Postcards, once the most popular souvenir of Windham, were often sold by local boardinghouse owners and store proprietors. Large postcard publishers, such as Frank Swallow of New Hampshire, would print custom postcards featuring various scenes from around Windham. One of their customers was N. W. Garland, the owner of Garland's store. Swallow postcards can often be easily identified by a printed birch bark border around the image on the postcard. Other local postcard publishers, such as George Seavey, had their postcards printed in Germany. However, for locals or tourists wanting a more personalized postcard, real photo postcards were another option. In 1903, Kodak introduced the No. 3A Folding Pocket camera, which was designed for postcard sized film. The photographs could then be printed on postcard paper. When divided back postcards were introduced in 1907, allowing for a message to be written on the back, along with the address, Kodak introduced their "real photo postcard" service.
"Stock" postcards were less creative than the more custom postcards, but offered a convenient and cost effective way for local businesses to sell souvenir postcards. The postcards were designed to be overprinted with the name a town or tourist destination. Each card was designed to have a broad appeal, and the postcards often featured poems, witty sayings, or whimsical drawings. Featured above and below are two such cards from Windham.
In 1719, when the first settlers arrived in Nutfield, two Anderson brothers, Allen and James, were among the first sixteen settlers to build the primitive log homes in Londonderry. James was the progenitor of the Anderson family of Windham, but spent much of his life in Derry. James' first son, Samuel, settled on land his father owned along the Windham - Londonderry line near Beaver Brook. Samuel married Martha Craige; interestingly, two of his brothers also married women of the Craige family. Samuel's son, also named Samuel, inherited his father's farm and spent his whole life on the property. The next generation of the Anderson family to live upon the farm was David Anderson, the eldest son of the younger Samuel. David, and his wife Rebecca Davidson, lost all but one of their children to spotted fever at a young age. Their only surviving son, Francis D. Anderson, was born on the farm in 1867, and became the fourth generation of the Anderson family to call the farm home. According to Leonard Morrison, "like other farmers, he labored hard, but intelligently." His farm land was very fertile and some of the best in town, due to the close proximity of Beaver Brook.
William H. Anderson, a wealthy lawyer who opened a law practice in Lowell, MA, was the fifth, and last, generation of the Anderson family to occupy the farm in West Windham. His wealth allowed him to fill the home with new furnishings and decor, as seen below. As Windham was a rural community, without many professionals like Anderson, the room shown below would have certainly been atypical compared with other period bedrooms around town.
Although the farm was once located in West Windham, the property eventually became part of Londonderry. The home, without many of the outbuildings, still stands in Londonderry, just a short distance from the current Windham town line.
John Senter, the patriarch of the Senters of Windham and Londonderry, moved from Long Island, New York to Nutfield in 1719, and became one of the original proprietors of Londonderry. He lived near Beaver Pond, where he and his wife, Jean, raised a family. Their first son, Samuel, who was born on January 31, 1721, was the second male to be born in the town of Londonderry. Like his father, Samuel lived and raised his family, which consisted of his wife and three sons, in Londonderry. His first son, Samuel, was born on February 15, 1752, and, with his brother Abel, fought in the American Revolutionary War, under the command of Captain George Reid. An unknown illness he contracted during the war, which was brought on by "fatigue and exposure", left him a "life-long invalid." In 1774, the younger Samuel married Hannah Read, and the couple settled in Windham in 1790. He purchased land from Alexander Wilson, upon which a dam had previously been constructed. Senter utilized the dam when he built a gristmill and sawmill on the property. He became involved in the community and served as the moderator of a "special" town meeting in 1796, and one year later served as the town clerk. The elder Samuel died about 1797. On February 11, 1833, just four days shy of his 81st birthday, Samuel Senter died and was buried in the Cemetery on the Hill, directly below where his church pew formerly stood.
The deed below, dated 1794, is signed by both Samuel Senters, as well as Polly Senter. Unfortunately, not much is known about Polly Senter. Leonard Morrison did not include her in his genealogy of the Senter family. However, there is a Polly Senter recorded as having married George Manter of Londonderry in 1795. If this is the same Polly who signed the deed, then she was almost certainly related to the Senter family of Windham.
The Neighborhood Club was founded in West Windham in 1881 by Reverend Webster. The club functioned primarily as a ladies aid society, and became inactive by the early 1930s. Union Hall, located in West Windham, was the meeting place of the club, and when electricity was installed in the building in 1921, the Neighborhood Club provided a portion of the needed funds. The club was also primarily responsible for many of the repairs and improvements that were made to Union Hall in the following decades. However, in 1934 there was a resurgence of club activity and the Neighborhood Club once again met regularly and hosted events. In 1963 the club acquired forty-seven shares of stock, becoming the largest shareholder, in Union Hall. By the 1970s the club restricted membership to only one hundred individuals and served as a "socially oriented organization".
Throughout its history the Neighborhood Club hosted many community events, including a "Harvest Supper" in the 1940s. The event also included dancing and whist playing. Although whist has since lost nearly all of its popularity, it was once the nation's leading card game. The game originated in England during the first half of the 16th century but, it was not until the 19th century when whist gained in popularity and became one of the most played card games in the country. Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, bridge surpassed whist in popularity, but the latter was still frequently played for decades to come. The game requires four players; two teams of two players. The members of each team must sit across from each other at the card table. Using a standard deck of 52 cards, the dealer deals out all the cards, face down, starting with the player on the dealer's left. The final card, which the dealer deals to himself, is turned face up, and the suit of that card is referred to as the "trump suit". Plays consisting of four cards, known as "tricks", are then played in turn by each player. The rules of the tricks, and the game play, can be found in detail on several websites.
Below is an unused poster advertising the event, which was held in October. The admission price, a reasonable 40 cents, was lowered to 20 cents for children under the age of 12.
George "Bud" Travis, well known in Windham as the operator of Bud's Corner, also opened the first heating oil business in town. In the late 1950s Travis and Brown, both Windham residents, founded Brown & Travis Heating Oils, which undoubtedly supplied many homes around town with the heating oil necessary to brave New England's notoriously cold winters. As Windham's only heating oil dealer, many residents were certainly glad to give their business to Brown and Travis, rather than an outside company operating out of Derry or Salem. Brown & Travis did not last long though, Travis' interest was purchased by the Brown family, and the business became Brown & Sons. This new operation was run by Hazel Brown and her son, James Brown. They continued to operate the business into the 1970s, and were still the only heating oil dealers in town by 1975.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.