Sunday, November 28, 2010

1949 - Santa Claus Gives Kids Extra Thrill

Real Plane Crash

GRAND MARAIS, Minn., Dec 17 - (AP) - The kids of this Lake Superior community got an extra thrill today when Santa Claus came to town by airplane. Old St. Nick cracked up.

About 500 persons, most of them children, cheered from the sidewalks of Main St as Santa's plane came in for a perfect landing right down the middle of the thorofare.

As the light two-seater plane taxied to complete the landing, it suddenly ground looped and crashed into the entrance of the town's movie theatre.

Santa - Harold Nelson of Grand Marais - stepped from the badly damaged plane unhurt. But the kids were more interested in the wreckage.

The Lima News
Lima, OH
18 Dec 1949

1910 - Governor Ablaze as Santa.

Bystanders’ Promptness Saves Dickerson, of Nevada, at Christmas Tree.
Special to The Washington Post.

Reno, Nev. Dec. 27. - Had it not been for prompt action by bystanders, the governor of Nevada would have been one of the victims of the Christmas tree. As it was Gov. Dickerson, in the temporary role of Santa Claus, at Carson City, on Saturday night, was slightly burned.

The governor, at the executive mansion, was robed in the conventional Santa Claus suit, with furs and robe, flowing whiskers, and cotton batting “snow,” and was distributing presents to his children and those of the neighbors. As he leaned over the tree to get a present, a small taper ignited the cotton on his cap and instantly there was a kindling of flame.

Those nearby snatched off the burning cloth and extinguished the flames before much damage was done. The governor is now waiting for his eyebrows and eyelashes to grow, and his face and ears are pretty sore, and the children have some doubt as to the authenticity of Santa Claus.

The Washington Post
Washington, DC
28 December 1910

1900 - A Man Out Shopping

To the Editor of The New York Times:

For the first time in many years I have had imposed upon me the responsibility of Christmas shopping, and which I regret to say has proved to be anything but complimentary to the women of this city. A more brazen, impudent, uncouth, ill-bred, and indecent specimen of womanhood has never before been on public exhibition, than those I came in contact with at ----'s. In walking from one department to another, I was pushed, shoved, and knocked about like a rubber ball, being nearly thrown upon the floor on one occasion and trampled upon. At the elevator I tried Chesterfieldian mannerisms by waiting until three elevators had filled, and then on trying to get on to the fourth, the rush act was tried, and when I stood my ground I was assailed by a storm of uncomplimentary epithets. At one department one of these impudent vixens actually snatched a piece of goods out of my hands, and then proceeded to knock me away from the counter by punches in the ribs with her elbow under full swing from a pair of big shoulders.

At No. 2 there was simply a mob of women pulling, hauling, and crowding, affording just the kind of opportunity sought by thieves and pickpockets. My watch was touched twice in going half way through the ground floor. On the ---- Street entrance the mod was even worse, making pedestrianism impossible. The only policeman in sight was one on the avenue at the crossing helping to swell the mob. Pickpockets and thieves had their own way. It occurred to me as well as to many others, whose expressions were public, that if the Captain of the police of this precinct was in the recent shake-up it would be well for the Chief to make another shake and get rid of him.

At No. 3, the crowd was largely from the country, consequently it was more orderly and decent, but at No. 4 it was similar to that at ----'s, besides some of the clerks showed more impudence than a grass-fed mule.

This experience, however, is well worth the expense and discomfort attending it, for it fairly demonstrated that a man has no rights which a woman respects in a department store, and therefore hereafter he cannot be expect to make Christmas presents. The only unfortunate coincidence in connection with it is that it has established a fact that the women of this city, for brazen effrontery, selfishness, and bad manners, are simply matchless and without a peer in any other of the cities of the world.

It would be well for the Committee of Fifteen, after reforming the slums, to extend their philanthropic movement to the higher classes and reform some of these women until they understand the common amenities due to the public, and especially in department stores.


The New York Times
New York, New York
December 22, 1900

1904 - About Christmas Shopping.

The stores will be crowded from now until Christmas and shoppers should train themselves to be patient. Before going out to shop look carefully over the columns of the MAIL and locate the places where you want to do your buying. This will save you time and money. Then if you find the clerks to be busy be patient in your waiting. Of course you will be in a hurry to complete your Christmas shopping, but remember that others are in the same frame of mind. Don't rush the clerks to fast. They have a great deal to do. In this way, you will be best served, though you may be a little delayed. Christmas shopping is growing year by year and the misfortune is that too many put it off until the last day. Be patient.

The Nevada Daily Mail
Nevada, Mo.
December 19, 1904

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Yes, this is an actual newspaper article from 1860 - unbelievable!

"A fortnight since, there was a very remarkable scene in a creek close by the sea at Duxbury, Mass., between Plymouth and Marshfield. A small sail boat in coming up the creek from the ocean came upon a drove of porpoises. Other boats joined the first and drove the sea-monsters up the creek into water so shallow, that they could not easily make their escape. Some of the party in the boats began to shoot at the porpoises. Others with guns from the shore immediately joined them, and soon there was a general slaughter with guns and knives. The battle raged some time, when the entire drove, 75 porpoises, old and young were killed. The largest porpoise weighed 800 pounds."

