What We Have Discovered
About Gideon Burbank

Click Here To See Primary Sources About the Life of Gideon Burbank

Click on Any of the Following To See Individual Student Projects:

The Burbank Family in 1871
By Samantha G.

Teaching At the Age of 14
By Alicia C.
Child Mortality in the 1800s
By Brittany M.
What People Did For Fun in the 1800s
By Kirstin R.
Shoemaking in the 1800s
By Megan U.
Gideon Burbank's House
By Matt S.
Clothing In the 1800s
By Zoe L.
What Was a Dollar Worth?
By Kyle R.

What Happened to
All the Elm Trees?

By Joe H.

Gideon Burbank's Estate
by Tory B.

Why Were Brown-Tail Moths Such a Big Deal to the People of Deerfield?
by Alex N.

More About the
Brown-Tail Moth

by Travis K.

Shoemaking in
19th Century Society

by Kelsey N.

Immigration in Deerfield
by Paige T.

1871 - Who Was Gideon Burbank's Family?

- Fiction by Samantha G.

     I wake every morning near sunrise, and I dress. Then I make breakfast while my husband, Gideon, dresses himself and he pulls on his boots so he can walk down the road and buy the milk for the day. Our neighbors, the Browns
, always milk their cows and wait for Gideon to come and buy some for our selves.

    Gideon opens the door to head for the Browns and I remind him to buy extra cream because I’m making cheese today.

    It is near
six AM now. I hear Ida coming to the kitchen, she’ll be sixteen soon, and Amy Q is following her. Amy is fourteen. Ida helps me finish breakfast, then goes out into her and Amy’s room to wake John, who’s only one year old. 

    Gideon sets the cream and milk by the front door and Amy rushes over to get it. She sets it next to me and turns out the door. She goes after her father; they are going to feed out ten chickens. We don’t have any animals other than chickens, but that’s okay, because we get our milk, and meat, and vegetables from our neighbors for cheap. We also sell eggs and both Gideon and Ida have jobs. Gideon has a shoe shop across the road and Ida is a schoolteacher at the
Parade School. Both of them earn the money for our family with those jobs.  

    Deerfield Parade in the Late 1800s
Source - Elliot C. Cogswell, History of Nottingham, Deerfield & Northwood, New Hampshire, 1873

The School Where Ida Taught in the 1870s
Source - Joanne Wasson, Tales of Old Deerfield

     Amy and Gideon finished with the chickens washed their hands and join Ida, John and I at the table. Gideon says the Grace and we eat a quick breakfast. Ida leaves first after breakfast headed for school because it is Friday and there is class.

    “Good Day, Eliza” Gideon says as he kisses my cheek and leaves for work, following Ida out the door. He goes across the road where there is a work shed. Gideon has all of his leathers and other materials and his tools there. Many other men in
Deerfield are shoemakers also, but most of them sell the shoes in other towns in New Hampshire. Some sell to other states.

    Gideon is a good husband and a very good man just as his father had been. His father, Gideon Webster Burbank, died only a year before the birth of our first son. Gideon’s mother was a fashionable woman; her name was Agnes Ballou. My husband is named after his father.

    Amy helps me finish cleaning up and I put John in his crib for his nap. The crib is older than Ida. Amy once slept in it as did Ida and our other two sons. Gideon and my first son died minutes after he was born. The baby had been a boy but we did not name him because he died so soon. I was very sad. Three years later I was pregnant again.

    The baby was a girl this time. We named her Ida A. The A stands for Anne which is my middle name. She was a healthy bay and she is living and for this Gideon and I are both grateful. Two years after Ida was born I had another daughter. She was a beautiful and healthy baby dog. We named her Amy Q.

    Once Amy was two years old I had Charles Webster. His middle name was after Gideon’s. Charles was a giggling baby until he was a few months old.  Charles became very sick and he died from it. We buried him by our nameless son. However, less than a year later I became pregnant yet again. Though I was still mourning the loss of Charles, I had another son. We named him John H.H. John is a strong name and Gideon and I hope he will live up to his name.  We hope he will stay healthy and alive unlike his brothers. Amy and I finish the chores and at twelve o’clock Gideon came home for lunch. I serve him, Amy, and I some soup. John chews on some carrot with his little teeth. Gideon tells us about his day at work and how he got new leather and how he sold several pairs of shoes and how he made many as well. I ask him to please get me a chicken for dinner. So he goes to the hen house with the small axe. We were getting new chickens in four days.

    Amy doesn’t go with him this time but instead helps to fill the wash basin with hot water. I start to wash the dishes and Gideon comes back the chicken. He sets the chicken on the table, then headed back to work. We are lucky he works so near. Most men who work away from home don’t come home for lunch.

    I watch Gideon cross the road then I go back to the basin and finish the dishes from lunch. Amy pours the milk and the cream into the pans. She set them into the cellar to separate. Once I churn the butter I can use the extras to make sour milk cheese. I will serve it with blueberry pie and surprise Gideon with it. I love when he’s happy and he loves blueberry pie.

    Even with the losses of our two sons and even though we don’t live in a fancy home I am grateful for my family. They help me be happy and be loved and that is why I love them.


Most of this story is based on my educated guesses and is very hypothetical.

I do not know if what happened in my story is really what happened on a Friday in 1871. My story is based on how other 1870’s households were and on also on the information I researched to write my story. I do know that Gideon, Eliza, and all of their children were real people living on Parade Road in Deerfield New Hampshire, in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

Eliza had five children and at least three of which lived a normal length life. Gideon’s first son only had a birth record, on which his name is not stated. I made a guess at what could have been the reason for that. I came up with two possible answers. One was that Gideon and Eliza hadn’t agreed upon a name for their son so that they simply didn’t fill out a name for the record.

My second guess was the reason that I put into my story. I wrote that he died while being born so Gideon and Eliza had no reason to name him. A lot of children died very young from illness or during childbirth in this time period. Gideon also had a second son who died very young and he died from an illness. John did live to lead a good life and I believe he became a teacher at the
Parade School. Ida did teach there too.

I am not sure if the
Burbank’s bought goods from nearby neighbors but I am pretty sure that they did not have a farm. The census records I looked at listed Gideon as a shoemaker not a farmer. I thought that if they had any animals it would probably have been a dog or chickens.  

There is really a shoe shop (work shed) across the road from the
Burbank’s house and Gideon may or may not have returned home for lunch, again I am guessing. I have made the most educated guesses that I could for the questions I could not answer. I hope that you learned something not only about the life of a family in 1871, but also about my “Dead Guy” Gideon Burbank.


1910 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH

1910 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH

Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1851

Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1855

Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1857

Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1859

Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1912

1800 Federal Census, Deerfield, NH

Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1859

Births from Deerfield Town Record, 1870

1870 Federal Census

1880 Federal Census

1910 Federal Census

Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1912

Ruth Tilton Houghton, Stories of Old Deerfield, From “Memories”

Deaths from Deerfield Town Record, 1912

What Would a 14-Year Old School Teacher's Life Be Like?

- Researched by Alicia C.

Teaching School Was Hard Work!
Photo source - http://tofino.ex.ac.uk/virvic/themes/ed_sci/images/slateobj.jpg, cited 28 Feb., '05

Ida A. Burbank probably led an average, country life in Deerfield. As the daughter of Gideon and Eliza Ann Burbank, and the sister to John Burbank. Doing chores and being a teacher at age 14. Whoa, only age 14!

            Most young women who became teachers that young usually did it for a specific reason, but Ida’s reason we may never know. Some taught for the money to help their families make ends meet, while others taught just because they loved to help people and were fortunate enough to have gone through school themselves. The shortage of teachers may have encouraged her to become a teacher, and the prospect of making money to save and spend at her leisure.

            To become a teacher in the late 1800’s, you usually needed to have completed at least through the twelfth grade and take an exam to show that you qualified. The exam was not often very difficult because people with a lot of education that willing to teach a group of farm children sometimes were hard to come by.

            In Deerfield at the time, there were a total of 12 one-room schoolhouses, and one was located on the Deerfield Parade, close to were the Burbank’s lived. It is most likely that Ida taught there in the one room schoolhouse in 1870.

            Most one-room schoolhouses were basically bare bones, only the essentials. There was a pot bellied stove to heat the cold room in the winter. It burned coal, corncobs, or split firewood. Children who sat nearest to the stove roasted while the almost everyone else froze. The wash basin was to clean up after playing hard at recess and before digging into the lunch pail brought from home that maybe contained pickles, fried chicken, hard boiled eggs and if they were lucky, a jar of potato salad. Girls and boys sat on opposite sides of the room and it was considered a punishment to be sent to the other side of the room. This punishment often backfired however, much to the schoolmistress’s dismay.

