05 December 2014

From the Curator-The Henry Wilson Museum Online

At the Farmington Historical Society and the Henry Wilson Museum we have a large, diverse collection of thousands of documents, photos, and artifacts that span many eras and disciplines in North American history and encompass treasures of local, regional, and national value. Not many people know about our collection, but that is going to change.

As curator of the Farmington Historical Society and the Henry Wilson Museum it is my mission not to simply preserve stories and artifacts for future generations, but to make our history accessible to our citizens. I think it is important to get them excited about our town’s future by learning about our rich past, the determined people of our town, and the many narratives woven into the art, photographs, costumes, tools, and scientific representations in our collection.

For history to be relevant in the 21st century the people who learn about history need to connect to it and I think one of the best ways is to bring history to life is by broadening exposure to it in both the physical realm and via various forms of digital recreation . That is one of the reasons I felt it important to develop office hours for the curator, redevelop the Farmington Historical Society website for the social media age, and build an online museum for cataloging and displaying our collections. The number of items you can see online now is limited, but that number will only grow as we have time to add items to the online collection.

I look forward to taking care of your submissions and future donations and as a proud community member I look forward to hearing and recording your stories. I hope you find inspiration, solace, and perspective from the activities of the Farmington Historical Society and the Henry Wilson Museum. I am honored to hold this post and I’ll do my best to respect our past, while helping us focus forward as we move further into the next century.

From the Curator-The Spirit of Giving

During the Holiday Season we are reminded of the gift of giving and how important traditions, family, and history are to the fabric of humanity.

Over the years the Farmington Historical Society received many gifts, great and small. As the Curator for the Farmington Historical Society and of the Henry Wilson Museum. I'm delighted that those gifts, collected carefully over the years, have provided us with a rich, varied, museum collection that accounts not only for the happenings of our town over time, but testifies to the creativity, perseverance, and heart of our town. 

The photo above is a group of items given to us this month by Carol Richards of Farmington. The items range from very old school report cards to a New Hampshire speech pamphlet favoring national prohibition of alcohol. I am deeply appreciative of these items and want to extend gratitude to her generosity and the spirit of giving shown by all that donated to the Farmington Historical Society or Museum this year. I also want to thank all of the volunteers who have helped me begin the process of sorting and cataloging the physical collection for online consumption.
I wish everyone a holiday season full of happiness and a new year full of joy.


Lorraine Meyer of Farmington is Recipient of Cornerstone Award

Lorraine Meyer
Lorraine Meyer of Farmington was honored at the recent Annual Dinner for Cornerstone VNA at the Oaks Grand Ballroom in Somersworth. She was awarded the Cornerstone Award for her commitment to the community and for her dedication and hard work advancing the mission of the VNA. Lorraine Meyer is a champion of philanthropy. For more than 50 years she has been inspiring philanthropy and investing in the community, passionately working for the greater good of others to improve the quality of life for all. Contributions of her time, talent and treasures are remarkable. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors at Cornerstone VNA for 12 years and is a Hospice Volunteer providing comfort and support to patients as well as their families and caregivers. She has also served on the Frisbie Memorial Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and for many years participated in the Frisbie Follies. She is a past president of the Farmington’s Woman’s Club and the Farmington’s Historical Society, serving both organizations for many years. 

Her volunteerism began early in life. She was born and raised in Saranac Lake, NY. As a young woman she had enormous respect for nurses and volunteered for the “Gray Ladies”, a volunteer group of the American Red Cross which was founded in 1918 at Walter Reed Army Hospital. In 1954, Lorraine married her husband, George, an officer in the United States Air Force and together they traveled the world. When it came time to put down roots they decided to settle in Farmington to become part of a community and raise their four children.

It was here that her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for philanthropy took hold. She had a vision for this place she now called home. With the support and assistance from her husband she embarked upon a journey to paint, repair and rebuild old buildings in her community and turn them into prosperous establishments and companies. Her goal was to capture the historic essence of the buildings but make them new. The revitalization resulted in a new shoe factory providing employment for 100 people and offices for a dentist, an attorney, a barbershop, and apartments for the elderly.

She also became a widely renowned antique dealer and proprietor of the Olde Brush Factory and later Ye Olde Shoe Shoppe, collecting a wide variety of artifacts throughout New England and the world. An active Mom, Lorraine volunteered for the Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts when her children were young, and was a substitute teacher in Farmington schools. For many years was an active member of the Farmington Ambulance Corps-responding to emergencies day and night driving the ambulance, taking blood pressures, performing CPR and even delivering babies.

