This Week in Concord History

Aug. 15, 2002: John Christian Broderick, the son of state Supreme Court Justice John Broderick, agrees to spend up to 15 years in state prison for smashing his father’s face with a guitar last March.


Aug. 15, 2003: Speaking at a rally at the State House plaza in Concord, local environmentalists and public health advocates condemned President George W. Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative and called upon the state’s congressional delegation to oppose it, the Monitor reports.


Aug. 15, 1864: Steam whistles and cannon herald the opening of Capitol Street along the south side of the State House grounds. A month earlier, the Legislature voted that if the street was not constructed by this day, they would move the capital.


Aug. 15, 1945: The Monitor’s lead headline reads: “City At A Standstill, Thousands Greet End Of War.”


Aug. 16, 1843: A severe gale accompanied by torrents of rain destroys a large elm tree in the State House yard. The tree is 20 inches in diameter at its base. The wind breaks it off 20 feet about the ground.


Aug. 16, 1982: The Concord City Council votes to maintain its ban on overnight parking. And it refuses to increase the number of exemptions allowed to individual residents. “I see it as creating a crime problem,” warns Councilor Kenneth Jordan.


Aug. 17, 1809: An immense fire near the present-day Fayette Street in Concord destroys Timothy Chandler’s clock factory, along with barns, outbuildings, a shop and a home.


Aug. 17, 1990: Pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, Concord’s Bob Tewksbury goes seven perfect innings against the Houston Astros before finishing with a one-hitter. It is his second consecutive shutout.


Aug. 17, 2000: The state Fish and Game Department was so pleased with last year’s Youth Hunting Day that it wants to expand the event to two days this year, the Monitor reports. A legislative committee will approve the change.


Aug. 17, 2001: In a ceremony honoring the Derry astronaut, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signs legislation designating the Alan Shepard Discovery Center, a planned addition to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, as the official state memorial to Shepard.


Aug. 18, 1999: The Executive Council denies a pardon hearing request from a convicted murderer who says, after 23 years in prison, he is a changed and repentant man. Gary Farrow, 43, is serving a life sentence for the 1976 murder of 19-year-old Michael Stitt of Laconia, whose body was found lying behind a state liquor store in Concord.


Aug. 18, 2003: Premium Vending wins its second straight Sunset League title, 7-6, over Craigue and Sons at Doane Diamond in Concord.


Aug. 19, 1863: With the Union armies in need of more soldiers, Concord takes part in the draft. Of 924 names placed in a turning wheel, the city’s quota of 277 is drawn. The city will pay each man a bonus of $300.


Aug. 19, 1875: Birth of H. Maitland Barnes, who will grow up to be choirmaster and organist at St. Paul’s Church in Concord. He will also start the custom of singing Christmas carols to prison inmates and hospital patients across Concord with his choir boys.


Aug. 20, 1816: A wandering portrait painter named Samuel F.B. Morse writes to his parents that he has just been to a party in Concord and met a 17-year-old woman who is “very beautiful, amiable and of excellent disposition.” She is Lucretia Walker, a member of one of Concord’s most prominent families. Morse decides to stay in Concord for awhile.


Aug. 20, 1853: Jefferson Davis, U.S. secretary of war, arrives in Concord. He dines at the Phenix Hotel, takes a ride through town and talks to residents at the Eagle Hotel. Those who had shaken hands and conversed with him at the informal reception, little thought then what a decade would bring forth and that President Pierce’s cabinet officer would be the president of a Confederacy arrayed in rebellion against the Union, a city history reports.


Aug. 20, 1945: With government defense contracts suddenly canceled, more than 2,000 New Hampshire workers are laid off, including many at Swenson Granite and Page Belting in Concord.


Aug. 21, 1851: Concord’s downtown is ravaged by the worst fire in its history. The fire starts in the old “Mechanics Home” and spreads through old wooden buildings on the east side of Main Street from Park Street south and past the State House. Lost are the Eagle Coffee House, a drug store, the Merchants Exchange, the Prescott Piano Factory and a host of other stores, offices, sheds and houses. More than 1,000 firefighters joined the futile battle. Witnesses say the glow of the fire could be seen in Francestown and Portsmouth – even Portland, Maine.

Author: Insider Staff

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