1919: A Window into the Past
In the early 1960s my grandmother Inda Peters Collins of Laconia, N.H. married a local pharmacist, Lawton B. Quimby. It was a second marriage for both. Lawton, or "Gramps" as we called him, was the only grandfather that I ever knew. He was a kind man who was a wonderful companion to my grandmother in their later years. In the late 1960s Gramps and my uncles George Collins and John Newton built a small cabin on Little Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee. Gramps would ferry us to the island on his beloved Chris Craft boat. My fondest childhood memories are of the lake and the family times we had there.
After Gramps died in the 1980s a relic from his past was passed down to my mother, Elizabeth Collins Finnegan '47. It turns out that Gramps went to The New Hampshire College of Agriulture and the Mechanic Arts just as World War I was ending. He was a poultry major. For the two years that Gramps was in Durham he kept a scrapbook of his time. The below slideshow features a selection of the mementos that Gramps saved.
—Bridget Finnegan, New and Emerging Media
Written by Bridget Finnegan, UNH New and Emerging Media. Photos and scans by Lisa Nugent, UNH Photographic Services. Special thanks to Mylinda Woodward of the University of New Hampshire Archive. Do you have a UNH relic that you would like to share? Contact us.
World War 1 ended in November of 1918. The above image from the UNH Archive shows the celebration in Durham.
Inside the Scrapbook
Personalized memory books were available to New Hampshire College students to store keepsakes and mementos.
The early pages of the book are filled with signatures and notes from fellow students.
The lively note section ranges in topics from chicken jokes to innuendoes about Quimby's popularity with women. Read a selection of notes.
One classmate who signed the book was Oliver "Hub" Hubbard '21, UNH's greatest benefactor. Learn more about the Hubbard brothers.
Another signatory was George "Chap" Collins who was Inda's first husband, the father of Elizabeth Collins Finnegan '47.
Comment section detail
As part of the curriculum, poultry majors were required to have a working knowledge of tractors. The tractor school was a special three-day event offered by the college to the “farmers and gardeners of the state...the greatest opportunity to see and learn how to operate tractors ever known in northern New England.” The registration fee was $1.
Quimby, or "Gib" as he was called by his classmates, was an avid supporter of New Hampshire athletics. He saved clips and photos for the sporting events of both men and women.
War World I was the defining event of this generation. Quimby registered for the draft but, as the war was winding down, was not called to serve.
On New Hampshire Day the entire student body and faculty devoted a day to work on clean up and improvements to the campus – often involving the athletic fields and facilities. First held in 1916, it was an annual event until 1924 when the size of the student body had grown to the point of being too unwieldy to keep everyone occupied and on task. This photo is from 1920.
Quimby, an avid dancer, attended many formals and informals while in Durham. The number of dance cards and memorabilia exceeds everything else in the scrapbook.
"The Saint Patrick's party given by the girls of Smith Hall on Friday evening, March 5, at the gymnasium, was a truly unique dance. Large banners, of every fraternity in college, supplied the principal decorations. Music was furnished by Doolittle's orchestra, which was placed quite advantageously in the center of the hall, on a platform shaded by palms."
—The New Hampshire