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Pittsfield NH News

February 13, 2013

The Suncook Valley Sun News Archive is Maintained by Modern Concepts. We are NOT affliated in any way with the Suncook Valley Sun Newspaper.


Those Celebrating Birthdays are: February 13, Lorrie Corwell, Jesse Giordano; February 14, Russ Courtemanche; February 15, Lenny Deane, Peggy Chagnon; February 16, Margaret Snedeker; February 17,  Jim Schroth, Sue Derosier, Craig Paggi;


February 18, Ray Lammott, Barbara Clark, Arthur Harndon, Patty Houle; February 19, Carl Anderson, Ronald Vien.


A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!



Ash Wednesday Service


The First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street, Pittsfield, observes the beginning of Lent with an Ash Wednesday Service, February 13, at 7 p.m. As part of the service, there will be a time of prayer and reflection and the imposition of ashes. The Rev. David Stasiak will lead the service with the addition of special music by the Chancel Choir and JuBellation Handbell Choir. Everyone is welcome to attend.



Reminder, the Infant Toddler Diaper Pantry will be open on Tuesday from 9-11 am at the Congregational Church, Pittsfield.  Please use the Chestnut Street entrance.



The Pittsfield Youth Baseball Association (PYBA) Board of Directors, in accordance with its Charter, hereby notifies the public that it is recommending various changes to the organization’s Charter and By-Laws which will be discussed and voted on at the March 19th membership meeting.  The meeting will be held at the Pittsfield Community Center at 6:30 PM.  The public is welcome to attend.



School Lunch Menus

February 18 - February 22, 2013




Hot Diggity Dog

Hot dog on a roll, baked tater tots, baked beans, mixed fruit



Wok for Life

Chicken Parmesan, pasta marinara, fresh green salad, pears



North End Fav

Ham and cheese sandwich, veggie sticks, fresh fruit, carnival cookie



Brunch for Lunch

French toast, baked ham, home fries, applesauce



Fresh Picks Pizza

French bread pizza, carrot coins, fresh fruit




Comfort Food

Hot dog, baked tater tots, baked beans, mixed fruit



Wok for Life

Orange chicken stir fry, steamed broccoli, sesame noodles, pineapple



North End Fav

Chicken Parmesan, pasta marinara, fresh green salad, pears



Brunch for Lunch

French toast, baked ham, home fries, applesauce



Hot New Item!

Fresh picks flatbreads, garden salad, fresh fruit



Winterfest Luncheon At The Senior Center 


The Winterfest luncheon will be held February 27th and will include a musical performance by Nick Turillo at 11:00 am. The Pittsfield Parks and Recreation committee sponsors the luncheon so that seniors can enjoy the meal for free.  At noon, Victory Workers 4H will serve the meal, including providing a delicious variety of homemade pies!  Please sign up for the Winterfest luncheon by February 19th. 


When you come to Winterfest ask about the group of players planning to have regular cribbage sessions at the Senior Center.  The group would like to know which day of the week to schedule their sessions.  So if you like cribbage, join in on the fun!


Following Winterfest, during March the Senior Center will be hosting two special events. On March 20th we will host a NH Humanities Council program NH’s One Room Schoolhouses presented by NH’s former Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Taylor.  Then on March 27th the American Automobile Association will conduct their four hour program for Mature Operators (of automobiles).  Participating in the Mature Operators program often earns you a reduction on your car insurance!  



Announcements For Josiah Carpenter Library


The Josiah Carpenter Library will close one-half hour earlier, at 6:30 pm, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.  We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.


The Josiah Carpenter Library will be closed for the holiday weekend, Saturday, February 16th through Monday, February 18th, in recognition of President’s Day. Normal business hours resume on Tuesday.


The Josiah Carpenter Library Board of Trustees will hold a Public Hearing at the February 19th monthly meeting, in accordance with RSA 202-A:4-ciii to put before the public the action to be taken on all unanticipated money from the state, federal or other governmental unit or any private source that has become available during the 2012 calendar year.


The Josiah Carpenter Library Board of Trustees meets at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise posted.  


