Sunday, May 8, 2016

An Upper Waterford Home and Family at "Trout Brook Farm"

Postcards sent and treasured can offer unexpected insight into families and their lives in the past 150 years. It was a delight yesterday to find this card, which must have been included inside an envelope, since it had no address or postmark. It is a Velox postcard, according to postcard expert Dave Kanell, who says the card was thus printed between 1907 and 1914. On the back in browned ink, in neat but not fussy script, it says "Compliments of / S/ F. Cutting / Trout Brook Farm / Waterford Vt."

S. F. Cutting was Stillman Franklin Cutting, a longtime resident of Upper Waterford. He was born in Concord, VT, on September 17, 1846, to parents Franklin H. Cutting and Prudence Isham Cutting. In 1910 he served as a member of the Vermont House of Representatives.

It's poignant to know this homestead vanished with the construction of the Connecticut River hydro dams. Mr. Cutting would have seen Comerford Dam built (1930-31), but he died in 1940, before the Moore Dam's reservoir would fill the scraped-bare landscape where his home once stood. His death was recorded in Gilman, Vermont, but he is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Waterford.

An extra pleasure in exploring Mr. Cutting's life in Waterford was discovering his Valentine's Day 1841 marriage to Martha Woodward Carpenter, daughter of Amos Bugbee Carpenter -- some of whose family letters, perhaps due to his role as West Waterford postmaster, have also survived the years. In fact, we have a note that Martha, nicknamed May, sent as a child to her brother in college at Dartmouth, which can be seen here.

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