            Teachers were usually quick to discipline over small things because any interruptions took up time that was desperately needed to get through a simple lesson. A ruler could be rapped on the pupil’s knuckles, or they could be thrown across the teacher’s knee and spanked. Other forms of humiliation were to be forced into the corner and have a dunce cap placed upon their head, or to go outside and choose a small, flexible branch to be whipped across the student’s backside. If a student was punished in school, most likely the parents would get involved and the punishment didn’t end at school. Often after being punished, the student’s peers would taunt them until someone stepped in and forced them to stop.

The age of the students in the school could be from five to fifteen, and sometimes adults would come at a later hour to finish the education they may not have had time to get as a child. It was uncommon for older students to come to school during the day because they were usually needed at home to work on the farm or to work at a job to help make money for the family. Class sizes were usually rather small, about ten to fifteen students but the spread of education and comprehension of the information given out was extremely varied.

A teacher was expected to cover a lesson for each age group in about fifteen minutes, which usually resulted in being forced to repeat lessons over and over. Most of the learning a student acquired was from oral dictation, memorization, and drilling. Those same tactics are still used today so the schoolmasters and mistresses must have seen enough of a success for it to be continued in schools across the country. It was very uncommon for there to be enough supplies for every student so they made do with what they had. Slates were often shared between peers and textbooks didn’t come in complete sets but everyone got along as well as they could under the conditions they were given to deal with. 

Lessons varied for each class but if a student went through every grade, they would most likely understand basic mathematics, handwriting, basic geography, reading, philosophy, oral history, and how to write a proper letter. Handwriting and letter writing were both very important subjects because that was how most communication was accomplished. Usually people didn’t bother going to high school because of 

The school years were often broken up into chunks because of the need to have children at home to help with the planting and harvesting, and in the winter if the weather was very cold or really snowy, there was no school. Because of these interruptions, it was common for school to run into the summer since there was no weather to delay school. But some schools had short terms. Thirty short days in fact. Can you imagine only going to school for thirty days a year instead of one hundred eighty?

Ida may have had a very busy life outside of teaching but for now, we do not know a definite answer. Possibly full of dating, visiting with friends and family as many other young ladies of that time spent their days. Not too different from now. I think that if we were to read an actual diary from that time period we would realize how similar their thoughts, feelings and actions were. Most kids feel that you can’t learn a lot from the past but this project has shown me otherwise and I would have to disagree.

This Isn't Ida.
Photo source - http://www.rootsweb.com/~tnbenton/Morganclaxton.jpg, cited 28 Feb, '05



Irby, Rebecca Leeann and Greetham, Phil, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl, http://webpages.marshall.edu/irby1/laura/, 2/8/05

   Wilder, Laura Ingalls, Little Town on the Prairie, 1941, New York, Harper Collins 

Snell, Sally, One room school house project, http://www.sckans.edu/~orsh/historical/teacherhistory.shtml, 2/9/05

How Did Most Children Die in the 1800s?

- Researched by Brittany M.


Gideon Burbank and his wife had five children. The names of their children were, No name, Ida, Amy, Charles, and John. The kid with no name was born on
May 26th 1851. Ida was born about five years later on September 25th 1855. On May 13th 1857 Amy was born. Two years later Charles was born on April 20th 1859. On April 15th 1870 Gideon and his wife Ann had their fifth child named John.

            Charles Burbank died on September 15th 1859 just a few months after he was born. Nobody knows exactly why Charles died only a few months after he was born but we have reasons why he could of died and why other children were dying so young.

            There are a lot of reasons why children were dying in the 1800s and why they were dying so young. Some kids were dying of smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid, yellow fever, cholera, whooping cough, tetanus (lockjaw), polio, measles, mumps, German measles (rebella), tuberculosis, scarlet fever, many different types of influenza, scurvey, shigella, dysenteries, rickets, and salmonella. Some kids were even dying of bursting appendicitis and cancer. A lot of kids died during the time period of the Black Death Plague. Some of these you maybe have heard of them or even had some of them.

            Cholera was one of the main diseases that were killing children. Cholera is a severe bacterial infection of the gut that is caused by contact with feces or vomits of someone who is or was infected. When you get cholera you get a bloated, crampy feeling in the lower abdomen and you give off a little odor. Very watery, light colored, and laced with tiny bits of mucus form in your throat and in your nose. Cholera can cause death by dehydration. As the disease progresses you get intense thirst, extreme weakness in your bones, sunken eyes, decreased urination/pressure, weakened pulse, unconsciousness, seizures, and kidney failures.

            Tuberculosis was another one of the main diseases that was killing children in the 1800s. Tuberculosis is an infection that is caused by a bacterial organism. There are not really any signs that will tell you if you’re starting to get tuberculosis. To find out if you have tuberculosis or if your starting to get tuberculosis then you has to a skin test but it is not an ordinary skin test it’s a Mantoux test. Most people when they get tuberculosis it first occurs in the lung then it spreads to other parts of the body like the brain and the kidneys and even in the bones. Tuberculosis kills mostly children from the age of childbirth to anywhere from 15 to 18. Some adults do get tuberculosis but it is more likely that little kids and teenagers get it. If you’re an older adult like the age of 45 and older then you could get it and die from it just as easy as an infant.

            Whooping cough was common for little kids to get. Whooping cough is an infection in the nose, throat, and in the lungs. Since whooping cough has to do with the lungs it makes it so that you have along ‘burst’ of uncontrollably coughing. Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium. Whooping cough got its name because you can’t stop coughing. It takes a long time for you to stop coughing. Some people that have been researching about whooping cough have found out that the long ‘burst’ of coughing is caused by thick mucus that is hard to cough up. Another name for whooping cough is Bordetella pertussis. Whooping cough is spread from droplets of mucus that is coughed up or sneezed out and someone gets it on their hands or breathes it in. 

            Influenza looks like a big word but it is the flu and ‘influenza’ is just a fancy word for the flu. Influenza is an illness but basically it is the common cold. Some of the symptoms are a high fever, a headache, sometimes you get body aches and you may lose your appetite. When you have influenza you get a runny nose, a cough, and sometimes the chills. There are many different kinds of influenza. There are so many different types of influenza that you will never get the same one twice. When you think of a common cold you think that you cannot die but you actually can. Influenza normally only last for a couple days at a time. you can be sick for more then a couple days or even weeks at a time but if your sick that long then you most likely have had a different cold then the cold you started out with or you don’t have influenza.

            So you see there are many kinds of disease in the worlds and that were killing children back in the 1800s. Gideon Burbank’s kids probably died of one of these disease. Most likely they either died of tuberculosis or cholera.  


Otto L. Bettmann, The Good Old Days-They were Terrible! [Random House October 12, 1974]

Email Correspondence With Dr. Driscoll

Causes of Death, http://www.ryanwadleigh.com/epidemics.html, February 7th 2005 

Polio: the Next Hurdle, http://www.Paho.org/English/DPI/Number6_article3.htm, February 7th 2005 

Cholera, http://www.Posen-1.com/cholera.htm, February 9th 2005 

Diphtheria, http://www.cyh.com/HeathTopics/HealthTopicsDetails.Aspx2.p1114enp=303&id=1953#1,
February 8th 2005

Fun & Games in the 1800’s

- Researched by Kirstin R.

            What are some of the games that Gideon W. Burbank played as a child in the 1800’s? As a child Gideon probably didn’t have a lot of time to play. There were a lot of chores that had to be done at home. Gideon and the other children got most of their playtime at school. Sometimes they would play at home if they had time.

            Some games that the children played at home and at school were hopscotch, jump rope, string & hoop games, and marbles & tops. They would also play board games, cards, string games, tell stories, jacks, and read. Not all of the games that Gideon and the other children played were fun. During school they would sometimes play things that would help them learn better, like word games, and spelling games.

            That’s not all that Gideon and the other children would do to entertain themselves. Playing sports was one of the best ways to have fun. Kids from the neighborhood would get together and play soccer, baseball, and football. Those were played in the street most of the time or a field if there was one close by.

            It wasn’t just the kids that got to have fun. Once in a while after work the adult would all get together and do something. A lot of the time they played two of the most popular card games, which were Bridge and Poker. Both of which are still really popular now.  Card games weren’t the only things that they played. They also played chess, checker, and instruments that they had.

