Booklet tells of New Hampshire life in the 1930s
New Hampshire’s economy is pretty much dependent on tourism, and has been since around World War I, when the summer hotels went into decline and people began to get their own automobiles and could go where they wanted.
Around 1930, the state Planning and Development Commission began publishing a little monthly booklet called "The New Hampshire Troubadour." It was a good paper publication with nice pictures, essays, places to go and news items. The back cover was always a poem. They probably stopped with World War II.
The Lyndeborough Historical Society has most of those published during the 1930s thanks to the generosity of Alice Kimball, who was the founder of the Village Improvement Society in 1914. She was a summer resident for many years and a strong supporter of the library.
They can be viewed at the Tarbell Library, but not borrowed. I stopped and looked through them recently. I was actually looking for something else, which I, of course, did not find.
The booklets, printed in black and white, measure about 4 by 6 inches. The covers are mostly scenic – lots of mountains and lakes. My favorite is of a young man collecting maple sap, pouring it from the collection buckets on the trees into his carrying cans.
That issue, March 1936, also has a picture of the ski hut on Temple Mountain; recollections by Fred Partridge, of New Boston, "The Country vs. The City," describing how he rescued an old farm over a period of years; and an essay on the joys of trout fishing. Other pictures include a dog team from Chinook Kennels, a fisherman on Great Bay and a "snow train" in Crawford Notch.
The final poem is called "The Song of the Ski."
The April 1935 booklet includes a view of Wilton taken from the middle of Burns Hill, looking across what was the mill pond by the Whiting Box Shop at the Congregational Church. There is a nice picket fence along the street.
Other pictures are from Intervale, Marlboro and Mount Cardigan. Essays include "The Art of Angling" and "The Music of Spring" (various bird songs).
The February 1933 issue includes a picture of skiers on Wilton’s Carnival Hill and skiing in Franconia.
That issue includes this note concerning an English Council for Preservation of Rural England. In a report for 1930 this was proposed as a new clause to the church litany:
"From all destroyers of natural beauty in this parish and everywhere; from all polluters of earth, air, and water; from all makers of visible abominations; from jerry builders, disfiguring advertisers, road hogs, spreaders of litter; from the villainies of the rapacious and the incompetence of the stupid; from the carelessness of individuals and the somnolence of Local Authorities; from all the foul smells, noises and sights – good Lord deliver us!"
Those issues are still here and still pointed out by state and local agencies.
In 2010 and 2011, The Findlay Foundation in Milford resurrected "The Troubadour," publishing pictures, history notes, essays and poetry. A little larger than the original, it was in full and attractive. It did not survive.
Keep up with the past with Another Perspective, which runs monthly in The Telegraph. Jessie Salisbury can be reached at 654-9704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.