., a larger International organization of women barbershop singers devoted to the education and promotion of acappella singing in four-part harmony known as barbershop.

The show put on by The Usual Suspects was excellent and joyous.  The songs ranged from the melodious, wonderfully arranged, Carol of the Bells to the quartet's hearty rendition of It's Raining Men.  Following the show, there was a lot of tasty snacks and goodies on hand to refresh the attendees and singers alike.  Below are a few photos from this lively event.

Vice President, Dottie Bean introduces the Usual Suspects to the eager audience.
The Usual Suspects Quarter sing their harmonious songs in the Woman's Clubroom.
There was a nice group in attendance and everyone enjoyed the performance.
As usual, the refreshment table was brimming with wonderful goodies, coffee, and punch.
There was lots of mingling and the members of quartet answered questions and enjoyed some good cheer.

Watch the entire Sounds of the Seacoast Group perform in 2008.

Learn More

Visit the Usual Suspects Quartet on Facebook and "Like" them at https://www.facebook.com/TheUsualSuspectsQuartet 

Visit Sounds of the Seacoast on the web at http://www.soundsoftheseacoast.org/

09 November 2013

Francis Mooney Receives Mooney's Mill Memorabilia

Francis Mooney and Jim Horgan
Mooney’s Mill, which opened in Farmington in 1916, by Francis Mooney’s grandfather and thrived for many decades, turned out wooden handles. The factory rejects could be bought by the barrel for just 10 cents.  They were often used as kindling for fires. Dottie Bean, Farmington Historical Society Vice President, inherited a pile from her father and still burns them!  Jim Horgan, Historical Society President, recently presented Francis with a few keepsake handles made at the mill, on behalf of the membership. Francis Mooney, now age 97, is also a Farmington resident.

Learn More

The orginal photo and story, We Can Handle These,  appeared in the November 7 issue of the Rochester Times at  http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131107/GJCOMMUNITY04/131109480
Photo Credit:  John Nolan, Rochester Times

Farmington Historical Society Elects New Officers for 2014

"Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner"

New President, Jim Horgan
with Vice President, Dottie Bean
Friday, November 1st
6:30 pm

The Society met for its annual meeting and Pot Luck Dinner on Friday, November 1st.  There was lots of good food and good company.  At the business meeting, following the dinner, the slate of new officers for the 2014 year was elected.  While there were some returning faces, we did elect a new President. Jim Horgan, a long time Farmington resident, was elected as the new President.  Former president Dottie Bean, took the Vice President position. The remaining officers kept their positions from the previous year.

Last year, the society began collecting information on the feasibility of digitizing the back issues of the newspaper that the Goodwin Library currently has on microfilm.  When completed, issues of the Farmington News will be available online. Members of the society were excited to finalize this project and are eager for its completion.  Among the various projects that the Historical Society will attempt to complete in the coming year will be to dehumidify the museum, begin an artifact cataloging project, open our online museum, and open the online issues of the Farmington News.

The Society meets on the first Friday of the Month. Monthly meetings include of presentations on topics of interest feature local and regional speakers. The presentation is followed by light refreshments and a business meeting.  The Society operates and manages the Henry Wilson Museum at the Goodwin Library, and
annually awards a $500 scholarship to a graduating Farmington High School senior. The Society published the pictorial book Images of America - Farmington, available at the library for $16.99.  We also have a written History of Farmington NH, available at the library for $5.00.

Our monthly programs are free and open to the public!  New members are always welcome.  Annual dues are $5.00.

Check the calendar below for meeting dates.

18 October 2013

November 1: Annual Pot Luck Dinner

"Annual Pot Luck Dinner"

Friday, November 1st

6:30 pm
Congregational Church
Farmington, NH

presented by 
Farmington Historical Society
Making History Come Alive for our Town

Historical Society Members will meet, socialize and dine at their annual pot luck dinner meeting on November 1st, at the Congregational Church.  The annual meeting ends the governing year for the Historical Society.  The membership will elect a slate of officers for the coming year.

Membership dues ($5.00) are due at the annual meeting.  New members are welcome to bring a dish and join!  Mark your calendars now, and join in the fun and planning for the coming year.

04 October 2013

Historical Society Considers Digitizing the Farmington News

The Farmington Historical Society is considering undertaking a project to digitize collection of Farmington News on microfilm.  The Farmington News was our local newspaper.  The Goodwin Library has the paper on microfilm from 1879 through 1976.  The digitization project would produce clean digital copies of the paper, which would be housed in an online database, searchable by the public.  Other New Hampshire libraries are taking on these projects, and the Farmington Historical Society wants to support the Library's efforts to increase our digital footprint and impact.  Having the history of Farmington, as revealed by its newspaper, would be a great asset to genealogy buffs,  history buffs, the history and social studies teachers and students in our Farmington Schools, as well as others  interested in history.

