Turning 250, Raymond, Fremont ready to partyBy RYAN O'CONNOR
Union Leader Correspondent
March 17. 2014 5:21PM
Fremont and Raymond are planning on plenty of pomp and circumstance for this year's 250th celebrations.
"It's a milestone for the town of Fremont to reach 250 years, and this is something a lot of towns in New Hampshire do when celebrating their anniversary," town historian and 250th Anniversary Committee Chairman Matthew Thomas said.
Raymond Selectman Wayne Welch, who is serving as chairman of the Raymond 250th Anniversary Celebration Committee, said the website, www.raymond250.org, has been a lifeline for getting residents involved and funding the event.
"The community spirit has been just tremendous," said Welch. "People have really been excited about this event and we're getting a lot of support and participation."
Meanwhile, Deerfield approved an article to establish a nine-member committee for its semiquincentennial in 2016.
"Last time (for the 200th anniversary celebration), we didn't have such a large population, but they had a parade and used the fairgrounds, and people made all kinds of keepsakes and commemorative plates and medals," said Joanne Wasson, the Deerfield town historian. "The Historical Society helped provide information on Deerfield's past and offered a historical booklet. They really went all out for it back in '66."
Last year, Candia held three separate events to commemorate its 250th.
"The opening event was in March, and we reenacted the steps the townsfolk took to become a town. You see, we were part of Chester and had to petition to become a town of our own," said Linda Thomas, one of the chief planners for Candia's 250th celebration.
In September, Candia Day was celebrated. The all-day event was held on the lawn of the town's museum with home-cooked food, live music, and games. Thomas said in December, the town reenacted "Governor Benning Wentworth signing the paperwork to make Candia a town and then we held a mock Town Meeting." Candia's 250th celebration was three years in the making, she said.
Fremont's proud history
For four years, Matthew Thomas has teamed with 14 of his fellow residents to plan Fremont's festivities, which begin with two lead-up events and conclude with a four-day Old-Home day type celebration, June 19-22.
The semiquincentennial kicks off with the dedication of the refurbished 1802 Town Pound, which sits next to the 1800 Town Meetinghouse. Thomas said several other activities are already planned, including a handful of band concerts, an antique car show, a Revolutionary and Civil War encampment and reenactments, crafts, food vendors, a model airplane exhibition, hayrides and a variety of other activities still in the planning stages.
Fremont also has a Northside vs. Southside tug of war planned and a non-denominational church service on Sunday, June 22, at the 1800 Meetinghouse, where a cake-cutting ceremony and concert follow. The celebration, said Thomas, concludes with a "spectacular" fireworks, show.
The town plans to hold an old-fashioned baseball game on June 7 and then a Miss Fremont beauty pageant on June 15.
Fremont was originally chartered in 1764 as Poplin. Residents successfully petitioned for a name change 90 years later, identifying the town with John C. Fremont, a well-known explorer and U.S. senator who was the first Republican presidential candidate.
Raymond revs up
Raymond's weeklong semiquincentennial event is scheduled for Sept. 13-22.
Activities include a parade, chicken barbecue, concerts, a Sunday church service on the Town Common, a fire department pancake breakfast and all-day open house, an American Legion car show, fireworks, a neighborhood block party and contra dance at the Town Common. The celebration concludes with a 250th Ball at Tuckaway Tavern.
There will be a reading of the "Letters From A Sharpshooter," a collection of correspondences from William B. Greene, a 17-year-old Union Army specialist to his family in Raymond during the Civil War.
The week of festivities also ties in with Raymond Old Home Day and Raymond High School's homecoming. Raymond Town Historian Paul Brown is writing a book with the town's historical society, with the hopes it will be published in time for the celebration.
For more on the upcoming celebrations, visit www.fremont250thcelebration.org and www.raymond250.org.