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My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Old Mammy Redd, an Accused Witch, Recently Pardoned


The poem below, was found in my ancestor's manuscript located in the archives at the New England Historic Genealogical Society's Library. My photographed image came out well, and since it meant something to my ancestor, I've decided to use it for Bill West's Fifth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge! as described on his blog, West in New England.

At first, I thought the author, Julian S. Cutler might have been related to the writer or even to me, since I have a long lineage of Cutlers. However, I find no connection.

Old Mammy Redd is based on a true but very sad story about Wilmot Redd. She was convicted of Witchcraft in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and was hung. I found some links explaining more about this event. They are listed below.

OLD MAMMY REDD.
[For the Transcript.]

In Salem's court-house the old crone stands,
With her wrinkled cheeks and her bony hands,
And pleads for her life on a summer's day,
The life which the maidens had sworn away.

No kind neighbor or friend is there
To urge the granting of her wild prayer,
And crushed she listens the sentence fall--
"Death on the gallows for witches all!"

Never again will her old eyes see
The fisher boats, when the winds are free,
Sail out of the harbor of Marblehead,
Or home when the evening skies are red.

No more will she watch the while gulls fly
With snowy wings; 'gainst the inky sky,
When in from sea, through the twilight gray,
The storm comes sweeping across the bay.

No more will she hear when the shadows fall
The sunset gun from Fort Sewall's wall;
Nor list at midnight the rythmic roar
Of flood-tides creeping along the shore.

Short are the days of Mammy Redd,
Old witch woman of Marblehead;
Vain her prayers; 'neath the autumn sky,
Up Gallows Hill she is led to die.

"Witch," her accusers called her there;
Scoffed at her tears and her broken prayer;
Naught was heard but the cruel cry--
"Hang her--so let the old witch die!"

So she perished on Gallows Hill,
And the days and the years went by, until,
They said, in the streets of Marblehead,
"No witch, but a martyr was Mammy Redd."

And I've been told, when the midnight tide
Creeps in to the short where the old crone died,
If you listen, borne on the midnight air,
Her voice comes wafted in wailing prayer.

JULIAN S. CUTLER.

Marblehead, Feb. 19, 1889.


Below are photos of Wilmot "Mammy" Redd's memorial in the Witchcraft Memorial, Charter Street Burying Ground, also known as The Burying Point, Salem, Massachusetts
Wilmot Redd
Hanged
Sept. 22, 1692



Note: Other good websites for additional information about Mammy Redd.

Find A Grave  "On October 31, 2001 Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift signed a bill pardoning Wilmot Redd along with four other victims of the witch trials."



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Seeing Fall Reds in Lowell, Massachusetts












There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Gotta Love the Name of Swamp Locks

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)

Gotta Love the Name of Swamp Locks 

Swamp Locks in October 2014.

Swamp Locks in 1975* (above).

The photo above was taken this morning in the fog (Oct. 29, 2014). The canals are emptied several times during the year, and I was glad to get this picture.

Behind the Locks is the American History Textile Museum and Lowell Sun building.
Tourists arriving back from a trip to the Francis Gate, along the man-made Pawtucket Canal. The tour is given by the National Park Service from spring to fall. Per Dick Howe, "The canal was one and one-half miles long and used four locks to accommodate the 32 foot difference in elevation between the upper Merrimack and the Concord. One of the four locks was eventually deconstructed leaving the three we have today." Please enjoy the rest of his article about the history of this canal by reading it at http://www.richardhowe.com/2011/10/13/the-pawtucket-canal/

This tour was taken during the last weekend for the year, and it was very cold. They began in rain, and ended in sun. They then boarded a waiting trolley for a short ride back to the Visitors' Center.

* PAWTUCKET CANAL: SWAMP LOCKS, TAKEN WHILE CANAL SYSTEM DRAINED: W. Richard Ansteth, Photographer 1975 - Lowell, Middlesex County, MA

Friday, October 24, 2014

War Memorials in Centralville, Lowell, Massachusetts

GREATER LOVE NO MAN HATH
WWI
THAN TO GIVE HIS LIFE.
IN MEMORY OF THE CENTRALVILLE BOYS
WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.

