Monday, November 28, 2016

Ranco gets his deer November 1916

Our series of looking back at the news of one hundred years ago continues.

This ad from November 23, 1916, captures a major theme on the town’s mind, deer hunting.

Some things never change. Over the past few weeks I have seen a number of deer and hunters going off into the woods. 100 years ago there was more news on deer hunting than on the war raging in Europe since July 28, 1914.

The only mention of the war I could find was about the lack of information the community was getting, in this case due to censorship.

There was news however about cooking with electricity.  

The article reads more like an ad and another issue of the paper in November 1916 did include a large ad with a picture of the most modern, up-to-date electrical stove.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were featured in the paper. There was a “Thanksgiving Ball” at the Bijou (now the Glass Graphics building). Most music during the time was played live as “Victrolas” were a new thing.

This notice about a price increase for ice shows that you could save money if you purchased your ice “on the pond.” A few years ago, Bud Shackford talked about cutting ice in Conway.

Back to hunting. The shoes described in this ad sound like the famous L.L. Bean shoe.

So possibly wearing their Baker hunting shoes from W.R. Carter and their rifles and ammo from A.D. Davis, George Ronco and Stewart Anderson each got a deer near the Mineral Springs.

They may have preserved their deer in ice from a pond in Conway and cooked it on an electric stove or oven. 

Of course you can’t hunt there now, it’s now on the grounds of the “new” Kennett High School. The mineral springs has been preserved in large part by the relatives of George Ronco (now spelled Rancourt) and are open to the public. 

The Rancourt’s service during World War One has been memorialized on a granite sundial in Redstone along with the other boys from that village. For a map and photo see this link.

Neither war nor deer season is without danger.  

Be careful out there and wear orange during hunting season.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Red flowers and green lights

Do you know what the red flower stands for?

This Friday many of us will get the day off from school or work. For some, it will be an opportunity to sleep in late. Others might use it for holiday shopping or to get the house ready for winter. There will be colorful sale ads for cars, appliances and furniture. Some places might offer a discount for veterans. How many of us will really stop to think about the history of this holiday and its meaning for Conway and New Hampshire?

Do you know what the green light stands for?

Do you know what the numbers 11/11/11 mean in relation to Veterans Day?

Do you know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?

Do you know how many veteran memorials there are in the area? Can you find them all? Have you seen them all?

Perhaps we should take some time this Veterans Day to learn about its meaning, its legacy and its relevance to us today.

In 1998, the Conway Daily Sun published a "Map of Memorials" related to Veterans (click on images to englarge). 

Ironically, one memorial missing from the list is on the north lawn of the Conway Public Library, only about 50 feet from my desk in the Henney History Room.

In April 2017, we want to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States entering WW1. We want to give the local community a reason to stop and think about the past and its implications for the future. A round-numbered anniversary helps with this, as we did with the 250th of Conway in 2015 and the 100th anniversary of the NH Primary in 2016. We plan to do it again in 2018 with the 200th anniversary of the building of the Eastman Lord House. For this project we will look at what Conway village was like at that time.

One hundred years is a good vantage point to research, evaluate, understand. It’s a Goldilocks time frame for historians, not too close, not too far away.  

We want to put the first World War into the context of what it meant for Conway and NH. Of how it impacted local folks.

To help us understand our history, the Conway Historical Society and the Conway Public Library will team up to create an exhibit and series of programs about Conway during World War One (and its local legacy). While the exhibit will open at the Salyards Center on July 4th 2017, we are asking the community now to help with our research, design, production and programs over the fall and winter.

 Please volunteer to become part of this important project!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Vote early and often

Who won?

Today’s Conway Daily Sun reports that AMC Theaters will show live coverage of next week's election results at a number of their theaters around the country, allowing crowds of folks to watch with surround sound, popcorn and soda. 

They go on to say that “Gathering with a crowd to watch election-night returns is by no means a new pastime.” and that in 1944, an estimated 250,000 people gathered in Times Square to wait for the election returns.  

Did you know the same thing happened here in Conway one hundred years ago? 

On Tuesday, November 7, 1916 the Bijou Theater (now the Glass Graphics building) had an evening of pictures and dancing with a direct Western Union Wire line from Boston (for a small admission charge).   

The paper also provided directions for how to vote (click on images to enlarge them). Remember women could not vote in 1916.

Reports on the election night were published on Thursday, November 9, however, as of press time, the results were not conclusive.

It was not until Thursday, November 16 that we get a report on the victory celebrations for the election of Woodrow Wilson who promised to keep us out of the war raging in Europe.

Keep watching this blog to see how long he kept that campaign promise.