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Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875
Oration of Hon. George B. Loring at Bloody Brook, Sept. 17, 1875 - Fellow citizens: 200 years ago an event occurred on this spot, which on account of its significance and its touching details, has passed into that long heroic line over which the mind of man is compelled to pause and ponder...At the name of Bloody Brook the men, women, and children of New England started and held their breath in horror, in that primeval time when the sickening tidings were borne on the wings of the wind as it were from hamlet to hamlet...
The sad event of the 18th of September 1675, calls upon us still to remember the trials through which our fathers passed and to rejoice over that fraternal spirit which bound them together in their day of sorrow, and watered the soil of this charming valley with the choicest blood of the sons of Essex. I stand on ground made sacred to you by the sacrifices of your hardy and devoted progenitors; but I meet here the names of Lothrop and Stevens and Hobbs and Manning and Dodge and Kimball and Trask and Tufts and Mudge and Pickering, of the three-score braves who died that you might possess this goodly land and these pleasant homes...
How would they who were familiar with the cruel warfare of the savage; whose ears had heard the shrieks of the tortured mother mingling with the groans of her dying child, and whose eyes had beheld her fear, her patience and her despair; whose highway was an Indian trail, and whose home was a frontier block-house - how would they rejoice over these sunny fields, these laughing harvests, these busy towns, these tasteful homes, this cultivated landscape adorned with these institutions of learning and religion; and how would they count their own sufferings but small when compared with the manifold blessings which have descended upon the spot made sacred with their blood?
...Deerfield two centuries ago, was on the very confines of civilization - one of the outposts of a feeble Christian people, who had hardly a foothold on this continent, and between whom and the strongholds of power and wealth and learning, rolled 3000 miles of stormy and almost unknown sea. The fate of a great and wide spread empire rested then in the hands of a few colonists scattered along the Atlantic seaboard, divided in interests and tastes, perishing continually from exposure and want, not all actuated by the highest motives, but all recognizing, as by an unerring instinct, the fundamental principle out of which was to grow the American government, and all in danger of being exterminated at any time by the "pestilence which walketh in darkness and the destruction which wasteth at noonday".
Scattered up and down the great extent of territory stretching from the Passamaquoddy Bay to the capes of Florida were but about 200,000 souls, of whom Massachusetts, with Plymouth and Maine, may have had 44,000; New Hampshire and Rhode Island, with Providence each 6000; Connecticut from 17,000 to 20,000; that is, all New England, 75,000...
These people had come largely from that "Germanic race most famed for the love of personal independence". They were not men of high estate, but they were men who possessed an inherent love of land, with all the individual honor and freedom which go along with it...
Of one colony said "Spotswood, a royalist, a High churchman, a traveler", "I have observed here less swearing and profaneness, less drunkenness and debauchery, less uncharitable feuds and animosities, and less knaverys and villanys than in any part of the world where my lot has been"...
In all their customs they were obliged to exercise the utmost simplicity and they voluntarily regulated their conduct by those formal rules, which, in their day, constituted the Puritan’s guide through the world. We are told, as an illustraton of their character and manners, that by the laws of the Plymouth Colony, in 1651, "dancing at weddings was forbidden". In 1660, one William Walker was imprisoned one month for courting "a maid without the leave of her parents".
In 1675, because "there is manifest pride appearing in our streets", the "wearing of long hair or periwigs", and so "superstitious ribands, used to tie up and decorate the hair were forbidden under severe penalty"; the keeping of Christmas was also forbidden "because it was a popish custom". In 1677 an act was passed "to prevent the profaneness of turning the back upon the public worship before it was finished and the blessing pronounced".
Towns were directed to erect a cage near the meeting house, and in all this all offenders against the sanctity of the Sabbath were confined. At the same time children were directed to be placed in a particular part of the meeting house, apart by themselves, and tything-men were ordered to be chosen, whose duty it shall be to take care of them. So strict were they in their observance of the Sabbath that "John Atherton, a soldier of Col. Tyng’s Company", was fined 40 shillings for wetting a piece of an old hat to put into his shoes, which chafed his feet on the march; and those who neglected to attend meeting for 3 months were publicly whipped.
