The Double-Runner Club
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Artwprk detail from Shillaber novel /


Strawbery Banke Presents

Local author Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber (1814-1892) wrote three novels about his boyhood here. The Double Runner Club opens with a death-defying race down Mason’s Hill, the steepest slope in Rivertown, Shillaber’s fictional name for Portsmouth. (Continued below)



Early Adventures in Sledding

Double Runner Club /

MORE on BP Shillaber

To win the race, young Ike Partington and his friends must build a fast double-runner sled. Mr. Dennett, the local carpenter, and Mr. Fernald, the blacksmith, offer to build the sled that carries six boys down the hill at breakneck speed. When the Rivertown gang takes on the kids from Tatnic, however, things go awry. Ike loses control of the massive double-runner and the boys plow through the door of a farmhouse, tearing up the threshold and the kitchen floor. Curious readers can now download this entire volume for free on Google Books.


Detail of sledding accident illustration /