Monday, April 29, 2019

The view, in color

Well, poking around, I see that the painting is there. Here is a copy of the page from a brochure. The page has details about the artist (Nathan Lakeman, see page 5 - stale pointer) and the scene.

The detail is remarkable. Dr. Frank provided a reproductive plate based upon the technology of the early 1900s. This photo tells the tale of the progress of technology. Also, the painting is dated to 1828 rather than 1826.

On poking further, this is what Dr. Frank had to go on (via

This is an example of what we need to do and why. Tell the tales, even when there is a retell.

Remarks: Modified: 11/29/2019

05/01/2019 -- Added link to the South Danvers Observer (stale pointer). Also, new post about this theme: Gardner's bridge.

05/07/2019 -- More on Gardner's bridge. We'll be updating the modern map's relationship with Perley's walkabout.

11/29/2019 -- Links to South Danvers Observer disappeared in the last few months). 

South Danvers Church

If you look at the image near Gardner's bridge in this post on Dr. Frank's father (Stephen Wilson Gardner), you will see that is looking south'ish (more details as we study the maps) from Peabody Square in South Danvers. That image from 1826 is from Dr. Frank's 1907 book. He did not include it in the 1933 book. Why? For one reason, he had looked at the notes of Samuel Pickering Gardner who visited Gardner Hill in the 1820s and was upset that Thomas' stone had been moved losing any notion of where he was buried. Much to look at there. Or, it may be that with a later, more in-depth, look, Dr. Frank was not sure how to use this image for his analysis.

Now, we are not jumping to any conclusions and intend to dig deeper. Here is an 1848 view of Peabody Square. We can use the church as a landmark from which to center discussions. Notice the choo-choo in the later painting Those tracks are still there. Railroads, usually, did not move their right-a-ways.

Top image from South Danvers Wizard
As an aside, we have to talk motivation. For one, about 200 graves were desecrated in Essex County, Massachusetts. What gives? People are gaga about the witch hunt (yearly flimflam of Salem) and a few hangings (and Ann has these on her lineage as well as people from all sides of the story - Imagine a meeting). This has gone on for decades. Then, much effort was put into finding the hanging place which was near Gallows Hill, anyway. Where was Gardner's Hill? This was the first issue of desecration; evidently, that emboldened others. So many other questions come up.

I'm amassing material to use, albeit this is a real brief start.
  • Creation of Danvers R. B. Trask - where it all started as South Danvers split from here. He writes about Middle Precinct Church which is in the images. 
  • South Danvers Wizard - middle 1800s but might provide something such as the above image. 
  • Peabody Historical Society & Museum
  • South Danvers Observer (Winter 1866 --- stale pointer) - has image of the South Church   
  • ...
Some must have already researched this area of concern. Any referral to earlier work would be appreciated. Based upon how long it took me to figure out that the body of Thomas was lost, though, suggests to me that a whole lot of additional work needs to be done. Sorry to have to say that.

There is a personal note in that one set of Ann's great-grandparents (one person from Ipswich and the other from Salem - meeting ground?) were married in South Danvers which became Peabody.

Remarks: Modified: 11/29/2019

05/01/2019 -- Added link to the South Danvers Observer. Also, new post about this theme: Gardner's bridge.

05/07/2019 -- More on Gardner's bridge. We'll be updating the modern map's relationship with Perley's walkabout.

11/29/2019 -- Link to South Danvers Observer disappeared.

Friday, April 26, 2019


We will be putting in a timeline related to the text shown at the portal which runs from 1592 through 2014 and to the theme of various blog posts over the years.

The following timeline is about events related to Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.
  • Website, September 2010 (
  • Gardner's Beacon, Spring 2011 (Vol. I, No. 1) 
  • First blog post, 25 Sept 2010 (
  • Articles of Incorporation, 28 April 2014 (signed)
  • First meeting, 19 May 2014 (Board of Directors)
  • Tax exemption, 29 April 2014 (Notice from IRS on 31 Jul 2014)
  • Portal, April 2017 (

Remarks: Modified: 05/01/2019

05/01/2019 -- Found a good example today, at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody: The South Danvers Observer (see page 4). Nice timeline, however no mention of Gardner.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Stephen Wilson Gardner

We will have more on Stephen. But, recently, I had a chance to look at the first copy of Dr. Frank's 1907 book which he dedicated to his father. I took a couple of pictures and am excited about the research possibilities.

First, the dedication, transcribed:

      This first copy of this
      book I hereby present
      to my good father
         Stephen Wilson Gardner
      in slight appreciation of
      my debt of gratitude
      in receiving through him
      the honorable name which I bear.

                   Frank Augustine Gardner

      August 9, 1907

In the book, Stephen had marked up several pages. Also, he had left pages with some notes. For one, he had a list identifying some of his 3rd and 4th great grandparents. Last year, we filled in Dr. Frank's tree using his own notes which agreed with those of this father. This information has been transferred to Dr. Frank's page on WikiTree.

