Non-Public BOS Session Scheduled (April 1, 2019)

By Muriel Bristol | March 30, 2019

The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, April 1.

Yes, an April Fools meeting. The “optics” are perhaps a bit unfortunate.

The April Fools meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. That agenda has two Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (b) and 91-A3 II (a).

91-A:3 II (b) The hiring of any person as a public employee.

91-A:3 II (a) The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him or her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a meeting and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.

The second meeting of the Town year begins also with a secret meeting, also about raises and hiring. Job postings have been made for an additional clerk and truck driver.

How to handle a Default Budget? Start hiring. It is like they cannot help themselves.

The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS session at approximately (*) 6:00 PM, when they intend to return to Public session.

The Public portion of the agenda has New Business, Old Business, Other Business, and some housekeeping items.

Under New Business are scheduled six agenda items: 1) Swearing in of New Police Officer (Rich Krauss), 2) Town-Issued Board of Selectmen Email Addresses (Andy Rawson), 3) Land Use Clerk Position (Dave Owen), 4) DPW Truck Purchase Request (Pat Smith), 5) Town Committee Board of Selectmen Appointments and Current Vacancy Discussion, 6) Side-Letter Agreement with Atlantic Broadband Re.: Internet Service.

Swearing in of New Police Officer (Rich Krauss). Here we find the reason for last week’s secret meeting.

Town-Issued Board of Selectmen Email Addresses (Andy Rawson). In answer to campaign and other promises, the Board of Selectmen will have e-mail addresses this year. This seemed previously to be some sort of insurmountable obstacle, but the new Town website is said to be capable of this.

Land Use Clerk Position (Dave Owen). For the paperwork of reducing assessed values? February real estate sales figures were published this week showing Milton as the only town in Strafford County with reduced values (although Farmington’s increase was ever so slight: less than inflation). (See Capital Reduction Program (CRP)).

DPW Truck Purchase Request (Pat Smith). Used, presumably.

Town Committee Board of Selectmen Appointments and Current Vacancy Discussion. This seemed to have been settled at last week’s meeting, at which the BOS seemed to be on the verge of covering fewer committees, but there has perhaps been some revision.

Side-Letter Agreement with Atlantic Broadband Re.: Internet Service. The addition of water, sewer, and “beach shack” locations to the list of Town broadband hookups.

Under Old Business are scheduled five items: 7) 2019 Town Election Recount Discussion & MS 232 Signing, 8) Follow-Up Discussion on Board of Selectmen By-Laws, 9) Follow-Up Discussion on Gifted Properties and Potential Public Hearings, 10) Follow-Up Discussion on Auctioning Town-Owned Properties, 11) Follow-Up Discussion on Town Vehicles/Equipment

2019 Town Election Recount Discussion & MS 232 Signing. The recount having come out the same as the count, the results shall be reported to the State.

Follow-Up Discussion on Board of Selectmen By-Laws. The current by-laws were continued until everybody had a chance to re-read them.

Follow-Up Discussion on Gifted Properties and Potential Public Hearings. Properties gifted, and accepted by the Town, cannot just be sold. There must be a vote on a ballot. The old fire station falls in this category, as well as a few others the BOS hopes to clear off their list. The boat for the ballot just taken sailed on schedule, but a special Town meeting could accomplish the same thing.

Follow-Up Discussion on Auctioning Town-Owned Properties. This seemed to have been settled with the auction planned for early May. (With everybody not as happy as they might have been).

Follow-Up Discussion on Town Vehicles / Equipment. How to maintain an aggressive CIP purchase schedule on a level budget? And now that DPW Truck request.

Other Business That May Come Before the Board has two items: Household Hazardous Waste Collection. and NH Municipal Local Officials Workshop Offering

Household Hazardous Waste Collection. Setting a date for the annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event.

NH Municipal Local Officials Workshop Offering. The Teddy Bears’ Picnic. This particular assemblage will have already undergone the basic mental conditioning in other years. But we have paid some thousands already for their membership fee. Perhaps just a quick mental steam-cleaning and press?

Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of March 18, 2019), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments.

Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.


State of New Hampshire. (2016, June 21). RSA Chapter 91-A. Access to Governmental Records and Meetings. Retrieved from

Town of Milton. (2019, March 29). BOS Meeting Agenda, April 1, 2019. Retrieved from

Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from

YouTube. (1932). Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Retrieved from

More Facts About Jupiter

By Peter Forrester | March 29, 2019

I previously wrote about observation of the planet Jupiter. I thought as a bonus, some of you might like to read some more about the fifth planet from the Sun.

Jupiter is the largest of the eight planets in our Solar System. It is named after the king of the gods in Roman mythology. It is made up mostly of gases, and has a prominent storm called the Great Red Spot that has persisted for hundreds of years and is bigger than the Earth. But everyone knows these facts, right? What about some facts about the Red-spot planet that you might not know about?

Some other interesting facts about the largest planet:

Jupiter is mostly made of the lightest element, hydrogen, although about 25% of its mass is helium, the second element (only about 10% of the molecules).