To get an idea of what this might look like, visit the library websites below and see their online newspaper and digital archive collections.

Learn More

Kelly Library in Salem, New Hampshire    www.salem.lib.nh.us
   Salem Observer, digital archives of the Kelley Library   http://kelley.advantage-preservation.com/

Nesmith Library in Windham, New Hampshire    www.nesmithlibrary.org
   Windham Independent, digital archives of the Nesmith Library   http://nesmith.advantage-preservation.com/

14 September 2013

October 4: Welcome Home New Hampshire with Don Watson

"Welcome Home New Hampshire"

Friday, October 4th
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

presented by 
Don Watson

Don Watson is a singer/songwriter from Gilford, NH, who’s music has been compared to John Denver, Jim Croce and Dan Fogelberg. His songs are upbeat, inspiring and easy on the ears. Don's newest project "Welcome Home New Hampshire" is a collection of songs based on people, places and events of the granite state. Don partnered with Steve Redic, a poet and historian from Candia, NH in the writing of these songs.

Don works for the state Department of Environmental Services and is an active conservationist and avid outdoorsman.  Don loves hiking, canoeing, skiing and all that the great outdoors has to offer with the exception of mosquitoes and black flies. He coordinates the Belknap Range Hiking Patch program and tries to promote awareness and respect for nature through this and his music. He is trying to get Welcome Home New Hampshire in front of appropriate audiences. He has done several performances at historical societies, libraries and museums and continues to book events in the area.

Here is what folks are saying about Don's music.  "A treasure for anyone who loves New Hampshire",  "The best independent album I've heard in several years", “This is my new favorite CD”, “I listen to your CD on the way to work and on the way home. It picks me up”, “Wonderful, wonderful CD. You’re such an inspiration”, “It is very uplifting and so is Don”, "You are next to my all time favorite, John Denver",

Although considered a solo artist, Don often performs with several talented Lakes Region musicians to form the "Don Watson and Friends Band".  Don has performed at several larger NH venues including Meadowbrook, Franklin Opera House, Hopkinton fair, and many cafe's, restaurants, farmers markets and festivals.

Learn More

Don Watson on the Web at www.DonWatsonMusic.com
Don Watson Music and Lyrics on ReverbNation at http://www.reverbnation.com/donwatson
Local Musician Creates Album Inspired by New Hampshire in the Concord Monitor at http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/3441308-95/hampshire-watson-album-history

11 August 2013

The Site of Ricker's Cold Spring Garage on Spring Street Condemned

Ricker's Cold Spring Garage, Spring Street, Farmington, NH,  in its hay day!
With the establishment of an auto dealership, prosperity was said to have arrived in Farmington.  Ricker's Cold Spring Garage, a DeSoto - Plymouth dealership, on Spring Street was operated by John Ricker.

The former dealership, located at 85 and 87 Spring Street, apparently have been abandoned for nearly a decade of more.  Farmington Fire Chief, Richard Fowler, reported that the last known owner of the property had died. There hasn't been any activity at the site in many years.  When a local resident reported concern about the property, members of the Fire and Code Enforcement departments, as well as N.H. Department of Environmental Services, did a walk-through of the site. They determined that there was no cause for emergency, but the property will likely require costly cleanup because of the chemicals stored on site and stability issues of the building.
The rear of the structure has sustained several collapses over time and parts of the roof and floor have caved in.

It is unlikely the town will be financially responsible for the cleanup.  Farmington officials are trying to locate the current owner.  If a responsible party is not found, the Department of Environmental Services will look into available grants to aid in the clean up process.

Learn More

House and partially collapsed garage condemned
By Liz Markhlevskaya in Fosters Daily Democrat, July 27, 2013

25 May 2013

June 7: Civil War General George Thomas with David Decker

"The Life and Career of General George Thomas"

Friday, June 7th
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

presented by 
David Decker
Historian, Civil War

A presentation on the life and career of General George Thomas, with special emphasis on his unbroken string of victories throughout the civil war.  Thomas is well known as the best commander on defense in the war. He twice saved the union army from destruction at Stone’s River and at Chickamauga. After this second battle, the newspapers dubbed him "the Rock of Chickamauga," and President Lincoln called his effort the most heroic act in the history of the world.

Dave Decker was born in 1937 in Chicago, Illinois.  He lived there for eight years, then moved to Methuen, Massachusetts.  He lived there for six years and then moved to Salem, New Hampshire.  He lived there for eleven years before moving to Laconia and Gilford, New Hampshire, in 1963 and has continued to live there ever since.  He graduated from the University of New Hampshire and majored in government and then graduated from Boston College law school.  He practiced law in New Hampshire for 28 years, retired, and then worked as a paralegal for the next 20 years—much easier on the heart and stomach.

