Friday, July 31, 2020

Problem Resolved Now

My last post included a question about a recent Blogger issue. One blogger commented on a similar issue only on an iPad. For myself, this issue was on both an iPad and desktop PC, both using the Apple browser, Safari. Here's a repost of that issue:

Has anyone else using the Safari browser been experiencing problems with Blogger? This post took a longer than usual time today as I kept getting the message: "Safari cannot connect to the server" after selecting Design in the header bar. I found a workaround, but it was cumbersome. I'm not sure why this issue started, but hope it's a temporary glitch and not something that will make future posting and updating difficult. A secondary issue is that when I went to update this post, some parts of the original wording had disappeared, very strange indeed. I apologize, in advance, if you find some incomplete sentences.

What to do?
I checked online and followed many suggestions including resetting the network on the iPad, turning it off and on, shutting down our home modem and turning on, clearing the cache of stored visited websites.

Not one, zero, none of these suggestions worked and I tried all of them. The issue remained. But, it's been resolved and that message no longer displays and I can connect to the server.

What Worked?
Reverting to legacy blogger and ditching the so-called new and improved version which I had switched to a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't completely comfortable using. In comments on this blog and others, a number of many bloggers have voiced their dissatisfaction complained about the new Blogger interface. Some reported issues with inserting photos and other images. 

The same was happening for me. Sometimes text would mysteriously not be there when the post was published, even though it was in the draft version. This happened several times when I was working on the previous post in the new interface. Oddly enough, it was always the same wording. Reworking the affected paragraphs and checking back several times finally resolved that issue.

A few other new Blogger interface issues for me: comments could no longer be marked as spam and then deleted. Preview wasn't always working when a draft was in process. Full-size photo images would not align left easily.

My Plan . . .
Until the bugs (and any/all other glitches) are worked out, I'm staying with the older Legacy Blogger interface as long as possible, no more switching to new and unimproved. That means until I get kicked off and forced to update. Hopefully, the folks behind Blogger will resolve some of these issues, and soon.

How about anyone else?

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Shakers and Movers

This post topic came after a 45-minute weekend road trip from Nashua to the small town of Canterbury, NH, where the major attraction is the Canterbury Shaker Village historic site.

(Spoiler Alert: this is a longish blog post because I found the subject matter very interesting and perhaps you will as well.)

Canterbury Shaker Village was founded in 1792 through land from community members, Benjamin and Mary Whitcher who donated their 100-acre farm. The village began with 43 members. In 1803, there were 159 members and in 1850, the site had 3,000 acres with a community of 300 housed in 100 buildings.

Today, this village is one of the most intact and authentic surviving Shaker community sites with 25 original buildings, 4 reconstructed buildings and nearly 700 acres of gardens, fields and forest. In 1993, it was declared a National Historic Landmark for its architectural integrity. In years past, its been visited by over 50,000 people from the US and 45 countries.

The village is open weekends for free outside only tours. On a warm Saturday, tour guide Ann, led our group, Grenville and myself, on a very informative 45-minute tour. We learned a great deal. Going inside would have enhanced the visit, but like two other New England Shaker villages, buildings are likely to remain closed through 2020 (these are COVID-19 related closures).

In 1905, there were 100 members in the Canterbury Shakers, down to 49 in 1916. The last male member in the village, Brother Irving Greenwood, died in 1939. By 1965 with eight remaining Shaker sisters, leaders voted to close the Shaker Covenant, the document all new members signed to join. In 1969, remaining Canterbury sisters laid plans to preserve the Shaker legacy and property by founding Canterbury Shaker Village Inc.

Whenever we visit a new place, there's always more to learn. This week we watched a 1984 documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns, Hands to Work. Hearts to God, part of The American Experience series. It provided a wealth of information, and if you're interested in learning more, I would highly recommend it.

Who were the Shakers?
They called themselves the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, but the world called them Shaking Quakers (Shakers) because of enthusiastic worship services that included singing, dancing and stomping to shake off sin.

They were admired and derided, imitated for successes and ridiculed for eccentricities. Some of these involved following a precise order when piling bones on plates after a meal; lining up in a prescribed order; entering a room to the sound of a horn and through separate male and female doors; stepping first on the right foot when going upstairs; when hitching a team, harnessing the right-hand horse first.

