2014 News Postings

FHS Presents “The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us” on October 22

On Wednesday, October 22, Freedom Historical Society (FHS) will hold their annual dinner meeting at 5:30 PM.   This is a free potluck dinner for FHS members.  The program presented at 7:00 PM following the dinner is open to the public.   The program, “The Capital Crime of Witchcraft:  What the Primary Sources Tell Us,” will be presented by Margo Burns, New Hampshire Humanities Council (NHHC), and co-sponsored with the Friends of the Library.

Margo Burns is an historian (A.B., Mount Holyoke College; M.A., University of New Hampshire) specializing in the Salem witch trials and related events, especially those in North Andover.   Margo Burns is the 10th generation great-granddaughter of Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged in Salem in 1692 on the charge of witchcraft. She is the project manager and an associate editor of “Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt,” published in 2009 by Cambridge University Press.  This work is the definitive collection of transcriptions of the legal records of the episode. Burns currently works at St. Paul’s School, where she is the director of The Language Center.

Burns appears in two history documentaries about the Salem witchcraft trials:  “Salem Witch Hunt:  Examine the Evidence” (2011) for the Essex National Heritage Commission and the National Park Service, and “Salem:  Unmasking the Devil” (2011) with author Katherine Howe, discussing the case of Rebecca Nurse, for the National Geographic Channel and the BBC, where it aired under the alternate title, “Salem Witch Trials Conspiracy.”

On first impression, the witchcraft trials of the Colonial era may seem to have been nothing but a free-for-all, fraught with hysterics.  Margo Burns explores an array of prosecutions in seventeenth century New England, using facsimiles of primary source manuscripts, from first formal complaints to arrest warrants, indictments of formal charges to death warrants, and the reversals of attainder and rescinding of excommunications years after the fact. She demonstrates how methodically and logically the Salem Court worked.   This program focuses on the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 and 1693, when nineteen people were hanged and one crushed to death, but also examines a variety of other cases against women in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Please join us Wednesday October 22nd at 5:30PM at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street in Freedom for the annual potluck dinner meeting for members.   It will be followed by program presentation at 7:00 PM  which is open to the public.   There is no charge for the dinner or program.   For additional information please call 603-301-1073.


“Freedom Houses: Then and Now” has been postponed. Information will be forthcoming once a new date is determined.

FHS Presents “Freedom Houses: Then and Now” on September 17
[click here for poster]

Freedom Historical Society’s September 17th program, “Freedom Houses:  Then and Now” will be presented by Nadine Chapman, a representative of the Freedom Historical Society Board of Directors.   It will highlight the research and enormous efforts underway by volunteers serving on the Board of Directors updating an informational book about Freedom houses created in 1976 by resident, Donald Chase.   Old and new photos of Freedom village houses will be shared, along with some interesting anecdotes about the village homes.  The program will focus on exactly what volunteer researchers are doing and why they are doing the work.

The “Chase Book” maps the location and ownership history of houses along Freedom’s main roads – Elm, Old Portland, Cushing Corner, Moulton, and Young’s Hill.  The updates support the ongoing, in-depth work of the Heritage Commission.   A variety of complex resources and local records have been accessed to create the standard inventory record for each house being updated, saving each by unique file number.    Pages from the “Chase Book” will be shown and issues encountered by volunteers needing resolution or updating explained.

The Freedom Historical Society project differs from the work of the Heritage Commission in that the Commission’s work includes in-depth research of source documents from both Carroll County and Strafford Country prior to the 1832 separation of Freedom from Effingham and requires analysis of old and detailed deeds.   The FHS project hopes to feed into this larger effort by documenting sources from local information, as well as provide the Commission with material from its collection.  Residents will be enlightened as to ways they can help in the continuing research.

Please join us Wednesday, September 17th at 7PM at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street to experience this fascinating presentation.   Fresh cider and cider donuts from Apple Acres in Cornish, ME, will be served following the program.   The presentation is open to the public.   For additional information please call 603-301-1073.