            Activities that the children and adults did in the 1800’s weren’t always appropriate. The adults would sometimes get together and play drinking games, get really drunk, and possibly end up doing something stupid. The children during April Fools Day would pull pranks on people.

            In the 1800’s one of the most popular toys for girls were dolls. Girls considered them as their best friends, and brought them everywhere. Dolls back then were either made out of wood, paper, cloth, paper mache, or printed dolls. Dolls have changed a little over the years. Now they are mostly made out of rubber and porcelain, and aren’t all hand made.

            Popular indoor games that Gideon probably played are marbles, blocks, puzzles, action books, and cards. There were also toy boats & trains, cars & trucks, and Jack-in-the-boxes. They would also play board games.

            Popular outdoor games include “Kick the Wicky,” kite flying, snowball fights (when there was snow), marbles (both an outdoor & indoor game), parachutes, Snow Man, and I’ve Lost my Squirrel. More games are Have you Seen my Sheep, Pinch-O, and they also played with sand toys.

            Two of the most popular board games were Mansion of Happiness, and The Checkered Game of Life. These two board games were based on real life situations. It taught you to always be good and do the right thing. The Checkered Game of Life  was created by Milton Bradley in 1860. Both of these games are still played now.

            How were some of the games played in the 1800’s? “Kick the Wicky” was played with a 12 inch long stick. This game took two people to play. The stick was placed so it was leaning against a curb. One person kicks the stick and the other person has to try and catch it. If you catch it then you get points.

            I’ve Lost my Squirrel is really similar to Duck Duck Goose. There’s one person that goes on the outside of the circle, and he/she goes around repeating, “I’ve lost my squirrel.” When he/she finds the person that they want they say, “I’ve found my squirrel.” After that the two of them run in opposite directions around the circle and try to get the open space.

            In the game Snow Man there’s no limit on how many children can play. There are two goals/boundaries that are on opposite sides from each other. One person is picked to be the Snow Man. The Snow Man gets a good supply of snowballs, and stands halfway between the two goals. All the other children go to either one of the goals. Then the person who’s the Snow Man says, “Who’s afraid of the Snow Man?” If the kids don’t run then the Snow Man says, “Oh, you’re afraid of the Snow Man!” After he/she says that the children all have to run to the opposite goal, and the Snow Man has to try and hit as many as he can before the reach the opposite goal. If any are hit then they have to go beside the Snow Man and make snowballs for him. The words are then said all over again, and the last person hit then becomes the Snow Man.

            Games have changed a lot from the 1800’s till now. Things were more handmade back then. Now we have more technology so the games are better. They didn’t have playstations, gameboys, games cubes, or x-boxes like we do. Some of the games and toys are the same, but have been upgraded a little. They played with cars, trains, and boats just like kids today. Except now we have electronic cars, boats, and trains. The game marbles is basically the same except we might have added more ways to play. Kites are the same except we have made ones that are bigger, and fly better.

            There were nights where Gideon and his family would probably get together and have a family night. On those nights there would be a fire if it was cold. They would all sit together and take turns telling stories that they made up, or they would tell myths. Another thing that Gideon might have done was play a family board game, or cards. At some point one member of the family would get out an instrument if they had one, and start playing something. Everybody would then join in and start singing.

            Activities and Games were really important to children and adults in the 1800’s, and is still a really important part of life now. If games weren’t created along time ago then children and adults back then and now wouldn’t have anything to look forward to after a hard day. There would be nothing to help us relax. Just think, what do you think life would be like if we didn’t have any sports, games, or toys?


 New York City and the Developing Republic”, http://www.nyhistory.org/seneca/nyc.html

“Questions and Answers”, http://www.missabigail.com/advice/q100.html

Mrs. Burton Kingsland, In and Outdoor Games, 1904, Sully and Kleinteich, New York


The Shoes of Gideon Burbank

Shoemaking in the 1800s

- Fiction by Megan U.

A Hand Made Shoe
Photo source - Foxfire 6, 190, Garden City, Anchor Books

            The sun rises over the treetops of Deerfield, and so begins another day of shoemaking for Gideon Burbank.

Gideon Burbank a middle aged shoe maker slipped quietly out the door to his house and into the spring air. The ground was slushy and he did his best to step around the puddles so as not to get his feet wet and then catch a cold. Behind him Ida splashed noisily through the mud in her new homemade shoes, running to catch up. She finally met him at the door to his shop.

“ Planning on ruining your new shoes already?” he asked gruffly, looking down at her soaked feet.

Ida just giggled and asked “Where do my shoes come from Papa?”

            “Well” he replied “I made them from a cowhide.” Ida looked shocked but she had heard this story before.

“ First” he told her “they find a cow that has died, and they take off all it’s skin. Then they put it in a big hole dug in the ground called a vat. The vat is lined with oak boards and filled with a limewater solution. the hides soak in the water for three to five days until all the hair becomes loose.” Ida stared at her father with wide and slightly frightened eyes, but he did not notice and kept on talking.

“After this, the skin is draped on a special bench where the hair is scraped off with a long, dull knife. When the hair is gone the skin is flipped over and the flesh on the other side is scraped off too.”

Ida thoroughly disgusted covered her ears and slipped out of the shop. Her father was so caught up in his story, he did not notice her absence and still kept on.

“ After that they soak the hides in yet another vat filled with salt water. Following this process the hides are put in another vat that has a steady stream of fresh water running through it, so all the salt and lime is rinsed off.”

“The last step” he told the empty workbench, “is to grind up a bunch of tan bark (oak, hemlock, or chestnut) and place it in a layer on the bottom of a vat. A hide is placed on top of that, and then another layer of bark covering the hide. The hide and bark are built up in layers until the vat is full. The hides will stay there for ninety days, and every so often they will run water over them. Every few days the hides are removed and the bark replaced. The ooze from the bark enters the pores of the skin which tans the hide to make leather. after ninety days the hides are hung to dry. Grease is rubbed into them to soften them once they have dried. and that’s how you make leather which I sew into shoes” Gideon said finishing his story. He looked over at the work bench where Ida once was, but she was gone. He looked under the bench, in the closet, in the toolbox but she was gone. He sighed and started on his work. 

Gideon was finished with Mr. Riddle’s shoes in less than five minutes, all he had needed to was cut shoelaces. Mr. Riddle would pick up the shoes later that day along with other customers coming to pick up or order shoes. For now though, the shop was empty and all the shoes finished. With nothing else to do Gideon began to tidy the shop for later that morning. He was just picking up his peg rasp, used for rubbing off pegs inside the shoe (this one had a long handle and a swivel head so it could reach inside a boot), when a mouse snuck across the floor of the shop. Without thinking Gideon foolishly raised his peg rasp and brought it down with all his might on top of the small gray mouse (or so he had planned). The mouse, seeing the shadow of the falling peg rasp, scurried quickly out of the way, as the peg rasp smashed onto the floor. The rasp’s swiveling head went flying to the other side of the room and Gideon was left with a long metal rod and no mouse. Cursing, he went to retrieve the end of the rasp as the mouse sauntered off most certainly smiling to itself. After the mouse incident any heart that Gideon had ever had for cleaning disappeared. Instead he returned to his house for breakfast. He would go back to his shop at eleven o’clock when the shop opened for customers.


 Gideon’s shop was small and never bustling with people, no more than five or six at a time. But today the Miller family had arrived with all five of their children needing new shoes and the shop seemed as though it would burst.

Gideon expertly moved through the line taking exact measurements of everyone’s feet so he could make lasts to fit their shoes to. Many of the shoes he made only differed in size as there were very few styles. Most were regular, plain lace up boots or shoes. No shoe would have decorative stitching, though some women’s shoes would have buttons. Rough, heavy work boots called brogans were also sometimes ordered by men. They were made with the uppers turned ‘flesh’ side out, which made them more water resistant.

People generally planned on getting a year (sometimes more) out of their shoes, but how long the shoe really lasts would depend on how much they wore it. Gideon would normally sell his shoes for one to three dollars, but he always tried to get the most for his work, as there were times when customers were scarce.

At four o’clock the shop closed up and Gideon began to work on the shoes. He started little Mary Miller’s shoes by finding a good piece of wood to make a last (a model of the foot) out of. He rooted around in the woodshed for a bit, throwing chunks of wood this way and that until he found two perfect pieces. Back in the shop Gideon began to whittle a last of Mary’s right foot from the detailed outline he had drawn earlier. It was made in two pieces with a hinge in the middle, so that when it needs to be removed from the shoe all that you need to do is insert a metal rod into a hole cut in the top of the last, pull sharply and the two halves will snap together so you can pull the last out heel first.