Date: September 07, 1860
Location: Connecticut
Paper: New London Daily Chronicle

Sunday, November 21, 2010


 A Woman Returns to Life While on a Dissecting Table.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Dec 10. - A strange story has come from Egremont, among the Berkshire hills, near the New-York line. The town and the surrounding villages are in great excitement.  The story runs that Estelle Newman, about 30 years old, died in Egremont in 1878, and, after the funeral service in the little Methodist church was buried in the town cemetery and forgotten. The sensation comes from the dying testimony of H. Worth Wright, in Connecticut, who is said to have confessed to his brother that he, being a student in the Albany Medical College, was present at the funeral with other students, lay in wait near the cemetery till the burial was over and the graveyard was deserted, and then helped disinter the body and carry it in a sack to the medical college. They at once went to work on it in the dissecting room. While on the table the body showed signs of life, and was resuscitated by the students. Finding the woman alive on their hands the authorities of the college had her taken to an insane asylum in Schoharie County, N. Y. This is the last that Wright is said to have known of her whereabouts. The Newman woman's grave will probably be opened to see what the story amounts to.

The New York Times
New York, New York
December 11, 1884

Friday, November 19, 2010

1900 - Rhode Island Turkey for the President

A Rhode Island Bird Picked Out for Thanksgiving at the White House

PROVIDENCE, R. I. The Westerly turkey king has picked out the turkey which it is expected will grace President McKinley's table at the White House on Thanksgiving Day. The turkey is a magnificent-looking gobbler and is now strutting around showing its pride in its 35 pounds of superiority. The bird was selected after a careful inspection of every flock in the neighborhood of Westerly and North Stonington.

The fame of the town of Westerly rests upon the fact that for years and years it has furnished the turkeys for the Thanksgiving Day dinners of the Presidents of the United States. The late Senator Anthony, of Rhode Island, first established the custom of sending a Rhode Island turkey to the President for Thanksgiving consumption, and he kept up the practice until his death. Then Nathan F. Dixon, a close friend of Senator Anthony, took up the work, and after his death the dealer through whom the turkeys had been ordered continued the custom in his own name.

Some handsome and toothsome birds have gone from Westerly to the White House, but tradition holds no record to equal the 38-pounder sent by Senator Anthony to President Grant. A picture of this bird is still preserved.

Dealers say that the supply of Rhode Island turkeys, which are declared to be the finest in the world, will be limited this year. The shipment will be about the same as last year, but ten years ago three times the present number were regularly marketed. The outlook for the Rhode Island turkey industry is said to be very dark and growing worse each year. Dealers cannot account for it all. In the spring the hatch is good, and the farmer and farmer's wife build castles in the air with the money that is coming in the fall. But castles crumble away as summer advances and the young turkeys die off, victims of cold, damp weather, skunks and other ills to which tender turkeys are heir.

The Reading Eagle
Reading, PA
Nov. 21, 1900

For more stories about Westerly and the ancestors who lived there, visit Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island

1907 - Thanksgiving - Don't Depend Entirely on God

Don't Depend Entirely on God.

A Colorado boy was visiting a cousin in New England about Thanksgiving time and observed the elaborate preparations being made for Thanksgiving. They had Thanksgiving in Colorado, but not on so grand a scale, and he inquired of his New England cousin the object of it all.

"Why, we thank God for the blessings of our crops."

"But you don't ask God for your crops, do you?" asked the Colorado boy.

"Yes, of course we do. Don't you?"

"No; we don't depend entirely on God for our crops. We irrigate."

The St. Petersburg, Fla. Independent
Dec. 21, 1907

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving! 1888 - Norwich, CT style!

 NO END OF FUN. How the Norwich, Conn.,  Boys Celebrate Thanksgiving.  
They Go About the Town Gathering Barrels, and Then After the Turkey is Eaten What a Thanksgiving Bonfire They Have.

ROAST turkey and fixin's!


Take a run around New England and ask all the boys you meet what they think of it. Whisper Thanksgiving in their ear and hear them howl. When you come to Norwich - that quaint Connecticut town - what will the boys tell you there!

"Roast turkey and fixin's," you will say, and the boys will look at you and grin. Then you go up to them softly and whisper Thanksgiving - and then:


That's what it is. Barrels. Turkey first and barrels afterward.

As early as the first day of October the Norwich boy begins to make plans for Thanksgiving day, and his first and central fancy turns to barrels. From that time on to the festival no man's barrel is safe in Norwich.

An evil spirit seems to possess it. If a boy passes it in the soberest style in the world, if he so much as casts one coquetting sidelong glance that way, instantly the barrel begins to dance and rattle, and if no one is watching and the youngster rubs up against it, it gives a sudden hop, topples over on its side and scurries away. Of course the boy has to follow it to kick it straight when it gets askew on its rumbling course and to keep it from prancing against pedestrians; and it invariably happens that the boy has to drive it into its lair before it will submit to government. There is little use of attempting to control a barrel after it has contracted the Thanksgiving fever, and the owner looks forward resignedly to its inevitable desertion from him. It looks very singular to a stranger coming into this town at this season of the year to see barrels rolling off in every direction, and the staid citizens skipping nimbly and good humoredly out of the way of the procession. He cannot account for the phenomenon.

Perhaps he is curious enough to try and find out. But the Norwich boy is up to snuff.

"Say, sonny," the stranger asks, "what's up! Where are you going with all these barrels?"

And the boy replies, innocently:
"Nothin's up, mister. The barrel don't b'long to nobody or nothin'. Found it loose up the street and run it in. Say, there, Jimmy, give her a lift. Let her go, Gallagher!"

And with a whoop the whole company are off, kicking the whirling things swiftly into the darkness of a side street.

These youngsters are systematic.