NEW: Video Tour!!  Click this link to take a Short Tour of the Works Barn Museum and Allard House narrated by Carol Foord  and you will find out about all the wonderful artifacts and historical documents that make Freedom’s Historical Society museum and house such special places.


FHS Presents “Journey of Discovery: A Botanist on the Trail of Lewis and Clark” on August 20

file_photo_(Janet)The Freedom Historical Society will welcome Janet Sullivan, Ph.D., to Town Hall on August 20th at 7PM to present her program entitled, “Journey of Discovery…A Botanist on the Trail of Lewis and Clark”.   An Adjunct Associate Professor of the Department of Biological Sciences and Collections Manager of Hodgdon Herbarium at the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Sullivan traveled the Lewis & Clark trail from St. Louis to Fort Clatsop, Oregon.   Her botanical travelogue weaves together images of the landscape and its plant species, monuments and restored sites with journal entries made by Lewis & Clark on their historic journey.

In 1804, Thomas Jefferson sent his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, and former army lieutenant William Clark to survey the length of the Missouri River to see if an outlet to the Pacific Ocean could be found.   Along the way, they were to study the plants, wildlife, geology and native tribes of the area.   This “Corps of Discovery,” which included young John Ordway of Hebron, NH, was the first American expedition to travel overland to the Pacific.   The explorers encountered plants and animals unknown to the worldwide scientific community.

Please join us for this unique presentation on Wednesday, August 20th at 7PM at Freedom’s Town Hall located on Elm Street.   There is no charge for the program, and the public is welcome.   Refreshments will be provided.   For additional information please call 603-301-1073.


FHS Presents “New Hampshire Hands at Work” on July 16

NH Hands at Work picThe Freedom Historical Society July 16th program, “New Hampshire Hands at Work,” will be presented by Martha “Marti” Lawton. Ms. Lawton, a retired teacher, has a Bachelors degree in History and Psychology. She currently works for a private tutoring agency as well as for the New Hampshire Historical Society as a Museum Teacher.

Ms. Lawson shared, “The history job ties my two great loves together – history and teaching.”

“New Hampshire Hands at Work” will explore significant Granite State industries during the Industrial Revolution such as textile manufacturing, shoe making, lumbering and granite quarrying as well as the industries most important in Freedom’s part of the state.   Local industries, such as the Freedom Tannery which was in operation during the 1800’s, will also be discussed.

Learn how “cottage” industry or “outwork” helped the local economy in small New Hampshire towns and villages. Find out what natural resources gave rise to tremendous growth of industry in the state. Another interesting element to be discussed is the way the changes in the official state seal representing New Hampshire reflected changes in the way New Hampshire thought of itself.

The program includes an interesting slideshow examining the historical timeline of industrial development throughout New Hampshire. Artifacts displayed will enhance the presentation with opportunity for a hands-on experience.

Please join us Wednesday, July 16, at 7PM at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street in Freedom to experience this fascinating presentation. Light refreshments will be served following the program. The presentation is open to the public. For additional information please call 618-830-5479.


FHS 2015 Calendar Roll-Out Event!

Plan to kick off your “Rubber Ducky” weekend by joining the Historical Society Board as we present the 2015 “Freedom Gardens” calendar and honor the photographers and their 70 awesome photos.  The reception is Friday June 27th at 7PM in the Town Hall.  Refreshments will be served. Don’t miss out on getting your beautiful calendar(s) while supplies last.


FHS Presents “The Shaker Legacy” on June 18

The Freedom Historical Society has received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council for their June 18 program and are pleased to host Darryl Thompson who will present “The Shaker Legacy.” The Friends of the Library are co-sponsoring the event.

In their more than two and a half centuries of existence, members of the United Society of Believer’s in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as Shakers, made ingenious contributions to diverse fields: agriculture, industry, medicine, music, furniture design, women’s rights, racial equality, craftsmanship, social and religious thought, and mechanical invention and improvements. Darryl Thompson explores some of these contributions in his lecture and shares some of his personal memories of the Canterbury Shakers.

