Those Celebrating Birthdays are: February 28, Irving Gadoury;
February 29, Andrew Cressey; March 1, Nicholas Tuttle, Erin Dame,
Chris Briggs; March 3, Casandra Lank; March 4, Michael Bender; March
5, Keriann Lank.
A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!
Celebrating Anniversaries are: February 27, Herb and Ann Emerson;
March 4, John and Judith Dunne.
Pittsfield Youth Sports would like to announce softball and baseball
signups for girls and boys aged 4-18. Signups will be held in the
Pittsfield Community Center on Tuesday, March 5 (5:30 p.m. – 8:00
p.m.), Saturday, March 9 (9:00 am – 2:00 p.m.), and Thursday, March
14 (5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.). If your child is new to the program,
please bring a copy of his/her birth certificate to signups. If you
have questions, please contact Glenn Amnott at 435-7905.
Providing For Pittsfield’s Needy:
The Vendue System And The Poor Farm - Part III
Income From The Farm
The Town Farm had income from a variety of sources. A major income
producer was “hiring out” residents to work on private farms.
Considerable income was also generated from the sale of crops:
barley, corn, hay, flax, beans, pumpkins, rye, onions and cider (40
gallons was sold to Charles Hillsgrove in 1861).
Similarly, a great deal of income was produced by the sale of
livestock: calves, pigs, heifers, steers, oxen, chickens, and
turkeys. Products derived from livestock were sold as well: horse
hair, calfskin, manure, eggs, lard, butter, cheese, pork, and bacon.
There was also income produced from the sale of lumber and in one
Other Benefits Of The Farm
It is clear that the Town benefited from the labors of the residents
of the Farm in ways other than simply raising crops and animals. At
times residents were put to work doing special things to help the
community. Beginning in 1844, for example, a man on the Farm was
ordered to keep the town hall clean for the ensuing year. Two years
later the voters instructed the selectmen to have six ladders made
on the Farm to be used in fire fighting.
Town Farm Overseers
The names of early overseers of the Town Farm are not known. One of
the earliest may have been Solomon Watson, likely the son of one of
Pittsfield’s early settlers, Daniel Watson. In the 1841 Pittsfield
Town warrant, he sought pay for two years services. Inexplicably,
however, the article was dismissed and apparently he was not paid.
At some point in time Jonathan Cram, a descendant of the town
founder, became Overseer of the Farm. How long he served is not
known. Lewis Joy replaced him in 1858. Mr. Joy was the final
Overseer of the Farm and served for the next eight years until it
was sold. He was born in Pittsfield in 1807, the son of Richard and
Sally (Nobel) Joy. Presumably he was educated in local schools. He
married Ann Parshley of Strafford and had nine children. Mr. Joy
passed away at the age of 91 in 1898 and is buried in Floral Park
Initially he was paid $180 per year, but in 1860 his salary was
increased to $200. It remained at this level until the Farm closed
Deaths On The Farm
It is clear that many individuals passed away while residing on the
Farm, which is to be expected as many of the residents were elderly
citizens. The known deaths include: Bertha Mervels, September 12,
1850, Jon Eaton, December 13, 1850, the wife of Sam Bassett, August
4, 1853, Bildad Jones, December 13, 1853, the child of Abraham
Sanborn, June 17, 1854, Josiah Clough, May, 1856, Mirriam Clough,
about March 4, 1859, Annar Bassett, January 25, 1862, and Rhoda
Ring, about July 28, 1863.
Evidence of seven other deaths is found in records of Lewis Joy. He
reports paying an undertaker 50 cents for use of his hearse on
January 1, 1860 and June 10, 1860 (William Knowlton was paid $6.00
for digging a grave the same day) and $4.00 for coffins on December
5, 1860 and January 8, 1862. Moses Dennett was paid $1.50 for
digging a grave on May 15, 1861. Elders Mooney and Harvey were paid
$1.00 for funeral services on the Farm on November 29, 1864 and
February 16, 1865 respectively.
Where these people were buried has not been learned. All attempts to
locate a cemetery on the Farm by Pittsfield Historian E. Harold
Young and the present writer have failed. Nor is there a record of
any of these people being buried in any known Pittsfield cemetery.
The End Of The Town Farm
During the Civil War there was a movement in the county to purchase
a farm that would care for the needy within its geographic area. At
the March 1863 Town Meeting, Pittsfield’s representatives to the
legislature were admonished not to support the idea. However, on
April 15, 1865 the county purchased the John Patrick Farm in
Boscawen. That brought the local Town Farm to an end.