What did Shakers invent?
This religious group was far from a group of zealous worshippers, they were Movers — inventors and innovators. Shakers created the flat broom, metal nib pen, clothespin, no-kill mousetrap, seed packets, a machine for making tongue-and-groove boards, and the circular saw. 

They've been credited with over 100 patents, 37 of which have been verified, including: an addition to the back of chair legs to allow tilting back without slipping, a commercial oven that had revolving metal shelves pierced to allow even heating and could bake 60 pies or 70 loaves of bread at once. We spotted one of these ovens through a window at the bakery shop. They provided merchants with point-of-sale materials, like posters for store windows, and are thought to be the first to market small, consumer-sized packets of garden seeds. 

Shakers believed that a song, an invention, the inspiration for a building were gifts from God, not individual accomplishments. This explains why they failed to patent some inventions until they realized others were stealing them. Some of their concepts launched industrial careers for less altruistic outsiders who marketed and made fortunes from them.

Shakers are credited with writing 10,000 pieces of music. Between 1842  and 1908, over 10 different Shaker hymnals were published at Canterbury. Simple Gifts, written in 1838 by Shaker Joseph Brackett became famous after Aaron Copland used in Appalachian Springs in the 1940s. 

How widespread were Shakers in the US?
Shakers started in Great Britain in 1750 as a group of English Society of Friends (Quaker) dissidents. Eight followers left England and landed in NY in 1774 under the leadership of “Mother” Ann Lee, a mill worker, who when she died 10 years later, had laid the groundwork to spread the faith based on the principles of communal possessions, celibacy, pacifism, open confession of sins, and equality of the sexes

At its mid-19th century peak, there were nearly 5,000 members living in 18 self-contained communities from Maine to Kentucky. Three of those were in New England: Canterbury Shaker Village in NH, Hancock Shaker Village in the Berkshire Hills of Western, MA, and Sabbathday Lake in ME, the only active Shaker community in the world today which is now shutdown for public visits.
Communities were organized into families of 30 to 90 people. Work was a holy act, a belief reflected in high quality workmanship and design. Members gave up families and property, and were welcomed into “holy families” where men and women lived as brother and sister, with all property held in common. Males and females worked together dividing workloads and decision-making. 

Seventy-five years before the emancipation of the slaves and 150 years before women began voting in America, Shakers practiced social, sexual, economic, and spiritual equality for all members. Although converts devoted themselves and their possessions to the community, they could leave at any time.

If Shakers were celibate, how did they grow?
They relied on conversion. In the early 19th century in America, people were questioning traditional religious beliefs and social order, which led many to embrace the Shakers’ progressive thinking. Shakers were celibate after becoming members and did not marry or have children. They took in orphaned children and raised them; no child was turned away and all were fed, clothed, and educated in academics and trades. At 21, they could leave or sign the covenant to become members.

Formerly, being called a Shaker was considered a derogatory name. It later became an indicator of quality, ingenuity, value and was trademarked as a logo to products. Renowned for their furniture products, especially chairs, they produced tables, cabinets and other household pieces.

Unlike what's commonly seen in Shaker antiques and most museum pieces Shakers embraced color. Nearly all original furniture, built-ins, household objects, even floors were painted with colors dictated by their sect, blue, red, yellow or green. Shakers also dyed cloth they wove in colors of salmon, pink, red, Prussian blue, yellow, orange and purple. 

Canterbury Shaker Village resembles other similar villages with main buildings serving a utilitarian communal society: dwelling houses, shops, stables, a laundry, school, ministry, and an infirmary. 

The Meeting House ↓ played a primary role in the daily functioning of the community. Worshippers listened to community elders offering relevant lessons.
The village prospered through farming, livestock breeding, mills, the production of seeds and herbal medicines, printing and inventions. Its print shop which became the site of published materials for all NE Shaker communities, also accepted jobs from outside the community. Village members patented a commercial sized washing machine that won a gold medal at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (PA) and models were later sold to hotels. 

In 1834, eldress Dorothy Durgin designed a hooded cloak that fit over bonnets to keep sisters warm. This fostered a fashion trend when Grover Cleveland’s wife wore one to his inauguration. The clothing line expanded during to The Hart and Shepard Company in 1891, founded by Sister Emeline Hart and Shaker Deaconess and Trustee Lucy Ann Shepard, who went on the road traveling to resort hotels as far as Florida with trunk-loads of cloaks and other handmade goods.

