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Historical Society planning special events, projects


November 19, 2020
MEREDITH From community projects to planning a renovation, the Meredith Historical Society has been keeping busy and is looking for some extra help in its ventures.

The Meredith Historical Society has been holding numerous events on its sidewalk at the Main Street Museum and Mercantile, including a food drive this coming weekend. It is also selling some locally made goods and other special items hoping to raise some more money for a coming remodeling project.

MHS board member Karen Thorndike said the society had a good summer and an active fall, holding a number of socially distanced events on the sidewalk.

The Meredith Historical Society partnered with the NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro and showed some of their models to tie in with their own exhibit of Meredith summer camps.

"There were a lot more summer camps in Meredith than I expected," Thorndike said.

The Historical Society contributed a scarecrow to the Greater Meredith Program's scarecrow contest, continuing the tradition of making a scarecrow that looked like a historical figure from the town. This year's scarecrow was based on Aunt Dolly Nichols, a famous resident of Bear Island in the 1800s and came from one of Meredith's original families.

They held a pumpkin carving contest around Halloween. Kids ages 3-12 could pick up pumpkins from Moulton Farm on Oct. 30, carve them, and drop them off at the Main Street Museum on Halloween. The pumpkins were lit around dusk and displayed in a small boat on the Main Street Museum's porch.

The Historical Society will be holding a food drive this Saturday, Nov. 21, for the Meredith Food Pantry. People can drop off packaged food to the Main Street Museum from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The society is selling raffle tickets for a special gift basket, which is now on display in the Main Street Museum's front window and includes various locally produced goods as well as some special items put together by the historical society itself. Tickets will be available until Dec. 19.

The society will be taking part in Altrusa's virtual Festival of Trees this year, and the town tree lighting on Dec. 6.

The Historical Society has a five-year plan including improvements to the Main Street Museum building and displays. They also want to remodel and modernize the display cases, reorganizing the displays and adding more exhibits. Thorndike also said they want to rip out the carpet and show the hardwood floor underneath. Another project will be improving the heating system, especially in the storage area where there is no heating right now. Other projects will be to expand the storage area and improve the retail area.

"We're hoping to begin the very basics this winter," Thorndike said.

Thorndike said they are working on grants for the project. In addition to the raffle tickets, the society is selling a number of other items to raise money for the remodeling.

Volunteers found a painting of steamboats on the lake done by a 15-year-old artist named George Merrill in the 1860's. Copies of the painting were turned into placemat sets that are now on sale at the Main Street Museum. Thorndike said the painting shows steamer ships around Diamond Island after the Civil War, which goes with how the society is trying to show more materials from the Civil War era. Another set of placemats was made from a map of Meredith originally printed in 1784.

They're also selling a number of locally made goods including jewelry, kitchen accessories, pottery, jellies and jams, and more as well as a number of books and other materials in the book shop.

Because of the pandemic they haven't been able to have any of their weekly talks at the Community Center. They are looking for a potential space where they can hold meetings and events, but have enough space for social distancing.

The MHS also takes donations and are always seeking members and volunteers, call 279-1190. for more information.

More information on the Meredith Historical Society and can be found at https://meredithhistoricalsocietynh.org.

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