Using the last Gideon cut out the parts of Mary’s shoe from a large section of leather. A shoe normally had five to seven pieces, the sole (cut from the thickest part of the leather) the insole, two quarters and the vamp ( toe and tongue). A toe cap was often added, (it covered the toe) and a heel spur or counter (covers the back of the heel) though it was used less commonly. For Mary’s shoes Gideon decided to combine the two quarters into one piece. He had a lot to do and that would make for less sewing. There would also be fewer seams for water to soak into on muddy days like this one. Carefully he cut out the pieces making sure the knife didn’t slip and ruin that section of leather. At the points where the uppers would fold under he cut v-shaped notches so the leather would lie flat under the insole. When it came time to cut the sole Gideon used a rounded knife that was pushed through the leather to cut the thick hide. After the right shoe was finished he began the same process with the left foot. When all the pieces were cut he laid them in a bucket to soak overnight. This process of wetting the leather was known as casing. Working with damp leather had many advantages. Wet leather is softer which makes it easier to punch holes through, also when sewn the thread will ‘sink’ into the leather leaving a much smoother seam. When it came time to peg the shoe together, the pegs would be bound tightly in the shoe as the leather dried. The leather pieces would lie in the water overnight and the next morning Gideon would assemble the shoe.

The light was quickly fading but Gideon figured he could get one more shoe in before the sun slipped behind the trees, just as it had risen from them that morning.

Gideon was just preparing to go back to his house when Ida came running through the door,

“Supper time Papa!” she yelled. Then she tripped over one of the water filled buckets. It tipped over and water spilled over the floor of the shop. Gideon groaned hoping that tomorrow would be less ‘eventful’.

The Next Day

Before starting the actual sewing of Mary’s shoe Gideon began making the pegs that would be used later on for putting the uppers and the soles together. These pegs were made so they were each 1/8 of an inch square and pointed on the end. Some of these pegs were made an inch long and others ½ an inch.

Finally ready to begin sewing, he gathered all the materials he would need and placed them at his side. He removed the uppers (quarters and the vamp) from the water and clamped them together evenly. For needles he used hog bristles. Steel needles could also be used but hog bristles were easier to get and were plenty stiff. The bristles were split into four quarters at the base. The ends of his flax thread were left untwisted and then inserted between the grooves in each needle. The thread and bristles were then waxed together so they wouldn’t come apart. The rest of the thread was waxed as well to make it stiff.

By hand, using an awl each hole is poked in the leather so the needle can go through. The stitching is done with two needles and no knots are tied in the thread until you come to the end of a seam. Instead the thread is ‘criss-crossed’ through the holes and pulled tight. Next, the last was put upside down on a ‘peg’ that is raised up from his workbench, so the bench doesn’t get in the way of making the shoe. The insole is laid on top of it and tacked down with two pegs to hold it in place. Gideon used lasting nippers and shank lasters to pull the uppers over the last, shape them and to get the wrinkles out of the leather before the sole is attached. A ½ to 3/4 inch overlap is left to peg the soles into. Before the heavy sole is put on the tacks in the insole are removed. The uppers can also be tacked down, the tacks would just be replaced with pegs as the sole was pegged on. After laying the outer sole on the last, Gideon used his awl to poke holes all the way around the sole (through all the leather to the wooden last) for the pegs to go into to. Gideon then gathered the wooden pegs that he had made earlier and a saddle hammer and began to attach the sole. He used the shorter ½ inch pegs and made his way around the shoe, removing a tack and replacing it with a peg until the sole was completely tacked on. He also cut a small chunk of thicker leather for the heel and hammered that into place with the one inch pegs. He then did the same exact thing with the other shoe.

Later when the shoes had dried Gideon used a heel shaver to take any extra leather off the soles and heels. He also found his other peg rasp and rubbed off any peg ends left inside the shoes. The last thing he had to do was to punch eyelets in the shoes with his awl and cut shoelaces. He used groundhog leather for the laces because it was tough and wouldn’t break with excessive amounts of tying, untying, and being stepped on. He cut the leather with his gauge knife that had an adjustable blade so he could make the laces the correct width. When he had finished he set the completed shoes on a wooden shelf. He was just about to start another pair when he glanced out the window and saw Ida running full speed towards the shop. Gideon looked at his work bench in horror, seeing all his important tools sitting in plain sight. Not to mention the other buckets of water. He ‘raced’ to the door and barred it shut just as she arrived.

Shoemaking Tools
Tools Similar To Those That Gideon Burbank Might Have Used
Photo source - Foxfire 6, 190, Garden City, Anchor Books


1860 Federal Census

Wilder, Ingalls, Laura, Farmer Boy, 1974, New York, Harper Trophy

Foxfire 6, 1980, Garden City, Anchor Books

1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Consumer’s Guide, 1979, Ventura Books

Gideon Burbank's House

- Researched by Matt S.

We're pretty sure that this was Gideon Burbank's house
Based on a title search, we believe that this house in Deerfield Parade
is the one that Gideon Burbank live in. There have been extensive
renovations to it, so it would not have looked like this in the 1800s.

The Gideon Burbank house was located at Deerfield Parade, 64 Nottingham Rd. The house was located in a good area with nice people and good living except for the blacksmith and the tin mill. The house is still in Deerfield but I’m not sure who owns it now but it’s still standing. So are the garage but not the shop. The place changed over the years. The garage has electric doors and the house has is painted yellow and has new attachments that are called portico a porch or a walkway supported by columns.

The shop is not standing anymore it lies in pieces right by the house. The house that Gideon Burbank used to own was a lot different from now. It probably had brick walls or wooden, plane stone still, four panel doors, elliptical fanlight, small attic window, plain wood cornice, double hung windows with six panes in each stash and a gable roof.

[Teacher's note - According to Deerfield Town records, Gideon Burbank's shop was located across the street from his house. There is still a small outbuilding located there, which may or may not be the same shop.]

This may or may not be Gideon Burbank's shop
This small building across the street from the house may
or may not be Gideon Burbank's shoemaking shop.


Gideon Burbank owned seven-eighths an acre of land. It was not a lot for then. Gideon Burbank could not of had electricity until 1870 when the first light bulb was invented it was called the filament or the incandescent bulb. But he would need the money to get the electricity. Gideon Burbank could not have indoor plumbing until 1876 because it was invented in England.

            E.F. Stevens who sold it to Joseph Brown, cordwainer, first owned Gideon Burbank’s house.  This included a right of way to the well.  The purchase price was $390. Joseph Brown sold the property to Stephen Brown in 1849. Steven Brown, was a physician. Stephen sold the property to Gideon Burbank in 1854 for 400$. Stephen Brown paid $390 for the house in 1849.  The deal also included a shop built by John M. Moore. Gideon Burbank shop was meant for making shoes he was a cordwainer. The shop would have contained a bench, leather, hammers, shoe molds, soles and scissors. Since he was the only shoemaker on the road business was probably good for him. The shop was not built by him, it came with the house.

   The house that was purchase by Gideon Burbank was worth 1100$ he purchases it for 610$ less. The house only cost 400$. What 400$ is worth now 16,524$ so basically he got the house for a very cheap amount today but back then also cheap. The purchase price of the house was inexpensive considering a good quality horse could be purchased for 200$. 

     Gideon Burbank died June 16,1912 and Eliza Burbank, his wife, died November 21, 1912.  In Eliza’s will she named two heirs, John, her son and Ruth, her granddaughter. John Burbank had died. The property had pass to Ruth Burbank Pennell included the land, house, well, shop and the garage. In 1947 the property passed from Bertha Burbank, John’s widow, of Lynn, Massachusetts, to John Barnes, of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

            The Gideon Burbank house has been inhabited for 151 years in the town of Deerfield.  It started life has a cordwainer, shoe maker’s shop, and has most recently been repainted and remodeled by its current owners.  This house has seen remarkable change.  From a privy outdoors to indoor bathrooms, from candlelight to Edison’s a filament light bulb, from a horse in the barn to a SUV in the garage, from a shoemaker’s shop on the property to job probably in Manchester or Concord. 

            It is remarkable that the house remained in the same Burbank family from 1854 until at least 1947, a total of 93 years.  Gideon and his wife, Eliza, would probably still recognize their old neighborhood; many of the old houses have survived.  It would be fascinating to walk their old property with them and hear their stories. 

What Did Men Wear From 1800-1912?

- Researched by Zoe L.

