Lost & Found – The WHAV Call Letters

WHAV’s call letters were embedded in the floor when the Silver Hill transmitter site was dedicated in 1947. By David Goudsward
Special to WHAV News

You know WHAV as your local FM station at 97.9, but those letters on radio have meant many things to different people over nearly 100 years. In fact, the letters haven’t always been associated with Haverhill and haven’t always even been on land. Delaware’s First Radio Station

The call letters WHAV first graced the airwaves Aug. 14, 1922.

For Halloween: Haverhill’s Horror Movie Heritage

Mabel Albertson, born in Haverhill, appeared on “Bewitched” as Phyllis Stephens, Samantha’s headache prone mother-in-law. By Dave Goudsward
Special to WHAV News

If you look me up on IMDB, you’ll see I have a handful of television credits. Not listed (and rightfully so), is my sole movie appearance back in 1994 as an extra in the stadium for Florida spring training scenes of “Major League II.” Filmed in Harrisburg, Penn.’s minor league stadium. Instead of looking for me, I suggest looking for the one lonely palm tree the crew brought. Every time they moved the camera angle, they had to move the palm tree first – because it was supposed to be Florida!

Haverhill’s Cursed Son: Jonathan Buck

A mysterious leg is indelibly stained on the face of the monument to Colonel Jonathan Buck of Haverhill. (Photograph from historical postcard.)

By David Goudsward
Special to Wavelengths

The image is well known – the image of a leg indelibly stained on the face of the monument to Colonel Jonathan Buck—a Haverhillite rejected by his hometown, but who found success founding a town in Maine. As with every good ghost yarn, there are various incarnations of the story. Some say it was a visual reminder of the curse levied by a local witch burned alive by the pitiless judge and founder of Buckstown, Maine. Others state Colonel Buck had a mistress, who once her beauty faded, was tossed aside for a younger paramour.

How Haverhill Was Really Founded

Part one of a series, “A Town Named Haverhill”
Editor’s Note: Families can be complicated. The true story of the founding of Haverhill, Mass., is a testament to this fact with the founding minister’s father and brother-in-law being shown to be real estate schemers and his brother being a burglar expelled from Harvard. Much of the story of Haverhill’s founding has been steeped in fanciful folklore, but David Goudsward reveals the truth is much more colorful. The key date in the founding of Haverhill is 1639, a year before the first 12 settlers arrived at the banks of the Merrimack River near today’s Mill Street. The year 1639 is when John Ward arrived in Ipswich, joining his father, the Rev. Nathaniel Ward.

Whittier and the Rude Birthday Guest

Boston’s fashionable Hotel Brunswick, Boylston Street at the corner of Clarendon, was the setting of John Greenleaf Whittier’s 70th birthday party. There’s always one. That party guest who—because of the free flow of liquor, poor upbringing or owing to some kind of personality defect—humiliates the host and ruins the party. It’s even more embarrassing when it’s an expensive, highbrow affair at a posh venue with a guest list that would be the envy even of the White House. Well, it happened to Haverhill’s favorite son, John Greenleaf Whittier on the occasion of the famous poet’s 70th birthday party Dec.

Henry Ford Buys a Piece of Whittierland During 1928 City Visit

Built by the Proprietors of the Merrimack River Bridge in Rocks Village, Haverhill, the Rocks Village Toll House was purchased by Henry Ford in 1928. It is now known as “The Whittier Tollhouse & Shoeshop” and stands at near the entrance of Ackley Covered Bridge, Christie Street, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Mich. (From the Collections of The Henry Ford.)

By David Goudsward
Special to Wavelengths

On Oct. 18, 1927, Whittier Birthplace received a visitor. This, by itself, was not a particularly momentous event—the Birthplace had been open to the public since 1893 after former Haverhill Mayor James H. Carleton purchased the house and land and presented it to the Haverhill Whittier Club.

Haverhill’s Very Own Disease: ‘Haverhill Fever’

A typical river rat. By David Goudsward
Special to Wavelengths

Dr. Carl Mindlin, a Russian Jewish immigrant, had been growing his medical practice in Currier Square (Washington Street at High) for five years. His fluency in Yiddish and the location, a block west of the predominantly Russian-Jewish congregation of Temple Ahavas Achim, provided a steady stream of patients. So successful was his practice that he had moved his wife and 5-year-old daughter from above the office to a new home on Commonwealth Avenue. When Mindlin arrived at the office Jan.

Was America’s First Circus Elephant in Haverhill?

Old Bess’ monument and the Elephant Hotel still stand. The first two floors serve as the Somers Town Hall and third floor is home to the Somers Historical Society and the Museum of the Early American Circus. (Daniel Case photograph.)

By David Goudsward
Special to Wavelengths

Did the first circus elephant in America make its way to Haverhill? In Alfred, Maine, along route 4 in southern Maine, there is a memorial erected in 1963 by the Sanford-Alfred Historical Society and Circus Fans America. The reason for the great public interest in the killing of this elephant is because it was purported at the time “the” elephant was the first elephant in America.