2017 News Postings

Posted October 13, 2017

Announcing the Freedom Historical Society Annual Membership Potluck Dinner, and the Public Program “From Guns to Gramophones: Civil War and the Technology that Shaped America” on Wednesday, October 18

The Freedom Historical Society invites its members to Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street on Wednesday, October 18 at 5:30 PM for the Annual Membership Potluck Dinner & Meeting. All members and guests are invited to the scrumptious potluck dinner prior to the membership meeting. Baked ham will be provided as the main dish, so please bring a side dish or dessert to share. A brief business meeting to elect 2018 FHS officers will be held after dinner. All members are encouraged to attend to learn about the great progress FHS has made toward the Society’s goals.

At 7 PM, following the potluck dinner and annual meeting for members, Freedom Historical Society, in concert with the NH Humanities Council, is pleased to present the last program of the season: “From Guns to Gramophones: Civil War and the Technology that Shaped America” presented by Carrie Brown. The program is free and open to the public.

Carrie Brown holds a PhD in American Literature and Folklore from the University of Virginia. She is an independent scholar who also works as a freelance history curator for museums in New England. She has curated two exhibitions on the Civil War for the American Precision Museum, as well as exhibitions on the history of aviation, the early years of the automobile and the bicycle. The author of two books, many articles and exhibit catalogs, Brown delights in finding connections between changing technology and the evolution of popular culture.

Carrie Brown’s program presentation explores the technological triumph that helped save the Union and then transformed the nation. During the Civil War, northern industry produced a million and a half rifles, along with tens of thousands of pistols and carbines. How did the North produce all of those weapons? The answer lies in new machinery and methods for producing guns with interchangeable parts. Once the system of mass production had been tested and perfected, what happened after the war? In the period from 1870 to 1910 new factory technology and new print media fueled the development of mass consumerism.

Refreshments will be served following the 7 PM program. For additional information, please call 603-539-5799.

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Posted September 9, 2017

Freedom Historical Society Presents “When Shipping Was King – The Piscataqua River in Colonial America” on Wednesday, September 20

The Freedom Historical Society is pleased to welcome Professor W. Jeffrey Bolster on September 20, when he will present “When Shipping Was King – The Piscataqua River in Colonial America.” This program is made possible by the UNH Speakers Bureau and is co-sponsored with the Freedom Historical Society.

Portsmouth and its satellite towns would have been nothing without shipping in the colonial period. Shipping and shipbuilding dominated the Piscataqua economy for nearly two centuries after initial English settlement, creating wealth, jobs, inequality, identities, and cosmopolitanism. Professor Bolster’s illustrated lecture reconstructs the age when shipping was king in the Piscataqua region and will examine the factors that influenced the shipping industry – from economics, government policy, and labor to the military and technology. He will include intriguing details about the ships and ports that played pivotal roles, and the entrepreneurs who took the helm along the way. Connecting grand merchants’ mansions, clear-cut forests, shipbuilding, seafaring, slavery, fisheries, and the role of New Hampshire in the far-flung British Empire, the presentation reconstructs a lost world from a variety of little-known perspectives.

Jeff Bolster has never been far from boats and the sea. As a young man, he sailed for ten years as a commercial mariner. Now, a professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, he writes about the sea and shore. His first book, Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail (1997), was listed by the New York Times Book Review as a “Notable Book of the Year.” In 2002 he organized an impressive team, which produced Cross-Grained and Wily Waters: A Guide to the Piscataqua Maritime Region. Bolster edited that book, still a local best-seller in the Seacoast region. Later he collaborated with two co-authors to write The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisioned, 1600-2000. Bolster’s latest book, The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail (2012) is an environmental history of the North Atlantic. The Mortal Sea was awarded numerous prizes, including the Bancroft Prize, one of the most prestigious in the field of History. His talk on “When Shipping was King” draws from his many publications, and his long career spent teaching maritime history, African American history, New Hampshire history, and environmental history.

Please feel welcome to join the Freedom Historical Society at 7PM on September 20 for this dynamic presentation at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street. The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the presentation. For additional information, please call 603-539-5799.

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Posted August 9, 2017

Freedom Historical Society Presents: “New Paths to Genealogical Success” on Wednesday, August 16

One can often hit a brick wall in genealogical research and want to give up! Yet there is always another source when you look beyond the single surname and explore the neighbors and communities where your ancestors lived. Join the Freedom Historical Society on Wednesday, August 16th as certified genealogist, Diane Gravel, explores obscure and neglected sources that can provide “New Paths to Genealogical Success.”

Diane Gravel is a full-time professional genealogist and lecturer. She is a graduate (with honors) of NGS’ American Genealogy: A Basic Course, and attended both the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (Advanced Methodology and Military Records) at Samford University and the National Institute on Genealogical Research at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Prior to becoming a genealogist, she had nearly two decades of experience in the legal field. She has lectured at the local level, as well as at state, regional, and national conferences. Diane co-edited Volume I of New Hampshire Families in 1790, and is currently working on Volume II of that project. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), is the Vice President of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists, and has been a trustee of her local library since 2003. She is also a past-president of the New England Chapter of APG.

