100 Years Ago in Windham
W.S. HARRIS | THE EXETER NEWSLETTER: WITCH HAZEL
“WINDHAM, December 5.— The death of Charles M. Webber removes an industrious and respected citizen who came to town when a young man from Chelmsford, Mass. His age was 50 years. He leaves an aged mother, a widow, two sons and one daughter.”
“Miss A. Leola Low, a native of Windham and daughter of Fred S. Low, died November 23 at the home of an aunt in Derry, at the age of 23 years. She had been afflicted with tuberculosis and had spent some years in the Pembroke and Glencliffe sanatoriums. The funeral was held in the Baptist Church, Derry, with burial in that town. She was highly esteemed by many friends.”
“A number of witch-hazel bushes bearing fresh blossoms were noticed December 1.” The distilling of witch-hazel was once a large business in New England. Both Gould and Merrimack witch hazel companies operated mills on Rockingham Road (the turnpike) and on Golden Brook Road. Carefully selected green twigs were boiled in large vats and the mixed with alcohol. This time of year, you can still see witch hazel blossoming in Windham. One of the easiest places to spot it is on the walking trail at Griffin Park. There are several bushes blossoming in the wooded buffer between the park and Johnson’s farm.
“On the second day of deer season, a 170 pound buck was accommodating enough to come out into the field near J.W.M. Woorledge’s home and allow itself to be converted into venison, to lessen the high cost of living.”