Shakers embraced technology and useful inventions 
Soon after the availability of modern household appliances, Canterbury sisters purchased a KitchenAid mixer, followed by an electric refrigerator and a Maytag washer.

In 1901 the New England Telephone Company installed telephones at Canterbury Village. The village had one of the first cars in the state, a 1907 REO, replacing the horse and carriage and removing long distance travel between Shaker communities

In 1910, the NH village built a powerhouse at a cost of $8,000, which powered electric lights in 16 buildings. The powerhouse contained a gasoline-powered, direct-current generator and storage batteries. This was before the NH state building in Concord was still burning gas.  In 1925, they purchased power from the local utility, but kept the powerhouse as a backup.

Shakers were not ascetics and had plenty of food and clothing. They believed cleanliness, neatness, and order led to serenity, but did not believe in drudgery. Tasks rotated with free time for entertainment like community plays and concerts.

They understood the value of “curb appeal,” positioning the most impressive, lightest colored buildings close to public roads or on high elevations to serve as advertisements. This former barn is now the museum store, closed during our visit.
At Canterbury, a range of ventures developed over the years and included selling patented medicines, clothing, cookbooks, and furniture. They also sold farm products of milk, cream, butter; lemon syrup for lemonade and medicinal use, canned vegetables, baked beans, pickles, honey, tins of culinary herbs, candy. Edward D. Pettengill of Portland, ME, partnered with the Shakers to bottle and sell Shaker-made ↓ products.

The wood shed ↓ stored large quantities of wood to cook and provide heat in winter. This is the last remaining wood shed at Canterbury. A nearby identical one was destroyed when the 1858 cow barn burned in 1973. 
The foundation stones for the cow barn can be seen here ↓. This was a huge barn, 200 feet x 45 feet, and it housed 100 dairy cattle. A 25-foot ramp provided access at either end. Sadly, only these stone foundations remained after the barn was destroyed by fire. 
The horse barn and an equipment barn ↓ with several old carriages remain standing.
The 1785 Syrup Shop ↓ may have been first used as a lodging. Later, it was used it to make medicinal syrups, most famously Thomas Corbett's Compound Concentrated Syrup of Sarsaparilla, known as The Great Purifier of the Blood and other Fluids of the Body.
The Canterbury Dwelling House ↓ was built in 1793. Men and women entered through different doors and stairways, and slept in separate quarters. Sisters and brothers never touched.
The creamery ↓ was where milk products from the large herd of dairy cows were processed and later sold.
The village had its own firehouse complete with a bell tower.
There was also an on-site infirmary ↓ for ill or injured members. When traditional cures failed to work, medical practitioners were consulted from the surrounding area.

And, because I didn't know the differences between these religious sects, here's some information.

How do Shakers differ from Amish and Quakers?
The Shakers, Amish, and Quakers differ theologically and in the way they live. Unlike Shakers and Amish, Quakers do not live in their own communities. Unlike Amish and Quakers, Shakers were celibate and did not marry. Unlike Amish, Shakers believed in full gender equality. And while the Amish reject most technology, the Shakers embraced technological advances.

? Has anyone else using the Safari browser been experiencing problems with Blogger? This post took a longer than usual time today as I kept getting the message: "Safari cannot connect to the server" after selecting Design in the header bar. I found a workaround, but it was cumbersome. I'm not sure why this issue started, but hope it's a temporary glitch and not something that will make future posting and updating difficult. A secondary issue is that when I went to update this post, some parts of the original wording had disappeared, very strange indeed. I apologize, in advance, if you find some incomplete sentences.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Calling It Quits (Not Me)

No, I'm not talking about myself, at least not right now. There's far too many ideas in the to blog about someday stockpile of mine. More ideas than time to post, but better to have them, then not.

That said, I have read several recent posts in which the blogger has "talked" about giving up his.her blog for a myriad of reasons: for some it has become a time issue with other demands (such as family, medical) others have said they've run out of topics (really?) and still others have claimed it's no longer fun for them. And, as we all know, when the fun stops, it's really no fun at all.

We blog for many reasons — to share our life, home, family, travel and personal viewpoints. Granted, sometimes a blog post (or many) may be annoying, irritating, and even contrary to our personal and fast-held beliefs, but they are that individual's. There's no need for vehement comments unless. of course, the blog thrives on that activity, which some do. It remains your right to read, comment or not, and the level at which you choose to do so — nicely or not  it's your choice. You could also choose not to read certain posts and maybe not raise your BP. (Mine is already a bit elevated these days.)

