Epping and Area History

Sept - Oct 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 5

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 (Nov-Dec) of this newsletter will be available in early November 2018. We will accept submissions through October 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

It looks like we survived the hot and wet summer! We are really looking forward to a normal New Hampshire Fall. But the warm weather did not keep our many visitors away. I am always amazed that so many people have their roots right here in Epping! We recently had a visitor from Exeter, who met at the society with an apparent relative of hers, that neither one knew about. Ancestry.com provided the match, another mystery solved!

We have received a small collection of antique dolls, and several pieces of clothing for the dolls. This was a very generous donation, and we have displayed them in one of our glass cabinets, for everyone to enjoy. We wish to thank our donors for the collection.

Also a lady from Newton, N.H. has been coming to the society with “gifts.” She has been cleaning out a house for an elderly lady, who has deep roots in Epping. This lady’s grandfather was a “Rollins,” and lived on the old Rollins Farm in Epping. She is bringing articles to us from the farm. At this time we have some very old “crocks,” some tin ware, cups, bowls, etc. On her next trip, she has pictures and paperwork from the Rollins family. I can hardly wait!! I love this stuff!

Another gift! Several letters, perhaps 50 or 60, have been donated to the society. Bruce Gatchell found them in an old bureau stored in the attic of a renovated barn that he owns. The three boxes, were covered in brown paper, and tied with a string. All the boxes were labeled “Miss Betty’s letters.” They were all addressed to Miss Betty Schmiedtgen, but none of the letters had an Epping address. “Betty” grew up in Hudson, and worked in Boston. The letters are dated from 1935 to 1952. Several of the letters were written during the War, and several food ration stamps are included. I have found information on Betty and her family, but cannot find any connection to Epping. Does anyone remember who she was and if she had any connection to Epping?

We are having a Farm to Table Luncheon in September. Cheryl and Joe Denoncour, of Black Stove Farm on Blake Road, will be our hosts. This event will be on September 16th, a Sunday afternoon, at 2:00 pm. Except for the appetizers, all the food will be from their farm. The menu will include soup, salad, sandwiches and dessert. The cost will be $15.00 for the meal. The event will be held rain or shine. Reservations are required. Please call Joy at 679-2944 – or 679-8855, to make reservations or e-mail: joysgarden@hotmail.com

This is a fundraiser for the society. We have at the society, the Bi-Centennial quilt that was made in 1976, by townspeople all across America to celebrate our rich history. But, these quilts are fast disappearing; several have been sold to private collectors, never to be seen again. The Epping Quilt shows the history of the town of Epping. Each square was made by an individual, so many different styles of design were involved. It has been hanging on our wall for 40 years, and needs to be cleaned and encased in a large case, to keep it dust free. This quilt cannot be dry cleaned or washed. We need to have a conservator of quilts take proper care to preserve it for us. This is a costly project, but we need to address it now, before it is too late.

In honor of Dan’s 98th birthday, I am including this story first published in 2016. Enjoy!

Dan Webster Harvey, The Flying Farmer

Dan is a lifelong resident of Epping and proud holder of the Boston post cane. Dan has a lifelong love of flying, after seeing a plane land on a foggy morning at the Edgerly farm in 1938. This was an open cockpit bi-plane, and when the fog lifted, the pilot realized he had too much fuel on board to take off on the short field. So Dan helped draw off the gas in pails and milk jugs, so the pilot could take off. Dan decided that day he was going to fly! He took flying lessons at the Haverhill Airport, whenever he could scrape two dollars together. This paid for a fifteen-minute lesson, providing the weather was good, and he had his farm chores done. “When I headed for the airport, my father expected me to return in a box.”

Dan bought his plane in 1949, a 1939 Piper Cub, and he paid only $175.00. He took the plane to Hampton Airport to “make it legal,” but the mechanic told Dan the plane was not fit to be fixed, or to fly. Dan flew the plane home, found an A&E man, who did the updates for only $170.00 and two barrels of cider.

Later, Dan purchased the Aeronca that he was flying when he ran out of gas, heading home from Hyannis, Mass. “The “durn” motor just upped and quit. I turned around and made a dead stick landing.” He landed on Outer Brewster Island, off the coast. This was in February 1956, and it was cold with snow on the ground. He secured the plane and scouted around for wood to start a fire for rescue, but also to keep warm. It was 10 hours before the fire was spotted, and the Coast Guard came to take him to the mainland. All Dan wanted was some gas for the plane, so he could get home to milk the cows. Dan had to get permission to take off from the Island, but the officials said no. The Coast Guard would not take Dan back to the Island, but, a man nearby said he would. Dan gassed up, did a flight check, and with the help from the boater and the newspaper reporters, the plane was jockeyed into position for takeoff. The reporters hoped to see him crash, but Dan was a good pilot, and made a great takeoff.

To see more of this story, 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 me at 679-2944 for an appointment or you can 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.

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