Windham Life and Times – July 27, 2018

Camp Colt-Cobbett’s Pond

According to “Rural Oasis” “Camp Colt on Cobbett’s Pond was run by Mr. and Mrs. Alan Delaney. It opened in 1947 and functioned successfully for twenty-three years until it finally closed in 1970.”

Loraine Delaney writes in a note that, “As I told you these are the only pictures that I could find, Denise said she had some but doesn’t know where they are stashed.”

“We started Camp Colt June 1948 and it ran 24 years.  Alan received his degree in Physical Education from the University of Miami. Before that he had been a Head-liner football star player from Lynn English High School in Lynn Massachusetts. His nickname was Alan-A-Dale.”

“The camp ran for 10 weeks each summer and the cost was $7.50 a week. This included transportation to and from the children’s residence plus a carton of Milk and a lot of forgotten lunches.”

“Swimming in Cobbett’s Pond was the main spark at the camp. Alan believed that every child should learn to swim.” ( I remember learning to float on my back there.)

“We also featured other sport including water skiing in later years —” (And I remember during my time there, that on rainy days, the boxing gloves came out and everybody had a turn  at a round with another boy at camp.)

     “Ceramics was the favorite craft in the Arts and Crafts program.”

“With the closing of the camp Alan worked as a Miami Stage Employee and became Jackie Gleason’s main Spot-Light operator. “

Alan and Lorraine’s son still owns the waterfront property that was once the location of part of Camp Colt. Of course, Denise Delaney is my sister-in-law, married to my brother Gardner.


Windham Life and Times – July 13, 2018

Lakeview Golf Course Windham NH

Long before Windham Country Club was ever conceived, there was a golf course in Windham that offered views of Cobbett’s Pond. Rural Oasis states that, “Several years before the construction of Route I-93 and the influx of new residents, Windham’s people could hike, swim, skate, ice fish and toboggan in town (Or ride a dirt bike on miles and miles of old wood roads, like I did on my beloved Honda 70.) In fact there was even a golf course and summer playhouse, both located on Range Road. Ed Walkey from Cliftondale, Massachusetts , owned the former Lakeview Boarding House. During this period he started Lakeview Golf Course, the nine-hole course especially popular with summer visitors. The pro shop was located under the barn. The number one green was on the other side of Armstrong Road. When the southbound lane of I-93 was constructed the green was abolished for the new entrance of Armstrong Road. The golf course was a family business where Thyra, Ann, and their brother Allen worked with their parents taking care of the greens and the shop.”


Windham Life and Times – June 29, 2018

The 1718 Migration – Events and Celebrations

     “This year marks the three hundredth anniversary of the migration of a number of families from the Bann Valley to a new life in North America.”

“In order to commemorate this, Ulster University shall host a gathering of academic and community writers who shall explore the connections between Ulster and North America. The event will examine three main shared areas of interest between the two places: culture, family and space. It is hoped that this will prompt a re-examination of the impact of literature and ideas, family and genealogy and space and landscape that have shaped the relationship between the two places then and since. This conference is a sister conference of the Maine Ulster Scots Project Ulster Diaspora Reunion and Conference which will be held August 14-16, 2018, in Brunswick Maine at Bowdoin College Campus. Afterlives of 1718”

What’s so fascinating to me, is that the historians and scholars in Northern Ireland have such an intense interest it the Scots-Irish both there and in America. In contrast, for many American descendants of the Scots-Irish and American historians, their influence on America is in the very hazy past. Robert Dinsmoor, The Rustic Bard, is better known in Northern Ireland than in America. The contributions of the Scots-Irish to the Revolution in American are better known there than here, where the colonist are portrayed as a monolithic group, which they were not.

