Barry Tolman dropped in for a quick visit a few days ago. I usually have some history question for a person who remembers a lot of Nelson’s past. We got talking about houses on Old Stoddard Road that had been lost to fire.
In the late 1970s the old Josiah Whitney home, owned by Peter Flint, caught fire. Peter’s Aunt Kate was home at the time. Aunt Kate was a small, wiry, and strong-willed woman. The Harrisville Fire Department’s truck was the first to arrive and found the place was seriously involved. A big burly fireman named Bryan Trudelle entered the burning building and found Aunt Kate.
“We gotta get you out of here, this thing’s going to go,” said Bryan.
“I’m not going without my dog,” said Aunt Kate.
Bryan said she had to get out now and that he’d come back for the dog. Aunt Kate replied with a punch in the big man’s nose. “That got my attention,” he said later, and he called repeatedly and pleadingly for the dog. The dog, like its owner, was small and feisty. With the dog under one arm and Aunt Kate under the other, Bryan got out just in time. The building was a total loss, Bryan’s nose healed, and the story lives on.
Cemeteries are a wonderful place of quiet calm and the surroundings are perfect for meditation and contemplation. On a warm spring day I was walking among the souls in the Munsonville Cemetery and came across the final resting place of one of my great aunts.
Every year at Christmastime I am reminded of the very first Christmas we had here in Nelson. I don’t remember the exact date, but on one particular day in mid-ish December near suppertime there came a knock at the front door.