It’s summer and too hot to do much of anything. I now do my writing close to the air conditioner with the window shades closed and chilled bottles of water always with in reaching distance. In these “lazy, hazy days of summer” I’m too lazy and hazy to go to the library. Instead I’ll do my research at home. All I have to do is dig into my “miscellaneous” file and give you snippets of history that are too small or unimportant to make into a full-length column. These are all from the files of the Derry News.
In March 1907, I read that: “Emanuel Nelson has opened his ice cream parlor for the season and is now ready to serve customers with his delicious creams. In his ice cream room he has placed upon the side wall the head of one of the deer he shot last fall. It is finally mounted over a plate glass mirror with 8 feet of deers about the glass serving as pegs for hats.”
This ice cream parlor is claimed to be where the first ice cream sundae was invented. It was latter sold to the Pieroni brothers and was torn down in the 1980s. On its lot is now the Abbott House on West Broadway. The article didn’t say if the patrons of Nelson’s ice cream parlor enjoyed slurping their sarsaparilla frappes or rainbow-hued ice-cream bombes while looking at the head and feet of dead forest critters.
In that same issue there was a report of a gathering at a Mount Washington Street house. The room full of friends “heard thru the telephone very plainly a number of selections played by Mr. Charles Bartlett (editor of the Derry News) upon his Aeolian Orchestrelle at his home in Derry village and later a vocal solo with piano accompaniment by Mrs. Kingsbury from her residence on 7 Park Ave. In the 1st instance the orchestrelle was several feet from the open telephone and in the 2nd the piano was in a room apart from the telephone. Truly the telephone is a wonderful instrument.”