Wednesday, September 27, 2023

An Unusual Piece of Advertising Art for Weathervane Wednesday

 This weathervane was photographed in Hooksett, New Hampshire.

Above the Seasons Corner Market on Hooksett Road (Route 3) is this two dimensional weathervane.  The symbol is a copy of their logo, showing the four seasons inside four interlaced circles.  This shop is new to Hooksett, and opened this past summer, and out front they sell Shell gas. Their website says they are family owned and operated, with shops in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  It is the first Seasons Corner Market that I've seen, and I don't know if the other shops have the same weathervane!

For the truly curious:

Seasons Corner Market website:  

Click here to see over 500 more weathers featured at "Weathervane Wednesday":   


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "An Unusual Piece of Advertising Art for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted 27 September 2023, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff


This little museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has no website, no admission tickets, and a very funny name. Everyone of all ages will enjoy it, not just guys.  And this year, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Portsmouth, the museum is featuring lots of history.  There are lots of unique, small museums in New Hampshire, but this has got to be one of my very favorites! 

This little, tiny Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff is located in the basement of an old house on 114 Mechanic Street in Portsmouth (almost across the street from Geno's restaurant).  It is run by Clayton Emery and Rod Hildebrand, and opened to the public about five years ago.  The basement space is full of "stuff" including lots of historic scenes made out of action figures like G.I. Joe and Barbie as well as anything else that can be converted or redesigned.  There is no admission fee, and they refused to take a donation ("We're not an official museum"). 

Visiting this museum is a bit of nostalgia ("I had that figure!"), a bit of American history ("look at that scene from the Old West!"), and a lot of fun.  Besides history, there are scenes from around Portsmouth, scenes from movies, TV, and what ever else Emery and Hildebrand imagine.  

Inside the museum

Out in the garden (in front of the museum) 
Clayton Emery describes the details in this 20th century diorama of Portsmouth

This year The Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff features dioramas of Portsmouth history for the 400th anniversary. When we visited this summer we saw the 20th century diorama, and the 18th and 19th century dioramas have been moved for display at the visitor center for the Portsmouth Historical Society at 10 Middle Street.  

"Oldest 'action figure'. Dug up in the back yard
Probably buried by some little brother 150 years ago."

Ancient Gaul. LOL!

For the truly curious:

The Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff on Facebook:

A story about the Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff at   

The Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff, 114 Mechanic Street, Portsmouth. Open daily 10am to 3pm 

The Porstmouth Historical Society, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth.  Open daily 10am to 5pm. $10 general admission. Walking tours and tickets to the John Paul House are available, too.  


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "The Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 19, 2023, ( accessed [access date]). 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Visiting Our Ancestors in Lexington, Massachusetts


This summer we took our granddaughter to see Lexington, Massachusetts.  She had been reading a book called Sam, the Minuteman, by Nathaniel Benchly.  This is an "I can Read" level 3 book about a fictional young man that witnessed the Battle of Lexington. One day while she and I took turns reading this book I mentioned that her ancestors were at this battle, and that the houses of some family members still stand in Lexington.  A few months later we took a short day trip to see these sights! 

The first place we visited was the Munroe Tavern.  It was owned by members of the Munroe family.  Seven members of the family were mustered on Lexington Common on 19 April 1775.  Our ancestor, Andrew Munroe, was only eleven years old on that day.  This was about the age of Sam, the Minuteman in the book.  We don't know if Andrew witnessed the battle, but chances are that he was nearby.  His two uncles, Robert Munroe and Jonas Parker (husband to his Aunt Lucy Munroe), were the first two men killed on Lexington Green. His cousin William Munroe (1742-1827) owned the Munroe Tavern.

On 19 April 1775 William Munroe had to leave his family and join the minutemen on Lexington Green.  He left his wife and children, and a handyman named John Raymond.  The British Regulars marched right down the road in front of the house towards the town common.  The women and children fled to the woods, and John Raymond stayed to protect the house.  The British killed Raymond, and commandeered the tavern as a field hospital.  On the retreat, after the battles of Lexington and Concord, the house was used to treat the British wounded, and then it was set on fire when they left. Fortunately the house survived. 

