Carpenter’s Store News

Local History by Ron Patch. Ron Patch is a Chester native, Chester Historical Society president, and a lifelong antiques dealer. He can be reached at 802-374-0119 or email

The article below is from the August 1934 Carpenter’s Store News. Carpenter’s Store News was published by L.A. Carpenter monthly for decades. Carpenter’s store was located where Meditrina is today.

During the Depression, these papers became mimeographed 8.5 by 11 sheets. Prior to the Depression, Carpenter’s Store News was a four-page fold over measuring 8.5 by 11 when folded. “Carp,” as he was known, published these to advertise the latest shoes, hats, men’s and women’s apparel, and back to school supplies. Each issue has hand-drawn sketches. The photo with this article is one of those sketches.

Bringing home the bacon. Photo provided by Chester Historical Society

Sometimes Carp added Chester history articles or humorous stories he wrote. This is one of his humorous stories. He accepted free classified ads from customers and mailed 5,000 copies to surrounding towns free.

You’ll read “pantherous,” but what is that? In March of 1934, William Ballou and Gordon Gates discovered panther tracks up on Stedman. This discovery led to the Pantherites being formed. This was an organized group of believers. Being pantherous meant you were afraid of being attacked.

Scientific Hints for Amateur Gardeners

“The facts given below are the result of years of earnest research and will be invaluable to anyone wishing a successful garden each and every year regardless of weather, worms and bugs.

  “In starting a garden, it is vital that the soil should be fine and soft – this makes it easier for dogs and cats to dig holes in it. These holes are a great benefit as they catch and hold the rain water until needed during the dry spells later; then too, this digging constantly shifts the top soil about, which helps to conserve moisture, reduce evaporation of same and saves a lot of manual labor with hoe.

  “Also, it is well to keep an active dog and, if you feel you must have a fence about your garden, leave plenty of spaces in it so he can chase cats in and out without difficulty. This tends to improve the rapid growth of the plants, making them strong and vigorous and keep down the weeds.

  “During the dry season, should the garden seem to be suffering in spite of the dogs and cats, sink your winter’s accumulation of tin cans (open end up of course) in various places where moisture is most needed, first piercing each can with several holes. These cans may be filled with water from the watering pot or hose during the night when it is cool and the water will be slowly fed to the plants during the heat of day. Those fearing to be out after dark for pantherous reasons can fill the cans with salt. The salt collects moisture from the air at night, then it will be fed to the plant roots through the holes in the cans in the daytime.

  “Another good suggestion is to plant your beans as near a woodchuck’s hole as possible. This saves the woodchuck’s trampling all over your garden to find the beans and it keeps him sleek and fat so he will be in prime condition on Thanksgiving Day.

  “One of the latest scientific developments is a Self Cutting Lawn Grass. This grass, when it reaches the height of 1 inch ceases to grow taller. The tips begin to curl and form ringlets, completely covering the ground with a beautiful thick carpet. It may be had in any desired shade to harmonize with special color schemes. See E.J. Davis for samples and color card.

  “If time hangs heavy on the hands, as it will if these ideas are fully worked out, a sprayer may be used ad libitum, that means “at pleasure”. Take all the pleasure you like with the sprayer, it will do the plants no harm and probably no good. The sprayer is a squirt gun plugged up at the nozzle so it will work hard, thus giving the operator needed exercise in the hot sun, and applies the spray slowly, if at all. To be frank, spraying is of no value except as physical exercise but it produces a mental state so that one thinks it helps the plants. For a lazy person, a 5c medicine dropper from Andy’s Drug Store will be just as effective as a germicide, fully as rapid and much easier to use.

  “This information, while not guaranteed, has been gathered from very reliable sources so the rankest amateur can proceed with the utmost confidence.”


This week’s old saying: “The last thing a man wants to do is the last thing he does.”

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