The first spacecraft to fly near Jupiter was called Pioneer 10, in 1973. Pioneer 11 then flew even closer in 1974, followed by the Voyager 1 and 2, both of which flew further away in 1979 but used its gravity to speed them up on the way to the more distant planets.

Jupiter is currently being orbited by a space orbiter called Juno, which entered into orbit in 2016 and will continue until 2021, when it will be intentionally steered into the planet’s outer gas layers (to protect the moons from a collision).

This is the second spaceship to orbit the king of the planets – the previous one, Galileo, orbited from 1995 to 2003, and is named after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, who improved on a recent (1608) invention: the refracting telescope, and is one of the first people known to have used it for astronomy.

Through his telescope in January 1610 he discovered the four largest moons of Jupiter, the first group of objects ever to be discovered that were definitely orbiting an object other than the Sun or Earth. The discovery of the Galilean moons provided evidence to Galileo that all objects in the solar system do not orbit the Earth (this evidence spelled the doom of the Geocentric model of the solar system, although it took a while for the theory to be fully abandoned by scientists). I will let you read for yourself of the religious controversy this caused, which led to Galilei being obliged to recant any belief that the Earth is not the center of the universe, and also spending the end of his life under house arrest.

For a long time Galileo was credited as the sole discoverer of these moons, and hence they are called the Galilean moons after him (though they were also independently discovered by Simon Marius in Germany, a month or two before that, who proposed their individual names when he published his findings in 1614). Galileo also made the first telescopic observations of several other amazing things: craters on the Earth’s Moon, analysis of sunspots, and the phases of Venus, though the telescope only magnified 30 times, much less than the powerful ones used now. He also may have seen the planet Uranus in 1612 (discovered to be a planet in 1781), and also wrote on physics and engineering.

The Galilean moons are called Callisto, Ganymede, Europa, and Io (all named after mythological lovers of the god Jupiter). Ganymede is the largest moon and 9th largest object in the Solar System, being larger than the planet Mercury. It is also the largest object in the Solar System that does not have a substantial atmosphere. Three of the four moons are larger than our Moon (all except Europa). All four are also rounded by their own weight unlike the smaller ones, and hence would be considered “dwarf planets” if they orbited the Sun.

The space mission called Galileo made some amazing discoveries, mostly about Jupiter and its moons. For example, it discovered evidence of a liquid ocean under the surface of the moon Europa, now widely considered to be the most likely place in the solar system, outside of Earth, for life to still exist (though it is likely it once existed on Mars). It also found evidence to explain the origins of Jupiter’s thin rings (much less visible than Saturn’s famous ones).

On its way to Jupiter, the probe also observed the collision of comet fragments into Jupiter in 1994 (the first impacts were not visible from Earth), as well as discovering the first known asteroid-moon system in 1993.

Speaking of moons, there are now 79 known moons of Jupiter with stable orbits, the most satellites discovered around a single object to date other than the Sun. The four Galilean ones are much bigger than all the rest of Jupiter’s moons. No more moons for Jupiter were discovered until 1892. This moon, Amalthea’s largest dimension of 250 km is less than one tenth the diameter of Europa, the smallest of the Galilean moons. Amalthea was the last planetary moon to be discovered by direct visual observation.

If Jupiter was 75 times more massive, it would be capable of nuclear fusion and be considered a star, and give off light. However, if it got just a little more massive than it is now, it is thought that it would start shrinking and become denser (in other words, its radius would actually decrease). However, it gives off more heat than it receives from the Sun, and actually does shrink by about 2 cm per year. Jupiter has 2 and a half times the mass of the other 7 planets combined. Its mass is often used as a comparison when talking about extrasolar planets that have been discovered.

It is theorized but unknown whether Jupiter has a solid core.

Jupiter could fit 10 times across the diameter of the Sun.

Every 398 days Earth overtakes Jupiter in its orbit, and then it appears to move backwards for a few days.

Jupiter rotates about every 10 hours (the fastest of any planet in the Solar System). The cloud layers at the poles orbit at a different rate than those at the equator of Jupiter, about 5 minutes longer, although the planet’s official rotation rate is based on measurements of its magnetosphere by radio waves.

I could go on and on, but you can all read as much of this as you want over on Wikipedia or Google other sources. Until next time, adieu!


Wikipedia. (2019, March 15).  Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Retrieved from .

Wikipedia. (2019, March 13). Galileo (spacecraft). Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 18). Galileo Galilei. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 22). Juno (spacecraft). Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 26). Jupiter. Retrieved from

Observing the Planets: Jupiter

By Peter Forrester | March 28, 2019

Jupiter, as seen from the surface of the Earth, is on average the second brightest of the five visible planets. Only Venus is brighter (and sometimes Mars). This is reflected light from the Sun, as planets don’t produce any light of their own. Jupiter’s reflected light is bright enough to cast shadows on Earth (the brightest apparent magnitude it reaches is -2.94).

