28 March 2015

April 3rd Presentation: The Shaker Legacy with Darryl Thompson

"The Shaker Legacy"

Friday, April 3rd
7:00 pm
in the Henry Wilson Museum 
Goodwin Library lower level

presented by 
Daryl Thompson
Shaker Historian and Expert

In their more than two and a half centuries of existence, members of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, made ingenious contributions to diverse fields: agriculture, industry, medicine, music, furniture design, women’s rights, racial equality, craftsmanship, social and religious thought, and mechanical invention and improvement. Darryl Thompson explores some of these contributions in his lecture and shares some of his personal memories of the Canterbury Shakers.

Daryl Thompson has an M.A., American History, University of New Hampshire and was tour guide at Canterbury Shaker Village for over 30 years. Thompson studied historic plant varieties that were developed by Shakers in various villages throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. His father, Charles Thompson, co-founded Canterbury Shaker Village Museum with three Shaker sisters. Darryl lived among the Shakers for many years and served as a consultant to Ken Burns in his documentary film The Shakers: Hands to Work. Hearts to God.

This presentation was funded through the New Hampshire Humanities Council.  New Hampshire Humanities Council is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This meeting is open to the public.  Refreshments will be provided.

A Farmington Historical Society business meeting will follow the presentation.

Learn More

The Shakers on PBS Ken Burns American Stories

The Shakers: Hands to Work. Hearts to God on Wikipedia

The Shakers: Hands to Work. Hearts to God on the Internet Movie Database

The Fascinating World of the Shakers on This Week in Raymond

Image Credit:

06 March 2015

Donated Christening Gown Reveals History of Gilman Family in Farmington

One of the goals of the Farmington Historical Society is to not only preserve and catalog items we receive, but to link items of similar nature or that have shared histories with one another. The sampler with picture above has been in the collection for some time. It did not have any related information stored with it, but recently that has changed. 

Richard Tucker contacted us about donating a christening gown belonging to his father. He was able to provide his father's family information and knew who the young girl in the photo above was. She was Elverna Gilman and was Mr. Tucker's great aunt. He was also able to provide us with copies of photos of some of his family and detail the relations in the following statement. 

Elverna Gilman

Christening Gown of Charles Winslow Tucker

"Grace Delma Gilman (Elverna's younger sister and my grandmother) married Charles Pickering Tucker (my grandfather) in Farmington in June 1896.  Their only child Charles Winslow Tucker (my father) was born February 1898 in Boston. Sadly, his father died of tuberculosis in November that same year.  Shortly before his death Grace, Charles P. and their new son dressed in a fancy christening gown were photographed in Farmington by a local photographer, A. W. Shackton.  I have photos of the gown by itself, my father in the gown propped up in an elaborate wicker chair and another of mother, father and son together.  The gown has been kept over the past 116 years in excellent condition.  I did some research on Mr. Shackton and found that the chair was one of his studio props and appeared in other photos I found on the internet. My thought was that the gown, the photos and the back story might find a home in Farmington."

We were delighted to have this this information and he was also able to give us more information on his family line and documentation outlining the paternal side of his family. You can read some of his summation below.

Charles Winslow Tucker


"My parents (Charles W. Tucker and Grace E. Tully) had two children, me and my younger sister Phyllis (b 11 June 1930.)  Rather than provide all the details of our family history I am mailing under separate cover pedigrees sheets for me and my paternal side of the family.

Grace Delma Gilman, Charles Pickering Tucker, and Charles Winslow Tucker in Farmington in June 1896.
These are for the Tucker, Gilman and Wentworth branches of our tree which track them back to their arrival in America. My Tucker ancestor was born on the Isle of Shoals about 1622. The Gilmans hit the beach in Hingham, MA about 1650 and William, the first American Wentworth, arrived in MA about 1633 and was one of the folks who established Exeter in 1636. 

The cover sheet is an overview of my own family. You'll see that my lovely wife and I were married in Dec 1950 and produced three daughters, "all above average." In fact, they are. Susan graduated first in her class at Smith College and earned her PhD in Theoretical Mathematics at the University of Michigan. Her husband earned the same doctorate from the same university. Their son Stephen graduated from Reed College, Portland, OR; their daughter Lisa will graduate from Connecticut College next May.

Our middle daughter Alison graduated with honors from Brown University, is married and living in California. 

Lauren, our youngest, graduated with honors from CT College and is married to a fellow grad who is now the number two man in the Maine State Dept.of Marine Resources. Son Ben went to Clarkson College and is now a propulsion engineer who works on nuclear subs in Groton, CT. Their daughter Amanda graduated from Tufts and is a techie and computer whiz in the Raleigh Triangle Research Center."