Even in Harvard College students were whipped for gross offenses in the Chapel, in presence of students and professors, and prayers were had before and after the infliction of the punishment. As the settlers of Deerfield are described as being of "sober and orderly conversation", we may suppose that these laws and customs were here rigidly enforced.
[Here follows a section on "subsistence and diet of your ancestors". Also talks about how they were good farmers, fishermen and readers]...
...Possessed evidently of a common origin, for "between the Indians of Florida and Canada the difference was scarcely perceptible", they were divided into tribes, which differed from each other mainly in their fighting capacity, and the vigor with which they roamed from place to place; and they were liable at any time to be swept off by disease, or exterminated by war, or absorbed by other and more powerful tribes.
In language, the North American Indian was limited by the material world, an abstract idea finding no birthplace in his brain and no expression on his tongue. "In marriage the Indian abhorred restraint, and from Florida to the S. Lawrence polygamy was permitted". Divorce meant merely desertion. The wife was a slave. Domestic government was unknown. The Indian youth grew up a warrior, adorned with vermilion and eagle’s feather, as fleet of foot as the deer, and as tolerant of hunger as the wolf; the Indian girl grew up a squaw, degraded and squalid and servile.
A rude agriculture, resulting in a weedy corn crop, and a few squashes and beans, was the Indian’s, or rather the Indian woman’s occupation; he had neither trade nor manufactures. "There can be no society without government; but among the Indian tribes on the soil of our republic, there was not only no written law - there was no traditionary [sic] expression of law; government rested on opinion and usage and the motives to the usage were never imbodied [sic] in language; they gained utterance only in the fact, and power only from opinion...
The Indian had a government without laws; a State without institutions; a church without faith, or creed, or head; a town without schoohouse or meeting house; a punitive system without jails or gibbets; a history based on tradition; a religion based on superstition; he was ignorant of the ownership of land; and knew nothing of a system of inheritance.
As in peace he was an idler - so in war he was a marauder. An organized army was to him unknown. He fought in small bands, seldom over 50 in number, to surprise and slaughter. He pursued, and killed, and scalped. He had neither commissariat nor hospital. He fought his enemy in the rear and in ambush; and he tortured and roasted and devoured his captives. These were the national characteristics which our fathers found on this continent.
Nor did their attempts to modify and humanize and Christianize them meet with much success. The Indian could be tamed, but he was the Indian still...Neither John Eliot nor Roger Williams was able to change essentially the habits and character of the New England tribes..."They are unspeakably indolent and slothful; they deserve little gratitude; they seem to have no sentiments of generosity, benevolence or goodness".
The Moravian Loskiel could not change their character...In New Hampshire and elsewhere schools for Indian children were established; but as they became fledged they all escaped, refusing to be caged. Harvard College enrolls the name of an Algonquin youth among her pupils; but the college parchment could not close the gulf between the Indian character and the Anglo American.
The copper colored men are characterized by a moral inflexibility, a rigidity of attachment to their hereditary customs and manners. The birds and brooks, as they chime forth their unwearied canticles, chime them ever to the same ancient melodies; and the Indian child, as it grows up, displays a propensity to the habits of its ancestors...
The trouble lay deeper. Year after year the Indian discovered an irreconcilable difference between himself and the stranger...When he entered the home of the settler, he discovered that the joys of the fireside could never be found in the group squatted beneath the shelter of the wigwam. He felt the antagonism - and his soul burned within him. The strife was not for land...It was for supremacy. And as revenge is stronger than ambition, and hate is stronger than avarice, so the war raged with unspeakable fury, and was as cruel as the passions of a desperate savage could make it.
The great contest which grew out of this antagonism, and lasted more than a year, unabated either by the heat of summer or the frosts of winter, threatening destruction to the New England colonies, was known as Philip’s War. With the story of this conflict you are all familiar. The peaceful death of Massasoit at a good old age, after a long life of friendly relations with the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies; the sadder death of his son Alexander, worried out of life by the failure of his intrigues against the colony, and the exposure of his meanness and his crimes; the gradual development of the worst of passions in the breast of Philip, and his passage from treachery to war are all fresh in the memory of all who have traced the hard path which our fathers traveled in the work of settling these shores.