The work of collecting the booty is marked from the opening of the campaign to its finish by thorough discipline and organization and a hearty respect for the rights of each squad. First, all the boys in town array themselves into about a dozen independent brigades, and each force is duly empowered to look after the barrels in its own precinct, and an unwritten law that is at least 200 years old forbids the bands to trespass on territory not assigned to them. The largest squads are thus placed: One at Bean Hill, the ancestral home of President Cleveland, whose grandfather was a barrel burner; one at Norwich Town, two at the Falls, two at the West Side, one at Jail Hill, in the center of the city, one at Laurel Hill, one at Greenville, and the rest are scattered about in the suburbs. Each band has a hiding place for its collection, called the "Home Base," and to each it is assigned the hill on which the stacks are to be burned. The preliminary arrangements completed, the boys go to work with a will to get their barrels together.

Suppose they had to do this. How they would growl.

The custom of burning bonfires on Thanksgiving night is peculiar to this town, and its origin is lost in the obscurity of early colonial tradition. It was old when Benedict Arnold was a boy, and into the sport he entered with characteristic impetuosity and willfulness. It is mentioned in the first chronicles of Norwich; and Miss Culkins, a local historian, describes a fiery encounter between Benedict and a solemn constable who undertook to rob him of his barrel, in which Arnold stripped off his coat and dared the big man to fight. Many attempts have been made by local antiquarians to trace the custom to its source, but vainly; the only plausible explanation essays to connect it with a practice that prevailed in the hill towns of the Massachusetts colony of burning brush fires early in November to celebrate the miscarriage of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot. It was suspected that as Thanksgiving was appointed at that period at about Nov. 5 the custom attached itself to Thanksgiving, after its original intent was lost, and that it was imported into this town by the first settlers a little after the middle of the Seventeenth century.

But the Massachusetts rite differs importantly from the Norwich spirit in that brush was burned instead of barrel stacks. There is nothing unique about brush bonfires, which were common among the ancient Britons and Scots, but a barrel fire is an elaborate and startling creation, a product of the juvenile genius of ancient Norwich.

Boys, think of it. Think of hunting, hunting for days together, for barrels. Think of the work, and it takes work. But then, it's great fun, you say.

So it is.

To make a lofty and successful barrel bonfire demands native tact, talent and constructive abilities. The first thing to do is to get the pole about which the barrels are to be strung like giant beads, and this usually is cut and peeled a few days before the forthcoming ceremony. A slim, straight hickory, free from knots, and not less than fifty or sixty feet high is selected in the forest, and, after it has been trimmed and denuded of its bark, it is trailed into town at the heels of a dozen sturdy boys. On Thanksgiving day morning it is drawn to the apex of the hill on which it is to do duty, whereon scores of citizens have gathered to lend a hand in erecting the staff or furnish the necessary advisory remarks to the workers.

The barrels are quickly hung about the pole, and then comes the hard and delicate task of lifting it into the dug hole which has already been prepared for it. With long ropes and steadying guys, a hundred eager hands to help, the great hollow stack goes slowly up, the barrels creaking and rumbling loosely about its staff, and the pole is left swaying threateningly at the toiling pigmies at its base. At last it reaches the balancing point, slips easily into the cavity with a heavy muffled "kerplump," and the worst of the struggle is over. The loose earth about the rim of the hole is shoveled in and tamped solidly down, and the boys and spectators walk off six rods and inspect the structure. Next cans of kerosene are emptied over the bottom barrels; shavings, saturated with oil, are piled inside; a few parting pats and shakes bring refractory barrels into position, and make the funnel straight and symmetrical, and then everything is ready for the evening fun.

And what fun! The boys can hardly wait in patience for the coming of dusk. But it comes at just the right time.

It comes after the turkey is eaten. You know it's turkey first and barrels afterward. Poor fun it would be to watch a bonfire on an empty stomach. But think of stuffing yourself so full of turkey (it's allowable on Thanksgiving) till you almost feel as if you could gobble, and then going out and watching a nice big blaze on the hill. It usually comes about an hour and a half after dinner, when the lamps have hardly been lighted in the houses, the quiet, dusty street have barely grown gray in the obliterating twilight, and the four solemn faces of the big illuminated city hall clock glow like four dim moons through the tree tops. With a jubilant rush and yell the bands are off like the wind to the hilltops. Having reached the grabs each band forms in military array about its stack, the leader silently and with an air of conscious self importance advances to the bottom of the pile; he scratches a match on his trousers and applies the tiny torch tot he shavings, and ---

Gracious! Did you ever seen anything like it?

Instantly there is a flash as the oiled kindlings catch the flame; a great volume of dense black smoke belches up; then a magnificent gush of fire that reddens the whole hillside and the faces of the excited company wells up the tall column, and the conflagration is off. The combustion is furious, and the pillar of roaring flames, sparks and whirling smoke is a miniature cyclone on fire. The barrels writhe and twist, the staves gape asunder, and the bursting hoops leap out from the pile, as they come down, scatter sparks and glowing cinders on every side. The conflagration is too rapid to last long, and it is hardly two minutes after the match has been applied before the splendid pyre sinks from its soaring height a mass of shattered black embers, and the lurid brightness of the hillside gives place instantly to the impenetrable darkness. Barrel burning, though it is short lived, is the undiluted essence of intoxicating sport.