Being so bright, Jupiter has been known since ancient times, and was thought to represent the god Marduk to the Babylonians, and the gods Zeus and Jupiter in Greek and Roman mythology, the last of whom it is named for.

Unlike Venus and the Moon, Jupiter doesn’t go through a full range of phases, being more distant from the Sun (at times as much as 11.5% of the side we see is not illuminated, so it does have the Full and Gibbous phases only). It also takes 11.86 years to orbit the Sun, meaning it will move about 30 degrees in the sky every year (the twelve years of the Chinese calendar were originally based on this orbital period). So it can be hard to remember where it is located, but it (and even more so the more distant planets) tend to move very slowly among the stars, lingering in the same constellation for months to years. This is an advantage if you can remember where to look. Jupiter will take many months to cross Ophiuchus, since it is a very large constellation.

We just passed an occasion a couple of days ago where the Moon was located very close to Jupiter. But how can you find it normally?

Jupiter has just entered the constellation Ophiuchus, the “13th zodiac” constellation, located above Scorpius. According to the planet locator on (see link below), it will be above the horizon (from their nearest location to Milton in Concord, New Hampshire) between 1:24 and 10:25 am tomorrow.

If you have a smartphone, you can also find the current location of any planet on the free app Sky Map (you have to make sure the constellation labels are on and follow the Zodiac constellations around to find all the planets, Moon, and Sun). You can find some other excellent websites by doing a simple Google search.

Observing Jupiter with the naked eye, it just looks like a very bright yellowish star. However, if you have a chance to look at it in a telescope, which I have had the pleasure to do, I suggest you take it. You can see its round shape, including the aforementioned Great Red Spot, as well as the many belts of clouds and some or all of the four Galilean moons, whichever happen to be on the same side. The whole planet will be lit up because we are between Jupiter and the Sun right now.

Stay tuned for more on this amazing object in the sky. Have fun watching Jupiter, and pleasant star-gazing!

Previous in series: Observing the Planets: Venus


Time and Date A.S. (1995-2019). Night Sky Map & Planets Visible Tonight. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 26). Jupiter. Retrieved from

Milton in the News – 1885

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 28, 2019

In this rather full year, we encounter Noah B. Thayer, who would become later a major Milton employer, the return of the Rev. Frank Haley, a series of burglaries by a criminal gang, a sudden freak death, a local student of poetry and elocution, yet another Milton mill fire, and a remembrance of recently-deceased Milton Mills merchant Bray U. Simes.

Here we find Noah B. Thayer, of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co., of Boston, MA, receiving an “assignment” from a bankrupt wholesale shoe dealer.

A Heavy Shoe Failure. Fellows, Shaw & Raymond, wholesale dealers in boots, shoes and rubbers, 159 and l61 Pearl street, have made an assignment to N.B. Thayer, of the firm of Fogg, Shaw, Thayer & Co. of this city. The liabilities amount to about $100,000, and the assets are nominally in excess of that amount. There are contingent liabilities of $15,000 or $20,000. A meeting of the creditors has been called for Saturday, April 18 (Boston Globe, April 15, 1885).

N.B. Thayer & Co. would set up shop as a Milton shoe manufacturer after the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889.

New Hampshire. Milton Mills. Rev. J.L. Sewall accepts his call to this church. Milton. Rev. Frank Haley has accepted a call from this church, and began his services two weeks ago. All are glad at heart to recall our pastor of years ago, and hope the time is far distant when he will make another change (Vermont Chronicle, June 12, 1885).

Rev. J.L. Lowell actually went to Milton, VT. Rev. Frank Haley returned from his time away in Boscawen, NH, to begin his second pastorate at the Milton Congregational church.

Milton suffered a rash of burglaries in this year. Without more information it is difficult to say much more about the criminals, who seemed to have been based in Rochester.

One interesting aspect was the apparent ease of escaping from the local lockups. And that, as the proverb goes, there seems to have been little “honor among thieves.” Hamilton rolled right over on Smith, and more disclosures seemed to be expected.

Robbers in Dover. DOVER, N.H., June 22. – Several robberies have occurred around Milton, N.H. Saturday, one of the parties, Ed Hamilton, was traced to East Rochester. He was arrested, but escaped. and was again recaptured and locked up in Rochester. James Smith, another of the gang, was captured on account of information given by Hamilton, but he escaped Sunday from the lockup and has not yet been recaptured. Hamilton is held for breaking and entering and stealing five watches, three revolvers, jack-knives, etc.. He was tried at Rochester this morning and held in $1000 bonds. He was brought here to jail today by Sheriff Greenfield in default of bail. It is thought there are more in the gang who will be “given away” and captured (Boston Globe, June 23, 1885).

To the extent that these burglaries were a random sampling, it would seem that Milton had three revolvers for every five watches. The court proceeding mentioned would have been an arraignment, rather than a “trial.”

Summary of News. A gang of burglars have lately been operating in Milton, N.H. Ed. Hamilton was arrested last Monday evening, and several gold and silver watches and some money were found on his person. Another man was also arrested (Argus & Patriot (Montpelier, VT), June 24, 1885).

