Epping and Area History

July-August 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 4

Newsletter Schedule

Have we missed your group or event? Please let us know. Our purpose is to include as many Epping groups and events as possible.

The next issue (Sept-Oct) of this newsletter will be available in early September 2018. We will accept submissions through August 25, 2018 to be included in the next issue. Please send your content, including contact information, for consideration by using the CONTACT US section of our web site or by emailing us.

Epping Historical Society

Summer has arrived! And with summer we expect to see many visitors. It is the time of year people are traveling and are thrilled to find us open.  We are the only small historical society in the area that is open year round. Although we are only open one morning a week, we love to open up for visitors from away. They call, and make an appointment; usually I can meet them the same day.

Already this season we have had a visitor from California.  Her mother grew up in Epping and her grandparents are buried in the St. Joseph Cemetery. She was researching the Briand family. Last week we had a visitor from Hooksett who was doing research on her family right here in Epping.  Mary was researching the Gagnon family, with roots in Canada.  It turns out her brother also lives in Epping now.  It really is a small world.

We are working on our building, doing some much needed cleaning and repairs. The back room needs to be cleaned out (again) but we’ll wait for cooler weather to tackle that job!

The Leddy Center has generously donated several items to the Society. One item is the beautiful quilt made by Simone Murphy for the celebration of their 25th year. The Leddy Center was an important part of Epping’s history. The theatre produced shows for 43 years. Thank you Elaine and Bruce Gatchel!!

We now have an “almost” complete set of Epping High School Yearbooks. The School generously donated the books when I explained that they were going to be sent to Oklahoma to be digitally copied. This is a free service offered to historical societies, libraries and schools. This is the second time we have sent books to them for copying and there is no charge for service or shipping.  We are missing several years, so if you have any around just gathering dust, keep us in mind. The missing years are: 1951, 1952, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1966, 1967, 1970 and 1980.

We welcome volunteers; we can always find a project for you to work on. Come join our Monday morning team, everyone has his or her own special expertise to help with archiving. You will be amazed at the amount of material we have at the Society. We love to share our collections with our many visitors and keeping it organized is a great help.

Jenny and Lee Allen have been volunteering for several years.  When we received Don Sanborn’s collections, there were numerous newspaper clippings. Don had separated them by month and year, but they needed trimming. Don always said “today’s news is tomorrow’s history” and he saved every piece of news from Epping.  Jenny trims all the articles and Lee copies them for a clean copy. The old newspapers are becoming very fragile, and need to be tossed.  As we are all interested in history, when Lee comes across an interesting story, he shares the story with all of us. Lee found the following recently, an anonymous editorial. The newspaper was not identified.

Labor of Love

To the editor:                                                                                                   

On the radio this morning we heard of a state plan to appropriate $18,500 for an inspection of massage parlors.

In the view of conservatism we wish to save the state this sum, as well as preventing some politician’s half-bright relative from being put on the state’s payroll for life One of us having researched similar situations worldwide and the other having checked the local situations with similar enthusiasm and both having made a thorough study of booze, busts and behinds, we hereby volunteer to do the job for nothing!

The following story is about one of our native sons.

Tristram Coffin Colcord (Colket)

Tristram Coffin Colcord was born in Epping in 1809. He was the son of Peter and Phebe Colcord. He grew up in Epping, but he left Epping when he was seventeen years old for Portsmouth, NH, and soon married. His wife died a few years later, leaving two children. Tristram remarried in 1839, and just prior to that time, he moved to Philadelphia. Sometime between his first marriage and his second marriage, he changed his name to Coffin Colket. I can understand dropping the first name, but why his surname?  This is a mystery - was it because of financial reverses?

He became a very successful business man, starting in the lumber business, but ended up the President of the Germantown, Pennsylvania Railroad. He owned a lot of property, and lived in one of the most beautiful homes in Philadelphia. Before he died he left several hundred dollars for improvements to the Central Cemetery in Epping. His two sisters and his parents ae buried there. He left an immense estate in Philadelphia. He had several children and his descendents still live in that area.

Not bad for a boy from this small town!

Come visit us at the Society. We are open Monday morning, 8:00 to 12:00, or when the flag is flying!  If this is not convenient for you, please call 679-2944 for an appointment or email me at: joysgarden@hotmail.com

Submitted by Joy True, curator, Epping Historical Society

The Civil War Roundtable of NH

NH graves at Soldiers’ Cemetery in Gettysburg
(Photo by Bill Hallett)

The Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire welcomes anyone with an interest in the American Civil War who would like to be with others who share the same desire to learn more of this time in American history. We are an informal club with the only requirement being a Civil War enthusiast.  If you or a friend has an interest in the American Civil War, we invite you to come check us out.

Founded in May 1991, the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire is a group of men and women, young and old, who share our interests, both blue and gray, in the pivotal era of American history known as the Civil War.  We are open to the public and welcome all!  As our slogan goes, “There’s no time like the present to join us in the past.”

For more information on the group and a complete schedule of meetings and news, please visit the web site: www.cwrt-nh.org or email cwrtnh@gmail.com.

This is the upcoming CWRT-NH schedule:

We are currently booking 2019 meetings. If you know someone, or would like to offer a talk to our group, please email: cwrtnh@gmail.com.

Note: The schedule is subject to change without notice.  You can access the CWRT-NH website for the current schedule.  If a meeting is cancelled, a notice will be put on ETV.

July & August ~ no meetings - summer break

September 14, 2018 (note: this is 2nd Friday) ~ 

Paul Kahan, PhD, (author/historian) - "The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Preserving the Civil War’s Legacy" (new book)

October 19, 2018 ~ Jack Kelly (Old Colony CWRT) - "16th Maine at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863."

November 9, 2018 (note: 2nd Friday)  ~ Clay Feeter - "Mowed Down at Manassas: The Life and Tragic Death of Col. Fletcher Webster & the 12th Massachusetts Infantry" (Fletcher Webster is a cousin of Clay Feeter's)

December 2018 ~ no meeting