Which brings me in a very roundabout way to the topic of this post  a blogger who is signing off from blog-land and one who I will miss reading. Of course, quitting isn't unusual and others have done so before. Some return after an absence; others have quit without a final post.

This week, I read a final post from Valerie, a blogger from the UK, on her blog, A Mixed Bag. In her words: I am quitting. Yes, you read that right. Thing is, I am  too old for this game or any other game and it is all down to age and degeneration. 

Valerie wrote that she's blogged for many years, enjoyed it and the friends made. Rather than repeat her brief farewell post, you can follow the above ↑ blog link.

It was disappointing to read that Valerie not would be putting her books away and forgetting that she wrote stories and books (her words).  That's unfortunate as her stories were a joy to read. She's is a talented and creative writer who created visual imagery through words. If her blog remains online, you may be still be able to read some of her stories.

This isn't the first time, a blogger that I and others have enjoyed has decided to quit blogging. And, most likely, it won't be the last. As stated above, lives change as do people's needs.

Backtracking a bit to this date in late February, I wrote about fellow blogger Laurie, a talented artist, who posted that she was quitting her blog, Where the Spruce Trees Grow, for medically related issues. Laurie was always open in sharing her blogging 
difficulties after a brain injury and failing eyesight. She left blogging, returned briefly, but eventually announced that she was quitting permanently (failed eyesight was her reason). Sadly you won't be able to see her artwork. While her blog title remains, all posts have been removed.

So once again, another blogger is leaving the blog world. I wish Valerie all good things in her blog "retirement." Admittedly, I will also miss hearing about the antics of her cat, Charlie.

Thanks, Valerie, for sharing such wonderful stories and unfailing good humor on your blog. I, and others, will miss reading them. And, if you ever want a guest blog post, just let me know. Please stop in for a visit, every now and then. I (and others) would like to know how and what you're doing.

OK, your turn, any other bloggers thinking about quitting? Do comment on why or why not.

Speaking for myself, Blogging is a wonderful outlet and I appreciate that others share a similar opinion. Like some, it's my only form of social media. My regret is that it's difficult to comment on everyone's posts in a timely manner as some blog often. I try to visit everyone's blog at least weekly, more often if possible. My own posting has been cut back to 3X a week and there's still a stockpile of ideas. Thanks, as always, for your comments, ALL are much appreciated.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Friday Funnies

Most days, you never know what you'll see on Main Street in downtown Nashua, NH. This guy was spotted last week when we went out for breakfast.
Yes, this guy is holding a laptop while walking and talking through a headset. He was definitely multi-tasking and doing business on the run walk.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
We're taking a local day trip; details next week

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Birthday 🎂 Celebrations

Last week our family celebrated two birthdays, here in Nashua, NH, and in Providence, RI. Sadly, we didn't get together for either celebration, but socially distanced both occasions.

My husband, Patrick (Grenville) celebrated his 🎂 last Wednesday. He read and appreciated all your well wishes — but doesn't share his treats (especially ice cream) can't you tell?
His day started with a walk downtown to a local coffee shop. Later in the day, we visited a local ice cream stand for hot dogs and a hot fudge sundae — his birthday food choices.

On Sunday, oldest granddaughter celebrated her 9th birthday with girlfriends at her RI home. We visited online earlier her as she opened our gifts. She liked the cookbook, baking utensils and the iTunes gift card.
As necessary, this year's celebration was very low-key without family members as in past years. Despite this, she had a good time with candle-blowing and gift opening.
Last year, her mom, and brother visited NH to celebrate. We're hoping that next year we can be together to celebrate her 10th and her grandfather's 72nd.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Leica Me NOT

Fellow bloggers, ever prepare a draft that was never completed and later found ? 
That's what happened with this post. It was written several months ago and just updated.

Most of us heard the age-old expression, things are not always what they seem. Sometimes that's true and, in many some cases it's not.

Take the images of this camera. To some photography buffs it look just like a vintage 35mm camera, perhaps a Leica, or similar rangefinder camera. Other more savy photography fans may recognize it right away, despite no manufacturer/model ID visible (unless enlarged).

This is a high-end and rather unique digital camera. Yes, it has a viewfinder. More about its features later in this post. 
But first, I digress, which isn't unusual for me.

