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Title: Snowshoeing, Fairfield, 1917
Contributed by: L.C. Bates Museum / Good Will-Hinckley Homes
Contributed by: Mantor Library at UMF
Date: circa 1922
Media: black and white photograph
In the early 1600s, French explorers and colonizers in the New World quickly adopted a Native American mode of transportation to get around during the harsh winter months: the snowshoe. Most Northern societies had some form of snowshoe, but the Native Americans turned it into a highly functional item. French settlers named snowshoes "raquettes" because they resembled the tennis racket then in use.
Alanson Mellen "Mellie" Dunham and his wife Emma "Gram" Dunham were well-known musicians throughout Maine and the nation in the early decades of the 20th century. Mellie Dunham also received fame as a snowshoe maker.
The astronomical arrival of winter -- also known as the winter solstice -- marks the year's shortest day and the season of snow and cold. It usually arrives on December 21.