The war which began in Swanzey on the 24th of June, 1675, reached this spot on the 18th of September - three months of murder, and fire, and all the bloody horrors of savage warfare. At the time the war broke out Deerfield had been settled 10 years, or had been deeded for the purposes of settlement to John Pynchon that length of time. It was then, as it is now, one of the most delightful spots in New England...
And here in the luxurience of that natural beauty, and in the wealth of wood and stream, the Indian found his favorite resort. In this town and in the towns of Hadley and Hatfield he mustered a numerous and a powerful tribe. And upon these lands purchased by the settlers, with titles confirmed by the court, the whites and Indians lived together in peace for years. It is amazing with what rapidity the war, once opened, spread from village to village, and from tribe to tribe in this wilderness...
The Pocumtucks had received their orders - and in a day had stepped from the blessings of peace to the misery of war. having promsied to deliver up their arms, on suspicion that they might misuse them, they broke their promise, fled to Sugar loaf Hill, engaged with Captains Beers and Lothrop commanding the English here, lost 26 of their number, and then sought shelter under the standard of King Philip...
Deerfield too was abandoned; and the attempt to secure a quantity of wheat which had just been partially threshed by the farmers there before their flight, resulted in the massacre which still thrills me with horror, and the anniversary of which we have met to commemorate...From behind hundreds of trees the savages poured their deadily [sic] fire. At the first volley many were killed, and the remainder were panic stricken...Lothrop...was among the first to fall. The savages, numbering nearly 700, "rushed upon the defenceless men, and the work of slaughter was soon complete.
But 6 or 7 Englishmen escaped to tell the tale, of whom one had been shot and tomahawked and left for dead, and another forced his way through the yelling ranks of the savages with the but [sic] of his musket...
While the Indians were employed in mangling, scalping and stripping the dying and the dead, Captain Moseley, who, as has been observed, was ranging the woods, hearing the report of musketry, hastened by a forced march to the relief of his brethren. The Indians, confiding in their superior numbers, taunted him as he advanced, and dared him to the contest. Moseley came on with firmness, repeatedly charged through them, and destroyed a large number with the loss on his side of but 2 killed and 11 wounded...
A quantity of bones lately found in that quarter is very probably the remains of the Indians who fell there at the close of the action. The united English force encamped for the night at Deerfield. They returned in the morning to bury the dead and found a party of the Indians upon the field stripping the bodies of their victims. These they quickly dispatched, and the remains of the brave young men, or some portion of them, were committed to the earth near the spot which we have this day consecrated anew to their memory.
The stream on whose banks they fell, and whose water ran red with their blood, has been called from that day, in memory of the disaster, Bloody Brook...[Two more entire columns follow, but they are quite blurry and unreadable].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
Mr. Beecher at Lake Pleasant
Mr. Beecher at Lake Pleasant - We have been assured on reliable authority that Henry Ward Beecher has been engaged by the railroad companies interested to preach at Lake Pleasant on Sun. the 19th; that excursion trains will be run from all parts of the state, and arrangements made for one of the largest gatherings ever held there. It may be urged by Mr. Beecher’s apologists, that he can preach at Lake Pleasant with the same propriety as in his own Plymouth pulpit, that his mission is to preach the Gospel to every creature.
But we cannot take this view of the matter at all. The meeting is not arranged in the cause of Christianity, nor for the purpose of obtaining any good. It is a worldly matter, a matter of dollars and cents. The railroad companies, knowing the curiosity among the people to see the man about whom there has been so much talk (and this curiosity far exceeds any desire to hear him preach), have made him a proposition to exhibit himself on the Sabbath at a place where thousands will be glad to make an excursion, simply for pleasure.
