Hooksett Heritage Day offers glimpse into past
New Robie's owner Tom Walsh is opening the doors of the historic country store to Hooksett Heritage Day participants. (Ryan O'Connor/Union Leader Correspondent)
HOOKSETT — For the 10th year, members of the Hooksett Heritage Commission will team up with Robie’s Country Store and area clubs to present Hooksett Heritage Day.
“It’s a one-day event that we can all sort of find out about the town’s history and check out the historic buildings in town,” said Kathie Northrup, chairwoman of the Hooksett Heritage Commission.
The daylong event is scheduled for Sunday, May 18, beginning with open houses throughout Historic Hooksett Village at 10 a.m. and concluding around 4 p.m. following a walking tour of the village.
The Hooksett Historic Society, located at the Arah Prescott Library, is open for guests to browse through memorabilia from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“There’s a lot of collectibles and things of that nature that various Hooksett clubs and organizations have donated over the years, and it’s all in one place for you to look at,” said Northrup.
Robie’s Country Store, she said, will offer lunch specials throughout the day, and members of the White Mountain Division of the National Ford Model A Club will have a variety of vintage vehicles on display.
In recent years, the Hooksett Town Hall Preservation Committee and the Schoolmarms of the Head School Society have taken an active role in the festivities.
From 10 a.m. to noon, the Head School at 16 Pleasant St., which was built in 1839 and is the second-oldest town-owned building, will be open to the public.
“It’s a one-room school house that was restored a few years ago by a group of retired school teachers (Schoolmarms of the Head School Society),” said Northrup. “Thousands of kids have gone through there ... a lot first- and third-grade classes from Hooksett, and a few from surrounding communities, have sent kids there. And the ’marms dress up and give them the full experience of being in an 1840 schoolhouse.”
The Old Town Hall is also open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The Town Hall started removing some of the finishes and yanked off the 1960s paneling, so you can kind of see some really interesting old things underneath and try to figure out some mysteries there,” said Northrup. “And we’re also using a moose plate grant to have the tin ceiling in there restored.”
The day will conclude with a walking tour beginning at 2 p.m. in front of the Congregational Church, near Jacob’s Square in Veterans Park.
“We’ll talk about that area and then get in our cars and go over to grange hall where we’ll continue the walking tour,” she said. “Almost everything, with the exception of the Head School, is right in the village.
“There’s really not a lot of walking, so anyone can come and do it and learn about the flood (of 1936), the businesses that were in town and how the river affected the development of the town,” she said. “Hooksett used to be sort of a vacation destination with the Riverside Inn and Hooksett Pinnacle (summit and hiking area). People used to come here to escape the city in the summer.”
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