Dave is married to his wife, Susan, has three adult children, six grandchildren, and twelve step-grandchildren.  His only other resident in the house is the dog.  His interest in the Civil War began in high school and has continued uninterrupted ever since then.  He became a member of the Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire in 1997 and by 1999 had made his first presentation to that group, namely the Lincoln-Douglass debates of 1858 and an additional presentation to the Civil War Round Table of Vermont.  In 2002, he delivered the first General Thomas presentation to the Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire and to a men's group.  Next he made a presentation on Pickett's Charge, the third day of Gettysburg, and Pickett's subcommanders.  A couple of years later, he made a presentation on women soldiers and nurses in the Civil War.  Last October, he did a second presentation on General Thomas to the same group, which was comprised of an almost entirely new membership.

This is the second occasion of that presentation, and he is scheduled for three more presentations in May and June to historical societies in New Hampshire.  Dave's strong interest in General Thomas has been caused by the fact that Thomas is virtually unknown and wrongfully so, and in Dave's small way, he's trying to make amends.  He's sure to tell you that Thomas is a great hero of that war.

Learn More
Watch a brief video of highlights of David's presentations on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxScy9nLiX0

George Henry Thomas on Wikipedia

George Thomas on Civil War Trust

George H. Thomas on About.com

01 May 2013

May 3: Conservation of Oil Paintings with Martha Cox

"The Conservation/Restoration of Oil Paintings"

Friday, May 3, 2013
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

presented by 
Martha Cox
Professional Associate of the American Institute of Conservation

Every picture tells a story and aside from being beautiful decorative objects, paintings can be important to us emotionally and culturally as historic documents. As tangible objects they are fragile and susceptible to damage and deterioration. As they age, typical changes occur that detract from the original beauty and when things go terribly wrong there are methods to stabilize and repair the damages to return them to the way they were intended to look. I will touch on the basics of what all of us can do to keep our paintings in the best shape possible and will share many dramatic and not so dramatic photos of typical and not so typical condition issues and their resolutions. Many stories have crossed my threshold.

Martha Cox has been conserving and restoring fine art oil paintings for over 20 years and is committed to providing the highest quality of care to ensure their preservation. She is proud to collaborate with collectors, institutional owners, and regular folks in the mission of stewarding the historical continuity linking us to our past and to each other. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute of Conservation.

Learn More

Visit Martha on the web at
Great Works Painting Restoration  http://greatworksrestoration.com/

20 April 2013

Communities Matter @ Our Library

The Farmington Library Association Board of Trustees has cordially cordially invited the community to the Goodwin Library Community Celebration Saturday, April 20, 2013 12:00 to 4:00 pm. The Celebration will begin at the Farmington Recreation Center 12:00 – 2:00 pm with a Social and Program, then move to the Goodwin Library 2:00 – 4:00 pm for an Open House.

The event will begin with a meet and greet social. They will have balloons and small giveaway items for kids. Finger foods, desserts, and light beverages will be available for everyone to enjoy. The program will begin with presentations highlighting the history and contributions of the community of organizations that share the Goodwin Library building and end with a tribute to Beulah Thayer, honoring her years of support for the Library and the Town of Farmington. Following the presentations, there will be a performance by Rochester Poet Laureate, Pat O’Brien, singer, songwriter, and storyteller.

Then, the celebration will adjourn at the Recreation Center and move to an Open House at the Goodwin Library. The children’s room will be renamed and dedicated to Beulah Thayer in a short ceremony. Also, representatives from each of our library community organizations will be present in their respective spaces in the Goodwin Library to give interested parties a tour, or answer any questions about their organizations.

The Henry Wilson Museum will be open to the public from 2:00 - 4:00 today.  Come join us!

The Goodwin Library Staff-  Friends of the Goodwin Library-  The Goodwin Library Trustees
The Farmington Historical Society-  The Farmington Woman’s Club

Download a printable program from Scribd, or come to the event and get a printed one!

22 March 2013

April 5 2013:Sawyer Prints with Jean Davenhall

"Sawyer Prints"

Friday, April 5th 2013
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum

presented by 
Jean Davenhall

Charles H. Sawyer was born on March 24, 1868, probably in Norridgewock, Maine. In the 1890’s, Charles began his art career as a portrait artist, a painter, and then, as a photographer in Providence, RI. He also worked as a pencil artist for the New York Tribune and worked with the well-known Wallace Nutting. Here, Charles Sawyer learned the painting and coloring techniques that would move his black and white photographic art to another level. He created watercolor, pastel, and crayon portraits on commission. Ultimately, however, his fortune and reputation were built on his dramatic American landscapes.

