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.
Spring 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.
This 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.
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.