Marlow Historical Society Minutes - September 2008

Executive Board Meeting / Marlow Historical Society /6:30 PM, Sept. 4, 2008 /Chapel

These people were present: Maria Baril, Gen Ells, Loisanne Foster, Pam Little, and Candy Wiggum

The Secretary's Report was read and accepted as read. Since Mary was unable to be with us, there was no Treasurer's Report.

Old Business

We have ordered more tulips and daffodils to plant around selected elms. Planting of the last three elms is scheduled for this fall. Gen suggested that we plant an additional elm by the cemetery instead of trying to re-engineer the triangle on Route 10 to accept the third elm. This was seconded by Candy and there was general agreement.

Maria will host the MHS Museum on Sept. 21 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM, and Gen will take it from 11:00 AM to noon.

Cemetery Tour
The new date of our cemetery tour will be Saturday, Oct. 18 at 1:00 PM at the West Yard Cemetery. The rain date will be Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1:00 PM. Loisanne has chosen several interesting people whose grave stones are there. She will lead the tour and tell about each. There are some interesting stories.

Burnap House
Pam has sent a letter to Tim Symonds at Audio Accessories stating that we cannot buy the Burnap House and property for $95,000.00, but that we are in the process of applying to the NH Preservation Alliance for its "Seven to Save" program which will grant funds to save seven historic buildings in N.H. which are in danger of deterioration or destruction. Pam has application and extensive documentation nearly complete and will send it well before the Sept. 15, 2008 deadline. She asked for suggestions as to who else would be willing to support Burnap house preservation. We suggested several potential references such as Tracy Messer, the Select Board, the Women's Group, and the Conservation Commission.

New Business

Annual Meeting, Sept. 18, 2008
We decided to have refreshments rather than a pot luck supper. The Membership Chair, the Treasurer, the Secretary, and the President will be prepared with Annual Reports. The Nominating Committee will have a slate for the Annual Election of Officers. We will activate the telephone tree and post the event. Since our planned Conservation Commission speaker will be unable to attend, our program will consist of "visitors" from Marlow's past: Adam Plumb as Nathan Huntley (b. 1726) who purchased over 700 acres in Marlow between 1767 and 1778; Loisanne Foster as Zephan Hepzibah (Mack) Tubbs (b. 1740), wife of Abisha and sister to Solomon and Elisha Mack, true Revolutionaries, and Candy Wiggum as Alice (Allison) Britton (b. 1889), Marlow's lady stagecoach driver, a thoroughly modern woman.

Harvest Festival, Oct. 5
We decided to have our 50/50 raffle with a Toadstool gift certificate as second prize and a basket of items from the MHS booth as third prize. Candy will get the certificate from Toadstool. We are hoping it will be donated as in the past.

At our booth we will share our canopy at the Harvest Fest with the Conservation Commission, and we will have the usual book sale at Murray Hall in the foyer outside the Art Show. We are distributing brochures requesting owners of antique vehicles to show them at the HF. We are also distributing posters and forms to encourage local artists to participate in our Ninth Annual MHS Art Show at Murray Hall. We signed up as volunteers for the MHS booth, including set up and take down.

Gen is looking into having a display of the Marlow home models as previously discussed.

Gen also explained that Richard Frank feels another bench is needed at the common near the War Memorial and elm and that he would like to donate one in memory of Lydia Stevens. We noted that this is a matter for the Selectmen, but that we endorse his idea of a bench and plaque in honor of Lydia Stevens who has done so much for Monadnock Music, for Jones Hall, and for Marlow.

Respectfully submitted,
Loisanne Foster

Annual Report / Marlow Historical Society / Sept. 18, 2008

Our Annual Meeting of 2007 featured a guest speaker, Michelle Sthal, Executive Director of the Peterborough Historical Society on the topic, "Does History Matter?" She spoke on ways a historical society can, in this media-oriented era, involve its community in preserving local history. In a nut shell, she said to find community members where they are, on the internet. She said to start something and involve local people in the process, two pieces of advice which we have tried to follow. Tracy Messer spoke saying, "The most important thing we can do today is to preserve the history that is alive now in the people who have lived it....Generations not born yet will thank us." Taking their points to heart, we have widened our internet presence with an expanded Forum and a new web page on the relationship between Marlow, N. H. and Lyme, Connecticut, started some more new people-oriented projects, and carried on with our oral history by interviewing Ulric Lindholm on mid-twentieth century Marlow summers, Charles Strickland on his World War II experiences on a submarine in the Pacific, and Donald Dunlap on the Dunlap furniture tradition and his own furniture-making. Joanne Thomas was the first to use our newly-purchased digital recorder in her interview. The digital recorder will henceforth make it easy to produce CD copies of our interviews. Joanne has also transcribed her interview.

