Time capsule, fireworks launch Sandwich 250th celebration
By LARISSA MULKERN
Union Leader Correspondent | December 23. 2012 9:36PM
Sandwich Historical Society--Students get hands-on training -- in cooking and mechanics -- prior to the closing of the Quimby School in 1963. The Sandwich 250th Committee and the Sandwich Historical Society will host an open house -- and open the 1963 time capsule -- on January 1, 2013. (Courtesy)
The Sandwich 250th Committee and the Sandwich Historical Society are coordinating the premier event at the renovated Town Hall from 2 to 5 p.m., with fireworks following the time capsule opening. Fifty years ago, members of the town's 200th anniversary committee filled the capsule with memorabilia, but just what's inside is a mystery to most.
"What's inside? I have no idea, which is what makes it so exciting," said Jennifer Wright, chairman of the Sandwich 250th Committee.
Wright said the capsule will be unearthed in front of town hall and opened. Items will be taken out, one by one, and placed in a glass case for viewing. Lee Quimby and Historical Society President and 250th Committee member Geoff Burroughs, both known for their keen sense of humor, will emcee the three-hour celebration that includes a period costume contest, speakers, movies and food before the fireworks at dusk. Winners of the 250th Committee poetry contest will be introduced.
Special guest for the evening will be former state legislator Mary Senior Brown, who was on the town's 200th anniversary committee back when the time capsule was buried. Burroughs said Brown, who is now 98 years old, was very prominent in Concord. She was also crowned the town's Bicentennial Queen during the 1963 parade.
"We'll have a lot of fun," said Burroughs.
Burroughs had an educated guess about one item the time capsule may contain. He said 1963 was a big year for Sandwich - it was the year the Quimby School graduated its last class before closing. The town then joined the Inter-Lakes School District. "That was big news at the time. One-third of the town didn't want us to do that," said Burroughs. The time capsule may include the last program from the Quimby School, he added.
The last year or two have been filled with milestones, reveals and accomplishments for local historians. The Quimby Barn was moved, renovated and reopened as the society's Transportation Museum, and the statue of Niobe and portions of the Great Wall of Sandwich were restored and unveiled.
In April, the society will host a Bean Supper at the Grange Hall for the town. In July, they will host their own version of "Antiques Roadshow," and in August, author and historian Joan Cook will exhibit her collection of historic photographs. More events and exhibits will be offered during Sandwich Old Home Week held in August.
Sandwich Historical Society Director Adam Nudd-Homeyer, who restored the Niobe statue earlier this year, said the society has been hard at work raising fund to expand its offerings. Through a generous donation, the society will begin digitizing many of its publications and paper records, including the 93-year series of its annual journal, "The Excursion," and "Sandwich, New Hampshire" history. The society will publish its first paperback edition of the "Sandwich, New Hampshire" history book.
Most recently, the New Hampshire Charitable Society awarded the society an $8,125 grant with the condition it raise matching funds. These funds will be used to expand outreach and educational programs, including an oral history and interview project, a historical photograph treasure hunt and expanded educational programming.
For more information on the Sandwich Historical Society, visit www.sandwichhistorical.org, or call during winter hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, at 284-6269.