Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Sweet Summertime... with Autumn Closing in

Did you know that this plant can serve as a calendar, oompass and clock?  
It is telling us that we are nearing the end of summer with autumn closing in. 

Astronomical autumn will begin one month from today on September 23. However, there is growing cultural and commercial evidence to start celebrating autumn earlier than the official celestial date. Dunkin Donuts already has pumpkin spice drinks for sale. Many folks start their season with Labor Day. 

Summer vacations are wrapping up, apples and walnuts are greening, their are pumpkins, ghosts, witches and bales of straw on display in grocery stores and hardware stores. Their are tinges of fall colors around the edges of wetlands, and the mornings are cool and crisp.

The Conway Public Library's Henney History Room provides a number of free seasonally appropriate hands-on outreach programs for local schools and community groups such as how early Conway settlers used corn, grains, preserved the harvest, as well as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas programs. 

Many of my friends are rushing to preserving summer in a jar. See our previous blog here

Like the mullein plant seen above with its tall spike of yellow flowers even nature is making a last ditch effort to flower and create seeds for future generations. 

The Mountain Garden Club maintains several wonderful beds of cultivated flowers in the road north of the library. 

Just a short way up Washington Street they maintain the flowers for the Conway Village Park. 

The Conway Public Library's Henney History Room has some of the original documents tracing the history of this park. The area was once the center of commercial activity with a chair factory, blacksmith shop and a store. 

1860 map (click on images to enlarge or download them). 

According to Janet Hounsell's book on Conway, eleven far-sighted citizens formed an association and bought the land here for $300 with the idea of creating a park. 

1892 map 

... and a print from 1896 showing how that area looked before the park. 

Below is a 1923 map 
In 1925 the park was presented to the Town of Conway. 

In 1929 a dramatic performance was held to raise money to improve the park. 

For more information on parks in the Conway area contact us at the library.