What was considered to be decent dress for men in the 19th century is very different from today’s point of view. Head cover was very important for both men and women. Waistcoats and frock coats were also important pieces that men usually wore everyday. And if a man were seen in public without either a waistcoat or some type of coat, he would be considered naked! A waistcoat, worn in the nineteenth century, was a men’s sleeveless garment most always worn underneath a coat but over a shirt. You could think of a waistcoat as almost like a vest. A frockcoat, which was worn in the nineteenth century, was a coat that hade knee-length skirts on both front and back of the coat. Usually, the waistcoat and frockcoat would be worn as daywear. From 1835 through 1855, men would wear a waistcoat with the single or double-breasted brockcoat in colors of green, brown, olive or more common colors – black or navy. They’d wear both the waistcoat and frockcoat with trousers. Younger men would usually be seen wearing the button fly-front trousers, but likely be seen wearying the fall-front trousers. This collection, altogether would be worn as “daywear”. The dress coat made of wool, cotton or silk, could also be worn as daywear during this time.

A 19th Century Waistcoat
Photo source - http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalog/gallery_files/waistcoat40.jpg, cited 28 Feb., '05

During the 1850s, the dress coat became formal “eveningwear”. That, along with the shawl-collar waistcoat and dress trousers, completed the formal eveningwear outfit. Eveningwear would usually be even more formal than daywear and was strictly not to be worn during the day.

In the nineteenth century, men would be seen most likely wearing suits if they planned on sports and leisure activities. [One of] the suits worn for these activities was called the Norfolk Suit. By the 1880s, this suit would consist of a jacket called the Norfolk jacket, which would usually be belted and pleated, the sack coat, and knee breeches or knickerbockers.

Work clothing in the late 1800s consisted of the work sack coat, the work waistcoat, a work shirt and a pair of work trousers. This set of clothing would differ from the morning wear because the work set of clothes would usually be more durable than daywear and evening wear, while still being exceptionally comfortable.

According to the weather, in the nineteenth century, whether it was worm or cold outside, wool garments would mostly be worn year-round (into the early 1900s). Though heavy woolens, in either darker shades, plain, checked or striped patterns would be reserved for the colder seasons, (such as winter) while cotton and linen garments would be worn while it was warmer.

The clothing you wore in the 1800s represented mainly how rich or how poor you actually were. Usually, if you were wealthy, you would probably be able to buy more decent clothing than if you were porrer. Wealthier people in the nineteenth century would most likely be seen wearing clothing of finer quality, such as if you were a businessman. If you were working as a businessman, you would be seen wearing shoes with buckles, usually of either silver or brass. If you were a more common, ordinary person, such as Gideon W. Burbank, as a shoemaker, the chances are great you would be seen wearing shoes with laces. And if you were a more ordinary person, you would probably own very little more than just one set of clothing to wear.

Morning Coat
Morning Coat as Worn by Wealthy 19th Century Businessman
Photo source - http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalog/gallery_files/MorningCoat.jpg, cited 28 Feb., 2005

As today, in the nineteenth century, there were a wide variety of different fabrics to choose from. The fabric then was mostly of a single color. Color coordination was not considered to be very important (it didn’t matter if you wore an orange shirt and a pair of purple trousers together – you wouldn’t be considered “weird”).

After solid colors, stripes became popular. The stripes were usually pretty wide, generally to ha half inch wide. Narrow stripes were not particularly common around this time. Printed cloth was available, but it had to be hand-dipped in paint in order to be printed. Printed cloth was typically quite expensive, normally because it was very hard to assemble. The printed cloth was commonly found as only two colors – the color of the paint as one and the other, the color of the fabric. More than one color of paint cause trouble(it would be harder to print) and it would b even more expensive, so the fabric was usually kept simple. That is until 1840, when checks and plaids became popular. For checks ¾” to 1” was the preferred size to be worn, but plain cloth would be worn for anytime, anywhere.

As I said, in the nineteenth century, there were a wide variety of different fabrics. Printed fabric was one of them, while cotton, linen, wool and buckskin were too.

Cotton wasn’t quite so popular yet, but it was gaining its popularity as it became widely available. Linen was the most common cloth during this time and if you can find it today, it would be quite expensive. Wool was worn year-round during this time. It was very durable, could outlast cotton by several times. It’s also an insulator of heat and will not burn [easily].

There were also a wide variety of colors and dyes available. There was black, which was most used and most popular. Blue was widely available, more expensive and used sparingly. Brown was widely available and easy to dye. Green was available, but tough to dye. Pink was available. Purple was available, but not common. Red was available, but was harder to dye and more costly. Tan was very common. Yellow was widely available and orange was available. Commercial dyes were actually more common during that time than people think. Mostly any color that can be made today, could most likely have been made then, too. Some dyes were more expensive than others, while others faded more quickly.



“History in the Making: Men’s Costume and Accessories 1800-1910”, http://www.historyinthemaking.org/catalog/menscostume%201800-40.htm, cited
Feb. 12, 1005

Andrew J. Morris, “Clothing Styles: 1840-1890”, http://www.ajmorris.com/rootsphoto/datep18.htm, cited Beb. 8, 2005

Frank Doughman, “What To Do: Period Clothing Vs. Costumes”, http://www.spirit of Vincennes.org/clothing/cinfo.htm, cited
Feb. 8, 2005


1897 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Consumer’s Guide, 1970, DBI Books Inc., Northfield, IL

How much was One Dollar Worth in 1897?

- Researched by Kyle R.


         The person that our social studies block has chosen to study is Gideon Burbank. The sub topic I have chosen to study is How much was one dollar worth 1897. This is when Gideon Burbank was 73 years old. My ultimate goal was to figure out how many times more our money is now than in 1897.

            To first thing I did to start my research was to figure out what to do. So I came up with an idea saying, If I got a bunch of prices for how much products were worth in 1897 and compare them to how much they are worth in 2005, I could figure out how many times more money is in 2005 then in 1897.I used one primary source throughout this project. A primary source is an original record of a document. The source was an 1897 Sears and Roebuck catalog. So the first thing that I did with the book was to skim around to get a feel on what was common in 1897. One thing that I found a lot was a big assortment of women’s clothing.  There weren’t as many men or children’s clothes as there were women’s.

            So some of the products I chose to make price comparisons on were Spalding baseball, Stock western saddle, men’s toupee and a Yukon’s gent’s bicycle. Overall I picked and priced thirty items out of the catalog. After I have picked these items I went online to find out what the prices were in 2005. Sometimes the prices were outrageous, like a pure silver thimble in 1897 was .20 cents. Now in 2005 it is $30.00. That is $150.00 times more expensive now than it was in 1897.

             So after I have found all of the prices for 1897 and 2005 I made a chart that includes four columns. The first one is what the item is. The second one is the price in 1897, the third column is the price now and the last, is how many times more it is now than in 1897. I figured out how many times more the product is worth in 2005 than in 1897 by taking the larger number out of the two years and dividing the smaller number into it. After I have done this to all of my thirty items I averaged them out. I did this by dropping the highest and the lowest quotient first, then adding the rest of the twenty-eight items together. When I did this I got $665.25. After this I divided this by twenty-eight to find the average. When I did this I got 23.75 times more expensive now than in 1897.

            So after I have done this research I was curious on what the actually number was. So I went online and got the inflation calculator typed in one dollar in 1897 and got 21.09 times more expensive now then in 1897. So after I did this I appreciate how many times more money is worth now than in 1897.

Old Baseball Glove
Here is an old glove from the early 1900s.
It was only $2.25

Photo source - http://www.antiquemystique.com/images/4294a_jpg.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., '05

New Baseball Glove
Here is a glove from 2005.
It is $54.99

Photo source - http://www.awesome-sports.com/Merchant2/
cited 28 Feb., '05

Piano - 1897
A piano like this in 1897 was $159.00

Photo source - http://a.im.craigslist.org/hq/
cited 28 Feb, '05

New Piano
A piano like this in 2005 is $6,390.

Photo source - http://www.muswell-hill-pianos.co.uk/mambo/
cited 28 Feb., '05

Bicycle - 1900
A bike like this from 1900 was $56.50.

Photo source - http://www.ohtm.org/collections/bicycles
/images/cyc_orient.jpg, cited 28 Feb., '05

Bicycle - 2005
The bike here is $224.99.

