One year Edgar bought a puppy, Crackerjack, who became his best companion. Crackerjack proudly rode in Edgar’s bicycle basket. As Crackerjack grew, Edgar was no longer able to peddle his bicycle, so he simply pushed it to and from the dump, with Crackerjack riding in the basket. Neither of them ever missed a day of work.
In 1977, Ralph Page received the Granite State Award, which acknowledged not only his talents as a caller and musician, but also his contributions to community life both as a selectman for Nelson (1932-1938) and as president of the Historical Society of Cheshire County for 15 years.
He was the epitome of a farmer, with big and rugged hands that were adept at mowing, haying, milking, delivering ice, tending the land, caring for farm animals, and keeping a working farm self-sustaining, if not self-supporting. Here he is tapping some maple trees, getting ready for the sugaring season.
Dot lived her entire life in the home she was born in on Center Pond Road, where she raised her family, mothered baby lambs behind the wood stove in the kitchen every spring, tended her grandchildren after school, and worked in her gardens.
Win maintained a tradition of bartering, keeping all his transactions in a little notebook. He was even known to pre-barter by delivering wood or some service that had not been ordered to someone he planned to ask for a favor.
Photograph © Harriet Wise.
In his spare time, Jack raised rabbits and painted houses, using any leftover paint to decorate his house and rabbit hutches, then visible from old Route 9 south of Munsonville.
Photograph by George Kingsbury, courtesy of Bob Kingsbury
Here Newt (center) and Janet are posing in front of the Ski Room at the farmhouse at Tolman Pond.
Above left: Guntram Gudowius guides the ice plow, with Michael Iselin on the horse. Right: George Iselin loads the sled. Below left: The ice plow cuts down about three inches to create a grid of blocks. Right: Michael Iselin fills the icehouse.
In the 1980s, Michael and Alouette Iselin decided to seek an alternative to using electricity, so the family, with the help of many friends and a team of horses named Frank and Queenie, revived the old ice-cutting skills. They cut ice on Center Pond each winter and stored the massive blocks in the double-walled icehouse on the north side of their house on the pond. Like haying or sugaring, ice harvesting must be done when the conditions are exactly right. Once a good layer of ice forms, the area to be harvested must be shoveled or plowed after each snowfall to keep the ice clear, until the ice is about 16 inches thick. This could happen anytime between late December and the end of February. The Iselins used a horse-drawn “ice plow” to score the ice into a grid about 12 inches by 20 inches. The scored blocks were cut with a large-toothed saw, floated to shore, and lifted with ice tongs onto a sled. Each block weighed about 100 pounds. The Iselins put up 100 blocks, or about 10,000 pounds of ice, each year, enough to cool the icebox and make many batches of ice cream. These photos (above right) were taken in 1985 by Guntram Gudowius.