05 December 2014

From the Curator-The #Museum of #Farmington #NH #History

At the Farmington Historical Society and the Museum of Farmington History 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 Museum of Farmington History 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 Museum of Farmington History. 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.

Kyle Leach

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