The CHS Annual Report to the Town, 2022

Canterbury Historical Society

Our mission: To preserve Canterbury’s history and sense of community.

We began to slowly return to “normal life” in 2022 after our shared experience of living with Covid-19 restrictions for the past couple of years. In spite of impediments we managed to move positively ahead during the year:

  • We designed, researched and wrote the text for the annual town report honoring Bud Thompson
  • Continued the 14th year of our one-room schoolhouse program for all Canterbury elementary students (including kindergarteners) and all second grade classes from Belmont elementary, with invaluable help from enrichment teacher Karen Gingrich
  • Co-hosted a program with Elkins Library in June featuring Shaker Village Director Leslie Nolan who presented a report on initiatives, programs and challenges facing the historic site
  • Mounted the Luther Cody Exhibit in the Elkins Memorial Building featuring selections from our Archive
  • Updated and published our annual  Community & Business Directory as a public service to welcome new residents and inform others about town services, organizations and local businesses
  • Co-hosted two programs with Elkins Library, one given by Mark Stevens who told the story of the Great Fire of 1943 which ravaged the town center and the other, a film of a program featuring the late Hugh Fifield recounting his time as a” country road agent” 
  • Held our (much delayed) annual meeting on November 29th which included election of  trustees and the election of Jeff Leidinger  who will take Mary-Jane Bergman’s  seat as she  becomes an ex-officio member
  • Enhanced our website ( with help from Jane Balshaw making it possible to post much more information. That made it possible to post both Mark Steven’s and Hugh Fifield’s programs so that they can be seen by anyone visiting our site.
  • The entire Luther Cody collection of 650 vintage photographs has been posted to our website and individual photographs can be reproduced if you would like your own digitized copy 
  • Coordinated the presentation of the Boston Post Cane by the selectmen to Julia Brown in October
  • Hosted “A Christmas Gathering” in December featuring selected, framed and matted Cody prints, as well as Canterbury history related items for sale. Mulled cider and refreshments were enjoyed by all     

We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Elkins Library, the selectmen, the elementary school staff, and all who have helped and supported our efforts over the year!

NOTE: The covers of the Town’s Annual Report feature another event we hosted in October 2022, a cemetery walk with reenactment of many of our founding fathers, entitled Canterbury Tales 2022, Trailblazers and Crossroads. After this report was prepared and published, a new video of this event was posted to this website. See it by clicking here. The following page was omitted from the town report in error so we wish to recognize these individuals here.



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 or call Bob Scarponi 783-9594.   

You see! We are definitely Staying Alive!