The Norwich girls have a similar though tamer kind of sport with which to taper off the day's pleasures. As fashion forbids them to roll barrels and burn stacks, they collect spools instead, which they string on wires, arranging them in fanciful designs, squares, circles, pyramids and names, saturate the creations with oil or turpentine, and meet at the house of the leader of the band and burn them. Some of the devices are very ingenious or beautiful, and they make a brilliant though unpretentious bonfire.

It's great, isn't it!

Painesville Telegraph
Painesville, Lake County, Ohio
Nov 29, 1888

For more stories about Norwich and the ancestors who lived there, visit Norwich, New London, Connecticut

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The First Canadian Novelist

Mr. J. M. Le Moine, the Canadian litterateur, says that "The History of Emily Montague," published in London by Dodsley, in 1769, was the earliest novel written in Canada, and Sillery, Quebec, where it was written, can therefore claim to be the cradle of Canadian literature. Frances Brooke (nee Frances Moore), authoress, was the wife of the Rev. John Brooke, military chaplain at Quebec. The heroine - the accomplished Emily Montague - discourses so eloquently on the charms of Canadian scenery and social amusements at Quebec, that several English families, it is said, sought in consequence a home on the shores of the St. Lawrence.

Of this first Canadian novelist our contemporary recalls an anecdote. The evening before she left England with her husband for Canada, she gave a farewell party. Miss Hannah More, Miss Seward, Mr. Keate, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Boswell were among the visitors. As Dr. Johnson was obliged to take his leave early, he rose, and, wishing her health and happiness, went seemingly away. In a few minutes a servant came to acquaint Mrs. Brooke that a gentleman in the parlor wished to speak with her. She accordingly went down stairs, and who should it be but Dr. Johnson! "Madame," said the Doctor, "I sent for you down stairs that I might kiss you, which I did not choose do do before so much company." - Canadian Gazette

Date: January 26, 1896
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Worcester Daily Spy

For more stories about Sillery and the ancestors who lived there, visit Sillery, Quebec, Canada

1882 - Creative, but definitely NOT fun

A lumberman broke his leg in the Wisconsin woods, and desired to go to his home at Sorel, Canada, where he could receive good treatment. But Sorel was a thousand miles away, and he had only a few dollars. In this dilemma he resolved to travel cheaply as freight. He made a box six feet long, two feet wide and sixteen inches high, marked it "this side up with care," and had himself nailed up and shipped. Some wide cracks gave him air, and he took a long a supply of food and water. He got along very well, though not without discomforts, until he arrived in Montreal, where the box was set up on end, and the inmate left standing on his head. He had been three days on the journey, which the railroad officials enabled him to complete as a regular passenger.

Date: February 09, 1882
Location: Ohio
Paper: Plain Dealer

For more stories about Sorel and the ancestors who lived there, visit Sorel, Quebec, Canada

1858 - A very stupid game

Fatal Freak of a Boy 

In Middlesex, New York, on Wednesday afternoon, John R. Francisco, aged about fifteen years, went into a shed attached to his father's barn and suspended himself by the neck with a rope. He told some little children who were with him to run into the house as he was going to hang himself, and from this it is supposed that he did not intend to really commit suicide, but expected some one would come and release him. The father was nearly frantic with grief on finding his son dead.

Date: May 12, 1858
Location: Virginia
Paper: Alexandria Gazette

For more stories about Middlesex and the ancestors who lived there, visit Middlesex, New York

1870 - An absolutely awful way to die

Death by Falling into a Kettle of Boiling Fat

BOSTON, Oct. 11.- In Somerville, last evening, H. C. LINCOLN, of the firm of LINCOLN & CHAMBERLAIN, lard manufacturers, fell into a large kettle of boiling fat. He was immediately taken out and lived one hour.

The New York Times, New York, NY
12 Oct 1870

For more stories about Somerville and the ancestors who lived there, visit Somerville, Middlesex, Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1869 - How Embarrassing is This?

A young man lately went in bathing at Lotbiniere, province of Quebec, placing his clothes upon what he supposed was a stone. It turned out toe be a seal basking in the sun, which was thus disturbed, and made for the water, with the young man's clothing.

Date: August 26, 1869
Location: New Hampshire
Paper: New Hampshire Sentinel

For more stories about Lotbiniere and the ancestors who lived there, visit Lotbinière, Québec, Canada

1892 - Germans not welcome

The Canadian town of Longueuil, it is announced has decided to prohibit any one speaking German from landing there, and keeps a fire-engine on duty to play hot water on any such intruder.

Date: October 06, 1892
Location: Louisiana
Paper: Times-Picayune

For more stories about Longueuil and the ancestors who lived there, visit Longueuil, Québec, Canada

1826 - You know you are having a REALLY bad day when...

From the Montreal Courant, of Sept. 2.
We are informed that one day last week, a Canadian man at L'Assomption, was mowing hay near the river side, when he saw a very large fish near the water's edge; he made a blow at it with his scythe (which was just whetted) and raised it above his head; it appears the handle turned, and coming in contact with his person, it severed his head from his body.

Date: September 08, 1826
Location: New York
Paper: Commercial Advertiser

For more stories about L'Assomption and the ancestors who lived there, visit L'Assomption, Québec, Canada

1902 - Find those old family bibles!

A  Massachusetts Man's Big Luck.

Gate Tender on Railroad to Get a Large Slice.

The Times Special Service.
WORCESTER, Mass., Saturday, June 7. - Family records expected daily from the parish priest at Lanoraie in Quebec are expected to establish the claim of Joseph A. Demars, a gate tender of the Boston & Albany Railroad to a share of the $8,000,000 which has been in possession of the city authorities of Cleveland, O., since 1864.

