Book of poems resurfaces in Wilton

Photo by JESSIE SALISBURY A page shows Abbie Perham’s delicate, flowery writing style.

WILTON – In 1851, when Abbie R. Parker was 12, she wrote a poem she called “Advertisement.” Her parents were planning to sell the farm, and she wrote about it.

Abbie wrote a lot of poetry, and sometime after her marriage in 1862 to Harvey Perham, of Lyndeborough, she copied 83 poems into a small book.

She listed her age on each poem. The last one dated was 1874. Several of the poems were printed in the Milford Cabinet.

That book was given to the Wilton Historical Society many years ago and was recently rediscovered during some renovations.

Abbie was born in 1839 to Josiah and Maria Parker. Her poem describes where they lived.

“As father talks of selling,

“I’ll advertise his farm.

“I don’t think in so doing

“There would be any harm.

“Said farm is situated two

“Miles east of Amherst village

“With a lot of wood and timber

“Mowing, pasture land and tillage.

“Said farm has sixty acres,

“All fenced with good stone wall.

“On said farm there’re good buildings

“With sheds adjoining all.

“The barn is quite convenient,

“The shop is handy, too;

“Tis a very pleasant place,

“I think it would suit you.”

The farm, she wrote, also had three wells that had never run dry and two orchards of mostly Baldwin apples, plus a couple of peach trees.

Most of her charming poems discuss nature, such as birds and flowers, but also some of her daily activities, such as school. A few are philosophical and religious.

One sad poem is to her lost sister Alma, who apparently died at a young age after a long illness.

Abbie’s handwriting is clear, and flowery in the style of the 1890s, but easy to read.

One of the last poems in the book is “For Willard,” who was born in 1899. Willard married V. Kate Jackson, of Amherst.

Harvey died in 1902, but Abbie’s death isn’t listed in the history of 1905, so she apparently was still living then. Abbie and Harvey had four children: Minnie, Willard, Nettie and John. The Lyndeborough genealogy doesn’t say where in town they lived.

In 1915, according to a directory for that year, Willard Perham was a market gardener living at Perham Corner.

Two of the children, Nettie and John, are included in the history of 1950 without any details.

The book can be seen at the Wilton Historical Society, to which it was donated by Evelyn Wells. The society has no information about her, nor did any of several older residents who were asked. Any information would be appreciated.

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