News Of History


The first attempt at restoration probably will be in connection with La Grande Maison, or “Queen’s House,” which was intended as a home for Queen Marie Antoinette. Two stories high and eighty feet long, this was reported to have been the largest log house ever constructed in America.

The site of Azilum is already a popular point of historic interest.

Vermont has established a Memorial House at North Fairfield marking the site of the birthplace of President Chester A. Arthur. The house is not an exact reconstruction of the original but is based on an old photograph which gives a clue as to its size and shape. A park of some twenty acres surrounds the house.

Arthur was born in Fairfield, October 5, 1830, but his family moved to New York state when he was quite young. As a young man, however, the future President returned to Vermont to serve for a time as principal of an academy in Williston.

A monument was erected in 1903 at the site of the birthplace and was the sole reminder of the importance of the spot until the present house was erected. It will be furnished with items of Arthur’s early period. No written description of the original house exists and no one is living who can remember it.

A minor historical feud began recently when restoration of the “first iron works in this country” at Saugus, Massachusetts, was announced. Some eighty men, it was reported, operated the iron works from about 1646 to 1670 and the restoration has cost a million and a half dollars.

George H. Kernodle, of Washington, D.C., an antique dealer who does occasional historical research for the National Park Service, registered his objection to Massachusetts’ claim in the Washington Post and Times Herald . The country’s first iron works, Kernodle maintains, were established in 1621 at Falling Creek, six miles south of Richmond, Virginia. The Falling Creek iron works, 66 miles from Jamestown, was an operation of the Virginia Company which founded the Jamestown colony. Among the victims of the Indian massacre of March 22, 1622, Kernodle points out, were 25 iron workers at Falling Creek.

The Lincoln-Free Press Memorial Association has completed its share of the project of restoring the first newspaper plant in the Indiana Territory at Vincennes. The building has now been turned over to the Indiana Department of Conservation for maintenance and visitor reception. Elihu Stout established the Indiana Gazette at Vincennes in the summer of 1804. His printing office was burned out in April, 1806, and in 1807 he began the publication of the Western Sun which continued until about 1925.