From Pemaquid to Andover: A Tale of Abenaki Revenge

On February 22, 1698 a group of Abenaki warriors raided Andover, Massachusetts and killed five people and two more (Haynes and Ladd) in Haverhill.  Raids like this were somewhat common in the Merrimack River Valley at that time, as it was the frontier and friction between settlers encroaching on the lands of Native Americans who…


Where the Narrows Open Out

Looking at John Sellers 1675 “Mapp of New England” I’m drawn to the place names on Cape Cod. “Yermoth“, Sandwich and Pocasset on the Cape, and the islands of “Martina Vineyard” and “Nantuket“. As with the entire map things are way out of scale, but still a fascinating snapshot of place in 1675 Cape Cod….


Talking Turkey

This morning I went for a 3 1/2 mile walk and came across a large tom turkey standing on the side of the road. A little later in my walk I saw another turkey, this time a hen, about twenty feet up in a tree. Two turkeys in 3 1/2 miles isn’t exactly extraordinary nowadays…


The Bread and Roses Strike

Lawrence, Massachusetts was the epicenter of two significant events in the history of industrial labor.  The first was the Pemberton Mill collapse, which I wrote about yesterday.  The second was the Bread and Roses Strike in 1912.  The strike began when mill workers realized that the mill owners chose to pay them two hours less…


The Pemberton Mill Disaster

On a quiet hill overlooking the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts is a monument memorializing the 145 mill workers killed on January 10th, 1860 when the Pemberton Mill collapsed.  Another 166 were injured.  Many victims were women and children.  As recent immigrants to America, the victims were buried at Bellevue Cemetery and this simple monument marks…


The Old Worthen

The oldest bar in Lowell, Massachusetts is today called The Worthen House.  Back when I was in college it was called The Old Worthen, and that’s still how I like to remember it.  If you walk into the place today you’ll find tables and a long bar that runs front to back.  The bar is…


Mystery Hill

I live roughly a mile and a half from a place called America’s Stonehenge.  It’s also known as Mystery Hill, and I like that name a bit more because it infers that there’s much about the site that is unknown. Here’s a great description of the site from the mysteryhillnh.info web site: The Mystery Hill…


New Hampshire Grant

New Hampshire Grant The land that is today Vermont was once claimed by Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire.  The Massachusetts claim originated from a fort established in the Connecticut River Valley in present-day Brattleboro.  New York based their claim on original Dutch territorial claims that all the lands west of the Connecticut River to…


Cranberry Bogs

Southeastern Massachusetts is dotted with cranberry bogs.  Looking at a Google satellite image of South Carver, Massachusetts shows just how extensive the cranberry farming is.  This area is known as the cranberry growing capital of the world.  And while the volume of cranberries grown in other places like Oregon may have surpassed this region, there’s…


Bloody Brook

There’s a tiny brook that flows from Searles Pond near Holy Family Hospital and feeds into the Spicket River just before it in turn feeds the Merrimack River in Lawrence.  It’s name betrays a violent history, long before Lawrence and Methuen become heavily developed urban environments.  Google has led me a couple of times to…