Mr. and Mrs. Demars, in case they are able to prove their claim, will have to share the fortune with the families of Mrs. Loiuse Caisse, Alfred Caisee, Henry Caisse and three sisters, and Mrs. Frank Belville.

Fiction never furnishes a stranger romance than that of the Caisse millions and the efforts of the Caisse family to prove their kinship to the mysterious real estate man who died in Cleveland nearly forty years ago.

Men and women have grown old in hope of eventually becoming wealthy, families have increased and multiplied until now, should the fortune be divided, a liberal estimate would give those having claims only about $300,000 each.

Family Came from Canada.

The family comes from Canada. So did Leonard Caisse, the multi-millionaire of Cleveland. After his death heirs were advertised for, and over 200 put in claims, but were unable to establish them.

Further proofs of the family of this millionaire have come to light which has caused the Cleveland authorities to issue another call for heirs to the millions to appear and put in their claims.

A dispatch from Middletown, N. Y., gives details of the death of owneres of real estate which constitutes the property. Pierre Bourdon, a real estate man of 1122A de Mountigny street and Joseph Prud'homme, a carpenter of 265 Plessis Street, Montreal, were grandsons of the brother of Leonard Caisse, who died at Sarah Scorskending, Huron County, Ohio, leaving to his sons, Absolon and Leonard, his fortune, which he made by speculating in Cleveland real estate when the city was young.

Proofs in an Old Bible

These two sons of the Canadian millionaire died intestate and without direct heirs, the last in 1880. Many have Americanized the name from Caisse to Case, and it was despaired of ever locating the rightful heirs until J. E. Durham of Huron County, Ohio, discovered the proofs.

He was demolishing an old barn on a newly acquired piece of property when he discovered in ruins and old Bible. The fly leaves of this book contained the genealogy of the millionaire's family in complete detail and in his handwriting.

From the details it was learned that a brother had lived in Lanoraie, a small town between Montreal and Quebec. The brother was a farmer, Antoine Caisse and was the heir to the property after the two sons died. He evidently never knew of the fortune left by his brother, and later by his nephews.

It is through their relationship with this Antoine Caisse that Prud'homme and Bourdon of Montreal expected to get the money, as they are the grandchildren of Antoine Caisse on the meternal [sic] side.

Mayor is Asked to Act.

These Montreal men have applied to the Mayor, asking him to inform the Mayor of Cleveland of their relationship to Antoine Caisse, and to assist them in getting the $8,000,000.

"This old Lanoraie farmer, Antoine Caisse," said Mr. Demars, "was my wife's father's uncle. I knew him well, as I was born in Lanoraie. My wife and all her people, with the exception of one brother, Camille, were born in this little town, too. There has been much talk over this property.

"We felt for years that we were the real descendants of the Canadian millionaire, but had nothing to prove it with more than the family name. About eighteen or twenty years ago the matter came up, but we could do nothing, and when I read this story I knew in a minute the necessary proofs had been found.

"This Antoine Caisse is the very link in the family which gives us the proof. We believed all the time that he should have had the money, but he could not establish a relationship, or did not try, and when my wife's people tried, they could not do it.

"The finding of the genealogy written by the millionaire furnishes just the proof we wanted."

Date: June 07, 1902
Location: Washington
Paper: Seattle Daily Times

20 Rivers Named "Black"

The Province of Quebec has nine "Black" Rivers in the counties of Abitibi, L'Islet, Drummond, Joliette, Charlevois, Portneuf, Bellechasse, Pontiac and in the Saquenay region. There are five Black Rivers in the Maritime Provinces, four in Ontario and one each in Manitoba and British Columbia.

Date: December 18, 1941
Location: Ohio
Paper: Plain Dealer

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Parents of 23 Have Ten Children!

New York Tribune.
Race suicide is not fashionable in Batiscan, a small town in the Province of Quebec. Edouard Jolicoeur, of Batiscan reached Montreal a few days ago with his wife and 10 children. The number is fairly large, but the fact that they are five pairs or twins and the parents are only 23 years old is stranger still.

Date: November 24, 1910
Location: Oregon
Paper: Oregonian

For more stories about Batiscan and the ancestors who lived there, visit Batiscan, Québec, Canada

Saturday, November 6, 2010

1828 - Nicely done, Mom...

"Who but a mother can conceive the depth of a mother's love? We learn from the Providence Journal, that a woman of Smithfield Rhode-Island, went to the well to draw water, with a young child in her arms, and while in the act, from some cause, the child slipped or sprung from her, and plunged into the well, which was about 30 feet deep. The mother immediately seized the well pole with which she descended a part of the distance, and then jumped down to the relief of her child, which was raised from the water and held in that position until the cries of the mother brought Mr. Joshua Arnold to her relief. Both the mother and child were taken from the well, without having received material injury." 

Date: October 15, 1828 
Location: Connecticut 
Paper: Middlesex Gazette

For more stories about Smithfield and the ancestors who lived there, visit Smithfield, Providence, Rhode Island

1848 - It Doesn't Pay To NOT Bet

"A man in Providence, Rhode Island, bet five dollars that he could eat a large basket of peaches in one hour. He was successful, having dispatched one hundred and fifty-two good sized peaches in fifty-two minutes." "Another man eat a basket full without betting and died in consequence - of the eating, and not the bet." 

Date: September 13, 1848 
Location: Massachusetts 
Paper: National Aegis

For more stories about Providence and the ancestors who lived there, visit Providence, Providence, Rhode Island

1881 - A Victory for the Yankees?

