This collection of photographs documents a family's summertime stay at Fairview Cottage, circa 1904. While the identities of those photographed have been lost to history, the family is certainly representative of the numerous families that created lifelong memories at Cobbett's Pond. Summer cottages, which could be rented for a reasonable price, offered an escape from nearby cities. Cobbett's Pond offered children, such as those pictured, a chance to play and explore in the clear water of the pond and undisturbed woods around the shore. Hardworking parents and adults were given the chance to relax in the easy pace and fresh air of pond life. Although the summer cottages of the early twentieth century have long been replaced by year-round homes and much more modernized "cottages," Cobbett's Pond still offers the memory-making, relaxation, and fun sought by families more than a century ago.
This collection of photographs of the exterior of Fairview Cottage, circa 1904, show the rustic setting and appearance of a typical Cobbett's Pond cottage at the turn of the twentieth century. William Calvin Harris, who constructed the cottage, made ample usage of the New Hampshire white birch to build a railing around the cottage's front facing deck. To take advantage of the waterfront view, the deck of Fairview Cottage wrapped around the entire front of the cottage, and extended towards the side. The deck was filled with chairs of all sizes and varieties to create an enjoyable, relaxing experience for all members of the families who rented the cottage. Another essential element of a summer cottage is the boat dock. The wooden planking of the dock can be seen in the photograph above, as well as one of the photographs below. The craftsman who built the dock focused on functionality over appearance, leaving many of the boards uneven. At the edge of the dock was a flagpole from which an American flag was proudly hung; the flag can be seen in the bottom left photograph below. Lastly, the cottage featured its own water well, complete with a small wooden bucket to be used in drawing water from the well. As seen in the photograph at the bottom right below, the well was rather nicely constructed, using rocks found in the immediate area of the cottage.
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.