Mr. Thompson earned his M.A. in American History at the University of New Hampshire. He has served as a tour guide at Canterbury Shaker Village for over thirty years and has studied historic plant varieties that were developed by Shakers in various villages throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. His father, Charles Thompson, co-founded Canterbury Shaker Village Museum with three Shaker Sisters. Darryl Thompson lived among the Shakers for many years and served as a consultant to Ken Burns in his documentary film, “The Shakers: Hands to Work.  Hearts to God.”

Please join us Wednesday, June 18, at 7pm at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street to hear this insightful lecture. Light refreshments will be served following the program. The pre


FHS Presents “Plants Impacting New England History” on May 21

The Freedom Historical Society is pleased to begin its 2014 series of historical programs on May 21, 7PM, at Freedom Town Hall with a presentation by local author, June O’Donal, entitled “Plants Impacting New England History.”   While conducting research, Ms. O’Donal became intrigued with the direct and indirect roles plants have played in our local history.  She will be discussing topics such as the relationship between the King’s pines and the American Revolution, how cotton changed New England’s social/economic landscape in the 19th century, how the potato impacted the ethnic and religious character of New England and many other fascinating historical facts about the origin of plants which have become part of the New England landscape.

June O’Donal acquired horticultural knowledge and expertise from her relationship with O’Donal’s Tree Nursery in Gorham, Maine.  She is the daughter-in-law of Royce O’Donal, founder of the nursery, and sister-in-law of Jeff O’Donal, the current owner.  This “retired” homeschooling mom and educator at Remick Country Doctor and Farm Museum is also the author of THE FRYEBURG CHRONICLES, a family-friendly, educational series of historical fiction set in Fryeburg, Maine.  Books will be available for purchase with cash or checks at Town Hall the night of her presentation.

Please join us for this informative program on Wednesday, May 21 at 7PM at Freedom’s Town Hall on Elm Street.   The presentation is open to the public.  Refreshments will be served following the program.   For additional information please call 618-830-5479.


Announcing our 2014 Programs!

The Society is pleased to offer a new slate of historical educational programs for 2014.  Click on the Calendar tab for more information, and don’t forget to put these events on your calendar so that you don’t miss out!


ANNOUNCEMENT:  The results of the 2013 Freedom Historical Society Survey are in!  Click here to read the report.  The Society wishes to thank everyone who took the time to complete and return the survey.


Congratulations Bill Elliott!

Congratulations to Freedom resident Bill Elliott! He is the winner of the dinner for four at the Allard house put on by the Freedom Historical Society.  We look forward to serving Bill and his guests.

This raffle is the beginning of the Society’s efforts to produce a narrated video of the museum collection, a permanent video record which will be accessible to everyone.  The Society is very grateful for all of you who participated in the raffle to help achieve the video project goal.  Thanks!!!


Third Annual FHS Calendar Photo Contest!

The Freedom Historical Society is pleased to announce our Third Annual Calendar Photo Contest, to select photographs for use in our 2015 Calendar.  Click here for more information.


2014 Calendar Cover ScannedThe Historical Society wishes to congratulate the winners of the 2014 Calendar Photo contest. The winning photographers are: John Shipman, Karen Hatch, Ann-Marie Knox, Judy Smith, Libby Priebe, Peg Scully, Dick Many, Maureen Elliott, Nancy Griffin, Bonnie Burroughs, Judy Robertson and Silas Feuerborn.  There were many “honorable mention” photos as well which are included on the back cover.  Thank you to everyone that participated.  You can pick up your calendar at the Freedom Village Store, or at The Historical Society on Saturday mornings. Next year’s theme is “Freedom Gardens” so start snapping your entries early!


Notice to all Freedom Historical Society supporters: It is time to renew your membership for 2014! We have mailed our renewal envelops to all 2013 members and remind you to please submit them in a timely fashion.  We need to cover operating costs, and we thank you greatly! If you are not a member, please go the  Membership tab and “Click to join the Freedom Historical Society”. Alternatively you may e-mail the president (jshipman120@gmail.com) or call 603-539-5799. Thank you for your support!!


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