26 March 2012

April 6th Meeting: Guy Guinta Jr presents "Lilacs"


Friday, April 6th
Goodwin Library

presented by
Guy Giunta, Jr.
Landscape Specialist for NHDOT

The Presentation will be held at 7:00 PM in the Museum in the lower level of the Goodwin Library on Main Street in Farmington.  Light refreshments will be served.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Following the presentation, the regular meeting of the Farmington Historical Society will be held.

Did you know there are 20 Lilac Species, 15 Lilac Species (Hybrids), over 1500 named lilac varieties? Lilacs have 2 centers of origin, Eastern Europe and the Orient.  The oldest lilacs in New Hampshire date back to at least 1750. These were purple lilacs that were imported from England and were located at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion in Portsmouth.  The purple lilac, Syringa vulgaris,was adopted as the state flower of New Hampshire in 1919.  That year the legislature considered many bills and amendments promoting the apple blossom, purple aster, wood lily, Mayflower, goldenrod, wild pasture rose, evening primrose and buttercup as potential state flowers. After a long and lively debate regarding the relative merits of each flower, the purple lilac was chosen because it represented the hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State.

Purple lilacs may be seen throughout New Hampshire on private and public lands having been planted by many generations of citizens.  Beautiful and fragrant blossoms in a wide range of colors appear in May of each year.  The Governor’s Lilac Commission was established by Governor John H. Sununu in 1984 to promote extensive planting of lilac’s throughout the State. It encourages the efforts of many individuals and groups to be involved in establishing our State Flower on public lands for all to enjoy. The Governor’s Lilac Commission provides plant materials and recommends cultural practices for growing lilacs to insure the best possible results. In an effort to help beautify New Hampshire’s highways, the Commission has taken on the additional responsibility of purchasing and assisting in planting wildflowers. Because of these efforts, Governor Stephen Merrill renamed the Commission on August 1, 1995.

The Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission partners with New Hampshire garden clubs, schools, youth groups, and other public organization to promote planting of lilacs and wildflowers throughout the state.

Learn More

Governor's Lilac and Wildflower Commission

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion

US Department of Agriculture Plant Profile: Syringa vulgaris

Syringa vulgaris on Wikipedia

"In American colonies lilacs were introduced in the eighteenth century. Peter Collinson, F.R.S., wrote to the Pennsylvania gardener and botanist John Bartram, proposing to send him some, and remarked that John Custis of Virginia had a fine "collection", which Ann Leighton interpreted as signifying Common and Persian Lilacs, in both purple and white, "the entire range of lilacs possible" at the time."


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08 March 2012

Celebrating Henry Wilson's 200th Birthday

Henry Wilson
18th Vice President
Farmington's Favorite Son, Henry Wilson, had his 200th birthday this past February 16.  Born Jeremiah Colbath in 1812 in Farmington, he legally changed his name to Henry Wilson after moving to Natick, Massachusetts in 1833.  He became the 18th Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant in 1873 and died in office in 1875.

History buff and Wilson fan, Matt Menzi of Rochester, along with Sarah Repeta of Bedford, placed flags and flowers at Wilson's commemorative rock in Farmington on February 16th to commemorate the anniversary date of Vice-President Henry Wilson's 200 birthday.  Rochester Times editor John Nolan was there to record  the event for the Times.  Farmington Historical Society President, Dottie Bean, took the photo below of the group.

Sarah Repeta, John Nolan, and Matt Menzi celebrate Henry Wilson's 200th Birthday.

For More Information:

Henry Wilson on Wikipedia

Henry Wilson, 18th Vice President (1871-1875) on US Senate Website

03 March 2012

Meeting House Painting Donated to the New Durham Historical Society

Cathy Orlowicz and Dottie Bean display the New Durham Meeting House painting to the audience.
At the regular meeting of the Farmington Historical Society last night, President Dottie Bean, on belhalf of the members of the Historical Society presented a painting to the New Durham Town Historian and Historical Society President, Cathy Orlowicz.  The painting was of the New Durham Meeting HOuse and was painted by New Durham historian and author, Ellen Jennings.  Farmington Historical Society President, Dottie Bean, said that the painting had been in the possession of the Farmington Historical Society for quite some time, and that it "really belongs in New Durham."  In her acceptance of the gift, Cathy Orlowicz thanked the membership of the Farmington Historical Society for the generous gift, and told the group that the painting is actually one in a set of four paintings by Ellen Jennings, each painting depicting the Meeting House in different season of the year. Farmington's donation of the "Fall Meeting House" painting represented the third Meeting House painting found by the New Durham Society.  The "Winter Meeting House" painting is still out there somewhere.  Anyone with any knowledge of the whereabouts of this painting should contact the Cathy Orlowiczat the New Durham Historical Society.  They'd love to know where all four of these lovely paintings are!

Cathy Orlowicz
President New Durham Historical Society

The New Durham Historical Society was once part of the Historical Society of Farmington and New Durham.  The group separated into the two historical societies in 1991.  The New Durham Historical Society meets the second Thursday of the months of February, April, June, August, October, and December at 7:30 pm in the New Durham Public Library.

New Durham Meeting House
Fall Meeting House
painted by Ellen Jennings

Ellen Cloutman Jennings authored the 18962 publication, "The History of New Durham, New Hampshire, From the First Settlement to the Present Time, Including That Part of Alton Which was Formerly New Durham Gore." (New Durham, N.H.: Ellen Cloutman Jennings, 1962.)