In 1789 President Washington toured the new United States and stopped in Lexington, Massachusetts to have a meal with the Munroe family at their tavern.  The table, chair, and even the dishes Washington used were carefully preserved by the Munroe family. These items are still on display at the Munroe Tavern, on the second floor. I've also blogged about this event, and you can read about it HERE

In the tavern room, on the first floor, the British Regulars shot a bullet into the ceiling.  The Munroe family preserved this evidence of the event and it is still visible today.  

The downstairs part of the Munroe Tavern is a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Battle of Lexington from a British viewpoint. This was a controversial move by the Lexington Historical Society several years ago.  The upstairs rooms tell the story of the Munroe family and their view of that day nearly 250 years ago. In the bedroom are many family artifacts. I blogged about the rebranding of the Munroe Tavern HERE

A colonial costume!  It was fun trying on different outfits at the Munroe Tavern.

Nana dressed as a "Redcoat"!

It was fun to bring my granddaughter to see these sights and to learn about her ancestors.  However, discussing war and death with an eight year old was interesting, too.  She had lots of questions. "Why did they fight?" and "Why did the Red Coats kill  John Raymond?" and "Why did the Red Coats fight the minutemen?" and the inevitable "Why do we have wars?".   If you bring young children to see battlefields and cemeteries, and if they see or read stories about war and oppression you must be prepared to answer these questions. And be prepared to answer the more philosphical questions about war with "Everyone has questions about that" or "I wish I knew that, too".  We weren't surprised at the questions, but tried to answer as truthfully as possible.  Not all history is easy. 

We placed pennies at the monument on Lexington Green where the slain minutemen are buried.

"This Monument is erected
By the inhabitants of Lexington,
Under the patronage & at the expense of
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
To the memory of their Fellow Citizens,
Ensign Robert Munroe, Messrs. Jonas Parker,
Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington, Junr.
Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington, and John Brown
of Lexington & Asahel Porter of Woburn,
Who fell on this field the first Victims to the 
Sword of British Tyranny & Oppression,
On the morning of the ever memorable
Nineteenth of April, An. Dom, 1775.
The Die was cast!!!"

On our way back walking from the Lexington Green we saw this house facing the battlefield.  We wondered if this was another member of our Munroe clan.  When I was home I looked up the names Marret and Nathan Munroe.  They were father and son.  Marrett Munroe (1713 - 1798) was married to Deliverance Parker, the sister to Captain  John Parker of the Lexington Minutemen, and cousin to Jonas Parker mentioned above.  Marret's son Nathan Munroe (1747 - 1829) served under Captain Parker's command on the day of the battle across the street from his house, with six other Munroe men. 

For the truly curious:

The Munroe Tavern at the Lexington Historical Society website:   

The Munroe Tavern at Wikipedia:,_Massachusetts)  

and several blog posts:

"Rebranding History" 26 September 2011  

"Surname Saturday - Munroe of Lexington, Massachusetts" 30 June 2012  

"Cousins at the Battle of Lexington" 15 April 2010  

"Read how a family history fib spread in 1889, and is still spreading today!" 29 January 2015 (about Washington's visit to the Munroe Tavern in 1789)    


To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Visiting Our Ancestors in Lexington, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 12, 2023, ( accessed [access date]). 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Weathervanes in Switzerland for Weathervane Wednesday

 These weathervanes were photographed in Switzerland by Don Smith.

Vincent's friend and former co-worker Don Smith was travelling in Switzerland when he photographed these two weathervanes.  The first one was photographed at Monument Boussole in Geneva.  It is a simple arrow with a very elaborate tail!  

The second weathervane was photographed by Don Smith at the summit of the Matterhorn glacier at 12,747 feet elevation!  Don captured the photo from the Mirador Observation Deck, Glacier Paradise, Kein Matterhorn.  It is a weathercock with a colorful tail with the red and white Swiss cross, and an arrow with a red tail above yellow cardinal points.  This observation deck is at the end point of the highest cable car in Europe.  Perhaps this is the highest weathervane in Europe? 

For the truly curious:

Matterhorn Glacier Paradise website in English:     

A YouTube video featuring the cable car, views of the Matterhorn, and the weathervane (4:05) at the observation deck:   

Click here to see over 500 weathervanes featured on Weathervane Wednesday:  


To cite/link to this blog post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervanes in Switzerland for Weathervane Wednesday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 6, 2023, ( accessed [access date]).