New Boston's Hollywood connection

Union Leader Correspondent
February 14. 2013 9:23PM
The New Boston railroad depot was completed in January 1893 at a cost of $10,000. It burned down two years later, in February 1895, and needed to be rebuilt. 

NEW BOSTON -- With the town's 250th anniversary in full swing, a host of events put on by various organizations will take place throughout the year, including Friday's tribute to Horton Foote, a former resident who wrote the screenplay for "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Kerri Kelley, one of the organizers of the anniversary celebration, said folks in town have been planning and preparing for the anniversary for more than a year and view the celebration as a community project that everyone has a voice in.

"It hasn't been a committee of people sitting down and deciding what we're going to offer," said Kelley. "It's been people from every organization in town, representing every generation, getting together and planning these special events."

Kelley said that since the planning started, a group of representatives has sat down each month to work out the details of each event, to bounce ideas off each other, and to make sure everyone has a chance to celebrate New Boston.

From lectures and presentations, to walks on the town's rail trail, to tours of New Boston's most historic homes, the activities run the gamut, and though there's not one main event on tap, Kelley said there's a lot of excitement about the art show in May and the anniversary ball in October.

On Friday night at the New Boston Community Church, Horton Foote will be the focus of attention as part of the anniversary celebration's "Perspectives Series." Foote was born in Texas in 1916, but moved to New Boston in the mid-1960s. He and his family lived in a home on Bedford Road.

Foote worked as an actor in the beginning of his career, but began to develop a reputation as a screenwriter. In 1962, he was given the Academy Award for his adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee's famous novel that became a movie starring Gregory Peck.

In 1983, Foote won another Academy Award for the screenplay for "Tender Mercies" starring Robert Duval. It was during this period that Foote and his family, including his wife, who worked as a real estate broker, left New Boston.

Foote's story will be told during a special presentation at the New Boston Community Church on Friday, at 7:15 pm.

On Monday, a Founder's Day Tea from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Whipple Free Library will mark the actual date on which New Boston was incorporated.

And on Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the New Boston Community Church, Dan Rothman will present an illustrated presentation about the history of New Boston in a performance called "250 Years in Fifty Minutes."

"The people who have worked so hard to pull these events together are what makes New Boston special," said Kelley. "The people who live here are so community-oriented and everyone looks out for each other. It's a great place to live."

For a full list of all of the anniversary events, visit

HistoryNew BostonPhoto Feature

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