Of course Mr. Beecher has been offered compensation, and it is this compensation that has lead him to accept. The needless desecration of the Sabbath, this stroke of business under the cover of religion, will debase Mr. Beecher in the minds of people hereabouts far more than did the prolonged scandal trial through which he has passed. There are many people who yet have faith in, and respect for the New England observance of the Christian Sabbath.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
Frank Ward has just received a letter from Wash Ives Jr. of Lake City, Fla., who a short time since made a trip among some of his New ngland friends, hoping to induce some young enterprising farmers to locate in or about Lake City. In his letter he gives a glowing account of the country The soil is adapted to most all kinds of crops, and the most delicious fruits, with good facilities for marketing the same, at prices amply remunerative. The climate is all anyonce could ask for, so free from sickness, that the doctors are about the only ones who find it difficult to get a living. Anyone thinking of visiting Fla. will do well to call on Friend Ward and get letters of introduction to Mr. Ives, who will spare no pains to show up the advantages of the country fully and fairly.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Mr. George Rockwood
Mr. George G. Rockwood, photographer of New York, is with his family at Bernardston for the summer. Mr. Rockwood is justly counted in the profession a very capable hand in making a flattering picture, so we excuse the following panegyric. He writes: "This region is the Eden of this country, an is now in its fullest glory. Magnificent old hills stand sentry over this peaceful, beautiful valley of the Connecticut, and drive or walk where you will, you are met with new, ever changing and surprisingly beautiful pictures. Paraphrasing Washington Irving, every Yankee thanks God he was born in New England". N.Y. Home Journal.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
Ashfield which prides itself on having as permanent summer residents George W. Curtis and Prof. Norton, has about the usual number of transient guests this season. There is a very good hotel in the village, where very good board can be obtained for $8 or $9 a week, and boarders are also received to some extent in private homes. The village has been greatly improved in the last few years, and it is now one of the prettiest places in New England, with charming drives in all directions.
[See Wikipedia for more information about George William Curtis and Charles Eliot Norton].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
The monster band concert at Lake Pleasant next Fri. will eclipse any attempt of the kind ever made in New England, and will attract thousands to this popular resort. Extra trains are to be run over the Connecticut River, Fitchburg, New London Northern and New Haven and Northampton roads. The concert programme will occupy about an hour and a half, after which each band will perform selections of its own choosing. Hayner's Orchestra of Northampton will furnish music for the dancing. Richardson will get up a mammoth clam chowder so that all will be provided for.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
James S. Grennell Esq. has for some months rented the front rooms on the third floor in the Franklin County Bank building, where he is collecting a very valuable library, [See an interesting article about this library in the New York Times online issue of March 7, 1915 under the name James S. Grinnell] consisting principally of books relating to both English and American patents, a more complete set than can be found elsewhere in New England. He is the possessor, also, of many rare and expensive books on agriculture. It is Mr. G's purpose at some time to take up his permanent residence in Greenfield, and establish a Patent Solicitor's office, his extensive experience in the patent office at Washington giving him unusual qualification for the business.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Brief notes of a pleasant excursion
The Massachusetts Press Association left Boston on the morning of June 23, for their annual excursion. The party, including ladies, numbered almost 90...On this excursion two first class cars and a smoking car on the Boston & Albany road were devoted to the exclusive use of the excursionists...The sandwiches, cakes, etc. were neatly packed in pasteboard boxes for each individual, and were liberally accompanied with iced lemonade.
At Albany...there was a change to the fine cars of the New York Central Railroad, and we were soon steaming with almost lightning rapidity through the beautiful Mohawk Valley. The flat farm lands here are of an unsurpassing fertility. There does not appear to be an acre that is not under cultivation....The Mohawk runs parallel with the road for many miles, and on the opposite side of the river is the Erie Canal. The latter, which has been one of the great institutions of the Empire State for many years, appears to New Englanders to be a rather slow method of transportation. The canal boats, which we pass in quick succession, seem hardly to move, so snail like is the progress which they make, but what is lost in time is saved in expense. If it was not for the Erie our coal and grain would never approach the present low prices, and upon it has depended largely the wealth and development of the great Western States.
But...the day was fearfully hot, and our excursion cars were in the rear of a very large train; and the dust and cinders that poured into the windows soon blackened our faces, filled our eyes and ears, so that when we reached Syracuse about 8 o’clock in the eve., after a ride of 350 miles, we were a sad looking set, more like a band of miners from the coal region, than people who patronized soap and water. We were, however, nicely quartered at the Globe and Vanderbilt hotels and through the transforming influences of the bath, clean linen, and a good supper, were soon ourselves again.
