100 Years Ago in Windham NH – W.S. Harris
WINDHAM, December 7. — Deer, which were often seen a few weeks ago, now appear quite scarce, much to the regret of hunters.
The last meeting of the Woman’s Club, held at the town hall December 1, was a notable one, the Derry Woman’s Club being invited, and 40 or more from there attending. Mrs. Annie P. Shepard, of Derry, president of the State Federation gave an interesting address on the statewide work. Other ladies from D.erry rendered musical slections. Mrs. Belle Harrington Hall, of Lowell, gave readings, her longest selection being Henry van Dyke’s beautiful story of “The Mansion.”
One of the town’s picturesque spots and natural curiosities which is not so well known as it should be, is a formation called by some the “Devil’s Den,” while to others it is known as the “Wolf’s Den.” It is located in the easterly part of town, perhaps a half mile northwest of Hamlin B. Sanford, near the road leading northwest towards Mitchell’s Pond and Windham Junction. Where an extemporized roadway curves around a bad hill on the highway is seen a bold ridge of granite of which great masses have become detached and slid down upon one another, some of them hanging as if about to topple over. Under these rock masses is a cave large enough to crawl into, and the rocks are fringed with green mosses and ferns and shaded by large trees, presenting a romantic picture. A short distance to the south of the main cave is a smaller den under the face of the cliff. This picturesque spot belongs to Mr. Searles and he has had the undergrowth cleared up, and the surroundings rendered more sightly, and no fences keep the public out. It is well worth the visit. (This spot must be located somewhere in the Castle Reach neighborhood. If anybody knows the whereabouts of “Devil’s Den” or has pictures, I would be most interested in hearing from them.)
WINDHAM, December 15.—Mail carrier Tellis R. Wells has a new auto
Fifty-three hunter’s licenses have been issued by the town clerk.
The private telephone company, which served the people of the central and western parts of town, has sold out to the New England Company, and the lines have been changed over. Subscribers in the central and northwestern parts are now on the Derry line, those at West Windham are connected with Nashua, and those in the South part with Salem. The cost is increased, but the service is better.
Horace C. Boyce the gate-tender at the Depot, in raising the snow laden gates Tuesday morning, by some mishap, broke one of the bones of his wrist.
The school at the Center, taught by Miss Faye A. Dame, will have a Christmas entertainment on Thursday evening. School will close Friday for two weeks. It takes some energy for Ethel Hawley to attend Pinkerton Academy in these short cold days. She lives five miles from Windham Depot, which point she has to reach before eight o’clock every morning, to go to Derry by train.
After a pleasant November, winter appears to have set in early. Tuesday morning found all out-doors decorated in true Christmas style, and the ground covered in six inches of heavy snow, which will make good sleighing when trodden. Now for the delights of the wood fire, of which Roland D. Sawyer writes so appreciatively. That is not a real fire which you cannot hear; as well as see and feel but only like ‘a painted ship upon a painted ocean.’ In building his Walden cabin, Thoreau says he, ‘lingered most about the fireplace, as the most vital part of the house.’ And when the second winter he substituted a stove for the open fire he felt as if he had lost a companion. In such weather as we are now having, it is true as he says, that ‘every man looks at his wood pile with a kind of affection.’ And speaking of some old stumps which he dug out of his bean-field the quaint hermit philosopher says ‘They warmed me twice, once when I was splitting them and again when they were on the fire. W.S.H.