Miss Landaff Natalie Cartwright was introduced during Friday afternoon's opening ceremony of the town's 250th Anniversary events. She received warm applause for reading her essay on the town's charms. (Photo by Darin Wipperman) (click for larger version)
August 19, 2014Small town, big heart
Landaff celebrates 250 years
By DARIN WIPPERMAN
LANDAFF — About 50 people attended the town's Friday afternoon opening ceremony, which started Landaff's weekend of celebration for 250 years as a town. The events marked another recent example of a North Country town celebrating the big milestone.
Joe Wiggett began the festivities by thanking the large group of people who made the three days of activities possible.
"We think we're going to have one heck of a celebration," he said.
The opening ceremony crowd provided strong applause for Natalie Cartwright, who donned her Miss Landaff crown for the weekend. Cartwright read from an essay she wrote to honor her town, which she said has "just the right amount of perfect."
Cartwright said the land and residents give Landaff its many charms. She noted the "great views, nice people, and almost perfect weather" that blesses her town.
Growing up, Cartwright said she benefited from seeing the hills around Landaff, as well as a number of spectacular sunsets.
"I have fun year round," Cartwright noted.
Cartwright recalled fishing on Pearl Lake, as well as spending time at Chandler Pond, which was named after Harry Chandler, a town resident who later became editor of the Los Angeles Times. Cartwright said that Chandler helped design the iconic Hollywood sign.
Farms are another important aspect of Landaff, Cartwright said.
"I love looking at the cows," she noted.
Cartwright also complimented Landaff Blue School.
"I could not have grown up in a better school," she commented, cheerfully suggesting that the school was the best in the world.
Even with natural wonders, people are the important part of town, Cartwright suggested. She said there was "no better place in my heart than Landaff."
In conclusion and with a big smile, Cartwright said, "They really mean it when they say there's no place like home."
Elected officials and staff also marked Landaff's anniversary festivities. State representative Sue Ford read a proclamation from Gov. Maggie Hassan, which acknowledged Landaff as a "pristine development of quiet living, with clean air and clean water."
Additionally, Hassan commended town for "the impact it has made on the quality of life" in New Hampshire.
Grafton County commissioner Linda Lauer also read a statement. The commissioner trio recognized "the town and its citizens" for tenacity and hard work, Lauer noted. The county leaders also expressed "congratulations as the Town of Landaff moves into the future."
Mike Scala, of Sen. Kelly Ayotte's staff, read an item placed in the Congressional Record. Ayotte found that Landaff's citizens have a high sense of patriotism. She also noted the classic statement made by Moor Noyes, considered a town sage.
"Things ain't now as they use to was been and people don't do as they use to did then," Noyes once said to sum up the history of Landaff.
Wiggett read a letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen. She praised the close-knit feeling found in Landaff. The town, Shaheen added, consisted of "strong and powerful citizens" who carry on the spirit of the town's founders.
Brian Bresnahan, from Rep. Ann McLane Kuster's staff, praised "strong spirit of independence" among Landaff's citizens.
"Here's to the next 250 years and beyond," Kuster concluded.
The opening ceremony also included the raising of a U.S. flag that had previously floated over the U.S. Capitol. Attendees wrapped up the afternoon event by singing "God Bless America."