Weare prepping for 250th anniversary
By KATHLEEN BAGLIO HUMPHREYS
Union Leader Correspondent |
May 30. 2014 7:50PM
WEARE — One day of celebration is just not enough for Weare residents, who have been celebrating the town’s 250th anniversary with a different celebratory theme each month since January.
The grand finale will be in September when they ceremonially sign the town’s charter, 250 years to the day it was originally signed.
June’s theme is an Old Fashioned Lawn Party on the grounds of Clinton Grove Academy on Saturday, June 21 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on Hodgdon Road. There will be a tour of the first floor of the academy, complete with costumed schoolhouse characters, a cake walk, lawn games, a take-n-make craft and entertainment by well-known folk singer Jeff Warner. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic lunch and celebrate, Weare style. Lemonade and ice tea will be available.
The rich history behind the Clinton Grove Academy and their beautiful lawn make it a perfect setting to host the lawn party.
The building is on the state historical registry and was the first Quaker seminary in the state of New Hampshire in the mid-1800s.
The school was rebuilt after a fire.
“It’s a beautiful simple building,” said Heleen Kurk, co-chairperson of the 250th Anniversary Committee and Historical Society treasurer.
The building continued to be used as the seminary until the school district took it over. Quaker teachers continued to teach but eventually it became a public school. In the 1960s it was sold to a private individual for a museum of Weare artifacts. In time, he gave it to the Weare Historical Society but when they couldn’t afford the taxes they gave it to the town.
“The historical society wanted to make it a usable building again for the community and be used for meetings. We had a new roof put on and re-did the bell tower,” added Kurk.
July’s celebration will be the unveiling of the 250th cake during a patriotic parade on July 12 in Weare Center.
Aug. 23 will be Old Home Day with music, entertainment, vendors, a photo contest, antique and classic car show, old time demonstrations, Chinese auction, book sale, and a vintage parade. The Tramp House and Historical Society Museum will be opened.
“We will have memorabilia to sell and to raise money. We started planning four years ago because we didn’t want to ask taxpayers for any money,” said Kurk.
Weare’s 250th anniversary celebration will culminate on Sunday, Sept. 21, with a luncheon at the John Stark Regional High School. Members of the drama department will act out historical events such as the Pine Tree Riot.