"At the Westerly quarries, Rhode Island, a single stone 150 feet long, ten feet wide and eight feet thick, weighing more than 1,000 tons, has been loosened from the ledge. This is a bigger stone that the monarchs of Egypt ever produced. The Yankees are ahead." 

Date: July 21, 1881 
Location: Indiana 
Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel

For more stories about Westerly and the ancestors who lived there, visit Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island

1873 Manilla Paper Convention

"At the convention of manufacturers of thin manilla paper, held at Brattleboro, Vermont, a nice little swindle was talked over and condemned. It originated in a discussion upon the practice of putting up paper with a less number than twenty-four sheets to the quire. It was found that quite a large amount of paper was ordered by the dealers at twenty and even sixteen sheets to the quire, and that the consequence was many bought and sold it supposing that they were getting a lawful ream of 480 sheets. It was voted 'to decline all future orders for short counts.'" 

Date: April 02, 1873 
Location: Indiana 
Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel

For more stories about Brattleboro and the ancestors who lived there, visit Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont

Politics? 1842

 "The inmates of the Insane Asylum at Brattleboro, Vermont, have commenced the publication of a weekly newspaper, called the Asylum Journal. - They have got out a 'crazy man's ticket' - the candidates selected, are from each of the great political parties. The Journal says, 'if we can unite the crazy ones of both parties we shall elect our candidates.'" 

Date: December 08, 1842 
Location: New York 
Paper: Jamestown Journal

For more stories about Brattleboro and the ancestors who lived there, visit Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont

Friday, November 5, 2010

1878 - Cause for Celebration?

"When a farmer in Hamilton county, New York, found that his wife had eloped with a tin-peddler, he went over and hired a band, bought a new suit of clothes and gave a dance which cost him sixty dollars. He said it was a good deal cheaper than burying her."

Date: May 16, 1878
Location: New Hampshire
Paper: New Hampshire Sentinel

Thursday, November 4, 2010

1871 ad

"A Brattleboro, Vermont, husband who had posted his wife took it all back. 'Having advertised my wife last week while under the influence of intoxicating drink and advice of others, I hereby give notice that said advertisement was without just cause or provocation, and is hereby retracted.'"

Date: August 04, 1871
Location: Ohio
Paper: Cincinnati Daily Enquirer

For more stories about Brattleboro and the ancestors who lived there, visit Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont

Where is Ethan Allen? - 1858

"There has been considerable excitement in Burlington, Vermont, for a few days past, on the subject of the removal of the remains of Gen. Ethan Allen. The ceremonies of laying the corner-stone of the monument ordered by the State have been deferred, and the authorities of the town and the committee of the monument have made thorough search, to the depth of six or eight feet, in all parts of the family lot not known to be occupied by the remains of other members of the family, where his monument stood, without finding the slightest indication of human remains."

Date: May 20, 1858
Location: Virginia
Paper: Alexandria Gazette

For more stories about Burlington and the ancestors who lived there, visit Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont

That had to hurt... - 1819

Middlebury, Vermont, Aug. 4.

"On Monday the 25th ult. about 2 o'clock, P. M. the house of Mr. john Hunt, in Shoreham, was struck by lightning, and the chimney and the upper part of the house considerably injured. The flash struck a young lady, who was in the upper part of the house, and ran down to her feet; and in its course, melted a string of gold beads which she had around her neck, burst her stockings and shoe, and set the lining of her shoe on fire. She was taken up perfectly senseless, in which situation she remained about ten hours, before she recovered. A Mrs. Cook, who was on a visit at the house, and who was standing near the door, with an infant in her arms, and another small child by her side, who was also knocked down, but was not materially injured - the children escaped unhurt."

Date: August 14, 1819
Location: Pennsylvania
Paper: Berks and Schuylkill Journal

For more stories about Middlebury and the ancestors who lived there, visit Middlebury, Addison, Vermont

1870 - A Kentucky Story

"Kentuckians have some queer notions of how great States are developed and made rich. The cities of Louisville, in that State, and Cincinnati, which is in the neighboring State of Ohio, indulge in a brisk rivalry for the lion's share of the South-Western trade. A very commendable rivalry, we say, and one which we would naturally suppose all rural Kentucky would be glad to encourage. But not so. Louisville has a railroad to the South-West which from the hour of its completion has never been able to carry all the freight offered it. A double track or another road is imperatively demanded; and as Louisville showed no disposition to build the double track, Cincinnati asked the Kentucky Legislature to let her build another road. But the Louisvillians (if we may so term, them meaning no offense) seem to think less of developing their own greatness than of retarding that of their rival, and so opposed in Legislature the bill for the Cincinnati road. And rural Kentucky actually voted against it! We can image no greater display of obtuseness than this instance affords in any of our country cousins. Cincinnati, not content with this refusal, has asked Congress to incorporate the road, and Kentucky (we trust) is to be improved and made rich against her own wishes."

Date: April 22, 1870
Location: New York
Paper: New York Herald-Tribune

1880 - Suffrage Protection

Chicago, Ill., March 12, 1880

Judge Blodgett rendered an interesting decision to-day in the nature of advice to the United States Commissioner upon an election point.

At the recent municipal election at Elgin, Ill., about seventy voters employed in the mild condensing works were notified by their superintendent to vote the no-license ticket. The license nominee thereupon applied to Commissioner Hoyne for a writ of arrest, who, being in doubt, referred the matter to Judge Blodgett, who to-day advised him that the United States Court, in a similar case, had held that the fifteenth amendment and Revised Statute 5, 507 contemplate the protection in the right of suffrage only of former slaves, and that free or white men do not come within the legal safeguards. The writ for arrest will therefore not issue.

