In many ways, the current situation we face due to the coronavirus pandemic is not dissimilar from 19th-century society. Like our New England counterparts decades before and after the Civil War, we find ourselves creating our own entertainment with our options limited due to health restrictions.

Thanks to the Exeter Historical Society, you can go back in time to see how Seacoast residents once passed the time among their communities.

The society is hosting a Zoom meeting on Tuesday titled, "Wit and Wisdom: Humor in 19th Century New England," which is a free educational and entertainment program presented by New Hampshire Humanities.

Seacoast Current logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Storyteller Jo Radner is expected to share tales from her forthcoming book, explaining how 19th century New Englanders gathered and told stories "of keen verbal wit" from local newspapers of sort.

Here is an excerpt from the Exeter Historical Society:

Whatever did New Englanders do on long winter evenings before cable, satellite and the internet? In the decades before and after the Civil War, our rural ancestors used to create neighborhood events to improve their minds. Community members male and female would compose and read aloud homegrown, handwritten literary "newspapers" full of keen verbal wit. Sometimes serious, sometimes sentimental but mostly very funny, these "newspapers" were common in villages across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and revealed the hopes, fears, humor and surprisingly daring behavior of our forebears. Storyteller Jo Radner shares excerpts from her forthcoming book about hundreds of these "newspapers" and provides examples from villages in your region. This program is generously sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities and is free and open to the public.

To join the Zoom presentation on Tuesday, you can register here.

These 10 NH Places Bring Back the Best Memories

More From Seacoast Current