MAINE ULSTER SCOTS                                                                                    

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, Augus 14, 2018

8:30 AM- 4:30 PM Full day Guided Bus Tour of Historic Portland for Pre-registered guests.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Conference Registration Bowdoin, Thorne Dining Hall

5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Cocktail Hour & Dinner with Special Keynote event for speakers and 5 day ticket holders only. Sponsored By Northern Ireland Bureau

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Conference Registration Thorne Dining Hall

9:00 AM-10:00 AM Welcome & Opening Roundtable “Immigration – Emigration Ulster to Maine Causes, Consequence, Conditions” Kresge Auditorium, Bowdoin College

10:00 AM -11:00 AM

Concurrent Presentations 1-3

1. Maine Before 1718 – Dr. Emerson “Tad” Baker, Salem State University


3. 1718 Families Project – Mr. Colin Brooks

11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Concurrent Presentation 4-6

4. Rustic Bard Poet- Robert Dinsmoor – Dr. Frank Ferguson, Ulster University

5.Title To Be Announced -Mr. Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

6. Allagash Community Under Siege- Mr. Darrell McBriety

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Free buffet lunch for 5-day ticket holders- Moulton Hall, Bowdoin College

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Roundtable 2 “Exploring the Diaspora” -Kresge Hall

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Concurrent Presentations 7-9

7. “Hardscrabble and good old times amongst the Scotch Irish in Maine” – Mr. Alister McReynolds

8. “By Another Route: The Ulster Scots and the Scottish Prisoners of 1650-51” – Dr. Carol Gardner

9.  From Kilrea to Kittery and beyond, the Sterret(t) Saga- Mr. Bob Starrat

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Concurrent Presentations 10-12

10. Scots-Irish Religious Folkways in Mid-Coast Maine; The Presbyterian Founding 1729-1763– Mr. Carl R. “Chip” Griffin III, Esq.

11. Relationships with the land: The Scots-Irish Experience in the District of Maine – Mr. John T. Mann, President Emeritus, Maine Ulster Scots Project

12. Wilson Family in Maine- Ms. Delia Wilson Lunsford

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Private Meet & Greet for presenters and 5-day ticket holders only, Hosted by the Scottish Affairs Council, special guest Joni Smith, at The Daniel, Brunswick Maine. Cash bar, casual setting.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

7:00 AM-8:00 AM Walk in Conference Registration Location TBD

8:00 AM -10:00 AM Round Table 3 “Religious History” with 1718 Woodside sermon offered by Rev. James McCaughan of Dunboe Church, Articlave, Northern Ireland and Brunswick, First Parish Church Reverend Mary Bard.

Round Table Panel with experts on clergy and migration. – First Parish Church, Brunswick.

10:00 AM- 11:00 AM

Concurrent Presentations 13-15

13. Woodside in Dunboe Parish Northern Ireland- Dr. Alison McCaughan

14. 1718 Migration; Connections Coincidences, Consequences- Dr. Linde Lunney, Royal Irish Academy

15. NEHGS DNA Studies- Mr.  Tom Dreyer, New England Historic Genealogical Society

11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Concurrent Presentations 16-18

16. Role of Religion in Migration – Dr. William Roulston, Ulster Historical Society

17. TBD

18. Gaelic Poetry Expert Title TBD- Ms. Holly Morrison

12: 00 PM Free buffet lunch for 5-day ticket holders- Moulton Hall, Bowdoin College

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Roundtable “Somerset Archaeology” -Kresge Hall

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Concurrent Presentations 19 – 21

19. Rathlin Island to Lubec, The Sam Henry Collection- Ms. Sarah Carson, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museum Service Officer

20. Woodside Homestead Archaeology – Mr. Fred Koerber

21. TBD

Concurrent Presentations 22-24

19. Forest & Coasts, The Ballads of Maine, -Ms. Julia Lane, Castlebay

20. Fort Richmond Archaeology- Dr. Leith Smith, Maine Historic Preservation

21. The Irish New Settlement on Merrymeeting Bay- Ms. Barbara Desmarais, Brunswick Historian

6:30 PM- 9:30 PM Evening Special Event: “Fiddle Traditions in Ulster-Scots Music, Then & Now”  Open to the Public Tickets available to all. Free to 5-day ticket holders.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Open to all pre-registered ticket holders on first come, pre-paid basis.