New York Herald
New York, New York

March 13, 1880

1893 - Yellow Jack

Its Appearance at Pensacola, Fla., Officially Reported

PENSACOLA, Fla., Aug. 9. - The Escambia county board of health issued the following official paper: 'The board of health regrets to announce that two deaths have occurred in this city, that of Rev. F. C. Waite and Ellen Wood, both pronounced yellow fever. The houses have been isolated, the bedding and all clothing destroyed and all necessary precautions taken to prevent spreading of the fever.'

This created almost a panic and at least 1500 people left the city by tonight's trains.

Idaho Statesman

August 10, 1893

1856 - A Fowl Story

The New York Clipper contains an account, from a correspondent in Watertown, Conn., of a fight between a hawk and a hen. - The hawk seized one of the hen's chicks and made off with it, upon which the parent hen immediately took flight after the thief, which she overtook about 100 feet from terra firma, and gave him such a drubbing that he was glad to let fall the chick and escape with his life.

Charleston Mercury
Charleston, South Carolina
July 16, 1856

1862 - Avoiding the Civil War Draft

A man named Hoag, belonging to Sherman, Conn.,  purposely cut his hand with a scythe, to avoid being drafted. The wound bled profusely, and he shortly afterwards died.

San Francisco Bulletin
San Francisco, California
September 15, 1862

Stopping Time - 1875

A man in Shelton, Conn., bought a watch at an auction sale. He put it in his pantaloons pocket. When he got home he laid his pantaloons on the floor, and in the night his wife thought she heard a mouse in the room. She got up and reached for it, at last tracing it to the pantaloons, and with a stick pounded the watch all to pieces.

Lowell Daily Citizen and News
Lowell, Massachusetts

April 06, 1875

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

1912 - Acid in Holy Water Fatal

"Woman Found in Confessional Box at Meriden (Conn.) With Fatal Draught Near."

"Meriden, Conn., July 22. - The body of Miss Cora Dessureau, 30 years old, daughter of Joseph A. Dessureau, was found by the caretaker in a confessional box at St. Joseph's church. There was a glass near her containing what is supposed to have been a mixture of carbolic acid and holy water, and her lips were badly burned. The medical examiner said death was self inflicted, but the family could give no reason for the suicide except that the young woman had appeared melancholy lately."

Date: July 22, 1912
Location: Illinois
Paper: Belleville News Democrat

1910 - Pullet in Manchester, Conn, Has Record of Laying on 37 Consecutive Days

"Hartford, Conn., Dec. 1 - With all previous Connecticut records smashed beyond recognition, the famous industrious pullet of Wesley Hollister, of Manchester, is still on the track. The indications point to many another lap before the game little hen quits its custom of depositing in the nest one egg a day, witch it has left for its proud owner for the last thirty-seven days."

"With eggs selling at a minimum for the strictly fresh variety of sixty cents a dozen, this hen is earning about $1.50 each month for her owner. However, Hollister has put the thirty seven eggs in cold storage to substantiate his statements with reference to the pride of his hennery."

Pullet in Manchester, Conn, Has Record of Laying on 37 Consecutive Days
Date: December 03, 1910
Location: Georgia
Paper: Columbus Daily Enquirer

1922 - Acid Test

"Hamden, Conn. - Literal application of the 'acid test' was made by burglars who ransacked the house of J. A. Gilles while the family was absent. The burglars carried acid with which to test the quality of the family plate and after discarding such silverware as did not measure up to the standards, took tableware valued at $3,000. Fur coats and seal skin garments were taken at face value."

Date: July 22, 1922
Location: South Dakota
Paper: Aberdeen American

1858 - Justice?

Justice must move very slowly in Guilford, Conn. Some six weeks ago, a girl was charged with stealing a diamond pin worth $100, and was committed to await her trial for the theft. The pin, which had not been stolen, but only lost, was found within ten days after the charge was made, and yet, it is stated, the girl still remains in jail.

Lowell Daily Citizen and News
Lowell, Massachusetts
September 07, 1858

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Strange Genealogy - 1802

[From the Mirror, an English Magazine.]

"All the persons named in the following strange Genealogy, were living at Faversham, Kent (E.) it is said, Feb. 10, 1760. Old Harwood had two daughters by his first wife, of which the eldest was married to John Cashick, ths son, and the youngest to John Cashick, the father. This Cashick, the father, had a daughter by his first wife, whom old Harwood married, and by her had a son; therefore Cashick's second wife could say as follows:

My father is my son, and I'm my mother's mother;
My sister is my daughter, and I'm grandmother to my brother."

Date: March 01, 1802
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Salem Gazette

Recipe for a Cold - 1815

[From the European Magazine of July, 1790.]

The late Dr. James Malone's recipe for a Cold, which he most strenuously recommended.

"Take a large tea-cup full of linseed, two penny worth of stick liquorice, and a quarter of a pound of sun raisins - put these into two quarts of soft water - let it simmer over the fire till it is reduced to one. Then add it to a quarter of a pound of brown sugar candy, pounded, a table spoon full of old rum, and a table spoon full of good vinegar or lemon juice."

"Note. - The rum and vinegar or lemon juice, are best to be added only to that quantity you are going immediately to take, for if it is put into the whole it is apt to grow flat."