The party left Syracuse soon after 6 the next morning, by the Auburn branch of the New York Central. At Auburn we got the chance to see the extensive buildings of the State Penitentiary, but did not stop for a close inspection of the establishment. A short ride brought us to the wharf at Cayuga, where we embarked on a small steamer for a delightful trip of 38 miles through Cayuga Lake...
With song and mirth the happy excursionists were soon on the top wave of enjoyment. At Goodwin’s Point a landing was made and the party visited Taghkanic Falls To reach the Falls we climbed a steep descent of a mile, under a broiling sun, and were hardly, when we reached the summit, in the most favorable mood to fully appreciate this wild freak of nature. These falls are on a small stream, and 215 ft. in perpendicular height, while the rocky gorge is nearly 400 ft. down.
It is a wild and picturesque spot, but at this season there is not a large flow of water over the fall. A hotel has been built upon the summit, within a stone’s throw of the fall, and it is quite a resort for excursionists and picnic parties.... Afterwards we landed at the beautiful town of Ithaca, at the head of the lake. the principal business here is apparently the transferment of coal. The coal is brought by rail from the mines in Pennsylvania and transshipped to the canal boats, which convey it across the lake and thence through the canal to the Eastern markets. Our quarters were at the Ithaca Hotel, a first class house...After a sumptuous dinner, carriages were provided for a visit to Cornell University.
The college buildings occupy a beautiful site overlooking the lake, and can be seen miles away...The college was opened in 1868, and everything about the premises is neat and new...The founder of the college, Ezra Cornell, Esq. endowed the institution with more than three millions of dollars...Our party assembled in the Library of the college, and were addressed by President White...It was the purpose of Mr. Cornell to found a university where any person could find instruction in any study, and well has his purpose been carried out. It recognizes no distinct religious belief, though its aim is to promote Christian civilization...
Upon the grounds an opportunity is afforded, as at our Agricultural College, for the practical study of agriculture. There is a carpenter shop, furnished with power and machinery, where students who have tastes in that direction can cultivate their skill in wood work. A large machine shop is fitted with lathes and a variety of machinery and tools, and we found here a dozen or more young men hard at work with sleeves rolled up, dressed in colored shirts an overalls, hands and faces begrimmed, just like "greasy mechanics".
Several valuable inventions have been made in this shop, and much of this work is put to a practical use. In the same building is a printing shop with a large assortment of type and presses...Cornell University recognizes the co-education of the sexes. Young ladies are admitted on the same footing as young men, and are advanced through the same studies...the young men, who at other colleges have been accustomed to practices that were vulgar and demoralizing have voluntarily given them up since the admission of the young ladies, and so far from the mingling of the sexes leading to unpleasant talk and scandal, as some had predicted, not a breath of suspicion of anything out of character had ever existed...
Before leaving the college grounds we were driven to Fall Creek Gorge a wild, romantic locality, where the waters of a small stream leap and splash over the rocks of a wild ravine in its mad course to the lake below. We left Ithaca at 7 in the eve. over the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad, the President of which is Gen. W.I. Burt, the Postmaster of Boston. General Burt had accompanied our party, and we were indebted to his kind attention and influence for many courtesies. On this road we pass through Elmira, and about 10 o’clock at night, in the midst of a drenching rain, arrived at the town of Watkins at the head of Seneca Lake. After a little confusion we were provided with carriages and driven through the pitchlike darkness up the steep ascent to the Glen Mountain House [See the NYPL Digital Gallery for great photos], which has been erected above the famous Watkins Glen.