On November 14, 1865 a special town meeting was held and it was
voted to sell the Farm and all the personal property in it. Abram
French, 2nd and Benjamin Emerson were chosen as agents to handle the
A little over a year later, the Farm was sold to John A. Walker for
$2,500. Mr. Walker was a very distinguished member of the
Pittsfield community having served as a selectman on numerous
occasions and a representative to the legislature in 1872. He and
his wife Emma lived on the farm until 1889 when they sold it to
Calvin Joy for $2,400. Mr. Joy passed away in 1905 and bequeathed
the farm to his brother Walter E. Joy.
Unfortunately, Mr. Joy did not have use of the buildings for very
long. At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 1907 they burned to the
ground. Foul play was suspected. As the local newspaper reported,
“[T]he fire caught in the woodshed and is thought to be of
incendiary origin as there had not been a light taken into the shed
for a long time.”
The son of J.D. Perkins, who occupied the Farm with his family,
discovered the blaze. By that time it was raging and the building’s
occupants barely escaped with their lives. A considerable number of
the livestock in the barn were killed. Fortunately, most were out to
pasture and thus remained unharmed. The loss was complete. Mr. Joy
did not have insurance on the buildings and the Perkins Family did
not have insurance on their personal property.
After the fire, Mr. Joy retained the land and when he passed away in
1928 it was valued at $700. Thereafter, the property passed to
Adolphus Shonyo (Chagnon), then to Dennis Chagnon, and finally to
Robert and Paulette Chagnon, who own the property today.
Dear Pittsfield Voters:
There are 3 people running for a single planning board position. One
has an article on the ballet that proposes to completely get rid of
zoning in Pittsfield. Yet, he wants you to elect him to the Planning
Board. Not only that, but he flagrantly and publicly states
(repeatedly) how he does not abide by the zoning ordinance and never
will. Please send him a message by, not only voting down his article
to repeal zoning, but by not voting him onto the Planning Board.
The second person suddenly is interested in getting elected to the
Planning Board, but showed no interest in attending Planning Board
meetings to get first hand knowledge of how the Planning Board
functions. Just reading minutes of meetings does not provide
experience or knowledge of how to research law or information that
is vital to the decision process.
The only sensible choice is to re-elect Jim Pritchard! He has a
proven record of conscientious decision making, in depth research
into state land use regulations, and case law to support his
positions and concerns. Jim continues to strive to ensure that the
Planning Board is acting in the best interests of Pittsfield and
within the law. Finally, as Planning Board secretary, he has saved
thousands of dollars in cost to Pittsfield taxpayers since no one
was needed to be hired to perform these duties.
I strongly urge you to re-elect Jim Pritchard to the Planning Board
on March 12th.
Dear Pittsfield Voters:
I ask that you vote for Jim Pritchard to continue his excellent work
on the Planning Board. I have been going to Planning Board (PB)
meetings for quite some time now. There is no one who is more
prepared or more knowledgeable of local and state laws than Jim. I
have watched as other PB members have embraced the type of due
diligence for which Jim has always set the standard. Most
importantly, I have watched the PB starting to work as a team and
having intelligent conversations on substantial issues vs. the petty
squabbles of the past, for which as a citizen, I am very grateful.
Please take the time to vote for Jim on election day.
Letter To The Editor
Why do we work to repeal zoning in Pittsfield? We are exercising our
rights in hopes of gaining more.
Dan Schroth Piermarocchi
School Lunch Menus
March 4 - March 8, 2013
Happy Birthday, Baby!
Turkey and bacon melt, corn, stone soup, Dr. Seuss’s birthday cake
Hot dog on a bun, baked beans, carrots, pears
Mac and cheese and truffletta trees (broccoli), cucumber slices,
Roast beast (turkey), who hash (sweet and white roasted potatoes),
dinner roll, mixed fruit
Fresh Picks Pizza
Cheese pizza or chef’s topping, garden salad, fresh fruit
Turkey, tomato and bacon melt, garden salad, tomato soup, spiced
Go Red Sox! (vs. Puerto Rico today)
Texas chili, cornbread, carrots, pears
Get Your Calcium Here!
Mac and cheese, dinner roll, steamed broccoli, apples
Roast turkey, sweet and white roasted potatoes, dinner roll, mixed
General Tso’s chicken, Asian vegetables, sesame noodles, pineapple
Vote “No” On Repealing The Zoning Ordinance
Here we go again discussing the merits of the Zoning and Planning
Boards. At a recent Planning Board meeting, Dan Schroth stated we do
not need a Zoning Ordinance. We did not have one 200 years ago and
we do not need one now.
I disagree with this opinion. We now have a more densely populated
town. No longer can one resident do as they please without
affecting, or infringing upon, a neighbor’s property, or rights. We
need a zoning ordinance!