1:00 PM – 5:00 PM Historic Tour 4 “Archaeology: MacFadden Site & Merrymeeting Bay

6:00 PM Special pre-games Ceildh sponsored by St. Andrews Society of Maine– Topsham Fairgrounds – Free and open to the public!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM 40th Annual Maine Highland Games and Scots Festival, hosted by St. Andrews Society of Maine

Open to the public, Free to 5-day ticket holders. Tickets may be pre-purchased or purchased at the gate. Click here for more info.

So for all of you with family names such as the Boyd, McGregor, Cornwell, Holmes, Nesmith, Davidson, Cochran, Dinsmore, Moore, Armstrong, Hopkins, Ramsay, Thompson, Jameson, Paterson, Mitchell, Wilson, McBride, Gray, Anderson, Greg, McGovern, Hordock, Campbell, McLaughlin, MacFadden,  Galt, Todd, King, Black, Tarbell, McAlester, Robb, Lindsay, Barr, Black, Christy, Craig, Smith, Irwin, Bryce, Dunlop, Knox, Kincaid, Hendry, Duncan, Gilmore, McKeen, Stirling, Caldwell, Smiley, Morrison, Hogg, Hanson, Hazleton, Hunter, Richey, Walker, McNeal, Orr, Lord, Alexander, Clendenin, Clark, Barnet, Allison, Steele, Starrett, Stuart and many others; you might just have Scots-Irish roots. Many of these names were on the 1718 petition emigrate to Governor Shute or part of the migration.


Windham Life and Times – June 22, 2018

The 1718 Migration

Londonderry, North Ireland

The Scots-Irish and Why they are Important in American History

In many places in Northern Ireland and North America the 300th Anniversary of “The Great 1718 Migration,” will be celebrated by the descendants and friends of the Scots-Irish. While not the first migration of people from Ireland to America, the 1718 Migration was the first successfully organized migration to America. Significant numbers of families from the north of Ireland traveled on sailing ships to Boston and went on to found communities in America, at first in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and onwards throughout the continent.

During this season, 300 years ago, the migration from Northern Ireland would have just begun. The small ships Robert and William from Coleraine and The McCallum, The Mary and Elizabeth, and the William & Elizabeth all left from Londonderry with passengers and supplies and  would now be on the high seas. Besides being small for an ocean crossing, these sailing vessels were never meant to carry human cargo which made the journey arduous for all of those onboard.

Over the next several weeks, I plan to retell the story of the 1718 Migration. This will include the reasons why they left Northern Ireland and why their experience in Ireland made them some of the most intractable small “d” democrats in America. The 1718 Migration was the beginning of a giant wave of Ulster Migration to America with many Scots-Irish populating the sparse lands of New England, Western Pennsylvania and the mountainous regions of the south.

One of the most famous Scots-Irish descendants was “Old Hickory” himself, President Andrew Jackson, who in one individual, aptly personified the character of this race of people.  As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the “common man” against a “corrupt aristocracy” and to preserve the Union. This was popularism directly from Scots-Irish roots. Born in the colonial Carolinas to a Scotch-Irish family in the decade before the American Revolutionary War,” Jackson freed America from the control of the elites and killed the Central Bank for over one hundred years. This laid the groundwork for great prosperity and growth in America. A time when common people were free to make their fortunes.

In his speech to congress, Jackson’s warnings are even more appropriate for America today. “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics, and laborers-who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.”

This longing to be free from the control and dictates of the elites with the right to enjoy the fruits of ones own labor without being plundered by the powerful and well connected, the desire for a weak central government and “states rights;” all of this is at the at the heart of the Scots-Irish soul and character. You can thank your freedoms to them because they were the very opposite of the Puritans and in many ways explains the differences that once existed between New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

How was the Scots-Irish character different than the Puritans you ask? The Scots-Irish were all in on “live free and die, death is not the worst of all evils,” idea which was coined by General John Stark,  a Scots-Irish descendant born in Londonderry, NH. The Puritan mantra should sound familiar today, since they saw themselves as morally superior and as such, felt that people should shut up, follow their dictates and if a witch or two got burned so be it. The Puritans saw the “Christian community,” or “the collective” as important; the Scots-Irish were champions of individual rights.

