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Mar 6, 2021
Franklin County (MA) News Archive
The Franklin County Publication Archive Index

To search for a particular subject term, click on the highlighted link containing that term at the bottom of the article. For example, if you are seeking more articles about animals, click on the highlighted link which says Animals/Reptiles/Amphibians.

Article Archives: Articles: Curiosities and Wonders

Showing 25

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 23, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
Foreign



The oldest tree in the world is said to be a bo tree at Anuradhapura in Ceylon, which was planted b.c. 288. It is so decrepid [sic] with age that it would have blown down long ago were it not for a strong wall encircling the trunk and pillars supporting all the main branches. Every leaf that falls from the tree is picked up with pious care by the Buddhist priests and preserved in a holy part of their temple. The leaves are thence sold to the people as a souvereign panacea for their sins.
 

Subjects: Conservation of Natural Resources, Curiosities and Wonders, Old Age, Religion, Sales, Trees

Posted by stew - Mon, Feb 23, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
Died

Leard, Hezekiah, age 39, the fattest man in the State, weighing 350 pounds, died in Augusta Me. on Sept. 7.
 

Subjects: Contests, Curiosities and Wonders, New England, Obituaries

Posted by stew - Sat, Feb 14, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 13, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

Greenfield - The bricklayers have finished their work at the Reservoir dam, and there is now only a little cleaning up to do before filling the pond. That was a bad break in the main pipe a week ago yesterday. It was right in the Barton brook, and those who saw it say that a large volume of water was thrown into the air, 25 or 30 ft., making a fountain on a grand and magnificent scale.
 

Subjects: Accidents, Curiosities and Wonders, Greenfield (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Work, Water

Posted by stew - Sun, Feb 8, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

(Greenfield) The biggest thing in the way of cucumbers has been raised by John Holton of Gill. He brought two into town Sat., one measuring 5 ft. and the other 5 ft. and 8 inches in length. They grew in coils, like snakes. The shorter one can be seen in Moody’s window.
 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Contests, Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Gill (MA), Glass / Windows, Stores, Retail

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
What savages think of twins

In Africa according to Dr. Robert Brown ("Races of Mankind") the birth of twins is commonly regarded as an evil omen. No one, except the twins themselves and their nearest relatives, is allowed to enter the hut in which they first saw light. The children are not to play with other children, and even the utensils of the hut are not permitted to be used by any one else.

The mother is not allowed to talk to any one not belonging to her own family. If the children both live till the end of the 6th year, it is supposed that Nature has accommodated herself to their existence, and they are thenceforth admitted to association with their fellows. Nor is this abomination of twin births restricted to Africa.

In the island of Bali, near Java, a woman who is so unfortunate as to bear twins is obliged, along with her husband, to live for a month at the sea shore or among the tombs, until she is purified. The Khasias of Hindostan consider that to have twins assimilates the mother to the lower animals, and one of them is frequently put to death.

An exactly similar belief prevails among some of the native tribes of Vancouver Island. Among the Ainos, one of the twins is always killed, and in Arebo in Guinea, both the twins and the mother are put to death (Popular Science Monthly).
 

Subjects: African-Americans / Blacks, Animals / Reptiles, Birth Control, Births, Cemeteries, Children, Crime, Curiosities and Wonders, Cutlery, Family, Households, Light, Literature / Web Pages, Luck, Murder, Native Americans, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Science, Women, Superstition, Canada, Geography

Posted by stew - Fri, Feb 6, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
A young lady

A young lady at Worcester spreads terror by daily walking down Pleasant Street with a small revolver swung at her belt.
 

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Massachusetts, Roads, Sports, War / Weaponry, Women

Posted by stew - Tue, Feb 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
Northfield

W.J. Beaman, an artist from Westminster, is painting fine pictures from the natural scenery, which is so largely at command of an artist's eye.

[It appears that a relation of W.J., named Gamaliel Waldo Beaman, also an artist, so loved the Northfield countryside, that he took up residence with a mountain hermit there. See http://whitemountain...graphies/bio_gwb.htm ].
 

Subjects: Art, Curiosities and Wonders, Emigration and Immigration, Eye, Family, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Massachusetts, Northfield (MA)

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News of the week

Elopement runs in the Wilhite family of Texas County, Mo. Sallie Wilhite ran away some years ago with her brother-in-law, Aaron Davis; he, however, returned to his wife, and she married a Mr. Neely, who eloped and left her. Two years ago, her cousin Ezekiel, ran away with a Mrs. Winland, both parties leaving families. Last month Aaron Davis's son Marion, a boy of 19, ran away with his brother's sister, a woman of 30, and to complete matters, his father has again eloped with his sister-in-law Sallie.

