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Joyce Endee

250th anniversary parade and celebration set for Aug. 6-7 weekend

June 01, 2011
GUILDHALL — Area residents should mark their calendars now for a very special set of events this summer.

A 250th anniversary parade has been planned on Sunday, Aug. 7, by the Guildhall Public Library. Librarian Valerie Foy and other organizers are inviting people to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.

The parade will start at the Peaslee Potato Farm with the line up beginning at 1:00 p.m. for a 2 p.m. kickoff. The route will be from the Peaslee farm to the village, past the library and onto courthouse driveway where it will disband.

Festivities are being designed to mark the 250th Anniversary of the charters issued by Benning Wentworth for both Guildhall and Maidstone.

Between 1749 and 1764, Benning Wentworth, the First Royal Governor of New Hampshire, issued 129 township charters in present-day Vermont. Most were issued during the years 1761 to 1764, with over half of those issued during 1761.

On July 20, 1764, King George III issued an Order-in-Council declaring the Connecticut River as the boundary between the colonies of New York and New Hampshire.

The order ended Wentworth's grants in Vermont and led to disputes between New York and the people in these areas over the validity of Wentworth's charters, Foy explained.

Residents in the "Grants" defended their ownership of these lands, sometimes violently, against the claims of New Yorkers.

One such group formed in the Bennington area, and became known as the Green Mountain Boys, whose leadership included Ethan Allen.

Eventually the matter was settled and the "Yorkers" ceased their claims upon the "Grants."

An old-fashioned baked bean supper, fireworks, and a battle of the bands are planned for Saturday evening, Aug. 6, to start the celebration.

On Sunday, well before the 2 p.m. parade, a pancake breakfast will be hosted by the Benton Masonic Lodge, and a church service will be held at 10 a.m., as well as craft sale and music on the common, authors Howard Coffin, who specializes on the Civil War, will be on hand from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, and Howard Mosher from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. "A Stranger In the Kingdom" won the New England Book Award for Fiction in 1991 and later was filmed by director Jay Craven, who also adapted "Disappearances" and "Where the Rivers Flow North" for film.

The Guildhall General Store will offer hamburgers and hot dogs for sale and will also host a pig roast later in the day.

For more information and to let organizers know who is planning to take part, please contact Valerie Foy at 802-676-3426 (home) or 802-676-3910 (work) or via e-mail: vfoy10@hotmail.com.

Carroll Concrete, Guildhall Fun Flyers RC Club, Robert Styles, Styles Fuel Co., A.B. Logging, F. B. Spaulding and Annie Bartlett are all celebration sponsors.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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