Then, for the first time, I saw the plate that is between pages 13 and 14 in the book. This is the description of the image:

      South Danvers (Now Peabody) Square in 1826

      This reproduction of an old painting in the Town Hall, Peabody, shows the encampment of the Danvers Light Infantry, the Middle Precinct
      Church (second or third structure), and the Andover road (now Central street) leading across Gardner's bridge over Gardner's brook.
What? Painted in 1826. That is before the issues started to crop up: 29 December 1674. Too, most digitizations just smudge up the painting. Well, I took some pictures and created this view. We know it is near Gardner's Hill. We can identify direction.

Note, please, we see elevations. So, that will be important. In the following, the leftmost piece is a copy from one of the digitized versions. Then, I split out the image with two closeups. The lower left is the left side of original image and shows the church. This was the Middle Precinct Church that we need to look at further (later known as the South Congregational Church whose congregation is still around).

Note, too, that the caption of the image mentions that we see the bridge over Gardner's brook, also known as Strongwater brook. In both of the photos, we see elevations. Also, the people are of the period. Finally, this is, very likely, an extant painting. Where is it currently?

Two image files with detail. 
The image, from two pictures, shows Gardner Hill (right side, behind the lamp post) if this is looking along the old Andover Road. Need to map out the distances (later post).

Remarks: Modified: 05/07/2019

04/24/2019 -- Dr. Frank didn't have the advantage, as we do now, of the aerial photos with improved mapping facilities plus the computational framework abetted by mathematical advances in the past 100 years. Sidney Perley walked the area and drew out his map (see the "29 December 1674" post mentioned above). Others did, as well. We'll see if we can find other photos of this painting. Too, the goal is a composited image which is about all that we can do. Reminder: I saw a quote once of someone saying that Thomas liked the hill as he would see the water. Was that North River, Collins Cove, or the waters of Salem Harbor? Or, even further? I will look for a better image of that page. Too, we ought to look for any painting of the area prior to 1830.

05/01/2019 -- Added link to the South Danvers Observer. Also, new post about this theme: Gardner's bridge.

05/07/2019 -- More on Gardner's bridge. We'll be updating the modern map's relationship with Perley's walkabout.

Friday, April 19, 2019

General Lafayette

The 400th season has started with Plymouth which kicked off with activities this year. Gloucester is planning for 2023. There may be others already at work.

At the same time, we need to look at the 200th which would have been the activities post the Revolution, the Quasi-War, and the War of 1812. We had movement west, such as seen with Jedediah Strong Smith.

The 300th had lots of activity about which we can ferret out information: Pageant of Salem. This time around we will have the web and will leave all sort of tracks.

And example is The Lafayette Trail which is following the travels of General Lafayette in the U.S. As this story tells us, a French Geographer has gotten attention and support for tracing Lafayette in his tour of America. Jedediah had already passed through St. Louis before Lafayette got there.

In his magazine (The Massaachusetts Magazine), Dr. Frank had authors who were involved in U.S. events during early and middle nineteenth century. One example is Judge Thompson who ventured west and returned to New England where he was a Judge. Franklin Benjamin Sanborn wrote about several of the earlier personalities.

As the 400ths unfold, we can follow the 200ths, as well, as raise the awareness of things forgotten or left behind.

Remarks: Modified: 04/26/2019

04/26/2019 -- Added image to use in the index at our portal to truth

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gloucester, 400th planning

We have just became aware of the Gloucester 400th planning committee's work. That will be a continuing theme.

These are the announcements, in order by time.
It was great to see the progress. We intend to be more aware and support the effort.

Remarks: Modified: 04/20/2019

04/20/2019 -- FB page: Gloucester 400. Also, we are looking, in parallel, at the 200ths (see General Lafayette) as the 400ths weave (see The 1st Year) through the coming years.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The 1st year

Note: Gloucester has started its 400th planning.


A continuing theme will be the History of New England. Attempts at this theme were done early on. We will review those attempts. All through the years, there have been other look backs. What needs to be done is to develop a personal view. This will take time and effort and research.

We are now fifteen generations, or so, past Thomas' and Margaret's time in New England. Our modern life is far removed from what they saw on arrival. We want to look further at their lives from the beginning here as well as before. We can start a look back since we know more about Margaret. Since Cape Ann is the focus early, we will look at it time and again.

As an aside, let's see the remarks of Anne Bradstreet who came over several years later with the Winthrop fleet.
    "They were shocked," we see. Before leaving England, they were told that there would be a house ready for them. What did they find? They would have to share living quarters. We look at those quarters, below. 

    Not only was there lack of housing, later on there were too many people. As the report notes, eighty people had died in the winter of 1629-30. For the early crew, we have not heard that there were deaths.

    In comparison, the Popham crew (1607)went into Maine and lost no one over the winter. In fact, they also built a sea-going vessel. They gave up the colony since the leader had a death in the family, and no one wanted to take his place.  
So, what was it like that first winter and the next few years? We know that Thomas brought a house with him. We have written of this earlier. See Wikipedia (Great House - Cape Ann). Unfortunately, it was moved from Cape Ann to Salem by John Endicott. He hosted John Winthrop there when that party arrived on the Arabella. Also, Winthrop remarked about the house, as did Higginson, earlier.