“When you speak with Lorraine you can hear the passion in her voice when she talks about the community”, states Susan Paquette, the Director of Advancement at Cornerstone VNA. “She has always felt compelled to make a difference with the hope of making things better. And you can see her good work and the impact she has had when you look at all those buildings. But what you can’t see is how she inspired so many as a mentor, or the moments that she directly touched someone’s life as a “Gray Lady”, an ambulance attendant and a Hospice Volunteer.”

Lorraine Meyer was honored, not for a year of giving, but for a long history and sustained effort of exceptional generosity and passionately working for the greater good of others. She continues to leave her mark on the community through her charitable work, leadership and inspirational philanthropy.

Learn More
Read the entire article in the December 4 Edition of the Rochester Times at http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20141204/GJCOMMUNITY04/141209820/-1/ROCTIMES

27 November 2014

December 5 Presentation: Travels Through Africa with Ray Turmelle

"Travels through Africa"

Mt. Kilimanjaro looms above the clouds in Tanzania.
Friday, December 5th
7:00 pm
in the Henry Wilson Museum 
Goodwin Library lower level

presented by 
Ray Turmelle

An opportunity to see Mt. Kilimanjaro, whose elevation of 19,000 feet is the highest mountain in Africa.  Though at the equator, the peak is snow covered and glaciated as a result of the last ice age.

Following the climb, we traveled to the various game reserves in Tanzania to photograph and observe the wild animals in their natural habitats.  Lake Manyara is one of the most famous parks in Tanzania and home to thousands of species and varieties of birds who share the lake with a large herd of hippos.

Lake Manyara

Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the natural wonders of the works where over 25,000 animals, from the bat-eared fox to the big tusked elephant, inhabit this caldera, an extinct volcano.  Lions there are a most rewarding animal to watch and photograph.

En route to the famous Serengeti Plains, we visited the Olduvai Gorge where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered skull fragments believed to be over 600,000 years old, which they named "East African Man".

Olduvai Gorge

Ray Turmelle is well known for his years leading the Graniteer Drum and Bugle Corps. An experienced hiker and photographer, he has hiked on five continents and taken wonderful photographs of beautiful scenery that he has gladly shown to those who only dream of such adventure.  Ray became intrigued with hiking in the mountains while in high school and this interest continues to this day.  He has climbed extensively in the White Mountains and prefers the cold and windy winter days rather than the hear and bugs of the summer months.

It wasn't until he was in his early 40s that he was enticed into doing rock and ice climbing.  Acquiring experience and confidence doing various routes on Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges in North Conway, and eventually on the Cannon Cliffs in Franconia Notch.  His first major climb was the Matterhorn in Switzerland followed by Mt. Rainier in Washington and various peaks in British Columbia.

He celebrated his 49th birthday and achieved his highest altitude on a 45 day trek and climb in the Himalayas of Nepal, climbing to 22,000 feet.  He also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and the Andes in Peru.  An old adage in mountaineering states that there are a lot of old, bold climbers and not many bold, old climbers.  So, even though he continues to hike, he has left the rock, ice, and high altitude climbing to the younger generation and now shares his experiences through presentations.

Learn More

Mt. Kilimanjaro Travel Guide  

Lake Manyara National Park

Ngorongoro Crater

Olduvai Gorge

Image Credits

22 November 2014

A Strong and Active Year Remembered at the Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner

"2014 Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner"

Friday, November 7, 2014
Farmington Historical Society 2014 Elected Officers
Jim Horgan, President
Sylvia Arcouette, Vice President
Joyce White, Secretary
Rebecca Howard, Treasurer
Kyle Leach, Museum Curator
Resta Detwiler, Auditor

There was lots of food and good company at the Pot Luck Dinner this year.  About 30 members were in attendance for the dinner.

The lines form as the dinner bell rings!
The food table had a wide array of new dishes and old favorites.
Members dig in and fill their plates.

After dessert, the members engaged in discussion before the Annual Meeting began.
The 2014 Annual Meeting was the highlight of a strong building year for the Farmington Historical Society.  There was so much that was accomplished since last November.  After the dinner, President, Jim Horgan reminded the membership in attendance of the great accomplishments that the Society has made over the past year.
President Jim gave a special award to his wife, Martha, for her support during his first year.

Past President and Vice President, Dottie Bean, was given an award for her hard work and years of service to the Farmington Historical Society.
Public Relations Chairperson, JoAnn Doke, was honored for her work in promoting the Society.

Secretary Joyce White was honored for her service as the Secretary of the Historical Society.

Judy Thompson was honored for her work in organizing and working with the Museum Curator to improve the Henry Wilson Museum, operated by the Historical Society.

Museum Curator, Kyle Leach, was honored for his hard work in both developing the Museum's online presence and  organizing  and developing consistent protocols for museum artifacts and acquisitions.

Treasurer, Rebecca Howard, was honored for her service as treasurer for the Historical Society.

