Article Archives: Articles - Franklin County (MA) News Archive
Revised list of topics
Revised list of topics
Revised Jan. 10, 2009
Welcome to the list of topics. You can call them subject headings or tags - they offer you another method of searching the Franklin County Publication Archive site. Interested in accident victims in Athol? Click on the tag below for Accident Victims and find a list of articles dating from Jan. 1, 1870 to August , 1875. Once on the page of articles, then use your Find command to pull up all articles mentioning Athol.
The search engine is being revamped by the wonderful and highly overworked Mik Muller. Once it is completed, you will be able to search for multiple subjects or terms by simply dividing terms with a comma in the search box. Example: Jones, Deerfield, Births That should give you a nice listing of all Joneses born in Deerfield during the time period mentioned above. Another way to search it will be to choose the terms Deerfield and Births from the drop down box and add Jones to the search box. Voila!
ACCIDENT VICTIMS Here reside the fatalities, not the regular every day deaths. Industrial accidents, drownings, death by fire, train, loose circus animals, accidental shootings, and freak accidents.
ACCIDENTS Much more run of the mill stuff here, and not even fatal, at least in most cases. Many of these articles concern runaway horses, falls and narrow escapes. ADVERTISING One of my favorite sections. Classified ads are also included here. AFRICAN AMERICANS / BLACKS Everything is covered here. Articles deal with slavery, racism, lynchings, and the like, but it is noteworthy to see that many articles are not racist in content.
AMUSEMENTSis kind of a catch-all, but primarily concerns fun stuff done for amusement - picnics, parades, croquet games, tableaux, taffy pulling, sleigh rides, masquerade parties, sociables, shadow pantomimes - you get the idea.
ANIMALS / REPTILES From the barnyard to the circus, to the hunted, to cats and dogs. Horses have their own category. I regret now that I did not create a subject heading for cruelty to animals, but those articles are also included here.
ARABS Exotic stuff here. Turkey, Palestine, harems, whirling dervishes, reflecting the fascination for the Middle East and all its customs and traditions in the 1870s. ARCHAEOLOGY is a mixed bag of accidental findings - like the dinosaur footprints in the Connecticut River bed in Turners Falls, to old burial sites of Native Americans [which were treated with appalling lack of respect]. "Humbugs" like the Cardiff giant are also included here, as well as accidental finding of treasure.
ASTRONOMY Rare astronomical events, aurora borealis, miracles, meteors, solar eclipses - and the more mundane, references to the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.
ATHOL, MA BARBER / HAIR includes not only the establishment itself, but also all references to hair, wigs, bald heads, medicine to grow hair, hair dyes, etc. BARS (DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS) Pretty much portrayed as den of iniquities. The Gazette & Courier is very much pro temperance.
BIRDS All kinds of birds, many articles related to hunting. Hen stories abound as well, with some hens laying eggs that are 8 inches wide! [I pity the poor bird]. BIRTH CONTROL A really sad section, since birth control in this time period only relates to mothers killing their newborns, to botched illegal abortions, etc. BIRTHS Are prolific. Many names, usually only of the proud father, are repeated each year. Of course the matching obituaries contain many of these infants as well. All cases of multiple births worldwide are listed.
CHILDREN - They’re everywhere of course - families are huge, 15 children being a normal size. But the youth culture has not taken hold - one mostly hears about children having accidents or dying, or around Christmas time, or in school.
CONNECTICUT RIVER - The important one. All others are in one section entitled RIVERS.
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES - Hasn’t dawned on them too much, even though they are familiar with Thoreau’s work. CONTESTS Base ball games (we call ’em baseball) becoming popular. Bets and wagers always a part of our society. We’ve got walking contests, horse races, tobacco stripping contests, girls splitting hard wood slabs, which hen can lay the biggest egg, who can grow the tallest corn stalk, etc.
COURTS One of the largest sections. Look here for all criminal activity. COURTSHIP - The path of true love did not run smoothly, even in the old days. Poems and stories abound, even personal ads (very high-toned ones, of course). Murders and scandals are not uncommon, as well. CRIME - Ah crime! There’s some of everything here, some of it salacious, much of it fines for drunkenness. CRIMINALS - Not everyone who commits a crime is a criminal. I reserved this area for people like serial poisoners, bank robbers, desperados, outlaws [like Red-Handed Dick and Henry Berry Lowery].
