Just a few quick notes. The museum clean-up day was held on Saturday morning,
May 20, when Becky Knowles, Doug Haver, and I worked diligently for a
few hours dusting, vacuuming, and even cleaning some of those large windows,
to get the place in tip-top condition for the summer. Thank you.
The electrical needs of the Historical Society building have been worked
on this spring. Becky is chairperson of the Building Committee. If you
are interested in assisting, please call Becky at 367-9289.
Bob Nipher is heading up the Blueberry Fest event again this year…
thank you Bob!
Roy Bubb and Roger Clayton have been keeping the museum open on Tuesdays
from 2-4 this summer. Thank you, you guys are great!
At this time I want to acknowledge all the years Isabelle Knowles has
dedicated to the Madison Historical Society. We miss you Isabelle, especially
on those Tuesdays with Roy and Roger at the museum. Isabelle has been
a wonderful docent, and has volunteered at many if not most of our events
throughout the years. On behalf of the Madison Historical Society, I want
to extend our deepest gratitude and best wishes.
During our last program sponsored along with The Friends of Madison Library,
Styles Bridges – Yankee Senator, the author and presenter of the
program James J. Kiepper presented the Society with an original political
poster of Styles Bridges along with an original pin from when Bridges
ran for President of the United States.
We framed the poster to hang
at the museum with the pin attached and sent Mr. Kiepper a thank you note
for his donation.
We are so pleased to announce that the Corner School House was recently
placed on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places. A new plaque
will be on the building shortly. It states:
MADISON CORNER SCHOOL
BUILT IN 1835
HAS BEEN LISTED TO THE NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
MAY 1, 2006
Enjoy the rest of the summer and keep cool!
Mary K.W. Lucy
1. Executive Board Secretary
2. Program Coordinator
3. Vice President
4. Lap Top Computer
5. Donations toward new exhibit displays.
6. Donations of rough sawntimber for the Pound orfunds toward the efforts.
7. Donations towards expanding our Tool Shedfor more exhibit space.
Executive Board 2005
Mary K.W. Lucy, President
Becky Knowles, Treasurer and Curator
Lisa Hayford, Publicity
Olive Clayton, Mailings
OOPS! The October program will be held on Thursday, October 19, not the
20th as stated in the 2006 brochure.
A NOTE FROM A MEMBER
I was thrilled with your research on Sally Perrow’s house, which
my mother, Ruth Henry of Madison, told me long ago had once belonged to
her great, great grandparents, David and Sarah Barnard, originally from
Boston. Their daughter, Sarah French Barnard married Adam Lepper, originally
from Glasgow, Scotland. It was Adam Lepper who sold the Perrow house in
1874, according to your deed search, to Franklin Barrett. The house, reportedly,
had the first central heating system in the town. According to my mother,
Adam Lepper then moved next door to the house which lies between the now
Perrow property and the Madison Church. My mother was born in Boston on
Jan. 18, 1898, but spent her childhood until the age of six chiefly in
Madison. She once told the Madison Historical Society’s former president
Ray Stineford that a children’s classroom, perhaps private, was
held on the second floor of the Perrow House. My own check of the U.S.
Census records shows Adam Lepper living in Madison at least from 1880
to 1900, when he moved to parts by me unknown. My mother recalled with
delight winter travel before automobiles by sled drawn by her parents’
horse, Dolly. There were also stories that her uncle, Dave Lepper, objected
so strongly to the tolling of the bell at the Madison Church that he secretly
climbed the bell tower and stuffed blankets around the bell clapper to
gain silence. Ruth Henry and her son, my brother Dave (named for the naughty
uncle) came to Madison in 1956 after the death of my father, John Jay
Henry, and bought the William Manley house where my husband, Sepp, and
I now reside.
Submitted by Mary Henry Meier.
Editor’s note: We welcome all stories and memories, long or short
to add to the newsletter.
Please e-mail to Mary Lucy
or by mail to:
Mary Lucy, 534 Moores Pond
Rd., Silver Lake, NH 03875.BLAST FROM THE PAST
This is taken from an old newspaper
article, probably from The Reporter, sometime after the Madison
Historical Society meeting dated August 10, 1960.