There is no natural wonder on the American continent, with the exception perhaps, of Niagara Falls, that surpasses the Glen...Says Bayard Taylor: "In all my travels I have never met with scenery more beautiful and romantic than that embraced in this wonderful Glen, and the most remarkable thing of all is that so much magnificence and grandeur should be found in a region where there are no ranges of mountains...It is only since 1869 that the Glen has been accessible to the public...[A very large section follows about the Glen and its hotels. To be continued next week].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
"Cleanliness is next to godliness", says the familiar proverb, and certainly upon it depends much of our health and happiness in this world. Scientific investigation in the past few years has clearly demonstrated the fact that many of the diseases that are so prevalent during the summer months are traceable to local causes. Sometimes it may be defective drainage from sink or privy, poisoning the water in the well or filling the air with foul gases that are inhaled, and plant the seeds of disease; or again, there may be near the house stagnant pools of water from which arise the fatal miasma.
/ ...Every New England housekeeper, no matter what may be her station in life, is sure, when the warm days of the spring come, if she does not get impatient at the season's delay and inaugurate operations before, to pull up all of the carpets in the house and scour the paint from the parlor to the kitchen. This done, the house is put to rights, and she feels as proud of her little campaign against dirt, as the general who has successfully measured his strength with an armed foe. But after all this thorough cleaning of the inhabited rooms of the house, there is the cellar, in which barrels and bins which have contained the potatoes, apples and other vegetables and fruits that were laid in for the winter's supply, having still in different stages of decomposition what has been unused. Frequently a large quantity of mouldy rottenness, that sends forth an unsavory, unwholesome smell.
/ While about the cellar, boards and rubbish are decaying and the beans are covered with mildew and fungus...A thorough cleaning of cellar and outbuildings should be inaugurated; the pig sty should be placed a safe distance from the house, drains should be examined, and be sure that your water is sweet and wholesome. What is saved in doctor's bills will pay for your trouble ten times over, not to speak of the danger to your life and to the lives of those you love if these precautions are not taken.
Query, what is to be done with those large stone steps that have lain so long unused by the Methodist Church? It is nearly a century since they were first cut. Is their history known? They were a few years since, donated by the Ashfield Baptist Corner people, together with their ancient church, to the Conway Methodists, who were then weak and struggling to gain a place of worship for their own. There is deep interest attached to those old stones.
/ Memories that are sacred, of our early New England struggles. There are lips across the sea that today, would even kiss those cold, dark stones, with a reverence of which we know nothing. They speak to me with their voiceless lips, each time my eye rests upon them, to plead their cause. My own feet, when a child, for a season crossed often those sacred steps and entered there in the old church for worship, with a feeling akin to awe, looking at the high round pulpit, where a grandsire had stood, even HIS grandsire and great grandsire before him. [Knowing New England, those steps are probably still lying there, in the same location].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
Church burned at Holyoke; frightful loss of life; 79 people burned to death - The most terrible disaster in the history of Western Massachusetts, save the Mill River flood of last May, and one of the worst ever known in New England, occurred in Holyoke Thurs. eve. The French Catholic Church at South Holyoke caught fire about 8 o'clock, while a large congregation was attending the evening services, and so rapidly did the flames spread that a number of people were unable to make their escape, and 66 persons, men, women and children, were burned to death, and a no. of others were fatally burned or wounded, so the total loss of life will reach at least 75.
/ The audience in the church was large. Thee were 700 or 800 people at the service, a very large proportion being women, with but few children and not many men. The vesper service was nearly through, and it was as the priest, Father Dufesne [i.e. Father Dufresne], turned to the altar to consecrate the host that the tragedy began, lightly - as such tragedies do, and at the moment no one who looked on thought of danger. The censer of incense [i.e. censor] kept burning in the shrine of the Virgin at the side of the chancel; by some unkindly current of air flamed up and caught the lace or muslin drapings around the arch enclosing the sacred effigy. A young woman, Ellen or Lend Blair [i.e. Lena Blair], rose in her pew close beside the shrine, and with her fan beat the flames, in a vain endeavor to extinguish them.
/ The flimsy draperies were choice food for the fire which rapidly reached upward to the top of the shrine, caught eagerly at the light pine ceiling, and in a mere moment wrapped the roof above in fringing flame jets and gnawed hungrily along the light galleries. Then all was panic. The assault was instantaneous; it gave no time to deliberate, no time to appreciate the fearful scene http://www.holyokemass.com
b_fire/images/insidechurchlast3.jpg . The survivors of the disaster hardly knew what happened. It was all too swift for thought. The flame ran along the tinder roof as quick as a man could run. Hardly one was there who did not obey the blind instinct of self preservation.