Officers elected at the Sept. 2007 meeting:

President - Mary Blank
Vice President - Pam Little
Secretary - Loisanne Foster
Treasurer - Mary Blank
Directors - Art Schmid (term expires Sept. 2010)

Membership Chair - Maria Baril
Assistant Program Director - Gen Ells
(with V.P., Pam Little)

Our other two Directors:
Candy Wiggum (term expires in Sept. 2008)
Adam Plumb (term expires Sept. 2009)

Newsletter and James Burnap House

We produced a newsletter which featured our major hope of the year, possible preservation of the first Marlow residence of James Burnap. Although right now the prospects of preserving this important piece of Marlow history look dim, we have focused much of our time and energy toward saving this Victorian Mill Street home. We learned early in the year that it was scheduled to be demolished in a controlled burn. James Burnap was known in his day as the man who did the most for Marlow. He owned mills, a tannery, and several other Marlow businesses. He served as Selectman for many a year as well as a state legislator and member of the Governor's Council. With the assistance of Pam Little, Vice President of MHS who is also an attorney, we have been negotiating all year with Tim Symonds of Audio Accessories for the Burnap home. At one point, we were offered it if we would move it and the Aldrich house, located on Route 10, to another piece of property on Mill Street. We did our homework and found this not feasible for a number of reasons. Recently we were informed that Audio Accessories is not able to give us the Burnap House where it stands, but it would be willing to sell it to us for $95,000.00. Currently we have submitted an application to the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance for its "Seven to Save" grant, a program meant to rescue seven historical New Hampshire buildings threatened with destruction, and we have informed Audio Accessories of our intention to pursue this avenue. Our hope is to be able to purchase the property at the currently appraised value, restore it, and use it as the home of Marlow Historical Society.

As Membership Chair, Maria Baril gave us a successful year in long-standing member renewal and new members. Our new membership category of Sustaining Membership - those willing to give $100.00 each year to support MHS overhead expenses such as fuel, rent, and insurance - has been a success. We presently have twelve sustaining members, some of whom are also Life Members. This allows us to concentrate more fully on our mission of researching, preserving, and sharing Marlow's historic buildings, documents, ephemera, and history.

Still, we participated in many of our traditional fundraising activities including a booth and the Annual MHS Art Show at the Harvest Fest, a booth at Christmas on the Pond, a table at the Town Meeting, and a book sale at the community yard sale in May. Our booths contain information and outreach material as well as Marlow histories and other sale items. Sales of Elgin Jones' History of Marlow may not be brisk, but they are steady from the library, the booths, and contacts with those who are seeking their Marlow ancestors. Of course, we carried out our biggest fundraiser, Monadnock Music Dinner at which we served 123 people and raised over eight hundred dollars.

We also did our part as an organization in community activities. We have become responsible for the Monadnock Music Concert itself. We participated in Marlow's Memorial Day celebration and, as usual, produced the entertainment for Marlow's Christmas celebration. This year it was a sequel to the popular "Marlow Radio Show" styled after "Prairie Home Companion" with the skit "Rudolph Comes to Marlow." We are planning a second sequel for this December. We are called upon perform many little services such as finding information, for instance, weather quotes for the Town Report. These things we do gladly. In March, although the weather was not cooperative, we held our "Meet the Candidates" program.

Our on-going projects have progressed. Additions to Marlow's Oral History were mentioned above. Our Liberty Elm Project has been maintained, although, due to the generous rain this summer, less watering was required. The elms are thriving. Bob Nichols, who has done so much valuable genealogical research for MHS, is now researching the Original Marlow Proprietors from Lyme, CT. Mary and Loisanne spent some time organizing the MHS files. Since the signatures on our 1991 Album Quilt are fading, Maria Baril has transcribed them. We worked toward Jones Hall maintenance and preservation by researching and proposing Warrant Articles for painting the Jones Hall exterior and installing a fire alarm system tied in with Mutual Aid. The Selectmen produced the articles, and we threw our support behind them. Both articles were successful. We are proud of our long-standing record of helping restore, maintain and preserve Marlow's historic buildings.

Some projects reached completion. The 1876 Bride's Album Quilt Conservation Project was finished and paid for. The Hearse House painting was completed and paid for. Its new sign is placed at the front. Tom Fuschetto shored up the back foundation and replaced a supporting timber. The chairs on the Common and in "The Quiet Spot" by Murray Hall are varnished. The Audrey Benson Scrapbook Project is complete with a copy on view at the MHS Museum and a copy on view at the Marlow Library.

Board members conducted research and attended workshops to learn more about local history and how to preserve and share it. For instance, Loisanne attended a workshop in Concord about how to organize and conduct a dramatized cemetery walk. While we would like to do this one day, we felt that, at present, we are too short of manpower to undertake this labor-intensive project. We decided to compromise by "inviting" several eighteenth and nineteenth century Marlow personalities to appear at a meeting and also have a non-dramatized guided cemetery tour in October.

We held two new events this year. In April, we hosted a reception for new members and there had a wonderful discussion of our MHS mission and member interests. Later we held a barbecue at our summer general meeting.

Our New Hampshire Humanities Council speaker this year was Glenn Knoblock who spoke on "reading" cemeteries - understanding the iconography of each era and all these "stone books" have to tell us. Mr. Knoblock praised Marlow for its fine care of its old cemeteries and pronounced West Yard Cemetery " a treasure" with "Free Will Baptist written all over it." This observation independently supports our research on Marlow's early settlers from Lyme, Connecticut. At another general meeting, Loisanne explained our MHS Forum on the Web and gave examples of Marlow history and genealogy we are learning from it.

With a view to interesting Marlow's young people in history, we contacted Phyllis Peterson, principal of Perkins School, to ask if we could host a New Hampshire Humanities speaker at the school for the children. She was enthusiastic in her response. Our first choice, an interactive program on King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, was unavailable, so we have are working on engaging an alternate. We are also invited to provide a museum tour and other activities for the children. We would very much like to involve ourselves in sharing Marlow's history with its young people.

We look forward to another interesting, challenging, unpredictable year with Marlow Historical Society. Let us have your ideas and some of your time. There is no limit to what we may accomplish!

Respectfully submitted,
Loisanne Foster