Photo source - http://www.gisler-motos.ch/images/gt%20bike.jpg,
cited 28 Feb., '05

My Chart

Product Name
Price in 1897
Price in 2005
The Quotient
Lady's Boot
71.42 times more expensive
Horn Combs
Frontier Revolver
Lady's Nightgown
Baseball Cap
R&Co. Piano
Yukon Men's Bicycle
Spalding Baseball
Butcher Knife
S&R Boxing Gloves
Webster's Dictionary
Pig Trough
Men's Dress Shirt
New Model Camera
Railroad Lantern
Men's Toupee
New Iron Bed Frame
Infielder's Glove
Silver Thimble
French Briar Pipe
N.Y. Standard Watch
Men's Eyeglasses
Pocket Compass
Western Saddle
Sewing String
Wooden Crutches
665.25 / 28 = 23.75 Times More Expensive


Fred L. Israel, 1897 Sears and Roebuck Catalog, 1993, New York, Chelsea House Publishers

http://www.everythingfurniture.com/queeneaskins.html, cited February 10, 2005

http://www.atafa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=AKA-ABF4, cited
February 10, 2005

=%2Fstores%2Fwaybelowretail&catId=thimble&itemNo=th584  cited
February, 9, 2005

http://www.herbalcantera.net/woodpipes.html, cited
February 11, 2005

=51068&dept_id=139&md_id=2, cited
February 12, 2005

=51068&dept_id=139&md_id=2, cited
February 9, 2005

http://www.opticsplanet.net/sfstermic.html, cited
February 10, 2005

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=91047, cited
February 9 2005

http://www.crateandbarrel.com/jump_partner.asp?bid=3636bid&fid=7902, cited
February 12, 2005

http://store.wholesaler-depot-2.com/powershots410.html, cited
February 8 2005

=0041070402&isrw=2&catid=1367&deptid=10 cited
February 10 2005

www.pcconnection.com/ProductDetail?sku=412063&SourceID=k22350, cited
February 12, 2005

ccddadddlmmekkjcefeceeldfgndfif.0, cited 9 2005

http://www.thesportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1849639, cited
February 15 2005

http://store.yahoo.com/mednet-store/har3723.html, cited
February 13 2005

http://www.fogdog.com/product/index.jsp?productId=967746, cited
February 10 2005

http://www.brandsonsale.com/pex-1994g.html, cited
February 7 2005

1921082145&store=%2Fstores%2Fhga&catId=rrchina&itemNo=5060, cited
February 11 2005

http://www.cozycamping.net/camping-gear-10733.html?src=froogle-cozycamping, cited
February 9 2005

sy/productsx/ccsyn/260/prd/14278674/ccsid/330388471-2198/adtg/02160523, cited
February 13 2005

http://www.rubylane.com/shops/goldenfavourites/item/gof681?froogle=1, cited
February 14 2005

http://www.ecobaby.com/catalog/product.asp?pf_id=kru177, cited
February 12, 2005

http://www.cozycamping.net/camping-gear-12167.html?src=froogle-cozycamping, cited
February 8 2005

http://www.sportchalet.com/product/index.jsp?productId=692310&cp=710957, cited
February 10 2005

http://www.createforless.com/products/productDetail.asp?ProductID=59313&GCID=C10601x061, cited
February 12 2005

February 8 2005

sy/productsx/ccsyn/260/prd/15621961/ccsid/330393398-16122/adtg/02160523 cited
February 14 2005

http://www.atlaspen.com/static/products/8139F.php?pv=1&item=8139F cited
February 9 2005

http://www.onlinesports.com/pages/I,MW-PRCHAMP22.html cited
February 13 2005

www.antiquemystique.com/ pages/4294_jpg.htm, cited February 22 2005

http://www.discountshoppingsite.com/sports2/cheap10/index16.htm , cited February 24 2005

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/msg/39781818.html , cited
February 24 2005

http://www.pianoplus.co.uk/new-pianos/hermann-pianos/uprights.html ,cited
February 24 2005

http://www.ohtm.org/1900orient.html, cited
February 24 2005

http://www.gisler-motos.ch/team/rennbikes.htm , cited
February 24 2005

Elm Trees in Deerfield in the Late 1800s

- Researched by Joe H.

Deerfield Parade, circa 1930

Old photographs of Deerfield Parade from the late 1800s and early 1900s, like the one above show an abundance of large, beautiful elm trees. Yet, none are around anymore. Joe H. decided to see why that is.

            Elm trees were very important back in the late 1800's. The Elm trees were important because they produced a lot of shade. They were used for shipbuilding, making barrels, furniture, flooring, sporting goods, wagon wheels, folk remedies, boxes, crates, and more. The Iroquois Indians of western New York used the bark of American elm for canoes, and twisted it into ropes. The Elm trees in Deerfield in the late 1800's include the "American Elm", and the "Slippery Elm". The American elm, also known as the "White Elm", was more common, and more popular than the Slippery Elm was. The American elm's scientific name is "Ulmus americana L." People valued the American elm the most in Deerfield, because of its huge shade area, and because of its beauty. The American elm makes so much shade because of its vase shape. If you were to look at old pictures from early 1900’s, or late 1800’s, you will probably always will see at least 1 Elm tree. Since most of the Elms died, people cut them down after they were infected to reduce the spread of the disease. There are still some Elms to see today, one place I know of is at the Fred Dodge’s farm in Deerfield.

The American Elm
The American Elm
Photo source - http://www.uafortsmith.edu/attach/Arboretum/AmericanElm/AmericanElmTree.jpg, cited 28 Feb., '05

Elm trees were valued in the 1800s for their shade
Elm Trees were valued in the 1800s for their beauty and shade.
Photo source - http://ab.id.au/albums/usa/img_0192.sized.jpg

The American elm grows flowers, and fruits. The flowers appear from March to May before the leaf buds appear. The fruits called "Rounded samaras", 3/8-1/2 inch across, deeply notched at apex, hairless except for margin; appear April to May. You probably don’t see the American elm too much anymore because of "Dutch Elm Disease." Dutch Elm Disease, also known as DED, has killed more than 95% of the U.S's Elms. Dutch Elm Disease was brought to the U.S by a shipment from Europe. The lumber shipment was infected with a fungus called "Ceratocystis ulm." Dutch Elm Disease   results in the blockage of the water-conducting tissue within the tree. The Elm bark beetle carries this fungus. The Dutch elm disease can enter an Elm through root grafts. The fungus is thought to be started in Holland, hints the name "Dutch" Elm Disease. The Disease is also thought to be from Asia, and then moved to Europe, then to America. The Dutch elm disease started killing the American elm, and other Elms in North America in about 1930. A well-established 100-year old American elm can be killed in as little as two weeks if Dutch elm disease attacks it. People started to grow Elms in their homes, and in tree nurseries, where the trees are pretty protected from the disease. 6 types of Elms are native to North East U.S, and there are 16 types in the world. The American elm has been in the North East U.S about 650 years before they started to die-out in 1930. The American Elm survived so long because of their adaptability to many environmental conditions, their adaptability to grow in a lot of different soil, and because its adaptability to the North East cold. Our classes dead person is G.W.Burbank, and he relates to this because he was alive to see Elms live at their fullest, and to see the Elms die-out. Its a pretty good guess that he has had something to do with a Elm, like sit under one on a hot summer day, or cut one down for firewood, or also had 1 or more Elms on his estate.

            Some other interesting stuff I found on the American Elm, and Slippery Elm is that the American Elm weighs 33-35 lbs. per cubic foot when air dry. The Slippery Elm weighs 43 lbs. per cubic foot when air dry.


Leslie van Burkum. (feb. 15 2005, 12:30 PM)(Telephone Interview)

Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 10, page 257. (Encyclopedia)

“Knowing Your Trees.”
By: G.H. Collingwood and Warren.D.Bush. Pages 254-258. (Book)

(Internet) (2/8/2005)

(Internet) (2/8/2005)

(Internet) (2/8/2005)

(Internet) (2/8/2000

<http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/dp_hfrr/extensn/problems/dtchelm.htm> (Internet) (2/8/2005

<http://www.americanelm.com/elm_history.html> (Internet) (2/9/2005)

Gideon W. Burbank's Estate

- Researched by Tory B.

In social studies class my teacher told us about a project we had to do where we had to study a man who died about a hundred years ago. At first I was all bummed out that we had to do research and write a paper, but then we started finding out all these really cool things about this guy and we found out it was kind of, dare I say it, fun.

    The guy our class was studying, his name was Gideon Burbank. He was born in 1824 and died in 1912. He had a wife Eliza Ann Hoitt. He was a shoemaker for several years and he had four children, the first child we could not find
the name and he was born on May 26. His second child was Ida A. Burbank and she was born on September 25, and when she was older she became a teacher. His third child was Amy Q. Burbank and she was born on May 13. The forth and last baby was Charles W. Burbank he was born April 20, 1859, but just one month and 6 days later Charles died.