These accounts and documentation now accompany the sampler and photo we had, as well as the christening gown. We are very grateful to Mr. Richard Tucker for his donation and for the information that helped to link these two items together.

Woman's Club has Long History of Service to the Town by Joann Doke

Woman's Clubs can trace their history back to 1868.  The Farmington Woman's Club was founded in 1910.  Woman's Clubs began in communities as modern household advances afforded the women more leisure time.  The clubs' original function was as study clubs or reading clubs.  As time went on, their goals also included social welfare; building schools, hospitals and libraries.  Woman's Clubs in the United States helped fund the building of 75%-80% of all libraries across the nation, including our own Goodwin Library. The Farmington community should be proud of the longstanding support and leadership that the Woman's Club has exemplified for our town and our library.

At the Goodwin Library cornerstone laying ceremony in 1928, Fred Thayer, master of ceremonies, noted, "I wish to especially call your attention to the influence of the women in this community in this growth and I refer particularly to the Farmington Woman's Club.  In 1911, this organization, which is regarded among the leaders for civic programs, conceived the idea of creating a fund for the erection of a public library building.  They not only conceived  the plan, but have carried  it through each successive administration by supplementing the small original fund with proceeds of social activities, until one year ago there was somewhat over $1800 in the treasury.  With this fund, the Board of Trustees had for some time discussed and negotiated for a suitable site for such a building.  Last November, this very spot  upon which we stand was purchased."  We have a library in Farmington because of the dedication and support of the Farmington Woman's Club.
Prior to the building of the Goodwin Library, books were kept at the  Farmington Opera House and were lost in a fire there. Continues Thayer,  "Immediately after the fire, the women again came  to the fore and have continued  through social activities, to swell  the funds for the continuance of this institution."
Fast forward through the years of consistent monetary and in kind donations to various causes in Farmington.  The goals of  promoting social, ethical and intellectual culture, to further education is still present in our modern day activities.

 Through the efforts of some of our fund-raising committees, we have been able to double the amount of our yearly scholarship to a FHS graduate to $1000.  We continue the decades long tradition of hosting an annual faculty tea to show our appreciation for our educators and also to award each school with a monetary donation.
In 2010, on the occasion of the Farmington Woman's Club's 100 the anniversary, the club was recognized with a congratulation letter from President Obama.  The Farmington Board of Selectmen also acknowledged the Woman's Club's efforts with a formal proclamation.
In holding to our traditions, we have also tried to keep curent with changing times.  Some of our daytime meetings have been changed  to evenings to allow our working members to attend.  With the continued growth of the club, we have seen an increase in our fundraisers with an influx of new ideas.  We have donated to many causes including: the Interfaith Food Pantry, The American Legion, Farmington Arts Boosters, The Farmington Recreation Department, The Puddledock Press and more.  The club was responsible for the purchase of the lovely trees downtown and continues to maintain the flower garden site in the middle of town.  One of the American flags flying proudly was a club donation.

The club is not all about good works.  We do have social activities where we can enjoy each others company and invited guests.  The Woman's Club hosts several social activities and fund raisers throughout the year.
As always, the FWC welcomes new members from Farmington and surrounding communities to attend a program or a meeting and see if we are a fit for you.  Please contact President Stephanie Roux at 603-755-9902 for more information.  

Learn More

The Farmington Woman's Club on the Web

Tonight Friday, March 6th 7PM- History and the Paranormal with Eric Perry

 "History and the Paranormal"
Eric Perry

Tonight Friday, March 6 at 7:00 PM in the Henry Wilson Museum at the Goodwin Library. Eric Perry is Assistant Director , Unit Production Manager , Production Manager ,Lead Investigator. Eric Brings 5 year of paranormal investigating . Eric is a father of 3 kids and was just recently Awarded IPAA ,International Paranormal Acknowledgement Award he is also a published author. Eric is a skeptic and believes everything can be explained.
Eric will be presenting about History and the Paranormal . He will be talking about history and how it helps us to understand the past, and how we can use that knowledge. He will also be talking about paranormal gear and how it helps paranormal investigators study and understand the spirit world.
There will be a business and planning meeting of the Historical Society after the presentation. This meeting is open and the public are encouraged to attend.

Learn More

Eric Perry on the Web

The History Of Women's History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week."  Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week."  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month."  Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”     

Learn More

You can learn more about Women's History by visiting Women's History Month on the web at:

For short articles and pictures, visit “A National policy of Nagging” on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/usnatarchives/a-national-policy-of-nagging

You can get the executive and legislative documents from the Law Library of Congress' guide to the legislative history of Women's History Month at

Women's History Month @ Wikipedia

Women's History Month @ Library of Congress

Women's History Month @ National Women's History Museum