CULTS - Oh yes, they existed back then, and were just as troublesome. Read about Adventists, proponents of Free Loveism, Millerism, the Shakers, the Christian Israelites, the Nazarites, and the Howling Dervishes [Hmm, great name for a rock band]. CURIOSITIES AND WONDERS is a great catchall section, and one of my favorites [of course]. Here you will read about human and animal abnormalities - a youth with three legs and four feet, a lizard living in a man’s stomach, a three horned and three eyed ox, a living skeleton, a four legged chicken - well, you get the idea ;-). CUTLERY AND CUTLERY TRADE - Very important to Greenfield and Turners Falls history.
DANCE - Many kinds of dancing available for the young and the old. From Balls to Belly Dancers.
DEERFIELD, MA DISASTERS- We always have them. However, they don’t have the immediacy that they do nowadays in today’s news. Read about the great Chicago fire of 1871, the great Boston fire of 1872, shipwrecks, earthquakes, floods and explosions.
DISEASES - We’ve got a million of ’em. DIVORCE - the Court makes you jump through hoops, wait years, etc., but divorces do happen.
DREAMS AND SLEEP - Sleep and sleep disorders also included here. DRUG ABUSE - From sulphuric ether, to tobacco, chloral, opium and laudanum.
EXPLORERS - A great time period for exploration. We have Dr. Livingston, Arctic explorers, and more.
EYE - Blindness, accidents, eyeglasses, sore eyes, etc.
FAIRS - held bout once a week - the favorite moneymaker of the women’s church groups. Then there’s the County Fairs, which are covered as thoroughly as possible.
FAMILY - Family reunions, loving families, insane families, incest, and more. Very useful for genealogists.
FARMERS AND FARMING - A hot topic in the 19th century. Also covers tobacco and fertilizers. FASHION - A fun section. Sunbonnets, French kid gloves, waterproof dress goods, garters, corsets, wigs, demi-trains, false insteps, shawls, plaid poplins, striped stockings, chignons, Chinese grass cloth, kilting, etc.
FIRES - There are so many, and so few ways to put them out, that it’s a wonder that any buildings survived the 19th century at all. I had to be very exclusive, and only cover those fires of local and international interest.
FISHES AND FISHING - You can get a barrel of oysters delivered right to your door, andthey are "the" Sunday breakfast.
FOOD - For the gourmet and the every day eater. This section is large and all inclusive. Includes some recipes and all restaurant ads.
FREEMASONRY - A group deserving of their own section. FRENCH - Many influences here, from the Mansard or "French" roofs, stationary, corsets, pottery, jewelry, the Franco-Prussian War, etc. FURNITURE - Wooden items, [and what wood! Black walnut, solid ash, walnut, chestnut] beds and sofas [occasionally covered with haircloth], and some interesting articles about Gardner, Mass., the "chair capital of the world".
GAMBLING - One of the oldest vices. Chinese gambling houses, dog-pits, bets, every day chance taking.
GANGS - Not the Bloods and the Crips, but the homegrown Tough End boys, roughs and rowdies, brigands and juvenile delinquents.
GARBAGE - Remember that this is pre-plastic (in most respects) and that the necessity for community trash dumps is not an issue yet. Most, or all farmers, keep an iron and glass scrap heap somewhere in the back forty - a practice which still occurs today. Some articles do concern garbage - rubbish littering the streets, a city without sewers, ash barrels, etc.
GAYS - ah, this is a tough but rewarding section, where I’ve had to "read between the lines" quite a bit. Included here are men who dressed as women, and women who dressed as men [with the understanding that, especially in women’s cases, this could have been done for economic and other reasons]. Famous figures like Oscar Wilde, Susan B. Anthony and Anna Dickinson are the meat and potatoes of this section. GEOGRAPHY - one of the more recent additions, includes topographical surveys, maps, tourist type articles, etc.
GERMANS - Nice to see this ethnic group portrayed in such a positive light. Local Germans are hard working, athletic, happy, beer drinkers who do not get drunk, like to compete in gymnastic contests, love to dance, etc.
GLASS - a particular favorite of mine, since I dig for, and collect old glass embossed bottles. Bottles, window glass, demi-johns, looking glasses, etc. As time allows, I will scan in some of my "dug" antique bottles for your viewing pleasure. GOVERNMENT - usually Presidents, Congress, and taxes, new states and territories. Many other government related articles will be found under POLITICS.