One of Luther Hayes’ farm laborers was killed by a freak lightning strike while sitting at a table inside the Hayes house in West Milton.

A Man Killed in Milton, N.H. DOVER, August 1. – Last evening a heavy thunder shower visited Milton, N.H. Mark Dore, who works on the place of Hon. Luther Hayes, was sitting at a table when a bolt struck a tree in front of the house, caromed in through an open door and struck him on the head, instantly killing him and discoloring the body. The other inmates received slight shocks from the electric current. The house was not damaged (Boston Globe, August 2, 1885).

Despite the victim being identified as a man called Mark Dore, only fifteen-year-old Charles S. Dorr died in Milton on the named date. He died in Milton, NH, July 31, 1885, aged fifteen years, seven months, and seventeen days, son of Steven D. and Melvina F. [(Staples)] Dorr.

Stephen D. Dorr, a farmer, aged forty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Melvina F. Dorr, keeping house, aged thirty-six years (b. NH), and his children, Emily F. Dorr, at home, aged nineteen years (b. NH), Rosa Dorr, at home, aged fifteen years (b. NH), Augusta Dorr, at home, aged thirteen years (b. NH), Charles S. Dorr, at home, aged eleven years (b. NH), Alphonzo Dorr, at home, aged seven years (b. NH), and Fred H. Dorr, at home, aged three years (b. NH). Stephen D. Dorr appeared in the enumeration between the households of Calvin Mason, a farmer, aged thirty-five years (b. NH), and James M. Breen, a clergyman, aged sixty years (b. NH).

Here we find Will Wilde – an apparent pseudonym – of Milton Three Ponds, receiving a reply to his inquiry for additional information about poetry and elocution.

Inquiries Answered. “Will Wilde, Milton Three Ponds, N.H.” At least two of the poems referred to are in the familiar elocutionist’s series known as “One Hundred Selections.” Send to the New England News Company. Boston, for indexes of these volumes (Boston Globe, August 22, 1885).

At this time, Milton had district schools, which would take a student up through what might now be considered an early Middle School level. We have mentioned before some of the standard textbooks used in them: Milton’s Arithmetic Textbooks of 1878.

Plummer's Ridge District No 1 Schoolhouse
Plummer’s Ridge District No. 1 Schoolhouse

Right up through the late nineteenth century, district school teachers might not have been much older than their students (as with the Milton Teacher of 1796-05, who began teaching at thirteen years of age). We might think of the fictional Miss Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables. (Anne with an “e,” thank you).

Most students who completed their district school educations went directly to work or into apprenticeships. (One need only look at Federal Census schedules to confirm this).

We have put forward some few examples – published in our Puzzle category – of Milton district school students reveling in their mastery of mathematical challenges: Puzzle #10: J.O. Porter’s Cork Problem and Puzzle #11: T.C. Wentworth’s Problem.

Milton had no public high school, although it did have a private one, the Milton Classical Institute, which had been established in 1867. The Institute’s student body would have been small, comprising only the few students that wanted further education, perhaps intending to go into one of the professions, and who were able to pay the freight (or obtain a patron). Its students might have gone on to college thereafter, but not necessarily.

(Milton had also for a time a private subscription library, the Milton Social Library, which opened its doors in 1822).

The Nute High School & Library would open its doors in 1891 but, even then, not all of Milton’s district school graduates would have gone there.

Obviously, education is never complete. One of its purposes is to teach you how to teach yourself. And the enterprising Will Wilde of Milton Three Ponds seems to have been working on that.

Isaac W. Springfield was born in Rochester, NH, October 27, 1823, son of Isaac and Clara (Blaisdell) Springfield.

Isaac W. Springfield, a woolen manufacturer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Rochester household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Clarinda [(Nutter)] Springfield, keeping house, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH), and his children, Jennie E. Springfield, at home, aged thirty-four years (b. NH), Fred A. Springfield, at home, aged twenty-eight years (b. NH), Hattie L. Springfield, at home, aged seventeen years (b. NH).

I.W. Springfield & Son appeared as woolens and blanket manufacturers in the Milton business directories of 1884 and 1887.

MISDEEDS AND MISHAPS. Isaac W. Springfield & Son’s woolen mill, Milton Three Ponds, N.H., was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire Saturday morning (St. Albans Daily Messenger (St. Albans, VT), [Monday,] August 24, 1885).

NEW HAMPSHIRE NEWS. A.W. Springfield’s woolen mills at Milton, Three Ponds, twenty-two miles from Dover, were struck by lightning early Saturday morning, and with the contents, burned to the ground. Fifty hands were employed there; loss $30,000 (Springfield Reporter (Springfield, VT), August 28, 1885).

In 1894, I.W. Springfield, then of South Wolfeboro, NH, was one of 1,150 manufacturers of “woolens and worsted goods, carpets, hosiery, and knit goods, wholesale clothing and cloak manufacturers, wool dealers, and commission merchants,” who opposed the Wool and Woolen Schedule of the Wilson Tarriff Bill. The petition originated at a mass meeting held in New York City, January 10, 1894, and was “referred” to a US Senate Committee. (The Waumbeck Company, of Milton Mills, NH, also signed the petition).

