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Monday, June 08, 2015

The Nelsons of Goshen, NH

How many of you can tell me where Goshen, NH is located? I didn't know. I looked it up and found it is near Mt. Sunapee and it has a population of less than 1000. It's an old town, having been incorporated in 1791.

Amherst College, has a collection of a photographs and handcrafted books from the Nelson family of Goshen, dating from the 1880s and 90s. They have digitized the collection, along with items from the Goshen Historical Society's collection. The books have been transcribed. The whole collection is available to the general public through a website: The Worlds and Works of the Nelson Brothers. (To learn about the project, click here.) Spend a few hours reading the small books created by the Nelson brothers, and looking through the photos taken by brothers.

Here's a photo that caught my fancy:

"Woman with Large Lap Cat," courtesy The Worlds and Works of the Nelson Brothers.

For today's children, the realization that there were no smart phones, no computers, no TVs, no radios or CDs a hundred years ago, could lead to some interesting conversations. People entertained themselves by reading, and in the case of the Nelson brothers, by writing their own books, military uniforms catalog, etc. What would you and your kids do to entertain yourselves?

If your family becomes inspired to collect its own history, stop by the Library to borrow Finding Out about Your Family History by Nick Hunter [J 929.2 HUN].

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