Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Collections Clean-Up!

Last weekend, October 13 & 14, several members of the HHS board and friends spent time reviewing collections in the Ladd Street School and the Museum as part of the ongoing work with the historical society's artifacts and manuscripts. This preliminary work is in preparation for the move to the new HHS location at Pearson Hall, and was the first of several assessment and clean-up days.

The crew started at Ladd Street School and ended at the Haverhill Library. We wanted to share a few images of the day:

Ladd Street School
Mike Marshall, and his son Joe, make room for HHS objects

Items donated from the Blaisdell Family:

Leather covered bottle from Woodsville; green silk drawstring bag, with gold thread, c. 1825; and decorative hand painted wooden trunk, c. early 19th century.

Thank you to HHS President Edith Celley; to board members Susan Brown, Tom Stocker, and Mike Marshall; and to Joe Marshall and Kimberly Alexander, HHS Consulting Curator.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What were they drinking in 1793? Egg Rum & Egg Brandy

Dr. Kimberly Alexander has drawn on the Montgomery Daybook to investigate the imbibing habits of late 18th-century Haverhill. Her report on SilkDamask begins:

"On Monday May 20, 1793, there were a number of special alcohol purchases which appear in the Gen. Montgomery Store Daybook. They include postmaster Moses Dow’s 1 quart of Mallago (Malaga) wine, a glass of ginn [sic] and of particular interest, one 1/2 bowl of egg rum. A few days earlier the purchase of “egg brandy” was noted. According to food historians, this concoction was related to our contemporary eggnog, being a drink of egg, wine and milk/cream with many historic European antecedents.

"Egg brandy or egg rum as recorded in the Daybook, was in Colonial America somewhat different than its British counterpart in that it substituted the British use of wine for brandy or rum. It was quite popular in the Colonies, especially in the colder parts of the region where the egg beverage (egg, cream or fresh milk and brandy or rum) was rich, tasty, filling and was usually flavored with nutmeg or allspice. In a rural area like Haverhill, the ingredients – fresh cream and eggs, brandy or rum and spices-- would have been readily available. Given the fact that this was served at the Store, it is likely that it was served cold and not warm such as a posset, which required heating and carefully balanced ingredients, as well as appropriate ceramic serving vessels, frequently with a spout."

Continue reading here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Great Coat & Small Clothes: The 1825 Inventory of Gen. John Montgomery

Dr. Kimberly Alexander has written a new post on SilkDamask, continuing her work on the General John Montgomery family of Haverhill:

"There is no denying it: General John Montgomery (1764-1825) was a wealthy man. He first arrived in Haverhill, NH. from Londonderry, NH. as a trader; by the time of his death in 1825, he was one of the wealthiest and most highly regarded citizens of this significant North Country town, with the esteemed 'esq.' appended to his name. Distinguished for his business acumen as well as his leadership during the War of 1812, the survival of his highly detailed probate inventory is a true find."

Continue reading here.