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Kickoff reception for Wolfeboro's 250th anniversary this Saturday



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WOLFEBORO 250 COMMITTEE members met for the first time on Nov. 4 at, appropriately enough, Wolfe’s Tavern at the Wolfeboro Inn. Seated are (l-r) Selectman Linda Murray, Committee Chairman Kathy Eaton of the Wolfeboro Trolley Company, and Mary DeVries, Executive Director of the Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce. Standing are Granite State News Editor Tom Beeler, Wolfeboro Historical Society President Jim Rogers, Wolfeboro Town Manager Dave Owen, and Historian Dave Bowers. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
November 12, 2009
WOLFEBORO — This Saturday, Nov. 14, marks the 250th anniversary of the naming of Wolfeboro, and a special reception is planned at the Wolfeboro Inn to mark the beginning of a year-long celebration of that event.

Open to all Wolfeboro residents, the celebration will be held in the 1812 room at the Wolfeboro Inn from 5 to 7 p.m. For $10 per person hot hors d'oeuvres will be served and there will be a drawing for a door prize of the three-volume "History of Wolfeboro, NH, 1770-1994" by Q. David Bowers. Adam and Mary Spencer will portray General James Wolfe and his friend Miss Lacy and, at about 5:45 p.m. Bowers himself will speak. He will be followed by Kathy Eaton, chairman of the Wolfeboro 250th Committee, who will present initial plans for the upcoming year of celebrations.

"Wolfeborough" was named in honor of General James Wolfe, the British general who had defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham before Quebec City on Sept. 13, 1759. Wolfe died during the battle, which marked the turning point in the French and Indian War. On Nov. 14, when the 24 proprietors of the 36 square mile grant next to Lake Winnipesaukee met in Portsmouth to name the grant, they decided to honor the fallen Wolfe. The town of Wolfeborough itself was not incorporated until 1770.

Wolfeboro Historical Society President Jim Rogers had proposed to the board of selectmen on Oct. 7 that they appoint a committee to recommend a suitable memorial to Wolfe, who is honored in many other places, including Quebec City, but not in his namesake town. On Oct. 21 the board appointed a 250th Anniversary Committee, naming Rogers, Granite State News Editor Tom Beeler, Bowers, Eaton, Selectman Linda Murray and Town Manager Dave Owen. The first meeting was held on Nov. 4, with Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce Mary DeVries joining the group. Eaton assumed the chairmanship of the committee.

After some discussion, the committee decided to organize a series of events over the course of the year beginning with the 250th anniversary of the naming of the town on Nov. 14 and cumulating with a recommendation for a suitable memorial to Wolfe. The aim is to get the schools and as many town groups, organizations and citizens as possible involved in celebrating the history of Wolfeboro and exploring the person and achievements of the town's namesake.

The activities will carry into next year's tourist season, allowing summer residents to join in and giving potential visitors a special reason to come to Wolfeboro.

The reception of Nov. 14 was quickly organized by the committee with the help of Wolfeboro Inn's Lucy Van Cleve, who booked the large 1812 dining room for the occasion. The committee was able to move quickly to make that commitment thanks to a generous contribution of working funds from Bowers.

The event is planned to get people together early enough not to interfere with dinner plans. In addition to the hot hors d'oeuvres there will be a cash bar and plenty of opportunity for participants to meet with members of the committee and share their ideas following the 5:45 p.m. presentation.

Those unable to attend the reception but who would like to get involved in the planning may contact any of the committee members. Primary contact will be through the Wolfeboro Historical Society, whose mailing address is PO Box 1066, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. The society's Web site is www.wolfeborohistoricalsociety.org and its phone number at the Clark House is 569-4997.

For more background on the 250th, please see the Other Voices article by Jim Rogers on page A12 and Bowers' Looking Back column this week on page A13.

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