Epping and Area History

May - June 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 3

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 (July - August) of this newsletter will be available in early July 2018. We will accept submissions through June 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

Hooray!! Spring is here!! Well, today spring is here, who knows what tomorrow will bring. We are doing our spring chores at the Society, cleaning, planting and general cleanup.

We held an open house last month, followed by a program about “Old Bottles.” What a fascinating history of bottles presented by Bill Dow, of Brentwood. The evening was very successful. The visitors were very impressed with our collections. Stop by and visit us, chances are we have a “Family Book” that we have created on your family.

SAVE THE DATE!! Thursday evening, May 24th, we are having another program. This is our most popular program: “Epping of Yesteryear,” a power point program featuring many of our old houses.

We are always looking for old pictures. I know families like to keep the originals, but we are quite happy to have copies. We would LOVE to have a picture of our building when it was the A&P store. The only picture we have is very grainy; it was from a newspaper and not of the best quality.

With Memorial Day coming up soon, it would be a good time to purchase a memorial brick in honor of a loved one. The bricks are $50.00 and consist of three lines of text. You have fourteen spaces on each line for information. This is an ongoing project; we have about twenty-five bricks installed at this time.

If you are looking for a little something to keep busy this summer, we always welcome volunteers. An hour or two a month can make a big difference to us; there is always a project to work on.

Carl Stearns Clancy

     Do you know who the first man was to circumnavigate the world on a motorcycle?  This feat was accomplished in 1912.  His name was Carl Stearns Clancy and he was born right here in Epping! He was born August 8, 1890, the son of William Clancy and Alice Williams Clancy. William Clancy came to Epping to replace Josiah Howe Stearns as the Congregational Church minister. My guess would be that Carl’s middle name was for Josiah Stearns, who William Clancy so admired. They moved from Epping before 1900, his father having been called to serve as minister in Brimfield, Massachusetts.

When he was 22 years old, he decided that “working” was not his favorite thing, so Carl and his best friend, Walter Storey, decided that riding around the world on a motorcycle was bound to be a great adventure! Just the idea of experiencing many cultures, all sorts of terrains, seeing all the famous monuments, what a dream come true!  But then as now, it is easier said than done, because the many challenges faced are plentiful. Immigration problems, the language barrier, uncertain conditions of the roads and financing the ride are just some of them.

The first motorcycle trip around the world started in Philadelphia and travelled across 18,000 miles on land and 15,000 miles on sea to finish in New York. The ride was initially started by Carl Clancy, his friend Walter Storey joined him in New York, and across the Atlantic they went. Their first stop was in Dublin, where local traffic laws provided their first obstacle. Storey, who had not gotten around to learning to ride, forgot which way the traffic flows in Ireland and ran into a tramcar. Battered and dazed, he continued on the fuel tank of Clancy’s Henderson, as his mangled bike was carried off for repair. It was, after all, day one. This forced Clancy to carry Storey on his motorcycle for around 400 to 500 miles.

Then they sailed to Scotland, rode into England and then across to mainland Europe. Following a two-month stay in Paris, Walter Storey returned to New York. Clancy was disappointed to lose his partner, but was determined to continue his trip. He had a deal with Henderson Motorcycle Company and his commission financed the trip. The governments in Africa and Asia applied creative charges, with an outstretched palm, every time he approached a border. Clancy did most of his riding in a three-piece suit with a shirt and tie. He managed to buy the helmet of a fighter pilot only after he reached Japan, having worn only a cap before then. In Algeria he achieved his top speed of 65 miles per hour, but was forced to slow down as his eyes started to get watery. This was before goggles were the standard equipment when riding.

Bone rattling roads were a common feature of the trip, but the worst part came once he returned to America. Heading from San Francisco to Portland, he forced his way up and over the Rocky Mountains; across the plains and through muddy trails deep enough to make a bike and rider disappear. Carl Stearns Clancy rolled into New York, 10 months after setting off, as the first person to circumnavigate the globe by motorcycle.

Carl and Walter did their ride on a Four Cylinder V Twin Henderson Motorcycle which had a 934 cc engine, produced 7 HP, had one gear, no front brakes and was supposed to be the largest and the fastest motorcycle in their time! In 1912, Henderson Motorcycle Company had manufactured just five motorcycles and two of them were used for this ride. Remember, this was before GPS, Internet, cell phones, gas stations or motorcycle repair shops and there were very few roads. Can you imagine traveling on a motorcycle without a map and with just a few directions along the way? What happened when you got hungry? He carried a gun with him, mostly to provide food for himself, but there must have been hostile people in some of the countries he crossed. The weather was not certain, and some days it rained all day, creating muddy roads. He was completely on his own, digging himself out of mud and snow in the higher elevations. I wonder if at some point, he may have decided that working was not so bad after all.

After he returned to America, he wrote a book about his travels. He went on to become a movie director and was the producer of several films. He produced many Will Rogers films. Who knew?

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

National Historian A. Wilson Greene will visit the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire in June for a special talk on the Battle of the Crater, part of the Petersburg campaign for which Mr. Greene is an expert.

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.

May 18, 2018 ~ Alan Brunelle (CWRT of NH member) -“In Defense of Pickett’s Charge”

Urgent: June meeting date changed to June 8th

June 8, 2018 ~ A. Wilson Green (retired head of Pamplin Park Museum) - "A Perfect Hell of Blood: the Battle of the Crater."

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