This left photo shows a replica based upon study of material from that era. It was built for the 300th anniversary by George Francis Dow. It was two stories. John Goff wrote of the house as he looked into the details of Pioneer Village.

Most of the material for the house was brought with the crew. One expert remarked that the house had been built to move. After Endicott had it moved to Salem, it had an interesting history, ending up as part of another building in Salem.

Later, the house was extended with another floor added. The image on the right was drawn from memory and given us by the Conant family as they had lived in the house after Roger came into Cape Ann. One might say that this event was the first transfer of power, from Thomas to Roger. Later, we know that John took over.

Where did Thomas and Margaret go? First, consider everyone else was living in a wigwam. Houses were being built, but there was an issue of material as well as skilled labor. We see in the records that carpenters, for instance, were well received where ever they went.

The Bigelow family site has a couple of renditions that we can reference. The left photo shows the framework for the wigwam. Note that we are looking at a later rendition. When Thomas and Margaret arrived, the structure would have been more crude, not unlike we would see with a camping site today. There was a door on one end with the fireplace on the other.

Prior wigwam's might has only allowed for a small fire. We will be looking at weather, for instance. We know that several winters were quite extreme (General crisis) during the early New England period. For instance, the Thames froze in 1620. Several  years were very cool which inhibited farming.

The right photo shows the wigwam covered with rush. Some might have tried to use canvas. We know that a good weave of the rush would prevent water from getting in. Insulation would be a problem, though. And, heavy snow could be a contributor to collapse as well as leakage through melt.

Finally, on the left is an interior view from the Pioneer Village exhibit. The wigwam could have been considered cozy with a fire going, however the walls would shake with the wind.

After a snow fall, one would be hoping that there was no too much of a drift into the wigwam or along the access.These thoughts are apropos given that we are just past a snowy winter.

The re-look at history ought to take a bit of time. We can think about how to present this material. Right now, there are blog posts. Too, there is the index by image at our portal. But, the media choices today are quite wide. In every period that we look, we will try to find all of the material that may pertain that has been collected by other researchers. So, one benefit we expect to provide is a site where correct and pertinent material is accessible through time.

Remarks: Modified: 12/18/2022

08/11/2020 -- We have used categories in the post. We also have used pages which allow some structure. Then, we have the other media to consider. One thing is definite, we will have lists of important topics. On these, we will find Origins and Motivations.

12/18/2022 -- Site with the wigwam image disappeared. So, grabbed a copy from the web's memory. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

History of New England

There were several early tales from New England. In our Bibliography (which is a continuing bit of work), we have tried to collect links to on-line versions of these. Below is an incomplete list that has only some of the earlier ones. We'll pick one, in particular, for this post.

The motivation comes from adding in more text from The Gardner Annals, Vol. I, No. 1 in which we collected entries from various issues of Gardner's Beacon to our portal. The first introduction of this included entries from Thomas' birth (1590s) to his death (1674). Lately, we added in more from the period of 1675 to the present. The last entry was 2009 and related to the work of John Goff. While editing the text, I noticed reference to a 1747 work by Neal. He mentioned Joseph Gardner. So that precipitated a review.

From the bibliography:
This time we want to look at Neal's book. To set the stage, in 1887 a book looked at early works from which we could learn the history: Narrative and Critical History of America: The English and French in North America by Justin Winsor. The author mentions Cotton Mather's The Ecclesiastical History of New England from 1620 to 1698 (which is not on our biblio, yet) and says that Neal was a successor to Mather. Except, Neal was never here and wrote from material available to him in England. Hence, he took his knocks from later researchers. 

However, my attention was drawn to his description of the campaign in which Joseph was killed. So, let's look at the book in terms related to our themes. In Volume 1, Neal reports on a survey of Christian activity. He quotes a letter from John Gardner of Nantucket who wrote in 1694 (pg. 255) about the churches in the area. Neal was reporting this same activity throughout Massachusetts. Neal also spent some time describing the experience of the Quakers. He got criticized for this by later authors. However, the amount of material that he had access to was remarkable, given the times. Of the letter by John, to whom was this addressed? In this first Volume, Neal lists the prior work. So, we'll have to go back through that and expand the coverage to the other colonies, such as Plymouth.

Volume 2 starts out after the first forty peaceful years with the conflict with Philip. Hubbard, as well, wrote of these troubles. Neal references the book, so he must have seen the manuscript. Again, Neal is quite descriptive. The troubles were experienced out in Deerfield which is far afield. On page 13, Neal begins a look at conditions before Joseph's death with five others.

While reviewing the material, I saw one footnote regarding the Pequot War, which was earlier, that led to this book: Relation of the Pequot Wars (1660) Lion Gardener (we took a brief look at this family, earlier - Gardiner's Island). He does not mention Joseph, in particular, but he does have the viewpoint of a participant that ought to be of interest. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/20/2019

04/20/2019 -- We have looked at The 1st Year. Also; Gloucester is planning their 400th.