Throwback Thursday Jan-18-2018

The past two weeks we have learned quite a bit about winter carnivals that used to be held right here in Manchester. From the crazy diving Brownies, to the “longest” sled in the world, Manchester sure loved celebrating winter! 1927 was no exception! The Amoskeag Textile Club hosted the Snow Shoe Carnival which consisted of a parade and some snow shoe races at Textile Field, which is now known as Gill Stadium.

Below are some images of the parade and snow shoe races courtesy of the Manchester Historic Association!

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Throwback Thursday Jan-11-2018

Last week we dove (quite literally) into the first Throwback Thursday of 2018 with the tale of the Brownies, their crazy antics, and the Winter Carnival. Throughout my research it seems as if the Winter Carnival was more than the Brownies diving–but it included a myriad of activities as well! One activity I found an old postcard of was the ‘Uncle Sam Sled–The World’s Largest Sled!”

In Robert B. Perreault’s 2005 book Manchester he writes:

“[the postcard] postmarked January 29, 1925 boasts what participants in the Manchester Winter Carnival believed to be the largest sled in the world, the “Uncle Sam Sled.” With so many large structures and other apparent record breakers within its boundaries, the Queen City appears to have been well ahead of its time. The first edition of the Guinness Book of World Records didn’t come out until 1955.”

While it’s unknown if this was truly the largest sled in the world in 1925, you’ve got to love the ingenuity! Check it out below!

Courtesy of the Manchester Historic Association

 

Throwback Thursday Jan-4-2018

Happy New Year!

We’re less than a week in, and already facing our first Nor’easter! Ready to feel even colder?

The story, like many of our Throwback Thursday tales, begins with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. According to the Manchester City Library, Amoskeag opened a quarry, in what is now Derryfield Park in the late 1800s 1 . “Granite was brought from the “Ledge” to be used as foundations for the mill buildings which are still evident in the Millyard today. A natural spring beneath the ledge eventually led it to fill with water. That’s when the fun began….

See, here in New Hampshire, we have no choice but to embrace the cold as we have to live with it for a good part of the year. Back in the 1920s it was no different! That’s how the Amoskeag Brownies began. John Clayton’s 2005 book, “You Know You’re in New Hampshire when…” explains it perfectly2 :

Starting around 1920, this hardy band [Amoskeag Brownies] would usher in the New Year by Carving a hole in the ice and engaging in a midnight swim at…the Amoskeag Ledge…2

…By 1923 the New Year’s swim was coupled with a…Winter Carnival that carried over into January, and the Ledge–also known as the “City of Rocks”–shared top billing with the Brownies. Not only would the Brownies swim in sub-Artic conditions, but their daredevil divers pledged to plunge from the cliffs through carefully carved holes in the ice. Naturally the crowds converged–10,000 by some estimates–and the line between spectator and participant quickly blurred.2

By 1929, the event went all the way into March. In The Telegraph on March 12, 1929, they printed an article announcing the event.3 It wrote:

The Manchester Brownie Club will hold its annual winter carnival at the Amoskeag ledge on Sunday, March 17, at 2 o’clock. These famous swimmers and divers will feature an exhibition including introduction of the super-Brownies, a frolic, general swimming, fancy diving, 60 foot high diving and the 108 foot tree dive.3

Crazy, huh!? I can’t imagine witnessing this, let alone doing it!

The Manchester Historic Association and Yankee Magazine had some great shots below of the Brownies. Enjoy them below!

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Special thanks to:

(1): The Manchester Public Library. See article here.
(2): You Know You’re in New Hampshire When…: 101 Quintessential Places, People, Events, Customs, Lingo, and Eats of the Granite State by John Clayton, 2005. See book here.
(3): The Telegraph, March 12, 1929. “Brownies Club Winter Carnival.” See article here.
(4): Yankee Magazine. See original photo here.
(5): Manchester Historic Association. See their website here.

#ThrowBackThurday – November 30th, 2017

Downtown Manchester Christmas Parade

This Saturday, UNH Manchester presents the 2017 Manchester Christmas Parade, a fantastic parade with local groups joining together to spread the holiday cheer! Intown Manchester organizes this parade, and for the past several years thousands of people have lined Elm Street to watch the parade with friends and family as a  holiday tradition! Lets take a look back at the Manchester Christmas Parades throughout the years in this week’s #ThrowBackThursday!

Firefighters
The Manchester Fire Department
Palace Float
Christmas Float
Rudolph Float
Rudolf in the Parade
Santa Waving
Vintage Fire Engine with Santa
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Miss Auburn
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Christmas Equestrian
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Vintage fire engine with wreath

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Gingerbread House Float
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Happy Parade Participants!

You will not want to miss out on a parade full of lights, fun and cheer this Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm on Elm Street!

