Nelson hasn’t been the site of any major archeological discoveries, but Bill Dunn, with the aid of his metal detector, occasionally discovers some interesting artifacts. Most recently he came across this button. These large Georgian buttons are also known as Dandy buttons, or “colonial” type because they were popular both in Europe and America. They are often associated with the fashionable young men of the time known as dandies, who took great pains over their appearance. Now it’s hard to imagine such a character prancing around the woods of Nelson circa 1773, but we believe the button came from one of the town’s first settlers, Aaron Beal. Perhaps after failing to make the appropriate impression he just decided to discard this. Any any case, it’s a nice find for our time – thank you Bill. You can read more about Aaron Beal on the Nelson History website.
We know that there’s been some digging going on at 49 Henderson Road, where Tyler and Jenna Rich are having their seasonal opening for Partner’s Gardens this Saturday from 10 – 2. If you can catch them in a free moment they can probably regale you with stories of their gardening adventures over the winter. More details here.
We stared doing some digging when putting together the story about the mail box structure that Chris Giacomo did for his Eagle Scout project back in 2004. [Read that story if you haven’t already] That’s barely long enough ago to be considered history, but we then got curious about when the mailboxes in Nelson Village were first installed. We started with Bert Wingerson, our town historian and archivist, but she was not aware of any documentation of this. For Bert not to know suggests that the information must be pretty obscure. We then called Priscilla Walter, who knows most things. She didn’t have a specific answer for this, but she did say she thought that the Priest House (known later as Cobleigh, and then Gerbis) served at one time as the post office. At this point we couldn’t resist a visit with Barry Tolman, who only knew that when he was going to school in the Brick Schoolhouse, in the 1940’s, they were already in place. He specifically knew this because he and his fellow students occasionally took it as their responsibility, when they saw Edgar Seaver delivering the mail, to go out and pelt him with snow balls (in season). Edgar wasn’t known to have much sense of humor, and he often responded with a tirade about how he was a federal employee, and he was going to get the FBI to go after the boys. This stirred other memories from Barry of similar incidents which took place in the proximity of the mailboxes, some of which may or may not appear on this website someday.
That in turn put us in mind of a story Win French told about Edgar Seaver. That has made it into Nelson Small Talk, along with an account from Judi Lang about the fire that destroyed the Granite Lake Store and Post Office.
All this has got us hankering to hear more stories – from you, our readers. What do you remember about the Granite Lake Store and the Post Office within? It can be a historical detail, or just a fond memory. And – does anyone actually know when the Nelson Village mailboxes were first installed?