Clarinda (Nutter) Springfield died in Rochester, NH, January 6, 1888. Isaac W. Springfield died in Wolfeboro, NH, January 7, 1900, aged seventy-six years.

Bray U. Simmes, a prominent Milton Mills merchant, who appears to have retired about 1871-72, died there July 15, 1885. He is here remembered for his subtlety in detecting a sneak thief.

GLEANINGS. The death of B.U. Simes, of Milton Mills, recalls an incident that occurred about thirty years ago. He was a merchant and a very shrewd man. One day he discovered that his till had been robbed, and he resolved to say nothing about it to any one, not even to the members of his family. Some three months afterward one of his customers said to him: “Did you ever find out who took that money out of your till?” Mr. Simes replied: “I never have till now, but now I know it was you, as I have never told any one that I lost it.” And he made the man pay him the amount – Worcester (Harrisburg Telegraph, October 3, 1885).

Bray Underwood Simes was born in Portsmouth, NH, in June 1801, son of William Simes.

He married, circa 1827-28, Martha Spinney. She was born in Maine, circa 1809-13. She died between June 1880 and July 1885.

(The 1886 and 1891 dates on their gravestone are incorrect. He died in 1885, at which time he was a widower. Likely, an earlier soft white marble stone was replaced by the current granite one and the original dates were difficult to read).

Bray U. Simes set up as a merchant in Milton Mills as early as 1830. The Sixth (1840) Federal Census listed him as “engaged in commerce.”

Bray U. Simes, a trader, aged forty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Martha Simes, aged thirty-seven years (b. ME), Elizabeth E. Simes, aged twenty years (b. NH), William Simes, a student, aged eighteen years (b. NH), George Simes, a student, aged sixteen years (b. NH), Caroline Simes, aged fourteen years (b. NH), John Simes, aged twelve years (b. NH), Ann Simes, aged ten years (b. NH), Edward Simes, aged eight years (b. NH), Shadrach Simes, aged five years (b. NH), and Adaline Simes, aged two years (b. NH). Bray U. Simes had real estate valued at $1,500. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of James Parker, a weaver, aged twenty-five years (b. ME) and John L. Swinerton, a physician, aged forty-five years (b. ME).

B.U. Simes, a merchant, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Milton (Milton Mills P.O.) household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Martha Simes, aged fifty years (b. NH), Elizabeth Simes, aged thirty-one years (b. NH), Ann Simes, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), Adda Simes, aged twelve years (b. NH), and John Simes, a merchant, aged twenty-four years (b. NH). Bray U. Simes had real estate valued at $1,200 and personal estate valued at $3,000. His household appeared in the enumeration between those of Elbridge W. Fox, a farmer, aged twenty-five years (b. NH) and [his son] George Simes, a house carpenter, aged twenty-seven years (b. NH). (His location seems to have been the same as that of 1850).

The youngest son, Shadrach S. Simes, of Milton, NH, aged nineteen years, enlisted in Company C of the Ninth NH Regiment, at Portsmouth, NH, January 5, 1864. He was captured on May 12, 1864, during the Battle of Spotsylvania, VA. He died in the notorious prison camp at Andersonville, GA, June 30, 1864.

His store and that of another son, John U. Simes, were two of Milton Mills’ “four regular stores” mentioned in the Vulpes Letter of January 1864, and they were both taxed as retail dealers in the US Excise Tax of May 1864.

Bray U. (or B.U.) Simes appeared as a Milton Mills variety merchant, or a dry goods & grocery merchant in Milton business directories of the years 1867-68, 1869-70, and 1871.

The last will of Bray U. Simes, of Milton, NH, dated February 3, 1879, devised $5 to each of four sons, George, William, John U., and Edward S. Simes. It also canceled $1,000 promissory notes that he held from each of the same four sons. He devised $2,000 to his daughter, Elizabeth E. Simes. (Other children, Shadrach (d. 1864), Caroline (d. 1868), Adaline (d. 1875), and Ann Simes (d. 1878), died prior to the drafting of the will). He devised all the rest, residue, and remainder of his estate to his “beloved wife,” Martha Simes (who would also predecease him). John T. French, Geo. Annable, and Charles E. Green signed as witnesses.

Bray U. Simes, a retired merchant, aged seventy-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Martha Simes, a housekeeper, aged seventy-two years (b. ME), his daughter, Elizabeth E. Simes, at home, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), and his grandson, William C. Simes, works peddling fancy goods & c., aged seventeen years (b. NH). Bray U. Simes appeared in the enumeration between the households of [his son] Edward S. Simes, a carpenter, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), and Ira Miller, a storekeeper, aged fifty-three years (b. ME).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1884; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1886


Find a Grave. (2013, August 17). Bray U. Simes. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011, February 28). Charles S. Dorr. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2017, October 30). Isaac W. Springfield. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2008, October 5). Noah Blanchard Thayer. Retrieved from

US Congress. (1895). Miscellaneous Documents of the Senate of the United States, for the Second Session of the Fifty-Third Congress, 1893-94. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, February 9). Andersonville National Historic Site. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 27). Anne of Green Gables. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 9). Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Retrieved from


Durgin-Park Restaurant Closes

By Muriel Bristol | March 25, 2019

Boston’s famous Durgin-Park restaurant closed its doors for the last time on Saturday, January 12, 2019, after nearly two hundred years (founded in 1827). I heard about it recently from a friend that lives in Boston.

