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Reception begins year-long celebration of Wolfeboro's 250th

AT THE END of the Wolfeboro 250th reception last Saturday evening, (left to right) Committee Chair Kathy Eaton and Historian David Bowers thanked everyone for coming as Wolfeboro Historical Society Director Gene Denu and member Rudy Krueger listened. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
November 19, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Last Saturday evening 51 citizens turned out at a special reception in the 1812 Room at the Wolfeboro Inn to recognize the 250th anniversary of the naming of Wolfeboro and formally begin a year-long celebration of the history of the town.

Organized by the Wolfeboro 250th Committee, the reception included a selection of hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, edifying speeches and door prize drawings for three sets of the three-volume "History of Wolfeboro, NH, 1770-1994" by Q. David Bowers, a committee member.

Bowers himself spoke about the meeting on Nov. 14, 1759 in Portsmouth of the 24 proprietors of the 36 square mile grant, where the decision was made to name the territory in honor of British General James Wolfe, who had died defeating the French at the battle for Quebec City on Sept. 13, 1759. That battle was the turning point of what Americans call the French and Indian War (and the British call the Seven Years War). The town itself was chartered in 1770 and is known as the Oldest Summer Resort in America. It is also the only town named Wolfeboro in the world.

Committee Chairman Kathy Eaton spoke about the committee's plans to organize a series of celebrations and activities over the coming year, to determine a suitable memorial to General Wolfe and to raise funds to produce and install that memorial. Eaton asked those present to come forward with their ideas for events and projects and for the memorial itself.

Eaton then introduced Adam and Mary Spencer of Ossipee, who were present in colonial dress impersonating General Wolfe and his sweetheart, Miss Lacey. Adam Spencer gave an absorbing history of James Wolfe, how he followed his father into military service at age 13 and rose to become a Brigadier General in the British Army at age 31, charged with taking Quebec City. Wolfe surprised the French by scaling cliffs and outflanking their defense on the Plains of Abraham. Unlike some generals Wolfe led the charge and ended up being shot three times. As he was dying he heard the French had broken ranks and were fleeing. "Head them off at the bridge," he ordered, and then died.

The evening concluded with a drawing on entry tickets for three sets of Bowers' history. The winners were John Sandeen, Pat Hanson and Greg Roark.

The Wolfeboro 250th Committee members are, in addition to Bowers and Eaton, Granite State News Editor Tom Beeler, Wolfeboro Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary DeVries, Wolfeboro Selectman Linda Murray, Town Manager David Owen, and Wolfeboro Historical Society President Jim Rogers. The committee's next meeting was Nov. 18. A report on that meeting will follow next week.

Anyone who was not able to attend the reception and would like to make suggestions for events and activities or volunteer to help out can contact any of the committee members or write to the committee in care of the Wolfeboro Historical Society, PO Box 1066, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.

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