    Now here is where my topic comes in. Gideon lived on 64 Nottingham road, and my question was to find out where Gideon W. Burbank lived. He lived in a white house up by the parade. The first thing I had to do was figure out how
much money was worth from 1824-1912. So my friend Kyle R., (whose assignment was to find out how much money was worth.) We found out the formula, we had to find simple things like shoes, or jewelry from and old sears catalogue and find out how much that was worth, and then we went online and found out how much it was today. Then you divide today's prices by the old priced then we crossed out the lowest number and the highest number and we averaged it all out.

Price in 1909
Price in 2005
How Many Times More Expensive It is today
$199.95 16.73
$42.99 13.27
42.24 Times More Expensive

     I found out in some old town record that a friend of the family gave me that his lot was worth $1,100 in 1908 so then I multiplied that by 42.24 to figure out how much it would be in 2005 money and I found out that it was worth $46,464 in our money. When he first bought the house he bought it for $500.

    I understand why prices go up but in some ways it just doesn't make sense. If you think about it, the more time that goes by the less of a product you have because u have been selling a lot of it for a long time but, now we have better technology so it is not as hard to make things to sell as it used to be. We used to have to have people make everything but now we have robots and computers and we can make a toy by pushing a button. In a lot of ways I think that we are being ripped off by the government but that's just me.

    Thank you for reading my report on Gideon W. Burbank, I hope you learned a thing or two about Gideon Burbank and the cost of his estate.


Sears Catalogue 1987

Eve Taylor at Country Woods

Walmart (I actually went there and got the prices.) February 6th 2005

Sears (I actually went there and got the prices.) February 6th 2005

Daddy's Junky Music (Talked to them on the phone.) February 8th 2005

Kitchen Etc. (I actually went there and got the prices.) February 6th 2005

Old Deerfield Town Records 1908

The Brown-Tail Moth

- Researched by Alex N.
The caterpiller of the Brown-Tail moth

1912 Deerfield, NH Town Report
Photo source - 1912 Deerfield, NH Town Report, p. 4

The Deerfield Town Report for 1912, the year Gideon Burbank died, lists an interesting expediture: $250 (a considerable sum of money for the time) for "browntail moths". Alex N. and Travis K. have investigated what this moth is and why it was such a concern for the people of Deerfield.

            Euproctis chrysorrhoea or the brown tailed moth considered a plague in London these moths are a pest for trees, bushes humans and animals. The caterpillars cause rashes to humans some normal and some sever. The brown tailed moth caterpillars are blackish-gray with tuffs of ginger-brown hairs and two orange spots near the back of the tail shone above. The caterpillars are active from late summer through to winter then they hibernate till late spring. The caterpillars billed webs that look similar to what a tent worm would make as shown below. When the caterpillars wake up from hibernation they'll stay active till late June. The caterpillars and the moths eat everything but they seem to focus on eating a ferity of trees and bushes like English elm, dog rose, apple trees, hawthorn, pear trees, forsythia, blackthorn, and a ferity of fruit trees. The brown tail moths have white wings with a brown tail (hence the name) the moths are active from mid July through to late summer. during mid July the moths mate, laying eggs covered in small brown hairs on the bottom of leaves and bushes. These bushes most commonly are Hawthorn, Blackthorn or other related fruit bushes. Although it can include a wide variety of other trees. During Late Summer August/September time the eggs hatch and the caterpillars fed on the foliage, turning the leaves a brown ‘scorched’ color.

Brown-Tail Moth caterpiller
Tent made by the Brown-Tail moth caterpiller

The caterpiller of the brown-tail moth (left)
builds a tent-like nest during the winter.

Photo sources (cited 28 Feb., '05):



     During winter the Caterpillars weave a web that look like something a tent worm would make in a bush or a tree. During Late Spring to Late June, the Caterpillars turn into black chrysalis. And during Mid July the Chrysalis hatches into adult moths described above. How can the moths be controlled. The best way to control the moths is to remove the webs or tents in the autumn by cutting off the affected twigs. The tents should be sealed in a plastic bag and then burnt or put in a wheelie bin. The tents themselves should be disturbed as little as possible and you should ware gloves to protect your skin. Where did they come from the brown tail moth was accidentally introduced to North America in 1897 from Europe. I don’t have any evidence that the moths have entered New Hampshire but they have been located in Casco Bay which is three miles from Portland Maine.

The adult Brown-Tail moth
The Adult Brown-Tail Moth
Photo source - http://www.elmbridge.gov.uk/websiteimages/btmoth1.jpg


“Brown tail moths":

"Brown tailed moth"

"Where brown tail moths live"

"Location of brown tail moth"

The Brown-Tail Moth

- Researched by Travis K.

There are four stages of development for the Brown Tail moth. In the spring Brown Tail larvae emerge from their winter nest which is spun around them 2-4 inches long holding 200-300 eggs each. During May and June the caterpillars grow quickly as they eat leaves. They grow to a mature size of one and a half inches. In late June the caterpillars spin cocoons for three weeks. While it’s in the cocoon, it’s forming into a moth. During July the moths break out of the cocoon and mate. Then the female lays her eggs and another generation of Brown Tail moths begins.  Brown Tail moths are an orangey-brown color and have a white line on each side of their back. They have two red dots near their tail that are covered with reddish brown hairs.

The Brown Tail moths have caused lots of destruction. They have deadly hairs that cause an allergic reaction sometimes they can cause death. They are not good for the environment because they eat any leaves that have green and only leave the veins. They also eat things like shrubs such as apple, oak, cherry, hawthorn, shadblow, rugosa roase and bayberry. If an animal tries to eat the Brown Tailed moth they will get very sick and die.

If Brown Tail moths live in your yard you should get rid of them immediately! There are many ways to get rid of them like soak the nest in pesticides, get a zip lock bag put the nest in and throw it in the trash or burn it or spray it with Nuclear Polyhydrosis. The webs must be destroyed by late March.

Brown Tail Moth

Brown Tail Moth

Brown Tail Moth



Shoemaking Is a Tough Way to Make a Living!

- Fictional News Stories by Kelsey N.

Page 3
The New Hampshire Shoespaper December 3rd, 1853

Quote of the Month

“The close relationship between a man and his shoemaker is based on the shared secret of the client’s measurements.”

-Author is Unknown

This month’s quote is something that shoemakers always say. In fact, the quote is like an unwritten rule. It is now something that people say without thinking about what it means, saying it more like a jumbled bunch of words than like a
quote. Sadly, what usually happens to quotes like this is that their meaning gets lost, and eventually the quote disappears too. I would like to prevent that from happening to this quote by taking the time to write about its meaning, so all shoemakers and anyone else who is interested, please read on. The quote mentioned above means that the person whom is getting their feet fitted for a new pair of shoes, and the shoemaker should
people that know what the person’s shoe size is. In other words, the shoe size should be kept a secret.
So, do all of you shoemakers keep your clients shoe size a secret? If you do not, maybe you should consider trying it. It is a good rule of thumb to have, and really the courteous thing to do.
-Kelsey N.

Page 11A
the North Easterner Newspaper May 17th 1860

Strike at the Shoe Factory

On the yesterday of May 17th, 1860, the operatives at the shoe factory in Lynn Massachusetts went on strike. Some eight hundred woman and four thousand men protested the low wages and poor work conditions.

The factory is owned by V.K
and A.H Jones.

One man said “How do they [the factory owners] expect us [ the workers] to work in a dust covered, lint-filled room twelve hours a day, for a weekly wage of only five dollars? Even the thought of it is totally barbaric.”

The workers are asking for a ten-hour day and a ten percent wage increase. They do not think that to be a vast request at all.

A woman from the sewing room claims,

“I have a
husband and four children to feed. My husband and I each only make five dollars a week. That wage is barely enough to get one person by, let alone six [people]."

V.K Jones, one of
the factory owners declares, “We have five-thousand and sum employees here. If I increased each and every one of their wages ten percent, that would be five hundred dollars more that I would pay each week, not to mention that less shoes would be made in a ten
hour work day, and therefore less profit will be made. If I did that my family wouldn’t even be able to scrape by.”

“The workers request and disobedience to me is repulsive. In
fact I should fire every single one of them for it, and make it so none of them could ever be able to get a job again. Such action is completely intolerable. How do they dare cause such 

commotion and bad name to my business? They should be
thanking me for letting them have a job at all,  considering that there are plenty of homeless and jobless people out on the streets who would love to have such a grand job.” states A.H Jones.

