Tag Archives: Langan

Thanksgiving Memories & Looking Forward to December

Let’s take a look back at Thursday November 29, 1883 — Thanksgiving Day. Should have done this a couple of weeks ago…better late than never!

McDermott Store Ledger - November 29, 1883

Well, I suppose Thanksgiving Day is as good a day as any to buy a new pair of overalls, Patrick Langan.

I wonder what Thanksgiving was like for the pioneer settlers of Clontarf in 1883? Would they have killed a wild turkey for dinner? I don’t think I saw any turkeys being purchased at McDermott’s leading up to the big day. Maybe they had pheasant instead?

Alas, Thanksgiving is but a memory to us now. Time to look forward to December and the Christmas holiday. I wonder how soon the residents of Clontarf begin their Christmas shopping?

McDermott Store Ledger - December 1, 1883

Looks like Mr. McDermott is paying bills on this first day of the month. Rent is $5 per month. It could take him a few days to make that back in any given month!

What is the final entry for James Flynn all about? I can’t quite make it out.

On a sad note, Austin McGeary of Danvers passed away last Thursday, December 1st. I met Austin and his wife several years ago. My mom and I learned that Austin had boarded with my great-grandfather Neil Regan in Clontarf while he worked at Perrizo’s store in the late 1930s. Austin shared his memories of the time he spent at Neil’s as a young man, and for that we are very grateful.

Read Austin’s obituary here: http://www.wctrib.com/event/obituary/id/87235/. Our thoughts are with the entire McGeary family.

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The Clontarf Grace Avenue Theatre Proudly Presents…

Anne Schirmer shared this gem with me on my last visit to Clontarf in April:

A Jack Langan Production.

Anne had a chat with Mary Reardon Langan, wife of play producer Jack Langan, and Mary shared some of her memories of the play…

Mary said the action of the play centered around a game of Buck Euchre, which apparently was a big part of “a typical business day in Clontarf” during the 1920s and 1930s!  The actors are listed on the left and each portrayed a Clontarf resident from back in the day.  A couple of guys (Bob Perrizo and Jim Benoit) did double-duty playing two characters.  Jack based the play on his first-hand observations of these Clontarf businessmen and card players, according to Mary.

Mary also remembered some of the special guest celebrities: Brother Bones was played by Dick Perrizo, and The Dolly Sisters were Gretchen and Robbie Apitz.  This must have been quite a production!  I bet the people of Clontarf really enjoyed themselves.  I love the idea of an old-fashioned basket social.

A couple of other notes from Mary…

  • The first actor on the list should be Jerry Goulet, not aTerry.
  • “Gus’s” Place refers to Gus Heschke’s.
  • Sis Mikkelson was responsible for creating many plays in Clontarf over the years, especially St. Patrick’s Day productions.

Anyone out there remember this play, or events like this in Clontarf?  I am not sure if Mary and Anne came up with a year for this…maybe the late 1950s?  I must say that I am impressed by Mr. Langan’s production, and I would love to know about others he presented in Clontarf over the years.  Please share any memories you have by leaving a comment.  Let me know if you have any photos from this time (school photos, baseball team, etc.) or any other momentos…it would be great to see them.

Many thanks to Anne and Mary!

Have a great weekend!

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Let your fingers do the walking

City directories are a great tool for researching individuals who lived in larger towns and cities in the United States.  City directories are the city equivalent to the country atlas (plat map), and a precursor to the telephone book.

On my recent trip to New Hampshire, I found looking through the Concord city directories to be a highlight of our research.  I would like to share some of what I found, as it pertains to early settlers in the Clontarf area.  If you were to go to the Salem, Massachusetts Historical Society, there is no doubt you would find similar information on the Casey, O’Neill, Langan, and Freeman families.

 

1872 Concord City Directory Advertisements (click image to enlarge)

Concord City Directories

available at the New Hampshire Historical Society

1867

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, house Jefferson

1872

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Crescent, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, h. Main

Kent, James, stone-cutter, h. 227 State

Quigley, Matthew, dresser, A. Harris & Sons, h. Tremont (Boscawen)

1874

Donovan, Michael, stone-cutter, boards 225 State St.

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Spring, n. Centre, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Con. RR , h. Main, opp. Abbott Downing factory

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1876

Duggan, Wiilliam, stone-cutter, house Church

Foley, Patrick, laborer, D. Arthur Brown, h. Spring n. Center, Fisherville

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1878

Foley, Patrick. laborer, (rest same as 1876)

Quigley, Matthew, overseer, (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

In the 1880 Concord city directory, they are all gone.  “They” meaning the early settlers of Clontarf and Tara.  Michael Donovan had left a few years earlier – his obituary states that he came to Swift County in 1875.  Michael Donovan’s obituary also says that a brother living in Concord, NH survives him.  His name was Daniel Donovan and he appears consistently in the directories I studied.

In fact, most of “our guys” left brothers behind in Concord.  I only  know about men since women were not listed unless they were widowed.  I believe John Kenna had a brother Martin (who mysteriously changed the spelling of his last name to Kennar at some point), John Regan had a brother Jeremiah (Jerry), and Patrick Foley had a brothers Andrew and John.

So, this means I could still have some cousins in the Concord area.  Funny I didn’t come across any while I was in town.  And Leo, if you are reading this, you could have some more Kenna cousins as well!  Not to mention those of you who claim Michael Donovan as an ancestor.

Something I am curious about…those who are occupied as stone-cutters only show up once or twice during this period of time.  I know that William Duggan and James Kent had several children each who were born in Concord.  Do you suppose their work kept them away from home, so they didn’t always appear in the directory?  Would they have had to be “on the road”, traveling from quarry to quarry all over New Hampshire?  There was a lot of stone to be cut – New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, after all.

That’s all for our detour to New Hampshire.  We will come back to Minnesota this week, with another page from McDermott’s ledger and maybe something about a First Communion class at St. Malachy.

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Winners

Eileen was the only one who ventured a guess on the price of a broom at McDermott’s Gerneral Store in 1885.  She guessed 19 cents.  The broom actually set Patrick Langan back 30 cents.  That means Eileen wins 5 bonus entries in the September drawing!

And the winner of the August drawing is…

Donna Chevalier

I sent you an email, Donna, but if you don’t get it, contact me at: clontarfhistory@wordpress.com.

Keep those comments coming and thanks for reading!


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