[Yep, and "I'm my own grampa"].



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MEO4xRnrT0
 

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Family, Marriage and Elopement, Sex Crimes

Posted by stew - Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News of the week



Tom Thumb has a rival in Admiral Tom Trump, a Dutchman of 26, who is 6 inches shorter than the American dwarf and weighs but 26 pounds. He is very intelligent, and speaks 5 languages fluently, English, French, Dutch, German and Italian.

[See more in the Aug. 23, 1875 article entitled "A rival of Tom Thumb" in the New York Times Online Archives].
 

Subjects: Circus, Curiosities and Wonders, English (and England), French, Germans, Italians, Literature / Web Pages, Show Business

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 5, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

This must certainly be a year of plenty. Patrick Kelliher has shown us an ear of corn - or rather ears, for there are 7 of them enclosed in one husk - that is quite a curiosity.
 

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Food, Greenfield (MA)

Posted by stew - Mon, Jan 5, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

People who were out late Fri. eve. beheld a beautiful rainbow by moonlight, a rare phenomenon.


 

Subjects: Astronomy, Curiosities and Wonders, Greenfield (MA)

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
A servant girl

A servant girl at Owosco, Mich. was surprised and not at all pleased the other day on breaking an egg for some culinary purposes, to discover within a live snake about the length of one of the fingers. It adhered to the shell but was quick and lively. The shell was without flaw.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCL-8TtjCgA
 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Curiosities and Wonders, Food, Women, Work

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
A frog

A frog, nearly as large as a cow’s head has made its appearance near Montreal, Canada. Its croaking is as loud as the bark of a dog, and when pursued it makes for deep water and remains perfectly quiet for a few days and nights. It is probably a remote relative of the sea serpent.
 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Curiosities and Wonders, Family, Noise, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Canada

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Find in Greece

In clearing away the refuse from the ancient silver mines of Laurium, in Greece, a large number of seeds were found, unknown to modern science, but described in the writings of Pliny. The seeds took root, budded and blossomed, bearing beautiful yellow flowers, after a burial of at least 1500 years.

Check out Laurium on Wikipedia.
 

Subjects: Archaeology, Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Garbage, History, Literature / Web Pages, Mines and Mineral Resources, Science, Europe, Jewelry / Gold / Silver / Treasure

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
Grisly account

Three children were killed by a bear at Gaitineau [sic], Ontario last week, while picking berries, and only the feet and arms of one can be found.
 

Subjects: Accident Victims, Animals / Reptiles, Children, Curiosities and Wonders, Food, French, Lost and Found, Obituaries, Canada

Posted by stew - Sat, Jan 3, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
Hydrophobia after 3 years

Hydrophobia - See the New York Times Online index for July 30, 1875.
 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Curiosities and Wonders, Diseases, Literature / Web Pages

Posted by stew - Fri, Jan 2, 2009

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
Northfield Farms

Samuel Alexander, who died here on Wed, aged 88 years, lived throughout his long life in the same house in which he was born, and was in the habit of eating his Thanksgiving dinner in the same room. His father, who lived to be 92 years of age, also dwelt before him in the same house from the time of his marriage, a century ago. Mr. Alexander was a soldier of the war of 1812, and the oldest member of Harmony Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. He retained his faculties till the last, and ate dinner at the table with the family the day of his death.
 

Subjects: Clubs, Curiosities and Wonders, Family, Food, Freemasonry, Furniture, History, Holidays, Households, Northfield (MA), Obituaries, Old Age, War / Weaponry

Posted by stew - Tue, Dec 30, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
Conway

A youth walking several miles to a certain place, became wearied while passing across a pasture and seated himself a few moments to rest on a mound, when he fell asleep. He was aroused by something heavy striking his chest, and opened his eyes to see a colt’s hoofs just disappearing over his head. He had not seen the animal who was somewhere quietly feeding, but being suddenly startled ran upon him unawares. He felt the blow quite severely several days.
 

Subjects: Accidents, Animals / Reptiles, Conway (MA), Curiosities and Wonders, Dreams / Sleep, Eye, Food, Horses

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 21, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 9, 1875
A big tree for the Centennial

California papers mention the fact that a Mr. Vivian is preparing a large piece of one of the Tulare County big trees to exhibit at the Centennial next year. The piece of timber selected is 16 ft. long and 21 ft. in diameter at one end and 19 at the other. The heart of this will be taken out, leaving only about one ft. of the body of the tree attached to the shell or bark. It is necessary to divide it into a number of parts in order to allow it to pass through the numerous tunnels between California and Philadelphia.