Homeowners purchase a home with the expectation that their
neighborhood will remain a residential area, not populated with
commercial development next door. There are areas of town for
commerce/industry, and areas for homes. The zoning ordinance
protects the homeowners and brings order to the community. Please
vote “No” on repealing the Zoning Ordinance.
Yes On Article 3
I support Ballot Article 3, the citizen petition to add “town or
state maintained roads” as a requirement for subdivision
development. Pittsfield’s Master Plan states: “The town has 9.5
miles of Class VI roads with the potential of a large number of lots
that could be developed. Significant road costs and liability could
exist for the town unless a plan for this land use is developed.” A
Yes vote is the first step in taking action on this plan.
Currently, the Planning Board cannot distinguish between a minor
subdivision (3 or less lots with restrictions), or a major
subdivision with many lots, or the complexity of a cluster
subdivision proposed on a Class VI road. The risk to the town is
obviously different for each.
The owners of Class VI road property state that the frontage
definition is unfair. In fact, NH State Law has already taken away
the right to subdivide on Class VI roads! State websites have much
information on Class VI development and none of them recommend
permitting subdivision on Class VI roads. A review of the
surrounding towns shows that they all have a “town or state
maintained road” requirement. Why don’t we?
A yes vote on Article 3 would not eliminate a landowner’s
possibility of Class VI subdivision. It would instead forward the
plan to the Zoning Board. They would, in turn, scrutinize the
proposal based on a different list of requirements. What about the
claims that Class VI property owners cannot subdivide to provide
lots for their children? If their request is supportable, the Zoning
Board can grant a variance.
Please carefully review Ballot Article 3 before you vote. I hope
you will agree that a Yes vote is in the town’s best interest.
God Bless Our Country,
Another 5th Generation arrives on Valentine’s Day for Alvah
Robinson. Born on 2/14/13 at 4:19 am, weighing 7 lbs. and 20 1/2 in.
long is Jaxson John Souza, son of Ryan Souza and Felicia Robinson of
Tiverton, RI; grandson to John and Lisa (Kimball) Souza of
Portsmouth, RI; great grandson to George Kimball of Leitchfield, KY;
and Fred and Mary (Robinson) Briggs of Cincinnatus, NY; GREAT GREAT
Grandson to Alvah Robinson of Pittsfield, NH.
Retirement Party For Ruth Strickhart At Josiah Carpenter Library
The community of Pittsfield at large, and the patrons of Josiah
Carpenter Library in particular, are invited to honor, Ruth
Strickhart, at her Retirement Party, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on
Thursday, March 7th. Ms. Strickhart has retired after eight years of
service as Volunteer Library Aide at Josiah Carpenter Library. Ruth
has also been a generous benefactor of the library, donating books,
monies and equipment, including two barcode scanners used at the
circulation desks. Affectionately known on a first-name basis by
patrons and staff, Ruth turned 93 on March 5th and felt she needed
to slow down just a little in the afternoons.
In addition to volunteering two or three afternoons weekly at the
library, Ruth has also volunteered three mornings weekly for a
number of years elsewhere in town. She completes three hours of
volunteer data entry at the Pittsfield Historical Society one
morning and three hours of volunteer work with multiple supervisory
responsibilities at the local food pantry, two mornings each week.
Ruth was selected in May 2011, to receive the Joseph D. Vaughan
Award. This award is presented annually to recipients from ten
counties, by the State Committee on Aging and EngAGING NH, for
outstanding leadership or achievement as a volunteer on behalf of
older citizens in New Hampshire.
The Trustees, Staff and Patrons of the Josiah Carpenter Library have
come to cherish Ruth, and will certainly miss her quick smile and
witty banter. Ruth has been an invaluable resource as she assisted
staff and helped patrons over the years. Please drop into the
library between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, on Thursday, March 7th, and join
us in wishing her a very fond farewell and a happy retirement.
Submitted By Terrie Azotea
We have some interesting stuff coming up at TOPS. We are running a
contest for the upcoming weeks and that hopefully will give us a
kick-off toward the spring months on the way. I, for one, cannot
wait for spring, to see the buds coming on the trees and hear the
water flowing in the streams when I walk in the morning. That is the
best time to get out and enjoy a walk and get it done for the day.
Before you know it we will be swatting black flies and complaining
about them and mowing our lawns.
Kudos to the best loser and those who were second. Some of our
members went to the Inspiration Workshop and we talked about our up
coming SRD that will be held up north.
If anyone is interested in joining us, we meet on Tuesday nights at
the St. Stephen’s Church on Main Street in Pittsfield at 5:30 for
weigh in and at 6:30 for our meeting. Any questions please call
Laurel Tiede at 269-8721 or Pat Smith at 435-5333. They would love
to answer any questions for you.
“Life is full of surprises... Why should today be any different?”
Hope everyone has a good week and see you all lighter next week!