Dear Members and Friends:
This is my first opportunity to communicate with you as the recently elected President of the Society. As I lean more about the organization and my new responsibilities, I gain new respect for the outstanding job and leadership Gwen Gaskell has brought to the Society. Our finances are stable, the Museum and Schoolhouse #5 are greatly improved, and our membership is active and loyal.
We remain a relatively young organization. Our goal is to continue to recapture over 200 years of our town's history. Indeed, there is more more to be done. I know I can count on our members and friends, as Gwen did, to continue their hard work and support on behalf of our mission.
Please contact me personally if you have any thoughts or ideas on how we can improve the Society. Your input is important to me. On behalf of our officers, directors, and museum committee, I extend best wishes to you and your families for a healthy and joyous Holiday Season.
1998 has been a significant year for the Washington Historical Society. We are pleased to report on some of our major accomplishments.
Our traditional summer fund raisers, the Fourth of July flea market and the August Historical Society Flea Market were a great success. Several hundred dollars were raised to support the Society's programs.
The Society also participated in hosting the 1998 Camp Morgan Reunion at Millen Pond. A wonderful August weekend of memories and activities were enjoyed by all.
We also joined with the East Washington Grange in celebrating their 100th Anniversary. In addition to a special display, viewed at the Grange Hall, we entered our horse drawn ``East Washington Hearse'' in their parade. Several of our members overheard a bystander remark ``You can always count on the Historical Society to be there for you, (1) right to the end, (2) to be the last to let you down.''
East Washington Hearse ready for Grange Parade
Both the Museum on Half Moon Pond Road and the District #5 Schoolhouse in East Washington saw many repairs and improvements designed to restore them from the ravages of weather and time. New acquisitions and display cases are now featured at the Museum. We urge one and all to consider donating Washington historic items to the Society. This year twenty-five volunteer host and hostesses welcomed 207 visitors to our facility. Displays included: Special focus on the Newman family, Look back at the Washington school history, including Tubbs' Union Academy, the Washington Cornet Band and, of course, the antique Barn Loom. Many new acquisitions were received including clothing, accessories, lap loom House, scroll of information from the Fisher Family and pictures and memorabilia from Camp Morgan.
On September 15th, forty-two Washington school children with teachers and aides, visited the Museum. The Museum Committee, assisted by Elinor Johnson, simulated the learning experience of a typical one room schoolhouse of the mid 1800's. We continue to offer outreach programs to our community.
Elinor Johnson portraying a mid 1800's teacher
Audience (left to right) Front row: Richard Flanders, Marie Sargent, Rachel Halverson, Sara Crane, Jessica Briggs and Amanda Devlin. Second row: Susan Guay, Lydsie Paquin, Laura Jackson and David Mendosa. Third row: Ellen Klein (Teaching Principal), Patrick Yound, Sharon Oliveira (Classroom Aide).
The antique Barn Loom, referred to earlier, is always a big hit with visitors. Dating back to 1801, the loom is being used by several members, who are weaving their very own rag rugs. This winter, Vivian Hunter will be taking a loom-weaving course. Our weavers are looking forward to any new techniques Vivian has learned. We welcome visitors to participate in this process.
Over the winter, the Society's complete set of cemetery records, containing photos and information on Washington grave sites will be available at the town library for research and review. we are pleased that this important material will be accessible year round.
Our monthly meetings and programs are growing by leaps and bounds. Attendance continues to increase. Our potluck suppers are wonderful and the speaker's programs well received. One of our continuing priorities will be to improve the substance and content of our monthly meetings.
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