Friday, July 20, 2018

Grover Cleveland papers - Conway to the Library of Congress

This week we installed a small display showing a few examples from the Conway Historical Society’s collection of President Grover Cleveland papers, before they make their move to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Cleveland had a summer home in Tamworth. Tamworth is one of the twenty-seven towns covered by the scope of the Conway Public Library’s Henney History Room as set up by Nella and Keith Henney. In Tamworth can be found one of the most unique Presidential monuments - not a sculpture, not a building, but instead a road and stone wall. Our exhibit features some pages from the fundraising committee for the project (click on images to enlarge them).

We have had quite a good bit of publicity on the project. Brian P. Wiggin has led the charge to preserve the papers and arrange to have them sent to the Library of Congress where all Presidential papers before Herbert Hoover are stored. Mr. Wiggin is a Trustee at both the Conway Public Library and the Conway Historical Society as well as a historian of both local and national history.

Please drop by and visit the display. We would be happy to talk with you about it.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Marvelous History

What's wrong with this picture? 

William Marvel does it again! In yesterday's Conway Daily Sun, he re-attributes the names of the boys in this picture from the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room collection. (click on image to enlarge it and read his argument).

Here is an image of the back of the original photo helping to see how the handwriting could have been misread.

As we reviewed in a previous blog what passes for history can change due to new insights or research such as that done by Mr. Marvel.

We welcome this kind of community involvement in getting our history correct. We invite anyone with an interest in history to join our volunteer group, for a part of a day, or on an ongoing basis. We have a large back log of items to scan, research, and post in our online collection. We have many photographs that have unidentified people in them. Perhaps you could give some of these anonymous faces a name!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Happy Barn Day!

I hope you are all looking forward to celebrating the next National Barn Day this Sunday, July 8th, 2018. As I am sure you all know, it is always the second Sunday in July.

One of the many websites about Barn day suggests you “Celebrate Barn Day by driving out into the country to see as many barns as you can. Really get out there and barnstorm—literally. Take note of the different types of barns you can find. Take photographs!”

If you do take photographs, or have any old photographs or archival materials on old barns, we would be happy to collect or copy it for our collection to preserve and share with future generations.

We can also help you plan your barn day itinerary with books and historic photos from our collection.

If you start on Greenwood Avenue at the Conway Public Library head west to Pleasant Street.

If you look south or west you will see good examples of barns “connected architecture” outlined in Thomas Hubka’s “Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn” available for checkout at the library.

Here is a sketch diagramming the basic layout of these types of buildings, common throughout the Mount Washington Valley.

On the south west of the “four corners” is the old Abbott Dairy barn. You can still see part of the original track for the hay fork. Click on the picture to enlarge it and check out the really cool old truck.

From here you can head up along West Side Road which is like a museum of barns. Soon you will pass the old Allard Farm, once the site of the largest elm tree in New Hampshire.

Further up on West Side Road you will pass the "Smiley Face" barn seen above. You can also see an interesting potato barn built into the ground.

From West Side take River Road over the Saco back to Route 16. You can take a short detour north and check out the  old Whitaker barn at Whitaker Woods. 

A bit further north the old Bigelow barn ...

 ...has been turned into an organic grocery store and restaurant.

This barn has a distinctive style roof treatment called a Jerkinhead. 

 Further down Route 16 you will pass the Red Barn Outlet.

 We explored the photo above in detail in a previous blog here.

 Another barn you can explore is the Merrill Farm barn before returning to the library.

Have fun!