Parade Square Ad 2017

#ThrowBackThursday November 16th, 2017

Snowy Days in Manchester

As the first snowfall of the season happened earlier this week, it’s time to start gearing up for for the festivities of winter! Manchester has seen snowfall year after year but it certainly has not stopped this city from making the best of it! Here are some images provided by the Manchester Historic Association capturing the snowy days of Manchester, NH!


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1924 – Ten very brave members of the Brownies Swim Group get ready to bobsled in the snow dressed in their swimsuits! Brr!


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1927 – The Snowshoe Carnival was a great celebration of the snow, which included a snowshoe race through the textile fields as spectators lined the track to cheer on the snow showers!


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1923– These two sisters make the best of the snowfall, by creating an igloo and a polar bear out of the snow! Posing proudly with their creations, they had turned the snow into works of art!


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c. 1900 – What better way to spend the winter than in a log cabin? These images show hunting cabins with men chopping wood and hiking through the woods in the bitter cold days of the winter!


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1940 – Perhaps not the most fun part of the snow is the removal. This image shows city workers clearing away snow in front of City Hall, and loading it into the back of this truck!


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1924 – Right in what we know now as the Veterans Memorial Park, this snowman was coined the “World’s Largest Snowman”, which was set up for the four day Winter Carnival! Even though he is not made out of snow, he represents the spirit of winter!


 Just in time for the holidays and the kick-off to the winter season, come downtown for a fantastic Christmas Parade you can’t miss, and an incredible Holiday Market with over 50 craftsmen! Click here for more information about these great events!

Holiday Market Square Ad 2017Parade Square Ad 2017


A BIG THANK YOU TO THE MANCHESTER HISTORIC ASSOCIATION FOR THESE FANTASTIC IMAGES AND INFORMATION!

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#ThrowBackThursday November 9th, 2017

Presidents Visiting Downtown Manchester

Throughout time, downtown Manchester has been a hot spot for presidents to come visit the people and parade down Elm Street! Included in this post are images from Presidents T. Roosevelt, Taft, and Ford’s respected visits. While there are no images of President Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Manchester in 1860, I did find a sobering one of the Smyth Block (image below), owned by Governor Frederick Smyth then Republican City Chairman and an avid supporter of President Lincoln, dressed in black for Lincoln’ assassination just five years after his visit.

smyth-block-on-elm-street-in-mourning-for-president-lincolns-death-in-1865


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President Theodore Roosevelt visits Manchester, lifting his hat to the people along the side of the road – 1908


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President Taft’s visit to Manchester, where he is seen being helped out of the motor car (top), and leaving Manchester (bottom) – 1912


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President Ford’s visit to downtown Manchester – 1975


There is no doubt why our presidents in the past had taken time to visit Manchester, due to the large amount of support and crowds that were there to great them! Manchester’s rich history provides a lot of meaning to the great downtown that we have! Tune in next week for another #ThrowBackThursday!

A BIG THANK YOU TO THE MANCHESTER HISTORIC ASSOCIATION FOR THESE FANTASTIC IMAGES AND INFORMATION!


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#ThrowbackThursday – November 2nd, 2017

Pups Through Time: Man’s Best Friend in Manch

 

manss bff

Throughout time people have used dogs as not only for work but as our best friends! Dogs have been used in Manchester for many years, working with the police and fire departments as well as on farms and even in battle! Despite their great work ethic and strength, dogs have proven to be one of man’s best companions. Above shows a portrait of a boy and his dog in the early 1900’s in Manchester, New Hampshire!


cowboys

This image is of the New Hampshire State Militia dating back to the late 1800’s. Notice the three dogs sitting in front of these soldiers who happened to be dressed up as cowboys and Native Americans for this photo.Not only where these pups good for battle, they also were good as every day companions.


jungle gym 1911

Even on the playgrounds of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, children pose on the jungle gym with their black and white spotted pup back in 1911!


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Dogs have even participated in events in Manchester, this event being the Victory parade in 1918. These women and young ladies had dressed up to march in the parade, and so did their dog, who posed for this picture along side these ladies of Manchester!


national gaurd

In 1895, New Hampshire’s first National Guard group poses with their dog in front! Since then the National Guard has grown, and dogs have still remained our best buds!


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Even in the coldest of winters dogs have been close to their humans to provide not only companionship, but protection and safety as well. This dog posses with a man and women being pulled by horse through the frigid winter day. Even back in February of 1882, dogs have proven to be a part of the everyday life of the residence of Manchester.


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At the end of the day dogs have not only been man’s best friend, but a companion for everyone! This little girl, Elizabeth Cheney, poses with her beloved family dog back in the early 1900’s. From the battle ground to the home, dogs have played a versatile role in our communities serving as our protectors and our friends.

A big thank you to the Manchester Historic Association for these fantastic images and information!


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