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Preparations already underway for Plymouth's 250th

September 28, 2011
PLYMOUTH—Plymouth Historical Society members Lisa Lundari and Ross Deachmen put in an appearance at the Select Board meeting on Monday night to call attention to the approach of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Plymouth, and to urge the Board to appoint a committee to plan for a festive celebration in keeping with the momentous occasion.

The Town of Plymouth will turn 250 years old on July 15, 2013.

"It may seem like a long time away, but it will arrive before we know it, and an event like this takes a lot of planning and preparation," said Deachman, making reference to the extremely successful series of events that marked the recent Holderness 250th anniversary this past summer.

Deachman said that the Plymouth Historical Society wanted to urge everyone to get involved. They will be playing a very supportive role as the planning process unfolds, and are already working on some plans of their own, like a commissioning of the next five-decade installment of the history of Plymouth, known heretofore as "Twenty Decades in Plymouth." But Deachman said he felt a solid group of interested local citizens, representing diverse perspectives on the community, should head up the preparations.

The hope is that all the major stakeholders in town will get involved, including schools, the university, businesses, the hospital, town officials and neighborhood residents. At this point in the proceedings there is no set agenda or vision for a celebration, but events could include a large parade featuring floats from many different groups in town, a special historical theatrical performance, educational programs, and who knows what all else. The possibilities are limited by only the available volunteer time and energy.

Volunteers are actively being sought to serve on the Plymouth 250 Anniversary Committee (or Commission- whatever the case turns out to be). Nominations are currently being accepted. Anyone interested in serving is asked to contact Town Hall.

Fortunately, thanks to the wisdom and foresight of various community members, and a 2010 Town Meeting warrant article that passed overwhelmingly, Plymouth has already begun squirreling away the necessary financial resources to afford all the trimmings and trappings of a gala affair.

As part of the preparations for the preparations, Lundari has compiled a fascinating pamphlet documenting the scope and quality of Plymouth's 150th and 200th anniversary celebrations, in 1903 and 1963. There may be a few among us who recollect the previous experience of bicentennial, if not sesquicentennial, but for those of us who are need of inspiration, it is a welcome account of the previous celebrations, including photos, correspondence, programs, and even the budget figures!

For the 1963 festivities, an extremely distinguished select group of five citizens headed up the Anniversary Committee, including none other than Miss Suzanne Loizeaux, Mrs. Guy Speare, Mr. Leon Huntress, Mr. Arthur L. Carpenter, Jr. and Mr. Harold Freeman. They hosted quite a party, including a re-enactment of the presentation of the Royal Charter by Governor Benning Wentworth, a Parade on Main street, a Chicken Barbecue served up by Fish and Game at the Draper and Maynard Ball Park, an Official Muster by the New England Veteran Fireman's League, a Concert by the Plymouth Community Band on the Village Green by Harold C. Freeman, Director, and a Bicentennial Dance in the State Armory with music by the Crossfires... remember?

It's going to be hard to beat that... but it is as good a challenge as any.

In other business on Monday evening, the select board welcomed the newly appointed Plymouth Firefighter/Paramedic, Brian Peck. Fire Chief Casino Clogston introduced Peck, a Thornton resident, saying he comes to us with five years experience on the force in Portsmouth, and begins his duties this week.

Board Chair Val Scarborough said she was delighted to welcome him aboard after what was a very th0

orough and exhaustive selection process.

Scarborough gave an update on the Public Safety Building Planning process. Noting that all four architectural firms that were interviewed as part of the selection process recently indicated that the current location of the Fire Station at 42 Highland St. severely limited the department's ability to expand and add apparatus in the future, Scarborough said that the select board had asked the Fire Chief and members of his department to give consideration to the possibilities of renovating the present facility, but constructing a satellite facility elsewhere in town. The board has asked the department to evaluate the opportunities and challenges represented by this configuration and report back to the Select Board at a future meeting with their feedback and ideas.

The Select Board also heard from Grafton County Registrar of Deeds Kelley Monahan, who is visiting Grafton County select boards to inform them about what she called serious, widespread instances of improper mortgage documentation and fraud, nationally and in Grafton County. She said that in response to an investigative report by the television show "60 Minutes," her office has uncovered as many as 1,300 "fraudulent documents" at the Grafton County Registry of Deeds. She has detailed her concerns in a letter which she sent out to real estate professionals and to the Attorney General's Office, and sent to local newspapers (see Record Enterprise, Sept. 22), and encourages the members of the select board to register their concerns with the Attorney General's office, as well. She indicated that potentially "millions of dollars" of fees that should have been paid to County Registrars across the country may have not been paid by the allegedly illegal procedures used to bundle and securitize mortages by large Title Companies and big Banks.

"People should be very concerned about this," said Monahan.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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