CANTERBURY HISTORICAL SOCIETY;  JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER REPORT

The famous Bee Gees’ song “Staying Alive” could not have been more apt as the historical society’s trustees officially met for the first time in 14 months on May 4th. The meeting proved we are very much alive and here are some of the items we discussed;

  • We will be redesigning our website and link it to the town’s website with the much appreciated  help of Jane Balshaw.
  • We will mount an exhibit in the Elkins Memorial building this summer if the Fair Committee decides to hold the Canterbury Fair in July.
  • Trustees voted unanimously to begin the task of posting all (approximately 650 ) Luther Cody digitized photographs (mostly of Canterbury) dating from the late 1890’s to our website.
  • The trustees voted to create a committee to begin the process of identifying historic sites in Canterbury with the idea of placing historic markers on them. The site of the Worsted Church will be the first location. Fred Brewster will head the committee which will include Harry Kinter, Mary Kerwin and Paul Lepesqueur.
  • The School House program will go on this year in an abbreviated form with all children visiting and taking part in short lessons taught by Karen Gingrich. We hope to resume the full program next school year.
  • The trustees voted to accept the donation of a bed frame made by a Clough family member about 200 years ago which was housed in the Clough Tavern until the mid 1950’s. It will be held in our Archive Collection.   
  • It was voted to seek replacements for two vacant trustee positions and to seek volunteer replacements from town. If you are interested or need information send a note to canterbury.nh.historical.society@gmail.com or call Bob Scarponi 783-9594.   

You see! We are definitely Staying Alive!

Plans for 2018!

HISTORICAL SOCIETY TRUSTEES HOLD ANNUAL STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION
The Society’s trustees gathered on January 6th for what has become an annual event, i.e. reviewing the past year’s activities, assessing the Society’s current situation and planning for the upcoming year and beyond. Many items were discussed including:
    The One Room Schoolhouse Program – This will be our 11th year recreating the one room schoolhouse experience in which all Canterbury elementary school children participate as well as all the second graders from Belmont elementary school. The program will focus on the year 1887 and the curriculum will be designed as it might have been then. This is a program that has won national recognition and which all the students very  much look forward to. Like to be involved? Let us know!
    Exhibits – We plan to mount an exhibit later in the spring in the Elkins Memorial Building (former library) entitled, ”Out of the Archives” which will feature objects and materials from the Society’s archive collection. Do you have an idea for an exhibit? We are “all ears”!
    Programs – The Society will be sponsoring two “Humanities To-Go” programs in conjunction with the Elkins Library. The first will be on April 10th presented by Glenn Knoblock entitled, N.H. On High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State”. The second will be on October 23rd presented by Steve Taylor entitled, “Poor Houses and Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers”. Both at 7 P.M. in the library. Do you have a program idea? Something you’d like to see? We’d love to hear from you!
    Archive Collection- Strategies for managing the collection were discussed including organization, accessibility and growth. If this is an area of interest, let us know!
    Sundry other issues- Some of which were the review of our current by-laws, committee structure, succession planning, signage, our new town history, continuation of oral history interviews and their transcriptions, potential grant applications, the Luther Cody glass negative collection and future planning. Interest in being a Trustee? Let’s talk!
Clearly, we have many areas on which to focus and would welcome you to assist, volunteer, or contribute support to any area you might find of interest. Visit us at www.canterburyhistory.org or email us at canterbury.nh.historical.society@gmail.com

“I’ve been working on the railroad”; talk and new exhibit!

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Before the days of Interstate 93, tractor trailer trucks, and personal automobiles, the railroad was the lifeline that connected Canterbury to the world. Although long gone and mostly forgotten now, Canterbury once had a vibrant railroad system that included multiple trains running through town each day delivering passengers, mail, food, merchandise, and freight to the Canterbury railroad stations that no longer exist. These same trains also hauled out of town local produce including as milk, lumber, ice, and young recruits headed for service in WWII.

On Sunday April 30th at 1:00 at the Canterbury Parish House, local historian Mark Stevens is presenting a program entitled, “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad”.  It will feature old photos, historic research, and the stories that he gathered from interviewing old timers that remembered riding the rails and waiting for the train at the depot.  Mark has spent 5 years gathering all this information and has retraced the rail lines.  The photos of his discoveries coupled with historic photos he uncovered are a valuable and interesting part of our state history.

Immediately following Mark’s talk will be the opening of CHS’s newest exhibit “A trip through time on the Canterbury Railroad” that showcases many of the artifacts Mark came across plus many more photos. The exhibit will be across the road at the Elkin’s Memorial Building.

Newly found artifact; the Worsted Church

IMG_2419Spring cleaning this year revealed a long over-looked artifact!  Tucked back in the dark recesses of a former storage locker we found part of the weather vane off the old Worsted Church.

It’s only in recent times that Canterbury has built it’s climate controlled archival rooms and that CHS has been given stewardship of the additional Elkin’s Memorial Building with its own storage cellar.  In times past, the heirs of our founding fathers, knowing particular items had historical significance, simply stashed things in their barns.  Coming into modern times as bulky items moved from the barns to the protection of CHS they were stored in the “cage” (a room walled off with wire mesh and a padlock) in the cellar of the Sam Lake House where our town offices are located.  A final clean-out of the space this spring gave us this surprise.

IMG_2421 IMG_2423This weather vane is not only significant because of where it was located and it’s hand-wrought craftsmanship but because it survived the fatal fire of the church.  Come see it on display this month in the Elkin’s Memorial Building at the Canterbury Fair, Saturday July 30th, 2016.

Read a bit more about the Worsted Church by clicking here.

worsted church newspaper clip NH news

Welcome!

Welcome to the Canterbury Historical Society’s news blog!  We have a lots of interesting things to share including a newly found object that will be our first post.  We hope you will subscribe to this newsletter by “following” this blog.