GYPSIES - always a few passing through, telling fortunes, trading horses, stealing chickens, and kidnapping local children.
HAMPSHIRE & HAMPDEN COUNTIES (MA) A catch all section for all those towns not privileged to be in Franklin County, and yet covered fairly thoroughly here. So look for articles on Amherst, Northampton, and the Massachusetts Agricultural College (the earlier name of the University of Massachusetts).
HANDICAPPED - the blind, the deaf, the lame, the insane - all find a home here. Cork legs, poor houses and alms-houses, deformed infants, hunchbacks, etc. HAWLEY (MA)
HERITAGE ACTIVITIES - will come into their own a little later. For now, centennial celebrations are included here.
HISPANICS - another catchall heading. Latin American activities, as well as Spanish Peninsular items. This subject heading will probably be combined with LATIN AMERICA eventually.
HISTORY - well, it’s all history to us, right? But included here are items which were of historic interest to the inhabitants of the 1870’s - the early days of Greenfield, Deerfield, and Montague; the founding of historical organizations, like the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and genealogical family histories.
HOLIDAYS - not much different from today’s celebrations. Of course the 4th of July was a maelstrom of fireworks and severed limbs, and Christmas advertising did not occur untilthe two issues before Dec. 25th. Sabbath Schools all had their holiday celebrations, complete with Christmas trees and a song fest, and Valentine’s Day had already started its decline into ignorant and joke cards. Washington’s birthday, All Fool’s Day, May Day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, and Memorial Day are all represented. No sign of Halloween yet. HOOSAC TUNNEL (MA) is rapidly nearing completion. Read about the 19th century version of the "Big Dig". HORSES - I find this section absolutely fascinating. The vital importance of horses for all transportation needs is clearly shown, especially during the "Horse Disease"(Epizootic) of 1872. You either rassled up an oxen or goat, or you walked - in those places not accessible by train, of course.
HOTELS - There’s not that many of them, but they know how to do it up in style, and are a vital part of the town’s culture. This is the era when enormous resort hotels are springing up, and the concept of vacations are taking hold in the middle and upper classes. HOUSEHOLDS is a broad subject; I mainly went by the rule of thumb of what occurred inside a dwelling. Houses were the domain of women, and so items made specifically for women, like sewing machines, find a home here. Hints on cookery and thrift, as well as kitchen appliances also find a home here ;-). Ah yes, the world of washing, ironing, canning, and child rearing.
HUNGARIANS - Why the Hungarians, you say? Well, this is one of those personal interest type headings, since I am half Hungarian.
ICE - a big business, back in the days of pre-refrigeration. Ice was "harvested" from local lakes, and kept cool in warehouses, to be sold in blocks throughout the warm months. Also included here are frozen over rivers and ponds, ice skating, and ice used for drinks and preserving food.
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.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, February 27, 1871
The lecture of Capt. William A. Gile on Fri eve., although not largely attended, was very attentively listened to by an appreciative audience. He sketched life on the Texas frontier and incidents tha
The lecture of Capt. William A. Gile on Fri eve., although not largely attended, was very attentively listened to by an appreciative audience. He sketched life on the Texas frontier and incidents that came under his observation while with our army on the Rio Grande. He became familiar with the events that brought to a close the attempt of http://www.austrian-mint.com/e/maxhist.html Maximilian to establish the Mexican empire and graphically described the tragical death of the unfortunate Austrian nobleman. In closing, the speaker in pathetic terms compared the execution of Maximilian with the assassination of our martyr Lincoln and showed how widely different was the impression left on the hearts of the people. The lecture was an able production and well delivered.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, March 28, 1870
A paper in Natchez, Mississippi reports that some negroes have dug up near that city a queer looking, dingy, rusty old square box, so bound about with metal as to almost resemble an iron box, & conta
A paper in Natchez, Mississippi reports that some negroes have dug up near that city a queer looking, dingy, rusty old square box, so bound about with metal as to almost resemble an iron box, & containing coin and valuable ornaments which it suggests was buried by the great http://www.cr.nps.gov/seac/beneathweb/ch10.htm Hernando de Soto and his followers about the year 1640