Archive for October, 2014

Help us identify these school children

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

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Email any information you can about these people to Bev Lasure,

18, 19,  are  Raymie Durphy and Bill Flanagan, but which is which?

3. Carroll Rumrill

4. Carl Rumrill

21. Ildolyn Flower

Dr. Friend Sturtevant (1767-1830)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Extracted from the Spring 2006 Hartland Historical Society Newsletter.

Dr. Friend Sturtevant was the 13th of Dr. Josiah Sturtevant’s children. Dr. Josiah was a Tory and died as a result of his treatment at the hands of Boston patriots. Dr. Friend was studying medicine with his half-brother, Dr. Thomas Sturtevant of Middleboro , when his mother and some of his sisters and at least one of his younger brothers went to Vermont. In 1793 he married at Middleboro, Mass. , Sarah Porter. After a brief experience of frontier life at Holland Patent, near Rome, N.Y. they settled in Pittsfield, Mass. by the spring of 1795. Ten years later, Dr. Friend moved his family to Woodstock and in 1807 to Hartland where he practiced until his death at age 63. During the war of 1812 Dr. Friend served for a time with the U.S.Army as a surgeon, being stationed at Plattsburg, N.Y. , but was taken sick and returned before the war finished.

The Sturtevant family first lived in Hartland Four Corners, occupying the house that is now the Skunk Hollow Tavern, which was then ornamented with a gambrel roof. The Dr. was the only educated physician in town for many years. (I question this as Dr. John Harding preceded Dr. Sturtevant but perhaps Dr. Harding did not have the same level of education . C.Y.M. ) He had an extensive practice ,and was as successful as the average of country practitioners. Let us now imagine how Hartland Four Corners looked when the young family came to live there..There were no buildings except the tavern which stood on the southeast corner in the village, the home that they occupied, and one other occupied by Captain Farwell who owned and ran a sawmill on the brook nearby; these with the schoolhouse made up the town. Later on the family moved to Three Corners and lived in the house that would later become the Congregational parsonage ( now Jane McClelland’s ). Here the good Dr. tied his horse and dispensed pills and plasters in the good old way, and, proving a good Samaritan to many a troubled household. No matter who called, poor or rich the Doctor must go and let the winter winds blow , he and his faithful horse must brave the tempest. The Doctor was a jovial, free-hearted , merry man, exceedingly fond of those things which go to make the happy part of the world - liked his joke and never lost a good opportunity.

Thus we see his life ran through times of war and times of peace, caring for his patients in the midst of a wilderness peopled with savages, where he got lost frequently and had to remain in the woods all night - binding up the wounds of those gallant fellows who fought to sustain the honor of the republic and plying his profession in a peaceful community where savage Indians and war were things of the past. He was taken ill early in the year 1830 and failed gradually till he died Aug 26th at the age of 63. His wife survived him and died in 1864 at the age of 92.

This was taken from an unidentified newspaper article.

Lucia Summers (1835-1898): First Resident Botanist in the Pacific Northwest

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Lucia Summers was a pioneer botanist in the Pacific Coast states between 1871 and 1898. She experienced the Northwest landscape as it was just beginning to be altered by the first generation of European settlers. When she arrived in Seattle with her husband, the Rev. Robert W. Summers (the first Episcopal priest in Seattle), it had been a mere 17 years since the arrival of the first permanent European settlers. Seattle of 1871 was little more than a village of about 1500 inhabitants. Lucia was well educated, and an accomplished linguist and musician, when she arrived in Seattle at the age of 34.

Lucia’s given name was Susan Ann Noyes, and she was born in Hartland, Vermont, on November 22, 1835, the older daughter of Benjamin Noyes and Julia Ann Bartlett. Her nickname Lucia was probably in honor of her father’s first wife, who died in 1831. Lucia had one sibling, a sister, Lavinia, who was born in 1839 (Noyes 1904). Lucia’s father Benjamin was listed in the 1860 census as a “master carpenter,” with a combined value of real estate and personal property of $2900, a considerable amount at that time. The Noyes were a long established New England family, and sufficiently affluent for Lucia to receive an advanced education, unusual for women at that time.

Some time during the 1850s, Lucia’s family moved from Vermont to Hannibal, Missouri, where she met her future husband, Robert William Summers. They were married there on July 17, 1859. Hannibal, of course, is the river town along the Mississippi that was the childhood home of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).

You can read an expanded article about her work by clicking here (PDF, 422kb).