There will be no Bucket List Writers this month.  The Bucket List Writers meet at the Josiah Carpenter Library, at 7:00 pm on the third Thursday of each month, unless otherwise posted.


Read-Meet-Talk Book Group will meet this month on the third Thursday, February 21, 2013. Read-Meet-Talk Book Club for the Grown-ups meets at the Josiah Carpenter Library,  at 7:00 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month, unless otherwise posted.



Scenic Theatre Busy With Rehearsals For Kids’ Theater Workshop Presentation Of Bugsy Malone, Jr.

Pittsfield Lena_&_Oscar.jpg

Show Business Star Lena Marelli, played by Meghan Smith, and her director Oscar Da Velt, played by A.J. Robidas, appear in the Pittsfield Players’ upcoming Kids’ Theater Workshop production of Bugsy Malone, Jr.


The Pittsfield Players’ Kids’ Theater Workshop will present Bugsy Malone, Jr. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 21, 22, and 23 at the Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot St., Pittsfield at 7:30 pm each evening. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids under age 13. You can reserve seats by calling 435-8852.


Bugsy Malone, Jr. brings audiences back to the days of flapper girls, gangsters, the Charleston, and speakeasies, along with some really odd weapons called splurgers, which shoot shaving cream, as well as the old standby, cream pies. The show has some great music and dancing. The kids are having a great time rehearsing this show and can’t wait to perform it for you. 


Bugsy Malone, Jr. is part of Music Theater Internationals’ Broadway Jr. series, which takes popular musicals from the Broadway stage and adapts them for young performers. This show was written by Alan Parker, who first produced the movie, Bugsy Malone, using young actors including Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. The music was composed by Paul Williams, an accomplished musician and performer in his own right who scored films such as the remake of A Star Is Born and The Muppet Movie, and who wrote many classic songs such as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Just and Old Fashioned Love Song,” and Barbra Streisand’s phenomenal hit “Evergreen.”


The Pittsfield Players’ Kids’ Theater Workshop is a program by kids, for kids, from ages 8 to 18, designed to introduce theater arts to both the participants and their peers who come to see the show. The show will also run two afternoons, on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 21 and 22, for local schools and home school groups. Special reservations are required for those shows by calling 736-9563. 



Providing For Pittsfield’s Needy: The Vendue System

And The Poor Farm - Part 1

Pittsfield Loudon_Road,_Town_Farm_(Poor_House).jpg

Pittsfield has provided for its needy and poor citizens from the earliest of times. Neighbors helped neighbors and churches regularly helped the less fortunate. Town government used a system known as vendue to help parentless children, the ill, old, and infirm without means to support themselves. These individuals were placed in the care of local residents after a bidding process, similar to an auction, took place. The individual who bid the lowest was paid that amount by the town to care for the unfortunate person for a specific period of time. Often, bidders were not altruistically motivated.  Rather, they bid to acquire a good laborer for their farm, business or home, or simply to acquire the money that the town would pay them, hoping to make a profit. Thus, there were low bids for good workers but relatively high ones for the elderly or infirm.


The Case Of The Widow Kesiah Sargent

One of the earliest examples involving an indigent person was the widow Kesiah Sargent. In 1785, probably after the death or desertion of her husband, she was apparently destitute.  On July 2 the following notice of vendue was posted in Pittsfield: 


"To be Set up at Publick vandue at the dweling house of John Cram, Esqu., inholder of Pittsfield, at three of the clock in the afternoon of Said Day, the widow Kesiah Sargent and one child which have thrown themselves upon the town of Pittsfield and there to go one cow and also a Bed and some Bedding towards their Support and the Lowest Bidder is Deemed the purchaser of Said persons and is to Bid off for two months. Whoever Bids off Said woman and child and Refuses to keep Them Shall Pay the cost of vendue and Shall be Set up again by us.”


As indicated, the length of the vendue was to be two months. Who the successful bidder was is not recorded.


On September 8 of that year similar articles of vendue were posted once again.  This time the vendue period was for three months. John Cram was the successful low bidder for Mrs. Sargent.  He bid three pounds, six shillings plus the cost of advertising. What happened to the child and cow is not reported.