/ In the gallery on the western side, many leaped from the windows upon the scaffolding of the new brick church building beside the old one, and most of the people on the floor chose windows or the inside front doors to escape. All those in the western gallery did escape, for the stairway heading thence to the vestibule was direct and easy. The unfortunate men and women in the eastern gallery had a far different task. The windows were a sheer descent, not only of their height above the floor, but of the embankment on which the church stood, and then the way thence to the vestibule, instead of a straight stairway, was around a sharp double angle. And here, in their hot haste, the unfortunate creatures tripped and fell, one upon another, until the hall beneath was choked with a desperate, struggling, writhing mass of humanity http://www.holyokemass.com
blood_03.jpg . Meanwhile some had passed toward the rear door that led to the priest's house in the rear, but that too, was speedily invaded by the flames.
/ It took but two minutes. The engines were on hand then, and no time was lost in getting streams of water on the flames, which then encompassed all the sanctuary and burst from the front windows and doors. Then the work of extricating from the burning building the dead and dying began. The firemen, while water poured in above, entered the vestibule, and, covered by the descending torrents, rescued the bodies from the horrid sepulchre before the eastern door and at the foot of the stairs, which formed the death trap of that gallery.
/ The heap of human forms was too high to see the top of it from the doorway, and their struggles and their efforts had ceased. to all appearances there was nothing to save of life, yet the faithful firemen drew forth blackened and unrecognizable forms, scarce bearing the semblance of humanity.They came across occasionally a breathing form, and laid upon the earth nearby, who survived but a few seconds, nor revived to consciousness; stiffened and blackened, their spark of life was not strong enough to last. But most of the bodies were lifeless, and disguised by suffocation or by the fire that charred their garments and their flesh out of all resemblance to what they were.
/ The catastrophe was so sudden, so swift, so pauseless, that few were cool enough to observe its minutiae. The ruins of the church lie now a heap of charred timbers and arches over a hidden floor quite untouched by fire. The priest's house adjoining it in the rear, a mere shell, stands to mark more emphatically the spot. The whole no. of persons known to have lost their lives is 79, nearly all of them mill operatives. Nearly all those who were not burned to death before they were reached, were so severely scorched that they died within a few minutes; 20 so died after being taken out from the ruins. http://www.holyokemass.com
b_fire/images/monats-100dpi.jpg Out of the whole no. only 7 men are known to have perished. Most of the victims were young women from 15 to 25 years old, though some were old women. [See the New York Times article entitled "The Holyoke Disaster", From May 29, 1875. Also known as the Precious Blood Church fire http://www.holyokemass.com
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 31, 1875
News of the week
The Portsmouth Chronicle says a young lady of that city, who has been afflicted with severe illness for several months past, awoke from a refreshing sleep on the 2nd, and said that she had dreamed that she should live two weeks and 5 days longer. The remark made such an impression upon the mind of her nurse that she noted on paper the time of the prophecy. On Friday the young lady died, and strange to say, at the expiration of the prophesied time.