"Drink a half pint going to bed, and take a little when the cough is troublesome. - This medicine generally cures the worst of colds in two or three days; and if taken in time, may be said to be almost an infallible remedy. It is a most sovereign and balsamic cordial for the lungs, without the opening qualities which endanger fresh colds in going out. It has been known to cure colds that have been almost settled in consumptions, in less than three weeks."

Date: December 16, 1815
Location: New York
Paper: Albany Advertiser

Monday, November 1, 2010

American Girl is Queen - 1910

"New York, Aug. 18 - 'If Venus de Milo should appear on earth today, she couldn't hold a candle to our American girls!'"

"So exclaimed George Clinton Batcheller, corset maker, after studying professionally and innocently, the forms of foreign women in his annual tour."

"'The American girl is tall, and yet not too tall; slender, and yet well-developed. She has beautifully sloping shoulders and a long waist. She has hips, though she is trying to conceal them at present. She has beautifully long, exquisitely modeled arms. Her feet are slender, if not tiny.'"

"'Her features are regular and clear cut. She has a round, yet strong chin. Her profile is exquisite.'"

"'American women have more style than French women, because the American woman will adopt the prevailing mode to suit her individuality.'"

"'Our girls with black hair and blue eyes, or red hair and brown eyes, form a welcome change from the invariable blonde which one sees in Germany, or the invariable brunet which one sees in France. But the individuality of American women is more than that. It is the expression of individual thought and feeling. Of course this is due to the fact that women here are much freer than abroad, and in general so much better educated. They have a chance to develop personalities, instead of merely reflecting traditions. This in itself makes them more beautiful, just as an original painting is always greater art than the most inspired copy. The excellent general athletic training received by most of our young women has developed their bodies to the present stage of perfection.'"

"He says the French woman is thin, shortwaisted, hooked nose, artificially colored."

"The German woman is too heavy and masculine, too little at the waist and too big above and below it."

"The English woman is too high - and square-shouldered, and stoops as if she were afraid of her height; her face strong rather than beautiful."

"The Italian girl is apt to be over-developed."

"There is not a goddess-type among the small meagre girls of modern Greece."

"The girls of Austria-Hungary are really the most attractive he saw in Europe, but they are somewhat too small."

"The American girl is queen of them all."

Date: August 18, 1910
Location: Michigan
Paper: Saginaw News

The Kiss as an Elevator - 1857

"In a German tale, published some time since, is a description of 'The First Kiss' in the following sensation style - "

"'Am I really dear to you, Sophia?' I whispered, and pressed my burning lips to her rosy mouth. She did not say yes; she did not say no; but she returned my kiss, an the earth went from under my feet; my soul was no longer in the body; I touched the starts; I knew the happiness of the seraphim!'"

Date: June 04, 1857
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Sun

Preserving the Flavor of Butter - 1871

"The German Agriculturalist says that a great portion of the fine flavor of fresh butter is destroyed by the usual mode of washing and he recommends a thorough kneading for the removal of the buttermilk, and a subsequent pressing in a linen cloth. Butter thus prepared, according to our authority, is pre-eminent for its sweetness of taste and flavor, qualities which are retained a long time. To improve manufactured butter we are advised by the same authority to work it thoroughly with fresh cold milk, and then to wash it in clear water; and it is said that even old and rancid butter may be rendered palatable by washing it in water to which a few drops of a solution of chloride of lime have been added."

Date: September 07, 1871
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Pittsfield Sun

Asthma! Jonas Whitcomb's Remedy - 1857

"Prepared from a German recipe, obtained by the late Jonas Whitcomb, in Europe. It is well known to have alleviated this disorder in his case, when all other appliances of medical skill had been abandoned by him in despair. In no case of purely Asthmatic character has it failed to give immediate relief, and it has effected many permanent cures. JOSEPH BURNETT & CO., Proprietors. For sale by all Druggists, at $1 per bottle."

1857 Ad

Date: March 19, 1857
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Pittsfield Sun

German Toast - an 1858 Breakfast Treat!

"Two eggs, one pint of milk, and flour enough to make a thick batter; cut wheat bread into very thin slices, and soak them in sweetened water; cover each side successively with the batter, and fry brown in lard. Eat while hot, with butter and white powdered or brown sugar."

Date: January 21, 1858
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Pittsfield Sun

1867 - Why Do German Women Make Good Wives

"The culinary art forms a part of the education of women in Germany. The well-to-do tradesman, like the mechanic, takes pride in seeing his daughters good housekeepers. -- To effect this, the girl on leaving school, which she does when about fourteen years of age, goes through the ceremony of confirmation, and then is placed by her parents with a country gentleman, or in a large family where she remains one or two years, filling what may also be termed the post of a servant and doing the work of one. This is looked upon as an apprenticeship to domestic economy. She differs from a servant, however, in this: she receives no wages; on the contrary, her parents often pay for the car of her as well as her clothing. This is the first step in her education as a housekeeper. She next passes, on the same conditions, into the kitchen of a rich, private family, or into that of a hotel of good repute. There she has the control of the expenditures and of the servants employed in it, and assists personally in the cooking, but is always addressed as 'fraulein,' or Miss, and is treated by the family with deference and consideration. Many daughters of rich families receive the same training, with this difference, however, that they receive it in a princely mansion or a royal residence. -- There is a reigning Queen in Germany at this moment who was trained in this way. Consequently the women in Germany are perfect models of economy."

Date: July 18, 1867
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Pittsfield Sun