Durgin-Park occupied an upstairs location in the northern row of buildings at the Quincy Marketplace. It was known for its communal seating at long tables, and its menu of what might be called traditional “Yankee” food: cornbread, seafood, chowders, broiled meats, Boston baked beans, boiled dinners, apple pie (and cheese), and Indian pudding. Even spruce gum for afters.

There were and are many fine ethnic restaurants in Boston and New England, but only Durgin-Park presented traditional Yankee cuisine so authentically and so thoroughly.

I have (from an older relative) one of their postcard-like handouts from some forty-five years ago, which featured their recipes for Boston Baked Beans, Baked Indian Pudding; Tea Cake, Blueberry Cake, and Cornbread; and Old-Fashioned Apple Pie.

I will here reproduce, as a sort of tribute, the Durgin-Park recipe for Tea Cake, Blueberry Cake, and Cornbread, which all shared a common base.


For Tea Cake:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups milk

Mix sugar with beaten eggs. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add melted butter and milk. Beat up quickly and bake in a large buttered pan in a very hot oven. This makes one large pan, which will cut into 21 squares.

For Blueberry Cake, add one cup blueberries last.

For Corn Bread, substitute one cup granulated yellow corn meal for one of the three cups of flour.

One may notice that, as with the Milton Cookies of 1895-96, no specific temperature or time is given. You are supposed to just know that. For those that do not, a modern oven temperature of 400° might be taken to be a “very hot oven,” and a baking time of about ½ hour should be about long enough, but keep an eye on it. A 9″x14″ baking dish of 3″ depth would be about the right size.

Should there be sufficient interest, I am prepared to reproduce one or all of the other Durgin-Park recipes from the handout also.

Meanwhile, if you ever find yourself in need of lunch in Boston, Jacob Wirth’s German Restaurant (founded 1868) offers a not too dissimilar experience, except with German food instead of Yankee food. You might drown your sorrow over the loss of Durgin-Park in a nice Hefeweizen beer.


Boston Globe. (2019, January 4). Durgin-Park, a Faneuil Hall Stalwart, Closes after Almost 200 Years. Retrieved from

Forbes. (2019, January 10). After 192 Years, Boston’s Iconic Durgin-Park Restaurant Serves Its Last Meal. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2019, March 4). Durgin Park. Retrieved from

Reply: That Name Thing Again

By S.D. Plissken | March 24, 2019

Ms. McDougall,

Thank you for your comment of March 20 in regard to my own piece on the Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting of March 18. There is a lot to unpack here. I will attempt to address your various points (in several replies), although not necessarily in the order in which you made them.

I can agree with your conclusion of support for freedom of speech, commerce [a free market], and low taxes [a free people].

That Name Thing Again

Everyone wants to know our names. But why? The arguments deployed here are either valid or they are not, regardless of the name attached to them. Names are useful only for use in ad hominum fallacies – arguments applied against the man (or woman), rather than against the argument.

And, frankly, this Town government is not to be trusted with names. It was reported on the eve of the March 2018 election, in response to a 91-A request by a local Facebook administrator, that the Town Treasurer was under “criminal investigation.” She had displeased the Board of Selectmen in some way, only partially visible in their public sessions. Now, this accusation was patent nonsense, of course. And when she lost the election, the “criminal investigation” evaporated. It was apparently no longer necessary.

She won re-election as Strafford County Treasurer. The County seems to have had no problems with her whatsoever.

This episode begs many questions. Who initiated the purported “criminal investigation”? On what basis? Who did the investigating? Just following orders? What were the results? Is the information sought under 91-A now publicly available? And, finally, where does the erstwhile Treasurer go to regain her good name?

You might think that the current Treasurer has also cause for complaint: his own electoral victory appears to have been influenced, and thereby tainted, by this “February surprise.” Where is his “mandate”?

And there have been other similar occurrences, in which Town officials have threatened to use Town money – your money and mine – to sue someone into oblivion if they did not comply. By whatever means necessary, to the outer limits of our money. Aah, I’d like a vote on that expenditure, please.

Those who follow the BOS meetings will have seen occasionally other causes for concern. I might cite just a couple of them. The RSAs, whatever I might think of them, have some very few checks on the power of selectmen. Some decisions are reserved for the electorate alone.

Our selectmen do not care much for that nonsense. They find it inconvenient. They have voted amounts of money just one dollar less than statutory amounts that would trigger a vote of that electorate. They have stated outright that they are voting that dollar-smaller amount so as to not trigger the requirement for voter approval. Because they love … democracy?

