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Committee calls for renaming Carpenter Street field after Keene's first woman mayor

Union Leader Correspondent

December 17. 2017 8:36PM

KEENE — A committee has recommended that the City Council draft a resolution to rename Carpenter Field after the city’s first female mayor.

Mayor Kendall Lane brought the proposal before the Municipal Services Facilities Infrastructure Committee Wednesday night asking the committee support the proposal to rename Carpenter Street field the Patricia T. Russell Field.

“Patricia Russell was the first female mayor of Keene. She was kind of an iconic figure in this community,” Lane said. “She was a long-term state representative. She was a long-term city councilor. She was mayor. She had a number of accomplishments when she was mayor.”

One of her accomplishments was inspiring and being part of the effort creating Ashuelot River Park, he said. “I still remember the day that she went out and got to light the dynamite that blew up the carwash that was there (where Ashuelot River Park is now).”

Lane said Russell also grew up in the neighborhood of Carpenter Field.

“So it is particularly fitting that Carpenter Field be named for her,” Lane said, adding the city cannot find any records of the field ever officially being named and it would seem to have been called Carpenter field because it is on Carpenter Street.

Lane said the city has plans for a $1.5 million project to convert the field into a park.

“It’s always been a field, but I think there’s going to be a lot more to it,” City Councilor Phillip Jones said, adding perhaps it should be named the “Pat Russell Park.”

“He’s absolutely right — it’s going to be a lot more than a playing field and it’s going to be a significant outdoor recreation area,” Lane said. “We developed a capital project relating to that field to turn it into a recreation facility. We’re proposing spending a $1.5 million to upgrade the field.”

Keene Recreation director Andy Bohannon said plans include a walking track around the entire parameter, a field and a playground.

“Having grown up in Keene and knowing the Russell family and everything they have contributed,” Bohannon said. “I just think it’s a perfect fit for the naming of this facility.”

Russell served two terms as mayor starting in 1996. She died last year at the age of 85.

Keene Local and County Government

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