Internet source
I've been a long-time photography fan, ever since receiving my first camera, an Imperial Mark XII flash camera, a gift from my parents. It was a sea green color and was manufactured by the Herbert George Company of Chicago Illinois, circa 1950s. 

The Imperial Mark XII Flash took 6x6 images on 620 film. The camera came in a variety of bright colors including red, blue, grey, black, green, tan and black to spur sales of a very basic design. This popular snapshot camera was constructed of a sturdy plastic, called bakelite. It featured a built-in eye-level view finder, fixed focus lens, film winding knob, simple shutter and detachable synchronized flash. A wrist strap was riveted to the side of the camera body. 

I remember photographing backyard family get-togethers and, at the time, the photos were all B&W. I'm unsure if color film was available for it. The camera, flash and original box are long gone, and I suspect my parents paid less than $10 for it. It can still be purchased at online sites and prices range from $25-$50 depending on condition.

In the many years since that first camera, I've used/owned a number of others. My first serious camera, and long-time favorite, was a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm SLR which was purchased new for $200 at a local camera store near my NJ hometown. Like many other film cameras of its era, it can now be found online for much less. This camera had a "standard" 50mm lens and featured a screw-thread lens mount. Eventually, I purchased telephoto and wide angle lenses and used that equipment for years, mainly as a part-time photographer for a local weekly newspaper.

Years later, I progressed to digital cameras and my first ones were Canon and Fuji model point & shoot ones with a fixed lens. Later, I bought a Canon Digital Rebel, which was one of the first digitals that featured interchangeable lens capability. The camera had a so-called "standard" 18-55mm lens; additional lenses, including a telephoto and macro, were purchased later. All the Canon equipment was sold when my favorite camera, Pentax, got into digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. That brand was my first "camera love" and I invested in a couple of camera bodies and new lenses after selling the Canon camera and lenses. Why two bodies? They were very compact and it was handy to have a different lens on each, but not always practical.

Also, carrying around a couple of digital SLR camera bodies, several lenses, and assorted other items in a large bag became tiring after a while. Once again, I sold all and switched to "hybrid" digital cameras, these all-in-one models had built-in zoom lenses which, admittedly, could be challenging to handhold at the longest zoom. I owned a couple of Nikon and Canon cameras. The last one, a Canon PowerShot SX500, featured a 30X super zoom. While lighter than a digital SLR, it too became cumbersome to lug around and was definitely not pocket-sized. I then tried a smaller Olympus mirrorless digital camera with interchangeable lenses. That equipment was only used a short-time. The construction seemed flimsy compared to many other cameras I've owned. Thankfully, it found a new home thanks to online selling.
Fujifilm X100F
After much some thought and after once again selling all the other equipment, I opted for a "back-to-basics"  camera. This meant no zoom capability, manual controls, also auto features. It's the mystery one shown in the photos ↑ above and to the left.

That's not to say, this camera is low-priced. In fact, quite the opposite as the price was higher than some digital SLRs with a lens or two. My add-on accessories for this camera were a half case that covers the camera bottom, braided camera strap, UV protector filter, lens shade, thumb rest and extra battery. The X100f is the fourth iteration of Fujifilm's highly regarded X100 camera line. Its selling points are the traditional exposure controls, a lens aperture ring with f-stop settings, and shutter speed dial on top of the camera and it has a viewfinder (optical and electronic). Harking back to retro 35 mm film cameras, the shutter speed dial lifts and turns to change ISO settings, much like on my earlier (beloved) Pentax Spotmatic.

In a nod to earlier rangefinders, the X100F has been called a "street shooters" camera. That's because it looks less intimidating and draws less attention to the photographer and the camera, both important points for candid captures. 

The camera's "prime" lens is a 23 mm/f2 equivalent to a 35 mm focal length that's great for everyday shooting. This wide-angle lens is non-interchangeable and non-collapsible. The rear screen is fixed, doesn't tilt, and isn't touch-sensitive. It’s definitely a different sort of camera, not a high speed jack-of-all trades, but one to be appreciated for the simplicity of a fixed prime lens and external exposure controls. (A new model released earlier this year includes a tilt screen and other updates, of course, at a higher price. I have no plans to upgrade.)