The 8 parts will weigh between 30,000 and 40,000 pounds, and will require 2 cars for transportation. One solid foot of this tree weighs 72 lbs., being 10 lbs. heavier than so much water. The timber was taken out of the "General Lee", a tree 275 ft. high. It contained over 200,000 ft. of lumber, besides, probably, about 200 cords of wood. The "General Grant", a much larger brother tree than the "General Lee", and the largest int he world growing in the same grove, is left standing.

[This tree was taken from Sequoia National Park].


 

Subjects: Crime, Curiosities and Wonders, Heritage Activities, Literature / Web Pages, Names, Natural Resources, Parks, Trains, Transportation, Trees, War / Weaponry

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 21, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Hartford

Hartford is the happy possessor of one of those exceedingly rare natural curiosities - a singing mouse. The little vocalist is located in the pantry of one of Mrs. Colt's houses on Charter Oak Avenue, occupied by George L. Augur, and can be heard almost any eve. It is very tame, will allow a person to approach within a foot of it before ceasing its song, and is scarcely a third larger than the ordinary house mouse.

The music of the little songster is very sweet, at times resembling the soft dripping of water, and again sounding like the twittering of a young bird. Mr. Augur entrapped one of these little musicians while a resident of Springfield, but afterward lost it while exhibiting it one eve. to a party of visitors.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfr5GrOGVz0
 

Subjects: Amusements, Animals / Reptiles, Birds, Connecticut, Curiosities and Wonders, Hampshire / Hampden Counties, Households, Lost and Found, Music, Noise, Rivers / Lakes / Oceans, Roads, Trees

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 20, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Curious freak of lightning

During the thunder storm Thurs., the lightning played a queer freak in Clinton, Me. Three ladies sought refuge during the rain in a house. The house was struck, thereupon the bolt stove a chair to pieces, then removed a bonnet from one lady's head, took the shawl from the shoulders of another, then darted to the hand of a third (Mrs. Francis Low), thence to her foot, then passed up her leg, then encircled her body like a hoop, coloring and tearing her clothing, thence shooting into the corner post of the house, shivering it to pieces, then into the cellar and thence out of doors into a hogshead of water, and finally disappeared by passing into the ground.


 

Subjects: Animals / Reptiles, Curiosities and Wonders, Furniture, Households, Lightning, Weather, Women, Clothing

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 20, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Turners Falls

Mrs. Dike at the "City" had a night blooming cereus in full bloom Wed. night, and the neighbors sat up all night to look at it.
 

Subjects: Curiosities and Wonders, Farmers & Farming / Flowers, Montague (MA), Turners Falls (MA), Women

Posted by stew - Sun, Dec 14, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items

We thought we had chronicled last week, the biggest head of lettuce ever grown, but H.C. Haskell of Great River goes it one better. His single head has a circumference of 5 feet, 10 inches - large enough to have kept John Rogers’ family in salad for a month.


 

Subjects: Contests, Curiosities and Wonders, Family, Food, Greenfield (MA), Rivers / Lakes / Oceans

Posted by stew - Sat, Dec 13, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 26, 1875
Mrs. Mary Abbott

Mrs. Mary Abbott of Smyrna, Del. has been led a blushing bride to the altar 7 times. She has been Miss Williams, Mrs. Traux, Mrs. Farrow, Mrs. Riggs, Mrs. Wallace, Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Pratt and now Mrs. Abbott, and has married a widower every time but one, and has reared numerous step children for her various husbands, but has never had children of her own.


 

Subjects: Children, Curiosities and Wonders, Family, Marriage and Elopement, Names, Widows and Widowers, Women

Posted by stew - Mon, Dec 8, 2008

Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
News of the week

A current of terribly hot air passed over Centralia, Ill. recently, which drove workmen from the fields, and people rushed from their houses, supposing they were on fire. [ I don't know - coal mining since its incorporation as a town, a great disaster in the mines in 1947 when 111 miners died - and of course its counterpart in weirdness, Centralia, PA. Check it out at Wikipedia].
 

Subjects: Accidents, Astronomy, Coal, Curiosities and Wonders, Disasters, Fires, Households, Literature / Web Pages, Mines and Mineral Resources, Names, Weather, Work


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