Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Banking on History

Who knew that a quick stop at the bank would lead to a lesson on local history? 

This photograph is prominently displayed at the North Conway TD Bank (2651 South Main Street). The top of the arch reads, "North Conway Welcomes You."  The arch and it's supporting piers are festooned with wreaths, flags and garland. Here is the overall "history on parade" photo. 

While I am not sure exactly where this photo was taken from, I recognize it as one of the arches built for the annual coaching parades held in the area around the end of the nineteenth-century. For more information on these coaching parades, see our previous blog here. We have more material on our online history catalog see here and many references to coaching parades in our online collection of the Reporter News here

This display photo was enlarged and colorized from an original black and white photograph in the collection of the New Hampshire Historical Society.  

For more information on that original photograph see their website here

The website records the caption written on the photo and reads in part "Coaching Parade/ Fall of 1893, ... J.W. Fisher with his first bicycle, ...I went to No. Conway with my wife on train" 

On the bottom right of the photo you can see J.W. Fisher and his bicycle as well as the benches for guests to watch the parade. 

Towards the bottom middle of the photo, you can see a wagon bought in from Rochester to compete in the event. 

Note the long coaching horn the young boy is holding similar to the one at the Conway Historical Society. 

A detail of the lower left corner of the photo shows a team of four horses covered in fly netting.  

It is ironic that a Canadian company takes pride in our local history while most of our more local companies, including the outdoor outfitter companies, do not make the effort to display (and inform) their visitors about the local scene as part of their marketing and PR.

Is is nice to have local history on display in the area. The TD Bank branch near Burger King (locals know that area as "bowling alley hill") has a great photo of Cathedral Ledge on display. In fact even the Burger King (another Canadian owned company) has local New Hampshire images. Applebee's Neighborhood Grill (another global company) is a great place to get immersed in local history.

So get out, explore and enjoy! But remember don't go out until you first come in to the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room to find out the history of what is out there!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Independence Day

Time to get ready, not just for this weekend, but for the big event in 2026 which will mark the 250th anniversary of our Independence Day in 1776. 

Today, the American Association for State and Local History released The Field Guide for the Semiquincentennial, Making History at 250. You can find the field guide at this link here

It inspired me to get started, gathering and reviewing resources, in the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room and looking around on the internet about New Hampshire's role in the American Revolution. 

I hope that we can get schools and community groups involved in celebrating this important event. We would certainly be happy to help with any projects. 
Did you know that one of the first overt acts of the Revolution occurred in New Hampshire before the "shot heard around the world" in Massachusetts? You can read about it here

One of the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence is on display at the American Independence Museum in Exeter New Hampshire. 

Do you know who signed the Declaration of Independence for New Hampshire? What military and naval leaders hailed from the State? Where our Revolutionary War soldiers are buried nearby? The names of the signers of the Conway Association Test? Do you know what the Association Test was? 

You can find the answers to these and many other questions at the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room. 

Live Free or Die!