Resta Detwiler, Membership Chair, was honored for her work with recruiting and communicating with the membership.
In the year since Jim took office, the society has moved full steam ahead into the 21st Century.  The Museum now has a computer and storage necessary to catalog and organize the artifacts.  The website has been refreshed, as has the museum space.  We have increased our meeting to continue over the summer and the work the Society does has been expanded beyond our monthly presentations moreso than it has in the past.  The Society has Tee Shirts and Hats for sale, along with American Flag pins.

Jim hopes to continue the momentum the Society has gained this past year and continue to make improvements, increase membership, and our work done to preserve and record the History of the Town of Farmington.

Consider joining this active and fun group!

11 November 2014

Thank You to Our Veterans and Happy Birthday, Farmington Historical Society!

Farmington Historical Society
November 11, 1949

The name of this organization shall be The Farmington Historical Society, Incorporated.

The object of this organization shall be to furnish an opportunity for united thought and action in collecting, preserving, and publishing whatever may relate to the early and late history of the town of Farmington, to preserve such articles or relics of the early settlers of the country and such records of colonial and later ware and such other objects and records as may be of interest to the Society, and to provide such education as is deemed of interest to the community.

Happy Veteran's Day

History of Veteran's Day from the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs

Harry S. Truman, Proclamation 2862, Armistice Day on The American Presidency Project

Proclamation 2862 - Armistice Day, 1949
October 29, 1949
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Whereas within a single generation the two most devastating wars in human history brought death or despair to millions; and

Whereas the signing of the World War I Armistice on November 11, 1918, aroused in the hearts of men the ardent hope of a peace that would endure for all time; and

Whereas after the second holocaust men still desperately seek the goal of international accord which stirred their hearts in 1918; and

Whereas the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (44 Stat. 1982), providing for the observance of the anniversary of November 11, 1918, and by an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351), the Congress stipulated that November 11 of each year should, as a legal holiday, be dedicated to the cause of world peace:

Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to celebrate Friday, November 11, 1949, as Armistice Day by recalling to mind the valor not only of those who brought victory to the Allied banners on November 11, 1918, but also of those who refought freedom's battle for the succeeding generation.

And I invite our citizens to rededicate themselves on November 11, at ceremonies to be held in schools, churches, and other suitable places, to the cause of peace throughout the world. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all Government buildings on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 29th day of October in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-fourth.

By the President:

Secretary of State.

Image Credits:

24 October 2014

November 7: Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner

Friday, November 7th
6:30 pm
Congregational Church Vestry
Main Street, Farmington
presented by 
Farmington Historical Society
Officers and Members

Come join us for our annual meeting and Pot Luck Dinner on Friday, November 7 at 6:30 in the vestry of the Congregational Church on main street.  Bring a dish to enjoy with friends. Beverages and desserts will be provided by the Society.  The food will be brought by the membership.   Members  are encouraged to bring family and friends to help us celebrate another great year.  New members are always welcome.  If you ever thought of becoming a member, this is a great time to do it. Please join us.

Tentative Schedule
6:30 PM             Commence Annual Pot Luck Supper.
8:00 PM             (Approx) Historical Society Meeting

Meeting Agenda
Call to Order
Pledge of Alegiance
Secretary's Report: Review of October, 2014 meeting minutes
Treasurer’s Report
Year in Review
Awards Ceremony
Looking Ahead
Continued Reorganization of the Henry Wilson Museum Continued Cataloging of Museum Contents Continued Search for Mold Solution Update membership list/dues/contact info/cards. - Resta Discuss Appraisal of museum contents and preparation. December meeting - 5 Dec. back at museum. Upcoming Presentations
December presentation - Ray Turmelle - African Sound Slide
January/February 2015 - No scheduled meetings. 
April Presentation: Darryl Thompson on the Shaker Legacy 
May Presentation: Glenn Knoblock on Cover Bridges in NH 
March and June - Still need presenters - Brendan Smith TBD.
June - Last Formal Meeting of the Season. Will continue with work sessions/meetings throughout the summer months.
Refreshments - Volunteers for upcoming meetings. Still Looking for volunteers to open the Museum - weekly, monthly, whatever arrangement permits a schedule. Still looking for ideas for resale items - Something unique to Farmington - more like souvenirs - post cards, key chains, trinkets. Volunteer Committee: Create Binders of Significant Events and Significant Inventions - Last two hundred years + or -.
Annual Election of Officers
Other new business
Next Meeting:  December 5 Travels Through Africa with Ray Turmelle
Annual Dues are due, so bring your $5.00!  At these rates, the entire family can join!
After the meal, we will conduct a brief business meeting.  New officers will be elected for the coming year.  If you would like to run for office or nominate a candidate, please contact us at FarmingtonNHHistory@gmail.com and let us know.

Hope to see you at the Annual Meeting!