In December a vendue for the woman, child and cow was once again held.  What happened to Mrs. Sargent is not recorded but it is reported that the child was bid off to Simon Green for three months for one pound, nine shillings, with the town providing clothes for the child. Josiah White purchased the cow for two pounds, nineteen shillings.

The Case Of Warren Chase


Not only were the poor, infirm and indigent subjected to this practice, but orphaned children were as well.  One notable case involved Warren Chase, born on January 5, 1813 to the unmarried Susanna Durgin. For her actions, having given birth out of wedlock, she was much maligned by the community, thrown out of the church and had a very difficult time providing for herself and her son.  Warren’s father, Simon Chase, who was married to Huldah Peaslee, was killed at Plattsburgh during the War of 1812, a little over a year and one-half after Warren’s birth.


At a young age, Warren was sent to live with a Quaker family on Catamount Mountain. His mother died when he was about five years old and the Selectmen, as Overseers of the Poor, became responsible for him. David Fogg, who had tried to acquire the boy before his mother passed away, was the successful bidder at the vendue. The bond required that Mr. Fogg care for the boy until he was 21 years old. It also required that he see to the boy’s schooling during the winters. Young Warren was to be provided with two suits and $100 dollars when he reached the age of majority, which was 21.


According to Mr. Chase, his time with the David Fogg family was a horrendous experience.  Even Mr. Fogg’s children were taught to manifest superiority over him.  There was no sympathy or love, nothing but hard work and deprivation.  He was beaten, suffered frost bite and the effects of extreme exposure.  There was no time for school or play.  In Warren’s words, “There was no ‘under-ground railroad’ to take him to freedom; and no freedom for him to be taken into, except in the far-distant, and to him mystic, number twenty-one.”


At about age 10, Warren moved with the Fogg Family to the shores of the Lamprey River in the vicinity of Durham. The harsh treatment continued. At the age of 14, penniless, with no education and unable to read or write he ran away to his grandmother’s house on Catamount Mountain in Pittsfield. There he was warmed and fed. Women neighbors were called in to help and they decided to take the boy to the selectmen and “plea for his release from bondage.” They were aware of the cruel treatment by David Fogg and that Warren had not been educated as required by the bond. They also claimed that it was unlikely that Mr. Fogg could provide the two suits of clothes and $100 when Warren turned 21. The Selectmen agreed and protected Warren from Fogg when he came to claim him.


Nathaniel Chase, of the Berry Pond Area, cared for the young man temporarily. Warren was treated with kindness. After a few months he moved into the former home of Nathaniel’s wife on Jenness Hill where her two bachelor brothers cared for him. He was sent to school during the winters and gradually became relatively educated. After two years he was moved to the home of the well-known Norris Family where he remained until his 21st birthday. He was then given his freedom, the two suits of clothes and $100 as required by the bond.


Parenthetically it might be added that Mr. Chase went on to do great things. After an unbelievable struggle to lift himself out of abject poverty, he became very prominent in the history of Wisconsin. He helped work on statehood, was one of the writers of its constitution, a founder of the Republication Party, and a friend of Abraham Lincoln. He supported abolition before the Civil War as well as women’s rights, including the rights to education, suffrage and holding property.


The End Of The Vendue System

The practice of vendue as a means of providing for the poor continued for decades after the cases noted above. Some likened the system to only one step above slavery. There were many children like Warren Chase who were treated terribly, and were scarcely provided with clothes and food for their sustenance. Often they worked from morning until night, usually six and one-half days a week.


As time wore on, many people came to believe the “bidding off” of poor, destitute and needy persons as well as orphaned children was inhumane, much as slavery was inhumane. As a result, in 1834 the town voted to allow the selectmen to make arrangements for the care of needy individuals rather than vendue them.


Perhaps the new approach did not work out satisfactorily because the next year the town voted to return to the vendue system. Those who despised it, however, would not rest and in 1836 the town voted to buy and support a town farm for the poor.



Snowshoe Hike


All are invited to join the Women’s Fellowship of the Congregational Church of North Barnstead for a midwinter Snowshoe Hike on Saturday, February 16, beginning at 10 am (snow date: February 17 at 12:00).  We will meet at the Barraford home at 1080 North Barnstead Road (go to the very end of the road) and will hike along the Blue Job Mountain Road towards Strafford for 60-90 minutes, ending back at the Barrafords’ for a potluck lunch (soup, drinks, desserts provided). 


