Albert M. Philbrick

Albert M. Philbrick, Pg. 97-99 – scanned document

ALBERT M. PHILBRICK, a representative citizen of Amherst and a well-known hotel man, was born in this State, August 15, 1846. His parents were Joseph and Clarinda (Fuller) Philbrick. His mother, now ninety-one years old, is living at Amherst. The family came here in 1860. Some years later the father died, leaving three children. These were: Sylvia, now Mrs. Welton, of Amherst; Charles W., Who resides in Boston; and the subject of this sketch.

Albert M. Philbrick attended the public schools of Amherst and later a private school in Nashua, receiving a training that fitted him for practical business life. Beginning at the age of fourteen years, he worked for a time as a farm hand. When eighteen years old he went to Boston, and was employed as clerk in a grocery store. Some time after he came back to Amherst, and engaged in lumbering and general agriculture. Ile is prominent in social circles and in all public movements in the town. For four years he has been Selectman, having been the chairman of the Board for a part of the time. He is a member of the Souhegan Garage at Amherst.

In 1895 Mr. Philbrick leased Hotel Ponemah at Milford, and managed it during that season. In the following year he and Charles C. Swett, of Boston, purchased the property. The village Of Milford, containing about thirty-five hundred inhabitants, and only fifty one miles distant from Boston, is one of the most picturesquely situated of the many New Hampshire towns which are sought in summer by tourists and pleasure-seekers. It combines the attractions Of Country life with the comforts of the town, having an electric lighting system, public water-works and drainage, a public library, and well-kept streets and fine roads. It is situated in a valley through which runs the smooth-gliding Souhegan, and is surrounded by many beautiful hills, whose names have become classic in the literature of America through the of Whittier and the prose of Hawthorne. Hotel Ponemah is built upon a commanding site on the east side of Federal Hill, and looks out over as fine a sweep of landscape as can perhaps be found any country the world over. From the tower on the south may be seen on a clear day, looking northward, the peaks of Old Joe English in New Boston; the “twin Uncannoonucs, stately and tall,” in Goffstown; rugged Chocorua; sloping Kearsarge, “lifting his Titan forehead to the sun”; Ossipee, Croydon, Sunapee, Crochet, and Moosilauke, with others of less note. On the east are Sugar Loaf, Agamenticus, Teneriffe, Saddleback, and others in Maine, with Pawtuckaway in New Hampshire; on the south, Wachusett, and, between stretches of green meadow lands, the blue of lake or stream, or the darker tinges of forest lands. The hotel was built in 1882, and has proved to be one of the most popular summer resorts in this section of the State. It is eight hundred feet above sea level, and is surrounded by about four hundred acres of field and woodland, which are at the disposal of the guests during their stay here. The famous Milford Spring mineral water, also known as the Ponemah water, which is now used exclusively at the Brunswick and Victoria Hotels in Boston, is obtained from a beautiful spring situated just below the hotel. Its health-giving properties are well known, and the guests Of the house have ample opportunity to test it as it comes sparkling from its secret caverns. At the bottling-house also are prepared ginger ale, lemon, orange, and other flavored drinks for the table service. The hotel itself, especially attractive in architectural effect, has an artistic setting in its well-kept grounds. It is a long, three-story house, with a broad veranda reaching all around it, approached by wide and comfortable steps on three sides, with a stairway on the east side leading to the spring. Inside are wide hallways connecting the dining-rooms, parlors, reading-rooms, and office. The parlors are tastefully and luxuriously furnished; and the dining-room is spacious, well lighted, and made cheerful on a cool morning or damp evening by the ruddy glow from the open fireplaces. Although fitted with the most approved apparatus for steam heating, fireplaces, of which there are about a dozen, constitute one of the satisfying features of the house. Any one who has been a guest at a White Mountain hotel knows the comfortable sensation imparted by a glowing fire in an open grate when the weather outside is forbidding. The hotel has fifty-five rooms and contains all modern appliances for the comfort of its guests, including gas and a perfect system of electric bells. As for entertainment there is never any lack of that. There is every facility for tennis, croquet, bowling, dancing, driving, golf, etc. Besides the Saturday evening hops, accompanied by a full orchestra, there is plenty of music every evening, and usually a dancing party. Then there are card parties, amateur theatricals, costume parties, and all sorts of improvised house entertainments. Many of the guests bring their carriages with them for the season, and there are constant driving parties. There is a livery stable under the personal management of Mr. Philbrick, who is constantly planning drives; and the tally-ho is frequently to be seen, loaded with a jolly picnic party. One of the pleasant short drives is that to Amherst station, which is about two miles distant, the nearest stopping place on the Boston & Maine road. Among the well-known resorts within easy driving distance are: Purgatory in Mont Vernon, Bedford’s Ravine in Bedford, Lake Baboosie and Amherst Springs in Amherst, Lake Potanipo in Brookline, and Miller Park on Pack Monadnock Mountains. While looking out so well for the pleasure and amusement of his guests, Mr. Philbrick has been no less mindful of their health. The house is provided with the latest sanitary plumbing, and has ample protections against fire. The health-giving winds which sweep down from the higher New Hampshire hills are a sufficient defence against all other possibilities of contagion.

Mr. Philbrick’s most valued adviser and ablest coadjutor is his wife. in maidenhood Mary E. Ober, to whom he was married July 18, 1866. She is a native of Amherst, and both her parents were born in this town. They were John Ober, Who died in March, 1867, and Rebecca (Kendrick) Ober, who, now eighty-six years old, resides with Mrs. Philbrick, her only surviving child. The Kendrick family is Of English origin. Mrs. Philbrick’s great – great – grandfather, Benjamin, was one of two brothers who came to this country in 1639, and settled in what was formerly called Monson, now a part of Amherst, where Benjamin became owner of large tracts of land. He was the first Town Clerk of Amherst. Mr. Philbrick’s only child, Charles, who was last year graduated from the Milford schools, is a prime favorite with the guests by reason of his obliging disposition and skill in all the outdoor sports and indoor entertainments.