In a like manner, they have stated publicly that they are keeping one dollar in a fund that, having fulfilled its approved purpose, should have been closed. They have stated clearly that they were doing so in order to avoid the need for voter authorization in the future. Because they respect … the taxpayers?

One might make a case that this Town government, when thwarted or facing some perceived impediment, sometimes reacts in a manner more akin to a criminal gang than an assemblage of our friends and neighbors.

And you want our names available to them. Yeah, right.

Milton in the News – 1884

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 24, 2019

In this year, Henry H. Townsend’s Milton Mills blanket factory “failed,” i.e., experienced a bankruptcy. This state of affairs might also be termed an “embarrassment.”

Business Embarrassments. H.H. Townsend, blanket manufacturer, Milton, N.H., has failed (Boston Globe, August 29, 1884).

Henry H. Townsend was born in Dorchester, MA, August 12, 1842, son of John and Jane M. Townsend.

He married in Milton, NH, June 7, 1870, Agnes J. Brierly, he of Boston, MA, and she of Milton. Rev. N.D. Adams of Union, NH, performed the ceremony. She was born in Lowell, MA, May 17, 1844, daughter of Edward J. and Margaret M. (Thompson) Brierly.

Henry H. Townsend started his own blanket factory, as opposed to that sold by his father, prior to 1873. Sullivan H. Atkins joined him as a partner between 1875 and 1880. The factory appeared previously when it suspended production for a time in 1878.

Agnes J. (Brierly) Townsend died December 26, 1891. Henry H. Townsend died in Milton Mills, NH, June 25, 1904.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1883; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1885


Find a Grave. (2013, August 12). Henry H. Townsend. Retrieved from


Ready for a Second Helping?

By John S. Frum, Publisher | March 23, 2019

We at the Milton Observer are coming up on our first anniversary, which naturally occasions some questions.

As its publisher, I first had to ask myself, “Is the game worth the candle?” I think so.

Why the Observer?

Mr. Brown once made a strong case for the Milton Observer in a Public Comment before an October Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting. He spoke to a desperate need for local papers as a watchdog on the doings (and takings) of local government. I very much doubt that he meant the Milton Observer specifically. He cited Foster’s Daily Democrat as his exemplar but, in fact, they barely notice Milton’s existence even a few times a year.

I resolved early on that we would take little notice, as do some publications, of the foibles, failings, and arrests of private persons: they are innocent until proven guilty and are often not in a position to speak for themselves as they might wish. And there are so very many bad laws. (We are said to be all unknowingly committing “three felonies a day”).

Social media and other venues deal thoroughly with Milton businesses and social events. I am as interested in those as anyone else, but felt that they get the coverage they need.

The Milton Observer has established its own eclectic niche. And I do not think we are fully formed even now, a year later.

We have enjoyed some measure of success in our niche. I do glance at the statistics occasionally. The Milton Observer‘s content has had many thousands of views. We have even had some few foreign visitors. (Sorry, no Russian “Bots”).

Our Writers

I asked our writers whether we should persist. (After all, they do most of the work). Ms. Bristol, Ms. Starr, Mr. Forrester, and Mr. Plissken, (their pseudonyms or pen names), have all expressed a desire to continue for the time being.

Ms. Bristol feels that her foray into Milton history has been fruitful. She has managed to correct several errors in familiar standard histories and has even managed to supply some original material never before covered.

It has been largely a documentary history so far, although she did break new ground with her early census analysis (1790 and 1800). My personal favorite was the Milton Schoolteacher of 1796-05, but her pieces on Milton’s Railroad, Ice Industry, and Rusticators have proved quite popular. (She should finish Enoch Wingate’s tale).

She feels too that she may try to connect up all her Milton historical documents as a new history. I would like to see that. And maybe I can, but only in the Milton Observer.

Mr. Forrester has still a universe to explore. He has hardly begun to cover the cycle of constellations and other phenomena visible from Milton. I have long been able to recognize the Big and Small Dippers, and thereby the North Star, as well as Orion, but he has enabled me to leverage that knowledge to find Sirius and other celestial objects too.

Now, the sky from Milton is much the same as the sky from Farmington, or Dover, even the whole northern hemisphere. It might surprise you to learn that Mr. Forrester has several fans in other parts of the world as well as Milton.

Mr. Plissken is, well, Mr. Plissken. His articles do occasionally get shared elsewhere, which he does appreciate. Sometimes a disclaimer is attached, which always makes us smile.

Some might regard Mr. Plissken as being a bit of an iconoclast. Perhaps. He does try to address the arguments, rather than the man (or woman). You will have noticed that he frequently reproduces the things that are said exactly (and even links to the video). No one but the public officials themselves put those words, arguments, or justifications into their mouths.

He has of necessity focused in this last year on what has seemed to be the font of Milton’s political and economic errors: its Board of Selectmen. It is certain that we have been poorly governed for quite some time. But hope springs eternal: it might be that our wise overlords will introduce reforms any time now, or as they used to tell me, “straighten up and fly right.”

