Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weathervane Wednesday ~ This one has family history!

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I first started by publishing posts about weathervanes from the Nutfield area, but now I've been finding interesting and historical weather vanes from all over New Hampshire and New England.  Sometimes my weathervanes have an interesting history, and sometimes they are just whimsical.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very unique and unusual weather vanes outside of New England.

Today's weathervane is from Massachusetts.

Do you know the location of weather vane #238?  Scroll down to see the answer!

The Newfy Girl was the lobster boat operated by Frederick D. Penney on the Saugus River in Massachusetts.  He was born 10 April 1939, and died 18 June 2006 in West Boxford, Massachusetts.  Fred was the grandfather to my son-in-law, and great grandfather to my new grandchild.  Fred was a fisherman, and very proud of his boat.  The Penney's tell me that Newfy Girl is still on the water in Saugus. 

Fred Penney (1939 - 2006)

Fred Penney's parents were born in Keels and Southern Bay, Newfoundland.  The family came to Massachusetts in the 1920s, where Fred and his siblings were all born.  

This wooden Newfy Girl weathervane was given to my son-in-law's family as part of a Yankee Swap at Christmas time. The swap was rigged so that he would win the weathervane, since they were getting married in a few months.  My son-in-law has his grandfather's name and an oar tattooed on his leg, in honor of Fred Penney.  This summer my daughter and her husband placed the Newfy Girl weathervane in the backyard of their new house in Malden, Massachusetts.  It is a custom made weathervane painted to look just like Newfy Girl, and the lobster buoy is painted in Fred's colors. (Every lobster fisherman has a uniquely colored buoy)

The name Newfy Girl reminds me of the Dick Nolan song "Newfie Girl" from 1972.  I'm a big fan of folk music, and New England sea shanties, and I've heard several performers play this song at festivals.  You can hear this song, and a list of the lyrics at this link:   

Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ This one has family history", Nutfield Genealogy,  posted December 9, 2015 (

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