Wednesday, December 29, 2021

An Old Christian Symbol over a Baptist Church - Weathervane Wednesday


This simple, two dimensional, fish weathervane above the Village Baptist Church in Kennebunkport, Maine is gilded, and can be seen from quite a distance.  The fish is an ancient symbol of Christianity,  known as the ichthys or ichthus.  The fish symbol of two arcs was originally a secret symbol for early Christians.  It is popular for weathervanes, and I have blogged about a few HERE and HERE (among others, including this one in Spain HERE!)   It is very appropriate for a church in a small coastal town like Kennebunkport. 

The Village Baptist Church was built in 1820, and renovated over time.  The steeple was refurbished in 2013, and the bell tower removed.  The original weathervane was replaced back on top of the steeple. 

For the truly curious:

The Village Baptist Church, Kennebunkport, Maine:  

Ichthys (Early Christian Symbol) at Wikipedia:  

Click here to see over 450 more Weathervane Wednesday blog posts:  


To Cite/Link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Old Christian Symbol over a Baptist Church - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 29, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Lobster Pot Trees - Merry Christmas!

 These lobster pot trees are a New England tradition.  In the past, lobster fishermen have piled their traps in their yards for the winter, and some were creative in making them into Christmas trees for the holidays.  Then some appeared in harbors and on village greens.  Now coastal towns are featuring more and more lobster trap trees.  No two are alike, and all are welcome signs of the holidays!

Kittery, Maine

Marblehead, Massachusetts

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Rockland, Maine

York, Maine

Winthrop, Massachusetts

A buoy tree
Kittery, Maine

Seabrook, New Hampshire

Some variations on the theme:

Lobster Trap Menorah, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Potato Barrels, Fort Fairfield, Maine

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Hood's Milk, Concord, New Hampshire - Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed over the Hood's Milk office at 330 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire. 

The H. P. Hood Milk Company began as a delivery service in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  The owner, Harvey Perley Hood, expanded his business by buying a dairy farm in Derry, New Hampshire in 1856 and delivering the milk to the Boston area by train.  Hood's milk grew throughout New England and nation wide.  For years the main plant in Charlestown, Massachusetts was seen by millions of people just off the overhead I-93 expressway just outside of Boston, but it is now closed.  

This two dimensional dairy cow weathervane is very appropriate for this building, don't you think?  

For the truly curious:

"H.P. Hood, Derry's Famous Milk Man"  2009:

To see almost 450 more weathervane posts, click here!


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Hood's Milk, Concord, New Hampshire - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 22, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The First Christmas of New England by Harriet Beecher Stowe


This little, hardcover book of just 45 pages was written by Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe (14 June 1811 – 1 July 1896).  The First Christmas of New England is a short story originally published in an 1876 volume containing three separate stories.  Stowe was a prolific writer for her time, authoring over 30 books, which often contained social commentary including abolition of slavery, women’s rights, temperance, and American History. Her most famous book Uncle Tom’s Cabin criticized the Fugitive Slave Act, inflamed the South and energized abolitionists in the North prior to the Civil War.

Harriet was born into the religious family of Rev. Lyman Beecher.  Three of her brothers became ministers, and her father was the famous Reverend Lyman Beecher. Her mother was Roxana Ward Foote, a descendant of Nathaniel Foote (about 1593 – 1644), Nathaniel Bliss (1622 – 1654) and Deacon Samuel Chapin (1598 – 1675) early Connecticut settlers, and my ancestors, too.  As far as I can tell, Harriet Beecher Stowe was not a Mayflower descendant, but she did write about the Pilgrims several times in her books.

All of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s books were well researched. This little story about the 1620 Christmas and the Pilgrim’s first winter in New England is written as fiction but quotes from Bradford’s journal and other primary sources. She doesn’t tell any myths about the Plymouth Colony. I don’t know why her book isn’t more well known. I stumbled across it for a few dollars at a used bookstore. You can find it for sale at Amazon and sellers like Abe Books online.

The small size of the book and the simple woodblock style illustrations would make this an excellent gift for young people. Although it was written in the middle of the 19th century, when many of our myths about the Pilgrims and the Plymouth colony were first dreamed up, this book doesn’t romanticize their story.  The first Christmas took place a few weeks after landing in the New World, while many of the Mayflower passengers were still living on board the ship. By Christmas Eve, some of them had already died.  There was no celebrating of a pagan holiday, on December 25, 1620, they worked hard at building shelter for the new settlement.

Within a few more weeks (after the ending of the book), half of the Mayflower company would be dead.


The Beecher Family 

For the truly curious:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or, The History of a Christian Slave, first published in 1852

The Mayflower, or, Sketches of Scenes and Characters among the Descendants of the Pilgrims, published 1843

Betty’s Bright Idea (and other Stories) published 1876 includes “The First Christmas of New England”.

The First Christmas of New England, published by Applewood Books of Bedford, Massachusetts, 2002 also available online at the following links:

A PDF version in full: 

This version is readable online, but scroll down to the First Christmas story (it's the second of three stories by Harriet Beecher Stowe on this website): 

The ancestry of Harriet Beecher Stowe can be found at this link: 

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, Connecticut:  


To Cite/Link to this blog: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The First Christmas of New England by Harriet Beecher Stowe", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 13, 2021, (

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Christmas at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery

 These photographs were taken on Saturday, 4 December 2021, on the day the wreaths were laid on the graves at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery was established in 1997.  The first veteran interred was Ernest Holm, who served in WW1 and WWII, along with his wife.  This cemetery has an online burials database, with maps showing the locations of burials, using the VA National Cemetery Administration National Gravesite Locator. It's very easy to use.  There is also a calendar of events and burials, and some handy links for military records, and other organizations. 

The wreaths here were placed by volunteers by Wreaths for Boscawen, organized by the Blue Star Mothers.  Wreaths are locally sourced, and are donated or purchased by individuals and businesses. See the links below to donate/sponsor a wreath, or to volunteer for the wreath laying. 

For the truly curious:

The New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery -
110 Daniel Webster Highway
Boscawen, NH 03303  

Blue Star Mothers of New Hampshire, Wreaths for Boscawen -

The New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery Facebook group -  


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Christmas at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery"; Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 7, 2021, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

A Vintage Tennis Player - Weathervane Wednesday

This two dimensional weathervane of a female tennis player is above the Kennebunk River Club in Kennebunkport, Maine.  This private sports club was founded in 1889 by thirteen wealthy summer families as a boating and canoe facility.  The club has expanded their activities and membership over the years, and in 1975 the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

For the truly curious:

The Kennebunk River Club History:  

Click here to see over 450 other Weathervane Wednesday posts: 


To Cite/Link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Vintage Tennis Player - Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 1, 2021, ( accessed [access date]).