Up north in New Hampshire, the branched establishments of the Jones factory have many pleased workers. Many of the workers are happy because the strike in Lynn has caused the New Hampshire 
factories to need to make more shoes, and the Jones’ have decided to give the workers a temporary five percent wage increase.

However, there are some dismayed workers too. They complain about having to work longer
days if they want to keep their jobs. 

Page 8
The Shoe Source Newspaper July 20, 1900

An Interview with a Shoemaker

     This month's issue features a shoemaker named Gideon W. Burbank from Deerfield, New Hampshire. Gideon is seventy-six years old. He has been a shoemaker for fifty years now.

  Gideon is married to Eliza Ann Burbank. He has one daughter and one son. His daughter is a teacher and has been one since the age of fourteen.
Gideon has his one shop in the  attic of his house.

  He goes around, from house to house, fitting and making shoes for the whole family. He has a methodic way of starting with the oldest person in the family and making the shoes for the whole family

by age until every single member of the family has a brand new pair of splendid shoes.

usually makes up to date and fashionable shoes. However, he is also willing to make exotic shoes that could start a new a new trend upon request.

  He sells ladies shoes for one dollar and
ninety cents to two dollars and fifty cents a pair depending on the style and the material that the shoe is made of.

  He sells children’s shoes for seventy cents to one
dollar and twenty cents a
pair. Infant’s shoes he sells between ten cents to seventy

cents a pair. His men’s shoes cost eighty cents to two dollars and seventy cents a pair. These prices are all a slight bit cheaper than the retail price from a large manufacturer, and according to his clients, the shoes are just as well made.

Mr. Burbank usually makes shoes out of 
leather. He makes some shoes out of velvet and felt as well. Gideon is starting to construct 
rubber shoes also, but he has limited access to rubber so he charges more for rubber shoes than for his regular ones. 

Page 9
The Shoe Source Newspaper July 20, 1900

  According to Gideon W.Burbank, shoemaking is a good business, as long as you have something 
interesting that people like.

  “Otherwise it is hard
to get business because there are so many shoemakers in this area [the Northeast] today, which your clients will just as easily get new shoes from the next person that walks down the street.” Gideon says.
These are examples of types of shoes that Gideon might sell.
The Empress
The Empress
Photo source - http://www.cuddlycollectibles.com

Opera Boot
Opera Boot
Photo source -

Leather Lace-Up Boots
Leather Lace-Up Boots
Photo source - http://www.bobbydene.com/bt840.jpg


Dow, Joseph, The Shoe-Shop,
cited 15 February, 2005

Lutins, Allen, An Eclectic List of Events in U.S. Labor History,
http://lutins.org/labor.html, cited 15 February 2005 

Kippen, Cameron, Shoe Lasts and Metrology,
cited 15 February 2005 

Sears Roebuck and co., fall of 1900, Shoes 

Bicentennial Celebration Book, 1966,
Shoemaking in Deerfield Today


- Researched by Paige T.

1907 Deerfield Town Report, p.16
Photo source - 1907 Deerfield Town Report, p.16

The 1907 Deerfield Town Report shows that foriegn workers were used to help
build roads in Deerfield. Paige T. investigated whether that was common or not.

            When Gideon W. Burbank was still living in the 1800’s, there were five Italian men who used to work around Deerfield. They worked on building a highway. When they were working around Deerfield they were literally called a “group of Italians.” We wonder today why they would call them that, but we think it is because Italian people were known to keep to their own groups. Rather then the other immigrants like Irish or Russians who would mix in with the Americans.  Italians would live in groups from the area they came from. People would sometimes refer to the places they lived as “Little Italy”.

            When Italians lived here they usually worked as shoe shiners, rag pickers, sewer cleaners and any other nasty jobs that other people did not want to do. Usually Italian kids worked too, but Italians were not accustomed to this because Italian kids usually stayed home in Italy. Italian kids were also forced to go into schools. For jobs like this they would not make a lot of money, it was usually in the range of five to ten dollars a month for working ninety hours a week. This to Americans even then was very little.  For example the five Italians working on the highway near Deerfield made forty-eight dollars and twelve cents to split among five of them. The town records however do not tell us how long they did work, I guess it was almost four or five months. When Italians moved here they would usually move to bigger cities like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit, so they could be closer to big industries to get more jobs.

Italian immigrant boy at Ellis Island
Italians of all ages came to America, looking for something better.
Photo source - http://www.propulsivemusic.com/works/ellis4.jpg, cited 28 Feb., 2005

             Italians who left were usually from rural communities and have little or no education. Many Italians who immigrated here were men, they made up about two thirds of the Italian’s out of 655,888, and this was because they would usually move here just to get some money then move back to Italy, to be with their families. Italian immigrants moving to America peaked in the years 1880 to 1930. At this peak of Italian immigration 1.5% of the U.S population was Italians, this was considered still not that much. Italian immigrants living conditions were not good at all they would usually live in filthy, dirty rundown housing with not very good running water and poor sewage systems. This was because Italian immigrants were not cared about as much; hence it was not such a huge deal to people when an Italian immigrant was murdered. Male Italians usually even skipped food meals to save some money. This did not help them in any way; it made it harder for them to work, because they were hungry and weaker. When Italians would move here American people would treat them with some respect, but usually Americans were afraid of the Italians cause of there Catholic religion and some Americans thought Italians were lazy and were a lower class plus they thought Italians were not smart. I feel this was not a very fair judgment, especially since many Italians did not live or intermingle with Americans, they kept to themselves. Italians were also feared because of there mafia myth in the 1870s Italians were thought of as ruthless killers who pretty much had no soul. People said that the Italian rate of being arrested was much higher then American arrest rates but they were wrong it was just a stereotype; even today you sort of think of Italians as mafia leaders or in gangs’ movies like Scarface, do not help this stereotype. When Italians moved here they would some times cause hostile outbreaks with the Irish because of the long hours low wages they would work, they began to take a lot of the Irish jobs. This is why I think “the group of Italians” might have lived up in Deerfield to avoid a lot of these hostile outbreaks. You didn’t see many immigrants living up in a little place like Deerfield, where it was probably not as easy to get a job.

           So after reading what Italians went through when they lived in America we wonder why they would want to move here just to go through that? Well conditions in Italy were not much better, actually in a way they were worse. Italy started to become an overcrowded country, actually many places in Europe started to become overcrowded. The people there made low wages and had high taxes, jobs also started to become more and more scarce because American products started to get sent into European countries. Italy also got hit very hard with diseases like in the north Pellagra [a disease that is lack of vitamins it is caused by dietary lack of vitamin B and protein.] The south of Italy got hit with Malaria also known as “bad air” in Italian [this disease is caused by a protozoan parasite.] So Italians in the 1800’s had a harsh life almost everywhere they lived, but most immigrants did. I could not imagine having to pack up from my home and move half way across the world to a foreign place where people are not exactly nice to you.

            I have a lot of opinions on how the Americans treated the Italians or any immigrant when they came over. I don’t think it was nice of Americans to think of them as lower then they were because they were from another country to begin with too. Especially since they didn’t even get to know there customs or the way they lived there life. Sometimes I wish I could send people who are like that to another country that don’t speak or understand the language they speak, and see how they feel, then add on a bunch of people who think they are better then them.

Parents of babies born in Deerfield in 1894

Birthplaces of Parents of Babies

Born in Deerfield in 1894
Parents of babies born in Deerfield in 1906

and in 1906
Parents of babies born in Deerfield in 1911

and in 1911.

Sources - Vital Statistics: Deerfield, NH Town Report - 1895, 1907, 1912


Jonathan Lee and Robert Siemborski., “Destination/paces where they settled” http://www.bergen.org/AAST/Projects/Immigration/destination.html#1830-1890, cited 15 February, 2005.

“Italian Immigration” http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAEitaly.htm, cited 15 February, 2005.
“The Peopling of Americahttp://ellisislandrecords.org/immexp/wseix_5_3.asp?, cited 16 February, 2005.
“The Journey to Americahttp://italiangenealogy.tardio.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=20, cited 16 February, 2005.
“Italian American Presentation” http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/maxpages/classes/soc248/soc%20-%20Italian%20Americans.html, Cited 16 February, 2005.
“Pellagra” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellagra, Cited 22 February, 2005.
“Malaria” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria, Cited 22 February, 2005.
"Ellis Island: The Dream of America", http://www.propulsivemusic.com/works/ellis.htm, Cited 22, Feb., 2005

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