Charles Henry Sawyer
Using watercolor paints, Charles Sawyer began transforming his black and white photographs into images of glowing landscapes. All of Sawyer’s negatives were black and white. Color film was not available during Sawyer most productive phase. From his black and white glass negatives, Sawyer would print black and white photographs, some of which were sold as black and white photographs; or he would develop and print them with a sepia tone; or he could take black and white printed images and hand paint and color them, according to nature's palette.  Sawyer began his studio business in Farmington, ME, but moved to Concord , NH, as he the White Mountains were some of his favorite spots to take the photographs he would eventually colorize.

Charles H. Sawyer hand painted photograph, "Melody".
The sepia-stained images did not sell as well as the hand-colored images. Some sepia photos do show up here.  He also sold a set of greeting cards labeled "Greetings from the White Mountains of New Hampshire," where Echo Lake and Mt. Washington appear.

Until the 1950’s, most of Sawyer’s images were matted; if not, it is likely the image was framed outside the studio by an individual or a company, like Jordan Marsh in Boston, or Wannamakers in Philadelphia, which ordered numbers of images. The earliest mattings, those done while Charles worked out of Farmington, ME, were an off-white originally; but with age, they now appear as wheat-colored. The image itself was usually framed by a separate, thin grey mat, although some from the Farmington era were set on depressed mats also. More often than not, these images were pencil-signed, most likely by Charles himself.

Charles H. Sawyer hand painted photograph, "Ammonoosuc Falls".
Later images of the 1920s -1930s were matted with the image centered on a rectangular depressed area. Most of these are ink-signed and titled in a neat, graceful script. About this same time period and continuing for subsequent years, finished images appeared matted on the off-white paper, but centered on a pre-printed brown border. The miniature brown-bordered mattings were the same size as the greeting cards and, in most cases, exactly the same except for the printed "Season's Greetings" etc. A few images also have been found with a gold paper border or a separate brown matting. Generally speaking, those with separate gold or brown borders around the image date the image most likely in the early 1930’s.  After Sawyer's death in 1954, his son Harold continued to run the business.  The studio and business was closed after Harold's death, as his children had no interest in continuing the tradition.

 -  "The Hand-Painted Photographs of Charles Henry Sawyer", written by Carol Begley Gray, Michael Ivankovich and John Peters.

Jean brought some of her collection of Sawyer prints to the presentation.
 Sawyer colorized photographs from Jean's collection were on display at the presentation..

A video of Jean's presentation will be available for viewing shortly. Refreshments were served following the presentation.
A Historical Society Business meeting was held afterward.

Learn More

A Sawyer Image - A Thing of Beauty   http://www.thegavel.net/sawyer.html
A Lifetime of Devotion Crosses the Block   http://www.thegavel.net/Seplead1.html
The Hand-Painted Photographs of Charles Henry Sawyer, Carol Begley Gray, Michael Ivankovich, John Peters,  Second Edition, Treasure Press, 2002

Image Credits:
Farmington Historical Society collection.

06 March 2013

Annual Scholarship Awarded

"Historical Society Awards $500 Scholarship"

President Dottie Bean and Secretary Joyce White preresent the scholarship to Tyler Johnson
Tyler Johnson was the 2012 recipient of Farmington Historical Society $500 scholarship, which is awarded annually to a Farmington High School Student by the Farmington Historical Society. President Dottie Bean and Secretary Joyce White met Tyler in the Henry Wilson Museum at the Goodwin Library recently to present the award.  Tyler is continuing his studies at the University of Vermont, majoring in political science and history, leading to a career in international justice.

Learn More

Foster's Daily Democrat on the Web

Find us on Facebook.    
Like us on Facebook. 
Follow us on Facebook

25 February 2013

March 1: Decorating with Antiques with Larraine Meyer

"Decorating with Antiques"
Friday, March 1
7:00 pm
Goodwin Library
Historical Society Museum
presented by 
Larraine Meyer
Antiques Dealer

Perhaps, the story of how Lorraine became an antiques dealer is the most interesting part of this most interesting woman’s life. She attributes it all to being raised in a convent. She says convent school children were allowed very few personal items. Indeed, she explains with a laugh that this is why she loves being surrounded by “clutter”. In essence, attempting to make up for what she feels she missed as a child. At the age of nine, her parents divorced. Her father, as she explained “got” her and promptly placed Lorraine in a convent with nuns, who all became her “mothers”. Lorraine says her entire worldly possessions were contained in one tiny black suitcase. It is her belief that she reacted to deprivation by later accumulating anything that caught her eye.

A Meeting of the Historical Society Membership will follow the presentation.
Light refreshments will be served.

Learn More
She's One of a Kind   http://www.thegavel.net/myers203.html

Find us on Facebook.    
Like us on Facebook. 
Follow us on Facebook