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BLANCHARD AND ADAMS FAMILIES
Carol Carnes, a descendent of the Adams Blanchard family donated a collection of Blanchard and
Adams family papers and photographs to the Town Archive.
The names of Nathanial Adams and Nathanial Adams Blanchard are familiar to many town residents. Nathaniel
Adams (1802-1892) was an early settler in what was to become Delmar. His Adams House Hotel opened on
the Delaware Turnpike in 1836. Soon the crossroads became known as Adamsville. Today we know the
area as the Four Corners.
Nathaniel Adams Blanchard was born at the Adams House on May 13, 1896. He was the great grandson of
Nathaniel Adams. Blanchard was killed in action while serving with the 307th Infantry, 77th Division
near the close of World War I on November 9, 1918. The Nathaniel Adams Blanchard Post of the American
Legion on Poplar Drive in Elsmere is named in honor of him.
The donation includes five daily journals that John R. Adams kept from July 2, 1900 to August 13,
1903. They provide a fascinating glimpse of everyday life in Delmar. John R. was the son of
Nathaniel Adams. He wrote these books later in life, his December 8, 1902 entry notes “my 68th
The entries always start with the weather and then outline the happenings of the day. Farming
activities are noted, plowing and harrowing, planting and haying, loads of stone for building being
delivered. ”Self” is often working in the garden. Records for the ‘bull & boar account” are kept.
Also mentioned are trips to Albany by train for shopping and a stint of jury duty, visits by children
Jessie and Grace, and grandson John starting school after being home sick. Louise, his wife, is at
Jessie’s quilting. In winter, the state of the roads for sleighing is often noted, as is a visit by
Santa Claus. Unusual happenings like a local suicide and an individual struck by lightning are
mentioned. National events like this from September 6, 1901 “President McKinley shot at Buffalo no
particulars yet rumor says it was done about 4 o’clock this p.m.” are noted.
Some of the passages are quite evocative like this one from May 1, 1902.
Thursday Fair & windy cool self & Bill A went to Van…. Started at 9 a.m. brot Sow 16.50 wheat
5 bushes @79c buck wheat @60 c home at noon all ok – had hog box from Andrew Johnson returned
it this afternoon….. Sam Martha & Grace McCulloch called this evening for an hour the 44th
anniversary of our wedding a great change then we were young and strong now seem to be going
down hill pretty rapidly – both Louise & myself – but such is life.
Other items donated include several World War I postcards written by Nathanial Adams Blanchard to
his parents Clarence and Grace Blanchard as are John Adams Dyers’ World War I postcards to his
family back in Delmar. A scrapbook chronicles Zeb. A. Dyers run for District Attorney (Zeb is John’s
“Clarence Blanchard Sr. & King”
Photo taken May 23, 1937 (TOB 2119)
This photo is signed on the back “your brother Harry W. Blanchard April 1, 1893” (TOB 2122)
This is probably a brother of Clarence Blanchard Sr.
Handwritten on the back of this photo is “A Keystone Five.” The photo looks to be from World War I. Also noted on the back are the last names of those pictured, standing from left to right are Hobbs, Crosby, and Hamilton. Sitting are Dyer and Phelps. Dyer is possibly John Adams Dyer, son of Jessie Adams and Zeb Dyer. (TOB 2129)
Adams House Postcard (TOB 2126)
“Aunt J. looked lovely in her serge gown. Wish you could have seen her. It will be too warm to wear when you get home.” These words handwritten on the back of this photo refer to Jessie Adams Dyer. (TOB 2133)
The Blanchard Home used to be located at the Four Corners in Delmar (where Delmar Market Place is today). It has since been moved to 403 Delaware Avenue. (TOB 2138)
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