An item is going the rounds of the papers concerning an aged pair of twin ladies living in Milltown, Maine, viz.; Mrs. Mary Sellers and Mrs. Barbara Babb, 85 years of age, and pronounced as probably the oldest pair of twins in New England. Gill can, as usual, do better than that. There are now living in this their native town, two old ladies, twins, smart of their age, who were 88 years old on the 28th of March last. Their names are Mrs. Chloe Severance and Mrs. Clara Martindale, and if the Maine twins were called the oldest in New England, we will suppose these to be the eldest in the United States till contradicted.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 10, 1875
There is no place in New Salem where liquor is sold except the authorized town agency, and the Selectmen have had no applications for liquor licenses, and expect none. Unlike most New England hamlets, there is not a person of foreign birth in the town.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, May 3, 1875
Boston expects to make one of the most extensive demonstrations ever seen in New England at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill
Boston expects to make one of the most extensive demonstrations ever seen in New England at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17th, though there is already some grumbling that the $30,000 city appropriation is insufficient. The entire State militia, numbering 7000 men, will be out, and with other military organizations, will make 10,000 men under arms in town. The Norfolk (Va.) light artillery blues will be there, with the mayor and other city dignitaries, also the 7th regiment of New York, accompanied by Gilmore's Band of 100 instruments, the Putnam Phalanx of Hartford, Conn., the Ransom Guard of St. Albans, Vt. and others.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, April 19, 1875
Supreme Court Record
The April term of the Supreme Court was held on Tues., Judge William C. Endicott of Salem presiding. The following jurors were summoned...There were no trials by jury. The following cases were disposed of: Inhabitants of Deerfield in equity vs. Officers and Stockholders of Deerfield River Bridge - Bill and amended bill; dismissed. Maria L. Burnett, libelant, vs. Henry L. Burnett - The parties reside in Erving. Libel dismissed...Jeremiah Bardwell et als., app'ts. from decree of Judge of Probate, vs. Samuel B. White, Adm'r. - Decree of Judge of Probate affirmed. James W. Chamberlain, libelant, vs. Sarah M. Chamberlain. The parties belong in New Salem. Libelant non suit...Franklin County National Bank in equity vs. Eber N. Larrabee - Dismissed. Henry L. Burnett, libelant, vs. Maria L. Burnett - Divorce a vinculo for adultery. Custody of children decreed to libelant...Edwin G. Reynolds, libelant vs. Flora M. Reynolds. The parties belong in Leverett. Decree absolute...Thomas Dunn. libelant, vs. Kate Dunn - parties reside in Greenfield. Libel dismissed without prejudice...Otis Root, libelant vs. Adaline Root...The parties belong in Montague. Divorce decreed from the bond of matrimony for desertion...George H. Nichols, libelant, vs. Mary A. Nichols - The parties belong in Coleraine. Divorce decreed from the bond of matrimony for desertion...E. Stillman Dix in equity vs. the Shelburne Falls Five Cents Savings Bank et al. Injunction restraining respondent from selling until further order of the court. [?] Chenery petition for discharge as trustee of Almira Richards. Petition granted.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 29, 1875
Hampshire County items
Dr. Rhodes, the proprietor of the Orient Springs, Amherst, has failed with heavy liabilities and no assets. Among the largest creditors is the Barnstable Savings Bank, which took a mortgage of $14,000 on the property, which will not bring $5000. Several of the leading papers of New England and New York have advertised the Springs extensively, and have claims amounting to several hundred dollars. We had a little experience with Rhodes a few years ago, and told him then, unless he settled our account we would show him up. It brought the money.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 29, 1875
Greenfield Farmers' Club
The meeting of the club at the house of W.C. Davis Mon. eve was largely attended, which indicates that the interest manifested in the early part of the season still continues...The club next listened to a short but concise essay from F.G. Smith, bearing upon the subject for discussion, which was "What crops shall we raise the coming season?". He advocated a mixture of crops and would not make a specialty of anything save grass.
/ Would recommend the raising of more cabbages, both for the table and stock. J.P. Felton was next called upon. While he would recommend the raising of a variety he would make a specialty of grass and tobacco. His remarks called out W. Johnson, who took issue with him on the tobacco question from a moral point of view. S.W. Hall would make grass a specialty; thought we did not pay enough attention to the raising of roots. W.C. Daniels would stick to the corn crop. He exhibited a variety of corn called the Holden corn, which he is introducing to this section. [See the 'New England Farmer', 1869 in Google Books].
/ H.F. Billings thought farmers in too many instances were unable to tell what crops to raise from the fact that they do not know the cost of producing them. Daniel Spear related some of his experience in raising which he considered a very paying crop. His plan was to raise such crops as he could most readily turn into milk. After listening to remarks by J. Johnson, Mark Bullard, F.E. Martin, W.S. Kimball and others, and doing justice to the abundance of refreshments, the club adjourned to meet according to notice from the secretary. L.O. Hawks.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 29, 1875
Ways of saying yes
(a short dialogue between a schoolteacher and Dr. Twist. She is talking about her students, but he turns their discussion into a marriage proposal. She says "yes"). (From the N.E. Journal of Education).