Madison Historical Society
Our special Old Home Week Meeting was held at the Society hall at 7:30
p.m. on Wednesday, August 10th. There were 38 members and 20 visitors
in attendance. The meeting was started with a pledge to the flag, and
a greeting to visitors by our new President, Ralph Acker. Regular business
was omitted. President Acker gave our sincere appreciation to Ernest Meader,
J. Harold Colcord and Fred Bickford for the beautiful paint and decorating
work they have done, and to Mrs. Alice Ward for her work in arranging
and cataloging our displays. Thanks to all others who have helped, and
to the Silver Lake Association for the gift of the money necessary for
paint and materials.
The President gave a brief history of Madison, and a few of the facts
were that Madison, originally a part of Eaton, was incorporated on December
17, 1852. We were originally part of Strafford County, later Carroll.
Our present road to Conway has been in use about 180 years, and previous
to that was an Indian trail. There has been little change in it’s
First speaker was George Shaw, Jr., who gave a very interesting talk on
old schools. Brief facts were that our first school was in 1853 with 268
students in elementary, and 8 years later had 301 students. As a comparison,
in 1860 the town raised $265.00 plus $78.00 Railroad tax for support of
our schools. In 1960, for only 63 Elementary pupils, plus perhaps half
that number in high school, we raised around $34000.00. Teachers salaries
in 1860 were $19.33 per month for males and $12.42 for female teachers.
We had our first High School classes in a private home in 1919, built
Madison High in 1922, graduated the first class of three in 1923. The
High School was closed in 1949, following the trend toward large consolidated
Second speaker was Mrs. Manora Clayton, one of our most excellent former
teachers, who graduated from Nute High School, thence Salem Teachers College,
and started teaching 47 years ago. She related how she arrived in Madison
and very interesting details about the town in those days. Population
was, at one time, about 800. There were 9 schools in town then, and Mrs.
Clayton’s class was around 34 pupils covering all eight grades.
Her salary was $10.00 per week, and she paid $3.00 board and room at Doctor
Martin’s home. She mentioned that her pay, in those days, was not
spent before she received it. She also mentioned that there was little
disciplinary problem then, due to parent’s influence and interest
Third speaker was our former President, and cemetery expert Herb Weston,
who quoted some humorous inscriptions on tombstones he had run across,
and then gave a talk on Madison’s cemeteries. There are 26 known
sites which Herb can locate. He gave a very interesting talk on the Colby
lot, in which there are only three stones, but over 20 graves. Herb is
one of those rare people who can project themselves back over the years
and recapture much of the past, and make it interesting to others.
President Acker read excerpts from school reports 100 years old showing
teachers salary at $3.00 per month, and a teachers own statement that
the only text, or reference book of any kind in her school was Webster’s
Fourth speaker was Lucinda Gilman who displayed some very old papers,
one of which was a death notice for David Gilman who fell to his death
from a barn roof, some 18 feet. This was dated 1833. “Lu”
gave us some other very interesting information.
Fifth speaker was Mrs. Frank Jackson, wife of our former Supt. Of Schools.
She told how the school districts were originally set up, and later changed
to the present Union Districts. Mr. Jackson traveled for many years in
Model T Ford cars when weather permitted. In winter he used horse and
sleigh, and many times walked. It was not unusual for him to walk to visit
schools from Madison, to West Ossipee, thence Tamworth to Sandwich where
he stayed over night. Her talk mentioned many of the hardships in those
days, and the dedication Mr. Jackson had to his profession, which many
of us remember well.
Sixth speaker was Mrs. Alice Ward. She spoke of “Old Friends on
Colby Hill”, one of which was a woman we shall not name here, but
was an Old Town Indian. She was an interesting person and somewhat of
a character. Among her interesting traits, she was the first to discover
automatic clothes washing. She simply spread them on a stone wall when
it rained. Her husband was a shoemaker and “Dentist”. He performed
his dentistry out of doors with a single pair of forceps and numerous
pliers. The wife was also a basket weaver and fortune teller. In the summer,
people used to come from the Hotels and Inns to have their fortunes told.