Overall, the X100F is striking to see, hold and use. Although bought well over a year ago, it hasn't been used much because of my inability to see distances before cataract surgery. That's been corrected and I'm (very) slowly getting familiar with its functions and capabilities. It may look basic, but there's quite a few menus to get through.

While the camera doesn't feature lens interchangeability, add-on wide-angle and telephoto conversion lenses can be bought to provide both 28 mm and 50 mm equivalent focal lengths. These are rather very pricey and not in my purchase plans. The camera and accessories were a gift to myself and that's enough. Do you buy yourself a gift every now and then? If not, you definitely should try it.

During these stay-at-home months, the camera hasn't seen much use. The only excuse is that my cellphone is the camera always with me. Some time soon, I'll photograph local places, and those photos could be the subject of a future post.

How about you — bought anything recently that hasn't seen much (if any) use?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

(Almost) Friday Funnies

Whoops ☹️ I inadvertently set this post to publish ahead of schedule and as severtal folks had already commented decided to leave it as the almost FF post.

Most of the downtown restaurants here in Nashua, NH, have been open for take-out orders for the past couple of months. Most are now open for outside dining and limited inside seating. 

Aside from a couple of fast food places, there are no drive-ins restaurants on Main St.

But, that didn't stop a motorist from driving into this pizza and bar on Main Street this week.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Hot 🌞 weather is returning, so staying cool😎

THANKS to everyone for the 🎂 wishes for Grenville/Pat, who read and enjoyed ALL.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

It's Birthday Time

Both Grenville (my husband Patrick for those new to our blog) and oldest granddaughter are celebrating birthdays this week.

Patrick's celebration is today and oldest granddaughter will be 9 this weekend. It's a downer for us as it's the first time in years that we won't be there to celebrate. Everyone in her family has been safe, but her mom has recently returned to the office. We're social distancing from NH to RI — way more than 6 feet away.

Granddaughter and her brother have recently started cooking. According to their mom, she likes baking and has already made several treats.

That's why this book is one of her gifts along with assorted baking items — measuring spoons and cups, spatulas, mixing spoons, oven mitt. We may get to sample something on a future visit.

Birthday gifts have been mailed with a note to open them on her birthday. We don't expect that will happen. It's never worked other times. Her mom has invited friends over for a small party.

Recently, I asked both grands to send a recent photo as we haven't seen them since the Christmas holidays. These↑ are the selfies they sent.

Her grandfather is not only my best friend, but one of my favorite photo subjects (as you can tell). Most of these ↓ photos were from selfies taken this year in local places since we've been spending (a lot of) time at home as everyone is doing.
His birthday will also be celebrated without family members. But, we'll celebrate by going to a favorite restaurant! There may also be an ice cream treat. After all it's his special day!
Not to be outdone by penguins, this frog sent his best 🎂 wishes to Grenville/Patrick as well. As you know from our blog title, both are favorites.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Walking in French Hill

No, we didn't take a trip abroad to Paris, France 🇫🇷 that's just not happening (😟 sigh).

Like many others, we spent the recent July 4th holiday at home. Since we had no plans to visit with family or friends, we explored one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, an area we've driven through many times. (Photos in last week's post showing masked and unmasked lion statues were taken in this neighborhood.)

French Hill in Nashua, NH is one of the city's oldest and best-known neighborhoods that features large and very old trees that line sloping streets. Some residences have concrete sidewalks, others have brick walkways and still others just grassy walkways. It's a lovely area and this was a first-time walking tour, after 4 years of living here. 

The name derives from the French-Canadians mill workers who lived in this neighborhood over a century ago. Some residents, both former and present, can most likely trace their ancestry back to these workers.
The neighborhood comprises the Nashville Historic District (NHD) considered unique for the well-preserved state of so many large-scale Victorian buildings. For over a century, it's  been considered the city's most affluent residential neighborhood and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1984. A designation on the NRHP is the most prestigious level of historic designation. Years ago, Victorian-style houses could be found along Main St, but commercial development has eliminated that street's former residential character. (A future post will include some of these former residences.)

That's right, Nashville. It wasn't a typo and doesn't refer to Nashville, TN. 

That's because the NHD takes its name from a time in the 19th century when Nashville and Nashua were two separate townships. The French Hill Nashville area was briefly separated from Nashua and covered an area just north of downtown Nashua, roughly centered on the junction of Concord, Amherst, and Main Streets.  

