Thursday, October 22, 2009
Rambling round Rye
I am finally managing a blog post of sorts, my body arrived back from the USA two weeks ago but my mind has only just joined it! I thought I'd start with a post about Rye as this is the small New Hampshire town where my friends live. It has the advantage of being on the tiny stretch of coast which New Hampshire possesses and is both pretty and historically interesting. It was the first place in New Hampshire to be settled in by Europeans when a man called William Berry set up home at Odiorne's Point in 1623. C, like me, is keen on history and is a member of the local historical society. They have a small but interesting museum which we went to see on my first day.
The area did, of course, have people living there long before any Europeans arrived on the scene. This illustration shows members of the local Native American tribe - they are the Abenaki whose name means 'people of the dawn' in the Algonquin language.
You will need to click on the photo to be able to read this lovely description of Abenaki life before the advent of the white man, I find the final words very sad - regrettably sharing wasn't on the agenda as far as the new settlers were concerned.
These are arrow heads found in the local area, they are from various time periods and the Abenaki would have used both bows and arrows and spears to do their hunting. I was really pleased to find that the local museum had several displays about the Abenaki rather than assuming that the history of Rye only began when Europeans arrived.
This chest was owned by John Langdon Seavey who was born in 1793. It contains a blanket issued to his father,William Seavey,who was a member of Capt. J Parsons Voluntary Company of Rye during the American War of Independence.
An old handmade,wooden lobster pot - so much more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic versions used today. Lobster boats still ply their trade off the coast of New Hampshire and fresh lobster is available in pretty well every restaurant. To the amazement of my seacoast friends I don't actually like lobster all that much. It's extremely messy to eat and involves a great deal of hard work for not very much reward as far as I'm concerned :)
This is now a private house but in a former existence it was the Garland Tavern, My friend points it out every time I go and I have a feeling that it has some sort of claim to fame connected with the American War of Independence but I have absolutely no clue what and I may well have imagined it - it sounds good though doesn't it?
My friends aren't able to do much walking so each morning, with the aid of a little map of Rye, I did 2 or 3 miles around the town so that I got some of the exercise that I'm used to having. As I walked I took photographs of buildings and scenes that attracted my eye. This display was in a local garden shop and gave me pleasure every time I saw it.
The Jonathan Locke House dating back to 1838, Rye has many lovely old houses like this.
I passed this gorgeous tree every day either on foot or in the car. It was unusual in having its full Fall colour as New Hampshire is last on the list as the colour works its way down from Canada. This is my fourth attempt to catch the full display and, though it was the best I've seen up to now, I was still about 10 days too early for the full show.
These three little cuties are miniature donkeys and there are two more of them just out of sight. They have a lovely paddock attached to their stable and live a life of donkey luxury! Over the many years I've been going to Rye I've got to know many of C's friends, the donkeys belong to M and I always try and see them when I visit.
The same friends own a house at the beach and this is the view from the terrace - I never need a second invitation to spend time here.
Another tree beginning to get into its stride, the colours intensified noticeably during the time I was there.
C insisted on taking this photo of me! Every year a local church has a huge sale of gourds and pumpkins as a fundraiser. There's a stand selling homemade bread, cakes and pies too - I bought a pumpkin pie and it was very good indeed.
These are the large pumpkins which people use for general autumn decorations as well as for Halloween.
I loved this display inside the marquee - all the colours and shapes of the gourds and pumpkins really appeal to me. I wish they were available in these quantities in the UK.
Rye is still a very rural place, these fields are at the bottom of the road where C & H live and they belong to R, another of their friends who will be appearing again in a later post.
Another of the lovely New England clapboard houses - originally an old farmhouse but now done up and no longer a farm.
This is a gate made by C and H and sitting at the back of their house in the fence which marks the territory of their dog. I love it, it's so quirky and totally unique.
Finally, another thing that is unique in Rye - when I am in residence, the Union Jack flies once more on American soil!