Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A Fire Axe! Weathervane Wednesday


This fire ax weathervane is located above the Ould Newbury Fire Museum on Morgan Avenue in Newbury, Massachusetts.  It is across the street from the Newbury Fire Department at 3 Morgan Avenue.   The city of Newburyport has experienced many devastating conflagrations over the centuries (including 1811 and 1934), so this must be a very interesting museum.  Unfortunately, the museum is temporarily closed to the public.  The fire of 1811 destroyed about 250 wooden buildings, but resulted in a new law for only brick or stone structures downtown. This resulted in the charming brick neighborhoods around Market Square that draw so many tourists today. 

This unusual weathervane features a bright red axe, which identifies it as a firefighting tool.  The axe head and cardinal points are brightly gilded.  The weathervane appears to be in excellent condition, and newly painted and gilded. It is installed over a cupola with a fire bell. 

For the truly curious:

Click here to see over 450 other weathervane blog posts from New England and all over the world:    


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Fire Axe!  Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 25, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Damaged Weathervane! Weathervane Wednesday

Mesón de Cándido weathervane 2022

The same weathervane photographed 2010

A few weeks ago we were in Segovia, Spain with our family.  Segovia is famous for many things, including a Roman Aqueduct in the middle of town, the Alcazar castle (built for Queen Isabella I), fine dining on suckling pig and lamb, and it is very high at an elevation of about 3,300 feet (over 1,025 meters) above sea level.  It is one of the highest towns in Spain, after Avila, Cuenca, Guadarrama,  and Soria. The weather can be extreme.  It was raining the day we visited, and there were heavy snows a few hours after we left (in April).  

In 2013 I featured the two weathervanes above the Mesón de Cándido tavern.  You can see that blog post HERE.   One had a piglet, and the other weathervane was a rooster.  This year we photographed the restaurant and the two weathervanes, thinking that they were different.  But, at home and seeing the images close up, we could see that they were the same weathervanes but one was damaged and missing the piglet.  

This year we ate lunch in the Mesón de Cándido and saw the famous ceremony where the roasted suckling pig is displayed with a poem, and then cut with a plate (to show how tender it was) and served after smashing the plate on the floor.  It was quite fun, and surprised my six year old grand daughter!  The restaurant is under the aqueduct built by the Romans.  We had spent the morning exploring Queen Isabella's Alcazar, and were very hungry.

Is the pig missing due to extreme weather and wind? Was it stolen? Did it run away to avoid being roasted, cut with the side of a plate, and served as dinner? 

UPDATE!  May 11, 2022 12:20 pm  -  An observant reader, Simon Loughe, noticed that the pig is still attached to the weathervane, "but it has slipped down and it's ear is now below the vane wing?"  I think he is correct.  Poor piggy is hanging on for dear life up there above the tavern! 

Mesón de Cándido

The suckling pig being cut with a plate

This is the second weathervane above
the restaurant

Mesón de Cándido

Yours Truly, in the rain, by the aqueduct and Mesón de Cándido

For the truly curious:

Mesón de Cándido website: 

My previous blog post about these weathervanes:   

To see over 450 other weathervanes, click this link:   


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "A Damaged Weathervane!  Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted May 11, 2022, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Please Contribute to The Honor Roll Project for Memorial Day 2022

Bartlett, New Hampshire Honor Rolls

Please join me in the 12th annual round up of Memorial Day contributors for The Honor Roll Project.  Volunteers are taking photos of war memorials and honor rolls, posting them on their blogs and websites, and transcribing the names of all the people listed.  These transcriptions make the names available for search engines, and the names will be available for people searching for family, ancestors and friends.  It is a good way to get out of the house into the fresh air after a year long "safe at home" quarantine during the pandemic. 

I started this project in 2010 with the photos of the Londonderry Civil War monument, and then followed with the other war monuments on the town common, Derry’s MacGregor Park and other local honor rolls.  Other bloggers and photographers were invited to participate.  We now have contributions from nearly all the United States, and from five other countries.  The email and comments I have read are truly inspiring, and it makes it well worth the effort to transcribe names when you read how family members found their fathers and grandfathers online, or how families searching their family trees find ancestors who served in the Civil War or World War I. 

"I never knew my ancestor was in the Civil War until I Googled his name and found it on your blog! Thanks so much for your project - Charles Chase" 13 Dec 2011

" Thank you! Aina Bernier- daughter of Ernest Albert Bernier, Jr." 27 Jan 2011

If you would like to participate this year, I will be posting a compilation post of all the participating volunteers on Monday, May 30th.  All contributions will be permanently available on the Honor Roll Project website at    Every November for Veteran’s / Armistice Day I publicize this project for more volunteers and contributors, and again every May I publicize the project for Memorial Day . 

To participate, leave me a comment below or an email at   All you need to do is photograph a local honor roll or war monument, and transcribe the names.  If you have a blog, post the story, photos and transcriptions and send me the permanent link for the Honor Roll Project.  If you don’t have a blog, I can post the photo and names for you and add it to the Honor Roll Project, giving you full credit for the photography and transcription.  Or contact your favorite genealogy blogger, and they would be happy to post your photo and transcription, too. 

This is a simple way of saying “Thank You” to all the veterans in our communities- past and present. 

The Honor Roll Project Page: