Welcome to the New Market Historical Society
Our goal is to tell Newmarket’s story, preserve its local artifacts, and sponsor historical events and educational opportunities. Please consult our program of events for exact dates, times, and locations for our meetings and events as they have recently changed.
The public is always welcome to attend our educational meetings, which are free except for select special events.
Donations are always welcomed and greatly appreciated!
We wish to thank Proulx Oil and Propane, and Chinburg Builders both whom generously donated funds
for our efforts to acquire new artifacts and preserve those manuscripts, diaries, letters, and articles already in our collection.
By Robert Gazda
My grandmother and grandfather would be up early. My grandfather doing the farm chores, milking the cows and taking care of the other animals. My grandmother would be in the kitchen heating up the woodstove in preparation for a long day of cooking getting everything set for the evening meal.
My grandfather was bigger than life, he loved his family and was proud of his accomplishments. He left Korczyna, Austria/Poland and arrived at Ellis Island on a cold December day in 1911 with his younger brother George, They had $15 in their pockets and were enroute to Newmarket to join their older brother John who sponsored them and got them both jobs as weavers in the Newmarket mills.
(photo: George Gazda, standing, and Andrew (seated). Photo taken by Wm Thibeault in Newmarket around 1915)
When they first arrived, they boarded with other Polish families on Nichols Avenue – at one point there were 17 people living in one house. They worked hard, started families of their own, scrimped and saved enough money to buy their own farms.
My grandparents were proud of their Polish heritage, although my grandfather and his brothers never talked about “the old days” or “back home”. It was as if those days were gone forever and never mentioned. But, the holidays were special.
The table would be readied for the traditional Polish Christmas Eve feast: beet soup, kielbasa kiska, boiled potatoes and my favorite cabbage pierogi. My grandfather would put out pots of his own butter to layer over the rye bread. The dining room table was enlarged and everything set for 5 p.m.. My aunts and my mother would have been in the farmhouse by midday cooking and preparing the food.
A tablecloth would be placed over a fresh mat of hay to symbolize the manager scene. A spare chair would be set by the door in case someone unexpected stopped by, which always happened. All the aunts and uncles and cousins from town arrived at the 1780’s farmhouse on Packers Falls Road, and were joined by other family from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Everyone dressed in their best clothes and gathered around the table.
My grandfather would start by taking a blessed wafer brought home from the Catholic church and break it in half, giving one half to my grandmother.
They would break off a smaller piece and pass the rest around the table, everyone would break off an even smaller piece and share with someone as they wished them a “Merry Christmas”. Only then would the meal begin.
(photo: Andrew Gazda as a not so traditional Santa)
Afterwards, there was a faint sweet smell of whiskey and cigar smoke in the air as the men sat around talking. My aunts tried to keep us 5-year-olds herded together in the living room to await Santa.
My grandfather always mysteriously disappeared during Santa’s arrival. Not until years later did we finally figured it out — that he was the tall, slender, rather old fashioned-looking Santa…who always wore the same black shoes.
The Stone School Museum, built in 1841, as a two-room schoolhouse, and now home to the New Market Historical Society, is located high upon Zion’s Hill on Granite Street. Hours of operation are in our program of events and are on our web page and Facebook. If you need further information, please call 603-659-3289 and leave a message or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your inquiry will be returned as soon as possible.
$17 for members, $19 for non-members
Books available and can be purchased on line with PayPal—or contact us via email at
If shipped — an additional shipping & handling fee of $4 applies.
All proceeds from the sale of this book by the New Market Historical Society help the preservation of our collection.
We greatly appreciate your membership and donations, and look forward to seeing you at our meetings and events. Members receive free admission to all our meetings and non-members can attend most meetings and events for free. Please make it a point to introduce someone new to one of our events.