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Harriet Pope and Charles Walter Carpenter papers

Identifier: fairbanks-001

Scope and Content

The collection is primarily comprised of letters exchanged by Harriet Pope and Charles Walter Carpenter during the period of their courtship. Three letters exist, from August of 1902, following their marriage. Also included are a letter to Walter from an unidentified author (1895), a letter to Walter from Lena (1895), a portion of an undated letter from Hattie to Walter, a letter from Sam Pope to Hattie (1897), a calling card of Walter's mother, and an undated list of members of a women's club. The letters document Hattie and Walter's courtship in the late 1890's and depict the events and activities of a middle class lifestyle of that time and region. Friends and family in the St. Johnsbury and Claremont areas are mentioned. The letters describe working life and conditions, leisure time, travel through the region, architectural landmarks, social events, and visits with friends and family. They also provide descriptions of the landscape of northern Vermont and New Hampshire. Hattie's letters make mention of events at the Knights of Pythius block building, including Golden Cross Dances, Guards' dances, and the Leap Year Ball of 1896. She writes about Buffalo Bill's Wild West show coming to town in the summer of 1895. While Hattie describes the Summerville fire of 1895 and the completion of a local shoe factory in 1897, she omits any reference to the opening of the St. Johnsbury Hospital in 1895. Hattie and peers enjoyed walks to Observatory Knob (at the area near the far end of the current Mt. Pleasant Street). In February of 1897 a huge storm prevented Hattie's sister Annie from traveling out of Greensboro, as the livery team she had hired was tipped over repeatedly by the strong wind and snow. Walter's letters refer to central New Hamphire and the areas of Claremont, N.H. and Ascutney, Vt. He describes traveling by horse and buggy and crossing a covered toll bridge. He writes about the opening of Corbin's Fork, a New Hampshire wild game park, in 1896. He attended local events, such as, the New Hampshire Guards' muster, the Salvation Army Camp meeting, a Homliest Man Contest. He describes going to the theater to see plays, such as "Cotton King." The primary theme of Walter's letters is to convince Hattie to proceed with their marriage. The three letters from 1902 refer to the couples' two children and were written when Hattie was visiting her sister Lena in South Ryegate. They show her wish for Walter to bring her home to New Hampshire. The accession number for the collection is 8099. The letters have been foldered by author and are arranged chronologically.


  • 1895-1902

Language of Materials



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Archives.

Biographical Note

Harriet Pope, known as Hattie, was born in North Hatley, Quebec on April 17, 1875. Her parents were James Pope and Harriet Edgecombe, of England. At some point, by the time she was twenty, she came to St. Johnsbury, Vermont to work as domestic help, for the Hastings family and for a Mrs. Ricker. She met Charles Walter Carpenter at a fair in Sherbrooke, Quebec, between 1893 and 1894. After a courtship of some duration, they married, probably in the fall of 1897. By 1902, they were living in Claremont, N.H. with two children, Gladys and Franklin. A third child appears to have been on the way. At some point, they returned to St. Johnsbury, where Hattie died of congestive heart failure at Brightlook Hospital on December 4th, 1962. Her address at the time of death is listed as 32 Spring Street. Charles Walter Carpenter, known as Walter, was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt. On August 16, 1873. He was the son of Charles L. Carpenter of Chelsea, Vt. and Ellen Hazelton of Barnet, Vt. He was employed as a machinist at a metal working shop in Claremont, N.H. He was an active volunteer for the New Hampshire militia, or "guards" and a member of Knights of Pythius. Walter returned to St. Johnsbury and died there on March 25, 1956 of congestive heart disease. Like Hattie, his residence at the time of death is listed as 32 Spring Street. Selina Pope, known as Lena, was Hattie's older sister. She was born in England in 1872. Like, Hattie, she came to the St. Johnsbury area. She married Charles D. Taylor, who was born April 27, 1873 in Ryegate, Vt., in 1896 in Canada. Charles Taylor died on May 2, 1904 of pneumonia. They had three children. The first died in infancy. Harold William Taylor was born July 15, 1902 and Charlene Taylor was born January 18, 1905, eight months after her father's death. Lena remarried November 13, 1907 to Nat Blanchard Trussell. Hattie had several other siblings living in the region. James (Jim) Pope lived in Greensboro, VT. Samuel Pope lived in Jeffersonville, VT and owned the S.E. Pope Company, manufacturers of sugaring tools. She had two additional brothers, Frank and George Pope. Annie Pope married a man named Nelson and settled in South Ryegate, VT. Rob Egecombe, Hattie's first cousin on her mother's side, lived in St. Johnsbury. It appears that Walter and Hattie's oldest child's married name was Gladys Grattam.


.25 linear feet (8 folders)


The collection is primarily comprised of letters exchanged by Harriet Pope and Charles Walter Carpenter during the period of their courtship.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please contact the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Archives.

Inventory of the Harriet Pope and Charles Walter Carpenter papers, 1895-1902, (bulk 1895-1897)
Unverified Full Draft
Processor: Mary Dole.
© 2001
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Archives. Repository

1302 Main Street
St. Johnsbury Vermont 05819