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Gustave Mahler was drawing his final breath in Vienna as the sun rose on May 18, 1911. The Titanic was about to slide down the ways at a Belfast, Northern Ireland, shipyard. In Mexico City, revolutionaries were preparing to overthrow President Porfirio Diaz. But it was a bright, warm day in …

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William F. Thompson, the oldest son of the man who built the Kearsarge House, bought the former Stephen G. Hill house from his father in 1861. Except for a brief absence during the Civil War, he lived there the rest of his life.

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Once upon a time, in a land that seems far away, Route 16 between Redstone and North Conway was just a country road. It was flat and straight, which made it an inviting place to open up the four-barrels after both town cops had gone to bed. The only businesses consisted of some motels and lo…

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By 1860 Enoch and Hannah Chandler decided to give up their big farmhouse on the western face of Mount Cranmore and move to Bethel, where some of their sons were engaged in business. Levi Seavey bought the Chandler place, with its views of Mount Washington and Kearsarge, and went to farming t…

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During the first three decades of their marriage, Willard and Sarah Russell dragged their many children all around the lower Merrimack River Valley in search of more prosperous surroundings. Growing up in Middleton, Mass., Willard had learned the shoemaking trade, and his sons all followed h…

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As at least one writer for the Conway Daily Sun can attest, hordes of Eastmans have lived in and around Conway, hailing from an assortment of tribes. Alfred Eastman, who was born in Kearsarge in 1843, made an effort at farming in his youth but soon gravitated to the hotel business. He remain…

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Harry Chandler Blanchard did not rise from auspicious beginnings. His parents were Canadian immigrants who worked in the cotton mills of Lawrence, Mass., and he lost his father at an early age, but he did all three things that still almost always lift people out of the cycle of poverty. He g…

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Enough city people were summering in North Conway by the height of the Civil War that James T. Randall thought he might be able to earn some extra money by taking in boarders. Jonathan Melvin Seavey owned a big rooming house on the west side of Main Street, near River Road, and in June of 18…

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Joel Eastman’s house remains virtually unchanged since it was built, upwards of two centuries ago. In 1860, publishers of a detailed map of Carroll County found his home the only one in Conway worthy of an illustration, and the primitive engraving shown here appeared on the upper right-hand …

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Alfred Eastman made his fortune without going far from home. He was born in Kearsarge in 1843, married young and stayed home from the Civil War to work in North Conway’s growing hotel business. Tourism took a great leap immediately after that war, as it does after every war, and Eastman star…

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From the 1880s, Mary Jackson lived in a sprawling, poorly maintained farmhouse on Davis Hill. Her youngest son, Bill, stayed on when his father died in 1902, but after World War I he moved his family into town, including his mother. He kept farming the land, but in 1928 he and his brothers t…

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The “new” Conway Village Grammar School, built on the old school lot beside the then-Congregational church on Main Street in 1886, originally accommodated students through the eighth grade. In 1912, the building was jacked up and moved to the back of the lot near Pequawket Pond, and two room…

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Arven Blanchard’s family brought him to Sandwich as a boy in the 1840s. As the youngest son, Arven remained with his aging parents even after he was married. On their farm he had been the one to do the butchering, and in the 1850s he set up shop in that capacity at Sandwich Lower Corner. Wit…

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Edwin Snow was the youngest son of Joseph Snow, the self-made man whose numerous children populated what became known as Snowville. Like his father, who built a gristmill and sawmill on Snow Brook to augment his farm income, Edwin was an inveterate wheeler-dealer who was eternally on the loo…