Thursday, November 29, 2007

1913 Banquet Invitation

This handmade invitation to the 1913 Annual Basketball Banquet was recently donated in the memory of the late, Dr. David W. Yesair, Class of 1950, by his wife, Ruth A Yesair. Tied with red and white ribbons and measuring five inches in circumference, the invitation is in the name of Capt. Yesair, David’s uncle, John Yesair, Class of 1914.

The banquet took place on March 11, 1913 to honor members of The Team - John Yesair, Captain, Harold Coleman, Manager, Marston D. Young, Ward Loud, Anthony Poto, Everett Trask and Edward Cummings, Mascot. The menu consisted of “Blue Points on the half shell ConsommĂ© au naturel, Roasted Vermont Turkey, Sage Dressing, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Green Peas, Waldorf Salad, Hot Tea Rolls, Pineapple Ice Cream, Cake, Nuts, Raisins, Candy and CafĂ© Noir”

The 1912-1913 Dummer Academy Basketball Team had a good season winning 7 games and losing 4. They won against Newburyport Y.M.C.A 2d 32 to 12, West Newbury High 19 to 9 and 41 to 10, Salem High 38 to 21 Lynn Classical High 26 to 11, St. John’s Prep 27 to 24 and Melrose High 25 to 18. They lost to Haverhill High 14 to 35, there first match with Melrose 11 to 26, there second match with Lynn English High 12 to 26 and their first match with St. John’s Prep 13 to 14.

The back cover of the invitation is filled with twenty-six signatures of team and faculty members including Headmaster Charles S. Ingham with the largest signature being William G. Ramsden, Coach.

The photograph to the left is of the 1913-1914 Dummer Academy Basketball Team. Seated at the center of the front row, holding the basketball, is Captain John Yesair '14. To John’s right is his younger brother, Wayne Yesair, Class of 1915, the father of David W. Yesair '50.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sword and Scabbard

Here is another interesting curiosity from the archives collection. The following information appears on the tag hanging from the handle of the sword. "Sword and scabbard carried by one of the officers of the Dummer Guard, a military training unit at the Academy in the early 1880s. The sword and scabbard was given the Academy this past summer by Moses Bradstreet Perkins, a graduate of Governor Dummer and Dartmouth College. Son of John Wright Perkins, Headmaster of Governor Dummer from 1882-1894, and for whom Perkins Dormitory is named, Moses Perkins was for many years head of the English Department at the Clark School in Hanover, New Hampshire. He is at present retired and living in California. 8/1957"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Boston Residence of Governor Dummer?

A typewritten memo was found with the pencil sketch shown to the left. The memo reads:

"December 11, 1946

Dear Mrs. Stone:

The attached sketch of Governor Dummer's house is a gift from Phil MacInnis' father, William J. MacInnis of Gloucester. Below are two paragraphs from his letter to Mr. Eames dated November 30, 1946:

"I want you to keep the sketch of Governor Dummer's house. It may not mean anything, on the other hand, perhaps it may turn out it is a copy of the house at Boston. I imagine it was pretty rural in Boston in those days.

I had some books from the house of Mary Allen, Summer Street, Gloucester, when she moved to New Hampshire. Among the books was an old leather-covered Bible dated 1858 and while I was going through it, I found this sketch. I wrote to Miss Allen and she said she had never seen the sketch. Evidently the old Bible had not been opened very much so I take it there is considerable age on the sketch. E. W. E"
***The memo was typewritten by Headmaster, Edward W. Eames. ***The handwriting in the decorative scroll area just below the sketch of the house reads, "The Residence of Governor Dummer". The drawing measures 7 1/2" x 7 3/8"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ghost, Spectres, and Apparitions continued...

***See the October 31 ,2007 blog post to find the beginning of this article written by former faculty member, Harold M. Curtiss. The article first appeared in the February 4, 1941 issue of The Archon***

The old Post Road which passes by Degen House has in past times borne spectral traffic. One to the apparitions has strong evidence in its favor, and with it goes an interesting story.
At the time of the persecution of the witches of Salem, the religious fanaticism connected with that dark episode in New England history spread over this entire countryside. In Ipswich a young girl was accused of practicing witchcraft and was seized and imprisoned. The girl had formerly worked on a farm in Byfield and during that time had become betrothed to a young man of the parish. The news of her seizure soon came to the ears of her swain, and he learned that she was held a prisoner pending trial in the attic of an Ipswich house. On the second night after her arrest the Byfield boy rode to the house and signaled to the girl, who managed to climb through a small dormer window and slide down the long sloping roof which came nearly to the ground. The boy threw his cloak about her shoulders assisted her up behind him on the horse, and off they rode into the night. The pair cut across to the Post Road heading northward, and it is said they eventually reached Canada, where they were married and lived for the rest of their lives.

In the years following their death several people reported having seen the ghost of the two riding upon a spectral horse down the hill and past Degen House. The horse was galloping at full speed with the boy bending low over his neck. The girl sat behind him with her hands clasped tightly about his waist. Her cloak streamed out behind, and now and again she would turn her head apprehensively as if fearful of pursuers. As they rushed past, not a sound was heard, and the horse’s hoofs seemed to skim the ground, for not a single imprint was left behind.

There are two ghost connected exclusively with the Mansion House, one, of course, being of Governor Dummer himself, who spent some of the happiest days of his life here on his country estate. It is one of these happy occasions that brings the spirit of the Governor back to his home. In 1715 at the house warming of the newly built mansion, the Governor fulfilled one of his cherished ambitions when he rode his favorite white charger through the enormous front door and up the broad staircase to the second floor before the eyes of his admiring guests.

Reliable reports state that to this very day when the month of August has two moons, on the night of the first full moon, Governor Dummer repeats the spectacular ride. The ghostly appearance occurs sometime between twelve midnight and five o’clock in the morning. The Governor, attired in a brilliant uniform, sits proudly upon his beautiful horse, whose richly ornamented trappings glow with a luminosity of their own, filling the entrance hall with a warm, subdues light.

The old kitchen was for many years haunted by the smiling ghost of a small child. The child was dressed in white and would appear always in the same doorway. It would open the door just a crack and then would slyly peep around the corner, disappearing as suddenly as it had come into view.

In recent years, unfortunately, the visitations from the past have become less frequent. It is because we have closed our minds and our eyes by skepticism that we are forbidden the pleasure of making the acquaintance of these figures. Let us hope not, for if our traditional ghosts and apparitions refuse to come back to us, one of our closest and most intimate links with the past is forever severed.

The End