175 Years Ago
Jan. 22, 1848
A dishwasher was a nice thing to fantasize about back in the day when James K. Polk was the 11th president of the United States, as evidenced in these lyrics to Kitchen Song:
Ho ho hum - how I wish
That each kettle and dish
Could be cleansed by some Yankee machine
It would save such a sight
of work, morn and night
To have one that would scour, wash and clean
I should think that they might
With their noddles so bright
Add much more to our comfort and ease
And a dishwasher make
That would beat the horse-rake
Or the things to make butter and cheese
They’ve machines to cut glass
And machines to cut grass
And machines to fill all their wishes
But they never once think
While their own healths they drink
Of poor women who have to wash dishes
And when ‘tis completed
The inventor’ll be greeted
With praises from all that lack wealth
And every good lass
Will fill up a glass
Of bright water to drink to his health!
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The Caledonian reported, that in Franconia, N.H. on Jan. 11 “the thermometer was 39 below zero, colder than ever before, and the mercury froze in the bulb, or it would have indicated 45.”
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It was reported that Nathan Barker, a Revolutionary War veteran and one of the first settlers of Walden died at age 84.
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The St. Johnsbury Caledonian published reports on two local fires. One consumed a home and outbuildings owned by Daniel Gookin in South Danville. The other burned the Lowell home of an attorney named W.S. Flint. Among Gookin’s losses were a cow and several tons of hay.
150 Years Ago
Jan. 24, 1873
Though it doesn’t say where it occurred, the St. Johnsbury Caledonian reported on a harrowing night in which a woman fought off a band of “Modoc Indians.” “William Brotherton and his two sons, age 11 and 22, were returning home after being in the woods for fuel when they were overtaken by a party of rebel Modoc Indians under Scarfaced Charley. The Indians under the command of Scarfaced Charley shot down the elder Brotherton as he sat on the wagon. The two boys tried to run but were killed before they had gone 50 yards.
“They unhitched the eight horses and started for the house, where they doubtless intended the murder of the rest of the Brotherton family - the mother and two younger sons.
“The plucky woman, suspecting that something was wrong from the fact that they were on her husband’s horses, had three rifles in the house and, putting one in the hands of each of her sons, locked the door, built a barricade and awaited the Indians. They soon arrived, and the brave woman’s answer was a rifle bullet through the skull of one of the savages. The boys also began firing, and it was not long before another Indian was killed. For two days the daring woman kept watch, rifle in hand, but the Indians did not renew their attack. That night a rescue party arrived and took Mrs. Brotherton and children to safety.”
Informaton found online states that the Modoc are a Native American people who originally lived in the area which is now northeastern California and central Southern Oregon. They are currently divided between Oregon and Oklahoma and are enrolled in either of two federally recognized tribes, the Klamath Tribes in Oregon and the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, now known as the Modoc Nation.
100 Years Ago
Jan. 24, 1923
Immigration - illegal aliens - people driven from their homeland looking to gain entry into the U.S. - it was as much of an issue a century ago as it is today. The Caledonian-Record had this editorial headlined ‘Help For The Refugees.’
“A bill is before Congress that would admit 75,000 adult Armenian refugees to the country, with 25,000 children. It would be required that adults measure up to the regular standards of fitness and literacy, and that they be required to settle as farmers or farmers helpers.
“Our people are not much inclined to let down the bars on immigration, but they can not be indifferent to the heart breaking condition of these pathetic exiles, who have been driven from their homes in the dead of winter. They ought not to be permitted to herd in cities, but it would seem, if this country fails to find room for a considerable share of them, that it would be guilty of a heartless and cruel act.”
50 Years Ago
Jan. 23-27, 1973
A week that began with the death of a U.S. president and a big sports upset, ended with the banner headline on the Jan. 27 edition of the Caledonian-Record of the signing of a peace agreement in Vietnam.
The Caledonian-Record reported in its Jan. 23, 1973 edition on the passing of former president Lyndon B. Johnson. The former president died one week short of seeing what his administration worked many years for: peace in Vietnam. In the sports section of the same issue, the Caledonian reported on a boxing match in which, in a big upset, George Foreman knocked out heavyweight champion Joe Frazier in two rounds.
It led to the Jan. 27 edition, whose front page blared the news people had been hoping to read for years: “Vietnam Peace Agreement Signed,” followed by the equally welcome sub-headline “Fighting Stops Tonight In Longest U.S. Conflict”
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In St. Johnsbury, “local and state police and an ambulance responded to what appeared at first to be a hit-and-run when a St. Johnsbury woman was discovered lying on the side of Rt. 2 between Aime’s Restaurant (near Pettyco Jct.), and Phelps Enterprises,” the article stated. “Marion Bell, 43, had been walking along the road when she fell down. She was apparently drunk, according to police. No arrest was made, and an ambulance took her to NVRH. She was found to be unhurt and was released.