The split happened after the placement of a new Town Hall in the more populated southern half of the city. The more affluent residents north of the Nashua River were upset over the southern. This contingent split off and successfully petitioned the NH legislature to incorporate as a new town called "Nashville" in 1842. 
Ironically, this split happened six years after the town had renamed itself "Nashua" in 1836. 

The dual townships co-existed for nearly 20 years. Wiser thinking finally prevailed recognizing that one town would be better because of double costs for similar services — fire, police schools. In 1853, the two town committees resolved their differences, and applied to the NH Legislature for a city charter form of government, resulting in the City of Nashua, NH.

NHD architecture is dominated by two-story free-standing, houses of wood-frame construction built on varied lot sizes that reflected the area's unplanned growth through the 19th century. Development of side streets and subdivided house lots came about in the 1820s and 1830s. 

Representing nearly a full range of Victorian styles, the buildings are mostly well-preserved, although some of the wood structures are in sore need of scraping and new paint. We lived in a 1903 wooden Victorian-style home in VA and know how much work and cost that entails. Many homes are termed high-style (architect-designed) examples of their periods. 

The major home style seen in the NHD is the Queen Anne with varied roof lines and decoration in the form of stained glass and terra cotta. Materials including brick, slate, and wood shingling. Two-story houses with facade gables are the most common house types.
The success of the Nashua Manufacturing Company's textile mills on the south side of the Nashua River brought rapid population growth. During the 1820s and 1830s, the textile company laid out additional house lots along Concord Street. Homes built here were the residences of merchants, skilled workmen and mill overseers, not millworkers' housing.
Beginning in the early 1850s and continuing as late as 1878, the Italianate style is represented by several homes. most notably the Stark House ↑. The Italianate style was a popular design in the U.S. based on the variety of construction materials which could be used.

The Greek Revival is one of the earliest style homes and we saw a number of examples. Decorative details consisted of window and door frames with corner blocks, gables, and columned porches not practical for sitting outside.

Since our exploring was on a holiday weekend, there wasn't a lot of activity outside or residents to take with. Some backyards were set up for togethers. However, we did talk to homeowners, Jim & Deb, who were doing some outside gardening at their home ↓.

This was our first walking tour of the French Hill area which was cut short by the increasing heat and humidity of the day. We're planning to return again, most likely in the fall months, since the colors will be beautiful on the tree-lined side streets.
There's a lot of history in Nashua, NH, much of it is connected with the mill industries. In the early 19th century industrial development was made possible by a combination of water power and water transportation access and centered on the Nashua Manufacturing Company which incorporated in 1823 for the manufacture of cotton goods. The textile mills provided a solid economic base for the local economy and stimulated other manufacturing. 
A few years ago, a proposal was made to expand the boundaries of the Historic District to include additional streets and the entirety of Greeley Park, a city public park with 125 acres. If implemented, the expansion would double the size of the district. Since reading about the proposal, I did not locate additional information on whether or not it had been approved.

Historic designation preserves what's beautiful in many cities and can improve property values. It also comes with downsides. Homeowners who live in a historic district are bound by certain guidelines. Alterations that impact the exterior, and sometimes the interior, usually require approval of the local historic commission. These guidelines can ensure that any exterior and interior changes are kept within the architectural and historic style of the building and the site.
Nashua's Historic District Commission (HDC) was established in 1980 and is responsible for the review and approval of all building permit applications located within the NHD. As noted on its website, it can comment on applications before various city boards in reference to the historic significance of properties within and outside the historic district: 

The HDC is committed to help preserve the historic character of your property. As a property owner in Nashua’s Historic District, there are certain specific regulations that apply to your building. Changes to the exterior that require a building permit must also be reviewed by the Historic District Commission (HDC). All proposed changes for alterations, additions, and new construction must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards of Rehabilitation. 

The couple we spoke to told us that this ↓ house underwent a million dollar renovation after purchase a few years ago. Needless to say maintenance and renovation of these large, older homes can be very costly. Another reason we won't be looking to buy one.
It's somewhat easier if a house is considered non-contributing in a historic district. This means that while it's in the district, it isn’t historic. But, any changes may still have to coordinate with neighbors' contributing houses. If you buy an historic house with no historic designation, it can later be designated as one as municipalities can designate historic houses or entire districts. 
Presently, we live in a historically designated building, the former Nashua Manufacturing Company. Thankfully, as apartment renters, we have no responsibility for changes and we rather like it this way.