As I continue to write this, I am a little worried about my New England roots, however, as a descendant of the Scots-Irish, I feel free to insert the opinion of a southerner into this discussion of the “self-righteous, Puritan, Yankees.” Thomas Jefferson had a strong dislike of Yankees as did many other Americans. “The novelists Washington Irving, James Finemore Cooper, James Kirke Paulding, and Herman Melville, among others, wrote novels that ridiculed the “Yankee” mentality that they all abhorred.  (In Irving’s story of “The Headless Horseman” Ichabod Crane was a Yankee who had come from Connecticut to New York and “made himself a nuisance” so a young New Yorker played a trick on him to send him packing back to “Yankeeland”).  Thomas Jefferson himself once complained that “It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, insulting our feelings, as well as exhausting our strength and substance.”  This was long before anyone began debating the issue of slavery.  The Yankees said Jefferson, “were marked with such a perversity of character” that America was bound to be forever divided between Yankees and non-Yankees.”

Clyde Wilson,  an admitted apologist of the south, says rather eloquently about the Yankee, that ” The Southern people warned others about the radical utopians of New England, and even went to war to get away from them, but to no avail. Now all Americans, not just Southerners, are subject to the whims of “those people” and their never ending mission to recreate, not only America, but the entire world in their bizarre, sanctimonious image.”

Today, you still find the morally superior “New Yankee” and their hangers on supporting elitist causes worldwide. Yes this is a broad brush, but it more fun than a much deeper and boring analysis, and I have so little room here. These two streams of traits are still at war with each other in America today.  The drive to stifle free speech and protect people from individual opinion has it s roots in the Puritan heritage of community control and self-righteousness. “The deplorables;” decent, hard working folks, “the silent majority” who go to work every morning to support themselves, just want the government and the New “Puritans” to leave them the hell alone; this American character descends in large part from Scots-Irish roots. Jungian’s might see this all as a battle for the soul of the collective unconsciousness of America.  Pay attention; It is!

Samuel Green writes in an American Antiquarian Society article, The Scotch-Irish in America, “For hundreds of years before the beginning of the seventeenth century the Scotch had been going forth continually over to Europe in search of adventure and gain. As a rule, says one who knows him well, ‘he turned his steps where fighting was to be had, and the pay for killing was reasonably good.’ The English wars had made his countryman poor, but they had also made them a nation of soldiers.” And so it was the Scots-Irish who were the most ardent supporters of the American Revolution, comprising 40 percent of the army. It was their descendants from the hills of the south, men who in the vast majority of cases owned no slaves, but felt, in the Jacksonian tradition, that a powerful central government telling the states what they could and could not do was evil, fought and died for the confederacy.

Jim Webb says in Born Fighting,  “I wanted this book to be right and I wanted it to be read—by those who are the product of this cultural migration, by those who have forgotten or ignored it, and those who wish to understand how populist-style American democracy was created and still thrives.” To state it a bit differently, in the context of recent American politics this is the story of the core culture around which Red State America has gathered and thrived. Its tendency toward egalitarian traditions, mistrust of central authority, frequent combativeness, and an odd indifference to wealth make the Scots-Irish a uniquely values-based culture, whose historical journey has been marked by fiercely held loyalties to leaders who will not betray their ideals…  Great lines from country music— an art form created and dominated by the Scots-Irish—are continuing testimony to the pervasiveness of these themes:  “I can be had, but I can’t be bought.. Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more…We’ll put a boot in their ass, that’s the American way…You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down….You can’t stomp us out and you can’t make us run, ‘cause we’re them old boys raised on shotguns… And so on. And, so, ever, on again…” (Think Johnny Cash/Tom Petty)

Well, I’ve traveled well beyond the subject at hand, which is the Migration of 1718. Over the coming weeks there will be more about the migration, the people who made the trek and what happened on the way. You’ll see how nasty, insulting and inhospitable the insular Puritans were to the newly arriving immigrants.   In many ways, the Scots-Irish, simply by living their lives, defined some of the most noble attributes of Americans.

If you’re interested is some thought provoking reading check out: Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, by Jim Webb and The Yankee Problem, An American Dilemma, Clyde N. Wilson