LIEUT. PAUL T. KEARNEY
LIEUT. GEORGE F. STEWART
SERGT. FRANK J. LYONS
SERGT. ROY L. HUMPHREYS
CORP. GERALD T. SILK
CORP. BERNARD L. BOISVERT
FIREMAN 1ST CLASS GEORGE F.H. ROGERS
PRIV. ERNEST SMITH
PRIV. BURNO SILK
PRIV. RALPH G. HURD
PRIV. ADELARD JULIEN
PRIV. CHARLES A. WEBSTER
PRIV. JOSEPH MAILLE
PRIV. FRANK URBANEK
PRIV. CHARLES K. BUK
PRIV. LAWRENCE MOCZYROG
PRIV. EDWARD J. DONOVAN
PRIV. PETER R. MOULTON
The The Frank J. Lyon's Memorial Park in Centralville is at the foot of the John E. Cox Memorial aka Bridge Street Bridge.




The Centralville Memorial Park is at the foot of the Joseph R. Ouellette Bridge aka Aiken Street Bridge.

Across the street is another Memorial Park. I couldn't determine if the names were those of just veterans nor could I tell if they were for just Centralville or all of Lowell.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- We Love Our Smokestacks and Hate it When They Come Down

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)

We Love Our Smokestacks and Hate it When They Come Down.
 (The above photo is not that of the one damaged by lightning.)
On Saturday late afternoon, September 6th the weather was pretty wild in Lowell. Another tornado warning for our area had been posted and all our attention was on the weather reports. Soon we had a major Thunder and Lightning storm, but felt relieved when the tornado warning was lifted. Soon after, we heard a huge lightning strike, it sounded like no other. It wasn't until a few hours later that we learned it had hit the Hood smokestack about 6 p. m.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt when the strike put a 40-foot gash in the old beloved 100-foot smokestack. For quite a few days, residents wondered if it could be saved or if it had to be taken down. From the photos below, you can see the Thorndike Factory Outlets is a very old and large complex, which was recently purchased in January by Sal Lupoli of Sal's Pizza fame. He, "plans to renovate the building into apartments and commercial space," per Lowell's The Sun newspaper, September 7, 2014.

For five days, I went to see the process of taking it down. Our first visit was early Sunday morning.
Photos taken Sunday morning (above and below). The unusual building on the left used to be the jail*, then Keith Academy, and now has condos.

It took several days to make a decision to remove it and to get the equipment up and running. Fortunately, there is a large park across the street for viewers to watch and take photos.







Another visit, yes, it's all down.
Last visit, I saw this metal liner, and assumed it was inside the smokestack.
Rear view of the Hood Company complex, and across from the train station.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Jack Kerouac, Life and Times, Birth and Death

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)

Jack Kerouac  --  Life and Times, Birth and Death


Jack Kerouac
Birthplace
b. 1922
Lowell Historic Board

Jack Kerouac Memorial in Lowell, Massachusetts
Wikipedia has a huge write-up about Jack, who was born in Lowell 92 years ago, and is buried in Lowell (see below). 
In the spring, I hope to take better photos, before the trees are full.




Mill Girls and Immigrants Exhibit at the Visitor's Center (above) and the exhibit of personal belongs at the Boott Mill Boarding House (below).


The anniversary of his death is in a week, and this week there will be many tourists coming to Lowell, some making their annual pilgrimage to the city in celebration of Jack's life.

The photos below were taken the day after the new monument was installed on Sept. 30th, and I took these the following day. 
"The Road is Life"
May 22, 1922     PFC Sebastian Sampas    March 2, 1944
Massachusetts 51 Station Hospital, World War II

1910      Vee Kay Sampas Eisentraug     1975
1909     Harold C. Eisentraut     1977
1888     George K. Sampas     1961
1893     Maria C. Sampas     1981
March 12, 1922     John Louis Kerouac     October 21, 1969
November 11, 1918     Stella Sampas Kerouac     February 10, 1990   
 Directions to Jack's marker at Edson Cemetery
Lowell, Massachusetts


http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=91

Kerouac Writes First Novel on March 23, 1948 (as described by Mass Moments articleFirst paragraph, "Lowell native Jack Kerouac happily noted in his diary that he had written 2500 words. If he could keep up this pace, he would finish his first novel in a matter of weeks. The highly autobiographical The Town and the City was published in 1950, the same year he began writing On the Road, the novel that earned him the title "Father of the Beat Generation." By the time he died at the age of 47 Jack Kerouac had published 14 books. On the Road is Kerouac's most-read work today; it is widely considered one of the most important and influential American novels of the twentieth century, and Jack Kerouac is celebrated as one of Lowell's favorite sons." Please read the rest of the article for more information.