Monday, April 26, 2021

Let the Stars be your Guide...

... to your guide books. There is a code embossed into the covers of some of our guide books in the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room that is literally written in the stars.

We have four copies of this souvenir guide book to the White Mountains. Each has the same title with the same design on the cover, the same title page, the same author, publisher and date of publication (1879).

However, thanks to the sleuthing of David Tatham, we know that the single star on the cover of the book above indicates it focuses on Crawford Notch... 

... while the two stars on the cover of this book above indicates it is for Franconia Notch. 

A third version of the book with no stars is a combination of both notches. 

Don't be fooled by the colors. As David Tatham explains in his article "Moses Foster Sweetser's Views in the White Mountains" (Historical New Hampshire: Vol. 36, Nos. 2-3, Summer-Fall, 1981, pp. 118 - 148), the colors "signify nothing about the contents." They are not part of the code. We have copies in brown and green as seen above and terracotta color as seen below. 

We looked at the author Moses Foster Sweetser in a previous blog here

In fact he recently helped us is our search for Buttermilk Hollow in a recent blog here. Some of his guidebooks are on Google Books or other internet websites for reading. Or better yet, drop by the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room and see the originals for yourself.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Hemingway in Chocorua

A new documentary on Ernest Hemingway by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick premieres on PBS tonight, Monday April 5, 2021. In this blog we will explore some local connections to Hemingway's extended family. 

Today's blog title may have been a little misleading to capture your attention. This blog is about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson Hemingway Mowrer (November 9, 1891 - January 22, 1979) who lived and is buried in Chocorua. 

There have been a number of books written about her including The Paris Wife, a fictionalized historical account by Paula McLain of Ernest Hemingway's time with Richardson. They were married from 1921 - 1927.

She plays significant roles in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast

After divorcing Hemingway in 1927, Hadley married Paul Scott Mowrer in 1933, and they eventually moved to Chocorua, New Hampshire where they joined a vibrant artistic community that included William James and Helen Albee. For a time Hadley served as the librarian for the Chocorua Public Library.

Paul Scott Mowrer won the Pulitzer Prize for Correspondence in 1929 and as can be seen on the couple's headstone at the Chocorua cemetery, was named New Hampshire's Poet Laureate in 1968 (April is National Poetry Month).

There is another family with a similar name, Hemenway, that had a big impact both locally and internationally, but that is a story for a future blog.