The Puddledock Press Staff in the early 1990s.

The all volunteer staff of the Puddledock Press outside their storefront office in the Hayward Block on Mechanic Street in the early 1990s.

The first issue of The Puddledock Press.

The very first Puddledock Press, Volume 1, Number 1, was published in December of 1979.

Farmington Town Christmas Party

The Town of Farmington used to have a Town Christmas Party. Here is a 1963 ad from the Farmington News.

Fire trucks outside the Station on Mechanic Street

Mechanic Street Fire Station in its hay day. On the left is the 1942 Seagrave Truck which was given to the town by H.O. Rondeau.

An old group photo hanging in the Puddledock Office.

Back: Ned Parker, Delores Bridge, Mary Cloutman, Henry Johnson; Front: Iola Sabine, Lilliam Emerson

Robert's Drug Store Christmas advertisement in 1906.

Robert's Drug Store was a popular spot in downtown Farmington and sold lots of Farmington post cards.

Old Farmington Town Hall

An old photo of the Farmington Town Hall, which is currently the Recreation Center, as it appeared in an issue of the Farmington News.

Fire Destroys the Trafton Block

The Trafton Block after a fire destroyed it on January 15, 1943. The fire damages totaled $50,000.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

February 2015 Edition is Posted Online

The February edition has been posted on the Farmington Historical Society's Scribd site, and is available for viewing online.

Editor's Note:  The print version contains an error in the title of the cover story.  It should have been reported that this year celebrates Henry Wilson's 203rd birthday.  The error has been corrected in the online version, but remains in the print edition.

You can view past issues on the Farmington Historical Society's Puddledock Press page.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Open Letter from the Farmington Christmas Light Committee

photo by John Nolan - Foster's Daily Democrat
Dear People of Farmington,

Our last chance to save the town Christmas lights is a warrant article for the Town Meeting on March 11, 2015.  This is when we need to vote on warrant articles brought to the town for their consideration.

There are two ways that we could go with this plan.  The first plan would be to pay for it and do it all in a single year.  The second plan, should the first plan fail, would be for the town to do the task over 5 years.

Plan A would be to pass Warrant Article #16.

Warrant Article  #16
"To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate $23,000.oo for the purchase and installation of a total of 26 new 30 Ft green pressure treated telephone poles for the purpose of hanging the town holiday decorations."  

This will add 5 cents per $1000.00 onto the property tax rate.  The one time tax on a $200,000.00 home will be $10.00.

Plan B would go in effect if Article #16 fails.

Warrant Article  #17
"To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate $11,400 for the purchase of a total of 26 new 30 ft green pressure treated telephone poles and for teh installation of 6 of the poles for the purpose of hanging the town holiday decorations.  The installation of the remaining poles would be bedgeted on a separate warrant article over the next y ears at approximately $3600.00 per year.  

This method does not have a fixed cost and the total cost may increase over the nextr 4 years.

Thank you,

Tom DeJulio
Farmington Christmas Light Committee

Note:  Mark your calendars.
The Town elections are held on Tuesday, March 10.
The Town Meeting is held on Wednesday, March 11, from 7:00 PM until finished.

Farmington's holiday light display will end after PSNH cites law on

PSNH plays 'Grinch' to Farmington Christmas lights tradition on

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Farmington Celebrates Henry Wilson on his 203rd Birthday

The 1872 campaign poster for Ulysses S Grant and Henry Wilson
Henry Wilson was born Jeremiah Jones Colbath in our Town of Farmington, on February 16, 1812. His impoverished father named him after a wealthy neighbor who was a childless bachelor in the vain hope of receiving an inheritance. The boy hated the name, and when he came of age he had it legally changed to Henry Wilson. He chose the name because he was either inspired by a biography of a Philadelphia teacher or a portrait of a minister named Henry Wilson from a book on English clergymen. Another tie to the Town of Farmington was Henry Wilson's original profession. He left Farmington for Natick, Massachusetts in 1833 and became a shoemaker. As a politician, he would often be refferred to as the "Natick Cobbler". He attended several local academies, and also taught school in Natick before becoming a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He served between 1841 and 1852, and was also the owner and editor of the Boston Republican newspaper from 1848 to 1851.

In 1852, Wilson was an unsuccessful candidate for US Representative. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1853 and also ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Massachusetts in 1853. However, in 1855 he was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Edward Everett. He was reelected as a Republican in 1859, 1865 and 1871, and served as a Senator from January 31, 1855 to March 4, 1873, when he resigned to become our Vice President under President Ulysses S. Grant.

As a Senator, Wilson was Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia and the Committee on Military Affairs. In that capacity, Wilson passed on over 15,000 nominations that Lincoln submitted during the course of the War, and worked closely with him on legislation affecting the Army and Navy. During the Civil war, he raised and briefly commanded the 22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the war he became an early member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

Henry Wilson, photograph by Mathew Brady
A controversy that swirled around Wilson's name since 1861 was that he (while Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs) may have revealed plans for the invasion of Virginia culminating in the First Battle of Bull Run to southern spy (and Washington society figure) Rose O'Neal Greenhow. Wilson (although married) had seen a great deal of Mrs. Greenhow, and while with her may have told her about the plans followed by Major General Irvin McDowell, which may have been part of the intelligence Mrs. Greenhow got to Confederate forces under Beauregard. If so this information may have led to the Northern rout in that battle. However, in his most recent biography, an alternative (a Northern clerk named Horace White) was suggested as the real leak.

An abolitionist and fierce supporter of equal rights in the United States Senate, Henry Wilson advocated for equal pay for African-American soldiers. In a speech in the U. S. Senate, he said that our treatment of our negro soldiers was almost as bad as that of the rebels soldiers.

Wilson suffered a serious stroke in 1873. Although partly paralyzed, he fought to actively perform his duties as presiding officer over the United States Senate. He suffered what was believed to be a minor attack on November 10, 1875, and was taken to the Vice President's Room to recover. Over the next several days, his health appeared to improve and his friends thought he was nearly recovered. However, on November 22 at 7:20 am, Wilson died from a second stroke while working in the United States Capitol Building. He was interred in Old Dell Park Cemetery in Natick, Massachusetts.

Image credits:  Wikipedia