The talk was also interesting, as Alice is another who can recapture the
past and make it real.
Seventh speaker was Miss Ruth Kennett of Conway. Among the many interesting
facts in her talk was the fact that before a town was built in this area,
plans were made for a Church first. One of the first Churches was the
original Eaton Church which we know now as the White Meeting House. It
was started with about 65 members in 1844. In those days, people drew
lots for choice pews. Members actually bought pews and received deeds
to them exactly as we buy real estate today. The average cost of the pews
in this Church ran from $16.83 to $20.00 for life. The average down payment
ranged from 17¢ to $2.00. This Church was, at that time, Free Will
Baptist. The big Church day then, rather than Easter, was the first Sunday
in May, when everyone turned out with their best finery and teams. Road
races were often conducted after the services to show off the best teams.
Eighth speaker was Mildred Ward, who gave extremely interesting facts
on our Lead Mine. Very briefly, about 8 different companies have operated
it since it was opened in 1826. Pitch-blend, which is uranium, was even
recovered from a small vein which petered out after about ten feet. Mildred
estimates that the mine, with it’s almost primitive methods of operation,
yielded about 50 tons of lead, 500 tons of zinc, and enough silver to
pay most of the shipping costs. We may still be sitting on top of potential
atomic energy here in Madison, who knows?
Ninth speaker was Mre. Frances Knowles Minasian, granddaughter of David
Knowles who built and operated the half way house on Chocorua Mountain
in 1884. She displayed pictures and gave the following fact of interest
to us all:
David Knowles purchased the land on the mountain from Jim Libby, later
known as Jim Liberty, for whom the present shelter and trail are named.
His first house blew down in 1914. Another was built which stood only
one year. Mr. Knowles was 75 years of age the last time he climbed the
mountain. The most interesting facts were that he strung a telephone wire
to his home in Silver Lake. His groceries and supplies were obtained by
phoning from the mountaintop to his home in Silver Lake. The groceries
were obtained there. In the meantime, his horse named “Gypsy”
was sent, alone, to Silver Lake for supplies. His saddlebags or packs
were filled, and the remarkable horse conveyed the load back to the top
of the mountain.
Our last speaker was Guy Nickerson, who could tell us more history than
anyone living, but chose to stick with his hilarious stories, as only
he can tell them.
Some of our older citizens were then introduced. This was followed by
group singing, which brought the meeting to a close.
Old fashion refreshments were then served in the kitchen by our excellent
refreshment committee. The drink served was old fashioned switchel which
used to be used in the hay fields.
After visiting our newly started displays, the gathering broke up around
Madison Historical Society 2006 Meeting Programs
Meetings held at the Madison Historical Society Building at 7:00 PM unless
noted. Read the “Conway Daily Sun” for notices
and any changes for each month’s program.
August 17 June I. (Granville) Dakin & Norma Granville
“Farmers Take Flight”
Program and book signing.
Madison Elementary School – Noyes Hall
September 21 Earl Whitaker
“History of the Robert Drew House”
Madison Historical Society
October 19 “Sebago Lake”
(A fishing story.)
Radio program written by William
Manley, dated April 20, 1935.
Madison Corner Schoolhouse
Other events to note:
August 6 6 – 7
PM Blueberry Fest
August 8 Old Home Week – Tues.
2-4 Museum Open House
EXCERPT FROM THE REPORTER Aug. 30, 1909
Old Home Week is a thing of the past now and the town is settling down
into its usual quiet….
There was a motor boat race, first prize won by Earl Knowles with I. A.
Forrest’s new steel boat; boys rowing race won by boys camping on
the lake; girls rowing race won by Miss Allen at the Lakeside House; canoe
race won by Miss Marjorie Southers and friend; swimming race won by a
young man camping on the lake; tilting contest with canoes unknown to
The water carnival in the evening was omitted with the exception of fireworks
which were very quietly disposed of and witnessed by very few….