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Guildhall & Maidstone celebrate their 250th anniversary

August 10, 2011
GUILDHALL — Two days of celebration this weekend marked the 250th anniversary of English provincial governor Benning Wentworth chartering Guildhall and Maidstone as New Hampshire Grants on October 10, 1761.

Saturday there was a bean supper at the Guild Hall and spectacular fireworks in field of the Peaslee-Smith farm. Cars were parked all up and down Route 102 as people watched.

On Sunday there was a church service, courthouse tours, pancake breakfast, baked bean supper, an ice cream social, and a slide show encouraged both residents and visitors to immerse themselves in upbeat Old Home Day activities.

Two Vermont authors — Frank Howard Mosher of Irasburg and Howard Coffin of Montpelier — signed copies of their books and talked informally with library patrons and out-of-town visitors on the first floor of the handsome Guildhall Public Library, and the Benton Lodge No. 88 F. & A. Masons opened their remarkable second-floor quarters to public view.

Sunday afternoon's Grand Parade on Route 102 from the Peaslee-Smith farm to the Common was a highlight, featuring veterans, oldest citizens, antique trucks, cars, and tractors, fire engines, horses and goats, bicycling schoolchildren, the Guildhall Fun Flyers, and Carroll Concrete trucks 4-H members from the Riverbends Club of Lunenburg and Guildhall.

Vendors plied their wares on the Common, and musicians were on hand to provide entertainment. Old-timers and newcomers mingled and chatted and out-of-town visitors enjoyed the low-key festivities.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord Osman
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