Susan Hanse History

Nelson History Is Alive in Many Ways

There was a celebration of Nelson’s history at the Olivia Rodham Library on Saturday, December 14th. It began with the unveiling of the painting of Helen Towne painted by Marie Spaeth in 1933 that was recently purchased by several donors, and given to the Library for permanent display.  Marie Spaeth was a part of the so-called “Pennsylvania Settlement an Art Colony in Nelson, New Hampshire” and that is the title of the book written by Teri Upton in 2012. Teri spoke briefly about the gifted and talented group of people who came to Nelson in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and lived in the old farmhouses, mainly in the summertime. Many of them were from Philadelphia and friends and colleagues of Olivia Rodham.

Bert Wingerson read excerpts from the book by Bruce White called “Sunsets, Stars and Blueberry Pie” about his childhood spending summers in what was Olivia Rodham’s house. Bruce recalls fondly his memories of Helen Towne working on her family’s farm, tirelessly. Helen was a member of the Warner family and spent her entire life in Nelson. Continue Reading »

Old Town Records Now Digitally Preserved

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The town of Nelson has recently received the digitized copies of 5 books containing town records from 1802 to 1885. The contents include tax records and receipts, agreements and expense records for maintaining the town poor and a list of articles furnished by the committee for the poor farm. There is a list of jurors (1845-1875) and records of School District No. 5 (1820-1856), data that can be found nowhere else.

The Selectmen’s records from 1869-1884 list town expenditures and dog licenses issued 1884-1885. In the Selectmen’s book from 1802-1817 tax records are listed giving a clear picture of life in Nelson, naming the town officials at the time. Thaddeus Barker, John Breed, Josiah Robbins and George Tolman are but a few of the names mentioned in the records that span the whole of the 19th century. These volumes reveal how the schools, poor farm and roads were part of the social fabric of the community. They list who lived in the town and who were the tax collectors, selectmen and just ordinary citizens who paid taxes.

There will be a detailed index available for anyone wishing to do research. It will be
based on the index that exists in the Archives Office created by Bert Wingerson, Town
Archivist.

This project was made possible by a State of New Hampshire Conservation License Plant Grant, which allocates money raised from the extra cost of Moose plates to such worthy purposes. The original intent was to post these files on the web,  however due to the size of the files, this is not practical. Copies are available on CD from the library, and it is permissible to copy the files from the CD onto your personal computer.

For more information contact Bert Wingerson or Susan Hansel.

Town Archives to be Preserved

by on August 24, 2011 in History, Projects, Susan Hanse History

The Town of Nelson Archives has recently received notice from the State Librarian, Michael York that a FY 2012 Conservation License Plate Grant in the amount of $5,322 has been awarded to the town for its proposed project “Nelson Town Records.” This grant will conserve, microfilm and digitize five books containing town records from 1802 to 1885. These books are in the original bindings, some pages are loose and the paper is discolored and crumbling. The contents include tax records and receipts, agreements and expense records for maintaining the town poor and a list of articles furnished by the committee for the poor farm. There is a list of jurors (1845-1875) and records of School District No. 5 (1820-1856), data that can be found nowhere else. The digitized copies will be on the town website, available to all. Continue Reading »

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