This guest book (121 pages) contains contributions from visitors to The Curtis, a summer boarding house and hotel in New Castle, New Hampshire, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book contains poetry, signatures, quotations, sketches, and watercolors, as well as 5 cyanotype photographs.
Collection processed and finding aid created by Cassie Schmitt, November 2006, and Meg Hixon, March 2012
Scope and Content:
This guest book (121 pages) contains contributions from visitors to The Curtis, a summer boarding house and hotel in New Castle, New Hampshire, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The guest book contains poetry, signatures, quotations, sketches, and watercolors, as well as 5 cyanotype photographs.
Most entries are dated between 1895 and 1906; one is dated 1916. Visitors mainly stayed at The Curtis between the months of June and September, many for a month or longer. Most guests came from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and some visited from Maine, Vermont, Iowa, and California. Several guests included lines of verse alongside their signatures, including one who copied "At the Stand of the Tide," a poem by Harriet McEwan Kimball (pp. 38-39). One patron, Marie Middlekauff, signed in German (p. 33), and 2 referenced "Miss Bickford's" hospitality and cooking. A few contributors drew sketches, and 3 signed next to cyanotype photographs depicting sailboats, people at leisure, and a cat.
List of Illustrations
Colored painting of an industrial town on a river, Alice M. Comstock, July 23, 1903 (p. 4)
Sketch of buildings, M. L. Wood, June 1898 (p. 45)
Sketch of a street, Alice Washington Ball,  (p. 47)
Sketch of a steamer, L. McL. King, 1898 (p. 49)
"The Studio," sketch of a barn beside a body of water, Joseph B. Davol, (p. 51)
"Why we tarried," sketch of a female golfer, William F. Crocker,  (p. 77)
"The presiding genius of The Curtis," sketch of an owl, Alice Prossitte Hall,  (p. 83)
"The Homestead," watercolor painting, Frederick E. Bartlett,  (p. 85)
Sketch of a planter with flowers, Thomas B. Frost et al., September 2, 1899 (p. 87)
Sketch of a sailboat and waterfront buildings, Ethel Woods Varrell, September 17, 1899 (p. 89)
Sketch of a young woman's head, Josephine Bruce, September 1899 (p. 91)
Sketch of a house, Pauline McKay, October 5, 1900 (p. 101)
"Keep Dark!," sketch of an African-American man in profile (p. 107), accompanied by poem on next page, Mr. & Mrs. F. A. Whiting, Mr. & Mrs. A. H. Hall, and Mr. & Mrs. F. Allen Whiting, September 11, 1905, pp. 106-107
"Piscataqua Cafe," sketch of a building and pier, C. F. S. (p. 110)
Cartoon sketch of a cowboy outside of a building, saying, "I done it!," Lionel Sherwood (pp. 112-113)
Sketch of a sailboat on water, with waterfront buildings and factories in background, James N. Vandegrift, July 28, 1906 (p. 117)
Biographical / Historical:
Howard M. Curtis was born in January 1835, and served as the postmaster and town clerk for New Castle, New Hampshire, in the late 1800s. Curtis married Lucretia V. Bickford on April 20, 1862, and they had at least three children: Ella T., Chester B., and Lewis G. Howard Curtis and his sister-in-law, Myra Fernald Bickford (1841-1924), ran The Curtis in New Castle between at least 1895 and 1916.
1991. M-2655 .
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
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Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
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