Now that I’ve discovered the Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner at the Pawtuxet Valley Historical and Preservation Society, I’ve become a devotee. It all ties in with my love of local history and genealogy. Looking back in time can help us see more clearly, understand our shared past, maybe even foretell the future. So, what was going on around New England on this day in 1883? Have a look:
‘Henry C. Robinson, in a speech at Hartford, said that many of the mill owners of New England were educating their employees in virtue, domestic comfort, intelligence, and all good things; but he also knew of a man who was laying up $72,000 a year while paying little children 15 cents for ten hours’ work.’
‘R. Smith, of Essex Junction, has a cow from which, within eight months, has been sold 610 quarts of new milk and 105 pounds of butter, besides supplying a family of three persons.’
‘The hotel to be erected at Mount Kineo is to be able to accommodate 400 guests.’
‘It is rumored that a new cotton mill is to be erected at Hooksett, where there is considerable idle water power.’
‘A ruralist at a recent Millbury festival ate seventeen plates of ice cream.’
‘A young man of 28, said by the Worcester Spy to be Alvin E. Ross of Blackstone, was found dead in bed in a tenement house on Mechanic Street, Worcester. About a week ago, the young man hired the room in company with a woman somewhat older, who paid for the room in advance. The woman disappeared Sunday. Ross had apparently been dead about thirty-six hours.’
‘Newport has, it is estimated, ninety-five licensed and unlicensed rum shops, and 1,200 male adults who visit them.’
‘A three-year-old son of James Brown, of Pawtucket, pushed a sleeve button up his nose. The family was unable to remove it, and a physician was called, who found it necessary to make an opening on the inside of the mouth in order to remove it.’
‘The East Providence probate court on Saturday probated the will of George F. Wilson, despite the opposition of his youngest daughter, Alice, who received in trust $22,000 in Rumford stock, and who claims her father was of unsound mind. An appeal will be made to the supreme court. By his first will, in 1880, he left $500,000 of his $800,000 to Alice, but subsequently quarreled with her because of her relations with a certain person. An unpleasant family skeleton will probably be revealed.’
Burlington, Vermont is one cool place. And not just in winter, when the city celebrates the cold. Hey, it’s Vermont, of course it celebrates winter! Summer is pretty much relegated to the month of July.
Burlington is home to the original Ben and Jerry’s, established in 1978 in a renovated gas station. And while the best ice cream in the world is now a division of the Unilever conglomerate, its headquarters remains in Burlington (and its main factory in nearby Waterbury).
And just because it’s in northern Vermont, don’t think it doesn’t get hot in the summer! Burlington can be oppressive with heat and humidity; it just doesn’t last.
My favorite restaurant is Leunig’s, on the corner of Church and College Streets. It serves some classic French dishes, but has an expanded menu to suit other tastes. Their Beef Bourguignon is so good that I’ve been creating a reasonable facsimile at home for the past few years.
These photographs were taken by my college friend Judy (Bratton) Quiet, who lives in South Burlington and is a native Vermont girl. Aren’t they gorgeous? Don’t they make you want to go? Well, that was the idea!
My college pal and roommate Judy lives in Vermont. Always has. She and her husband raised their three children in the small, picturesque town of Saint Johnsbury in what is known as the Northeast Kingdom. This town of about 7,600 people symbolizes small-town New England, with a Main Street, a village green, and stately old homes.
A few years ago, the family joined most of the rest of Saint Johnsbury to witness the lighting of the giant evergreen on the village green. Children’s eyes widened at the multi-colored lights covering the tree. Adults smiled with memories of Christmases past, and everyone was in good cheer. But it was cold outside (after all, this is Vermont). Judy’s husband was ready to leave, to walk back to the warm house on the hill. They turned to go, but Judy stopped, turned, and snapped a few more pictures of the tree with her camera. She tucked the camera back inside its case and they hurried home for hot chocolate.
Later, Judy uploaded the photos to her computer and couldn’t believe what she saw. This is one of the photographs. The others look the same. Nothing has been retouched, and there was nothing wrong with the camera. In fact, all the other photos she took that night came out “normal.”
No one was smoking nearby, and there was no fog, or steam, or smoke of any kind.
Maybe just a few old friends stopping by to see the tree lighting. What do you think?