RSVP to Cate 776-5522 or [email protected]. In the event that the ground is bare, we will enjoy a winter hike on foot!





To the citizens of Pittsfield:

My name is Bea Douglas and I am asking for your support as a candidate for the Pittsfield School Board.


I was born and raised in Pittsfield and other than a few years that I spent living in the Southwest and in area communities, I have spent most of my life here with my family.


This is my home, where I was raised, went to school, where one of my children and grandchildren live, this is “my hometown.” I reside here with my husband Al Douglas and our 3 dogs.


I am a teacher at Chichester Central School, and I have a Master’s degree in Education, Curriculum Development. 


Why am I running? I am running because I want to see the children of Pittsfield receive the best possible education within the confines of a reasonable budget that does not put undue burden upon the taxpayer.


Our school administration, present board and community members have been working diligently to provide an education for the students of Pittsfield that will prepare them for the fast and ever changing technological world. I believe I have the experience, education, and understanding of our community to help our schools continue to move forward.


I ask for your support on Election Day.

Bea Douglas




Calvin Wayne Case

10-2-1938 To 2-4-2013


Cdr. Calvin Wayne Case USN retired, son of Calvin and Mildred Case also of Haverhill, died in his home after a long illness.


Born in Haverhill, MA, Wayne attended Haverhill schools and graduated High School in 1956. He Graduated from Columbia University on an NROTC scholarship in 1960.  Wayne then served in the Navy for 22 years and retired in August of 1982.


Upon retiring, Wayne and his wife Susan moved to Pittsfield, NH to be closer to their aging parents. They became active members of the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield where they made many good friends.


Wayne worked at several places after retiring from the Navy including the Federal Building in Concord, Northeast Electronics, Citizens Bank, D&R Products, and Poirier Tools.


Wayne enjoyed his horse, his dog “Cuppie,” sailing, camping, and most of all his children and his grandchildren who delighted in riding in the trailer Wayne pulled behind his lawn mower.


Wayne leaves behind his sister, Helen Chase of Haverhill MA and her daughter and son-in-law Heidi and Kevin Dean of Kensington NH; his nephew Tim Jackson; his brother and sister-in-law, Ted and Maureen Case;  their daughter, Cailene of Walpole MA; his nephew and wife, Michael and Rene Case and their children, Devon and Jillian of Kingston MA; his nephew and wife, Brian and Graceann Case of Plymouth MA; his wife of 53 years, Susan (Wahtera) and their children; daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Todd Thauer, and their children, Andrew, Deborah, Hannah, Miriam and Zechariah of Scarborough ME; daughter Karin and her daughters, Ginger and Chelsea of Wasilla AK; and son and daughter-in-law, John and Charlene Case of Pittsfield NH; John’s daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Stephen Malcolm and their new son Wyatt, of Tilton NH; John’s daughter and son-in-law, Courtney and Marcus Morrison and their new son Mason, of Texas; and John’s son Samuel Case, of Pittsfield NH.


Memorial Services will be held at the First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street, Pittsfield, NH 03263 at 11 am on Saturday, February 16th, 2013.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pittsfield Food Pantry, 85 Main Street, Pittsfield, NH 03263 or the Salvation Army at 58 Clinton Street, Concord, NH 03301.



Ruth M. Purtell


Ruth M. Purtell, 89, formerly of the Pittsfield and Barnstead area, died Feb 5th at the Merrimack County Home, where she had resided for the past several years. 


She was born in Laconia, the daughter of Walter and Glenna (Adair) Purtell.  She retired after working for many years at the Globe Manufacturing Co. in Pittsfield. She was the widow of Arnold J. Purtell and is survived by 2 sons, Walter B. Purtell and Michael J. Purtell  both of Barnstead and a daughter Glenna K. Riel of Northwood; 7 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren and a niece Kathy Locke.


An urn interment will be held in the spring at the NH Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Merrimack County Nursing Home, 325 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH 03303


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