I do wish I could duplicate Mr. Plissken’s coverage across all the offices, boards and committees, even those as far away as Concord, or even Washington, but he can only be stretched so far and we are, after all, the Milton Observer.

Ms. Starr has not been able to contribute as much as she had hoped. That is fine. Her occasional observations have been interesting. We might hope to hear more from her in the future.

I do wish to enlarge our pool of writers. I am trying to persuade a particular movie buff that they need to write for us. I envisioned a broad survey of the “great” movies available on DVD or through streaming services, rather than the latest film releases at the box office. Something we might have overlooked or never even known about. But this writer I have in mind might have their own ideas.

Ms. Bristol has occasionally shared historical recipes that she came across during her researches. (See the Milton Mills Oyster Fritters Recipe of 1895, and Milton Cookies of 1895-96). Maybe someone could give us more.

I have considered changing up the paper’s physical format too. I am still thinking on that.

Maybe You Have Something to Say?

I created a space for guest writers and have occasionally offered to publish (and have even published) pieces by others. It might be that you have something interesting that needs to be said. Or something of general interest. Or a rebuttal. I do favor Milton writers, but Strafford County, New England, and the world are out there too. The content should be such as would interest Milton readers, but that takes in a lot of territory. I recommend the use of a pen name.

I do not interfere much with what writers might say, but we do have an editorial point of view. You may say whatever you like – even that the Observer is a hopeless scandal sheet full of unsubstantiated rumors – but you should expect that there may be some pushback or rebuttal from other writers. That is how free speech works.

I ask primarily that a writer not get us sued, if such a thing is even possible within the parameters I have set. It is necessary also to support or enlarge upon any facts cited in concluding References.

We try to avoid criticizing or even mentioning “civilians” by name, but the public pronouncements of our wise overlords are fair game. (They are asserting a right to rule over us, and to realize their fevered dreams at the public expense).

That gentile avoidance sort of includes you too. Your work might not be quite as relevant, or interesting, if you get too personal. (We might be embarrassed). Try to speak to wider interests, topics, and concerns. You might ask, as they do with children, “Did I bring enough for everyone?”

(In terms of textual presentation, I prefer full justification; I do not care for left justification).

So, the Milton Observer and its writers have contracted for at least another year. And it might be that some of you might have something suitable for us. (You may reach me by e-mail, which I check at least occasionally).

Do not expect to get paid. Well, maybe some experience and satisfaction will be forthcoming.


Laissez Faire Books. (2012, March 25). Three Felonies a Day, a Review by Wendy McIlroy. Retrieved from

Milton in the News – 1883

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 21, 2019

Butler, Gardner S.In this year, Milton Mills’ Union Congregational minister, the Rev. Gardner S. Butler, preached also in Wakefield’s Union village, for a while.

New Hampshire. UNION. It is expected that Rev. G.S. Butler of Milton Mills is to preach here Sunday afternoon at two o’clock, for a while (Vermont Chronicle (Bellows Falls, VT), February 9, 1883).

This may be when he met the widow that he would marry in the following year. She lived next door to the Union village parsonage.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1882; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1884


None at present

A Reply to Chairman Thibeault’s Rube Goldberg Machine

By Lynette McDougall | March 20, 2019

I have never replied to the Milton Observer because I have felt it entertaining to a degree plus well written. I am afraid I am disappointed in this review, it is so easy to shame, and make those who we have voted in office look bad when they too are citizens. They are in the constant hot seat taking hits.

May I ask who on the Milton Observer use their real names? – it’s sort of a hit and run. No one can hit back if they don’t know who you are. Yet these people, board members, are our neighbors, and friends putting their time in to do what no one else has stepped up to do. I may make my political thoughts known publicly, but I don’t hide and I do respect our Town Planner, town board for trying their best.

It takes guts to try and help this town who resists so much effort to grow. I don’t agree with Ryan on some things but he’s my neighbor and I respect he is out there doing the best he knows and the same for Andy and many others.

Right now, I believe my remark to the BOS was wrong: “who do they work for?” I should have asked what can be done to work together for a common goal. We have forgotten why public meetings are so important; to exchange ideas, work out problems, and be open to new ideas or respectfully listen. This is town business we pay for.

I took a picture of the audience at last night’s Planning Board, as usual there was no public attendance. But there was plenty to say about Warrant Article 3 but not where citizens could hear the RSA’s, professional definitions, etc., etc. It’s amazing that propaganda can so easily be disguised and manipulated by colored pamphlets. The public missed the main objectives of the article and took the ride of misinformation. That’s ok, it was talked about at last night’s meeting that the public didn’t attend.

You might wonder who I champion … it’s freedom of speech, it’s public involvement, it’s commerce, low taxes with regard to what you have to give up in return, everything comes at a cost.

Freedom comes at a great cost we are all on the hook to pay the toll.

Ms. McDougall is a member of the Milton Planning Board. Her husband is a member the Budget Committee

See also Chairman Thibeault’s Rube Goldberg Machine

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