The presentation by Ms. Gravel will be held at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street on Wednesday, August 16th at 7:00 PM. An extended period for questions and answers will follow the presentation. The public is welcome to attend, and refreshments will be served following the program. For additional information, please call 603-539-5799.

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Posted July 7, 2017

Freedom Historical Society Presents: “I Can’t Die But Once – Harriet Tubman” on Wednesday, July 19

Do you know the real story of Harriet Tubman?  We all learned of Ms. Tubman’s work on the Underground Railroad during the 1800’s but come and learn “the rest of the story” presented by Woventails Productions.  Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti will present a living history portrait entitled, “I Can’t Die But Once – Harriet Tubman.”

Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti’s characterization of Harriet Tubman is a lucid, well-researched biography about the remarkable life of an enduring warrior.  In the persona of Harriet Tubman, she weaves a tale of truth, pain, courage, and determination in the quagmire of racial exploitation.  The United States Government enlisted Tubman as a scout and spy for the Union cause and she battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War, but Tubman is best known for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.  Though she is one of the most famous women in our nation’s history, we have come to know her life through fictionalized biographies written for school children.  Quezaire-Presutti separates reality from myth to reconstruct a richer and far more accurate historical account of Tubman’s life.

Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti has combined her expertise in public speaking and interest in conducting historical research with her passion for storytelling and dramatic performance.  Quezaire-Presutti studied under Professor Lloyd Barbee at the University of Wisconsin and has been a committed scholar of African-American Studies, in particular women of color.  She is listed on the Performing Artist roster at the Connecticut Historical Society Museum, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and the Social Theatre with Young Audiences of Connecticut Arts for Learning.  She received the Institute of Texan Cultures’ Director’s Award for Excellence, the Greater Hartford Arts Council/ Boston Fund Individual Artist Fellowship, and first place in the International Toastmaster Award competition for Interpretive Reading.

Please join Freedom Historical Society members for this dynamic presentation at 7PM on July 19 at Freedom Town Hall.  The presentation is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served following the presentation. For additional information please call 603-539-5799.

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Posted June 25, 2017

The New Freedom Historical Society Annual Calendar is Here!
FHS is pleased to announce the release of its 2018 calendar, “Camps of Freedom,” This beautiful color calendar presents the history of the numerous summer camps that educated and entertained countless children and adults since early in the 20th century. The FHS annual calendar is a major fundraising tradition, and we hope that you will show your support for us this year. Many Freedom businesses have advertised in this new calendar and we appreciate their support. You can buy your copy at the FHS Museum during open hours 10 – 12 on Wednesdays and Saturdays; at the Freedom Village Store, 10 – 2 any day; or in the online store.

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Posted June 7, 2017

Freedom Historical Society and Freedom Community Club Present: “Your Hit Parade: 25 Years Presenting America’s Top Popular Songs” on Wednesday, June 14

“Your Hit Parade” aired on radio and then on television from 1935 to 1959. It set the standard for American popular music. Entertainer Calvin Knickerbocker will outline a quarter century of the show’s history as a “tastemaker” and will feature songs inspired by the Great Depression and on through the advent of rock and roll. He will explore the show’s relationship with sponsor American Tobacco and Lucky Strike cigarettes and will share stories about the artists the show helped launch and promote, from Frank Sinatra to Elvis.

Calvin Knickerbocker is an independent scholar with a degree in electrical engineering from Union College and 30 years experience in marketing and education at IBM. He developed and delivered a dozen courses on American musical history for Rivier Institute for Senior Education (RISE), and has presented in retirement communities, senior centers and other venues in New Hampshire and New York. He has taught over 20 different courses to senior citizens at Rivier University since 1999 and has given “Humanities To Go” presentations since 2004.

Thanks to a New Hampshire Humanities grant, the Freedom Historical Society and the Freedom Community Club are pleased to jointly present this evening of musical history at Camp Calumet’s conference center.  The program is free to the public and begins at 7PM.

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Posted May 10, 2017

Freedom Historical Society Presents: “The Roosevelt Funeral Train” on Wednesday, May 17

The Freedom Historical Society welcomes University of New Hampshire lecturer, Carl Lindblade, who will present an intriguing program about one of the greatest train events in U.S. history: the funeral train of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Mr. Lindblade will weave into the presentation fascinating historical aspects of deception, cover-up, betrayal, a Russian spy, the A-bomb, a nation in mourning, a white Cadillac convertible, and a Russian portrait painter.

Mr. Lindblade began his career at the Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, and for the past 40+ years has operated 3 and 4 diamond hotels and resorts.  In addition to years of hands-on experience, he brings a commitment to community and industry service.  Among his assignments he was a delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, Interim Director of the NH office of Travel and Tourism Development, Innkeeper of the Year, Travel Person of the Year, Past President of the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association and American Hotel and Lodging Association Volunteer of the Year.  He is currently a lecturer in the hospitality management department at UNH where he enjoys teaching, as it affords him the opportunity to share experiences with students.  In 2009, as a volunteer Carl coached the Conway New Hampshire Kennett High School’s Lodging Class to a national championship in a competition sponsored by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The public is welcome to attend the free Freedom Historical Society program at Freedom Town Hall on Elm Street in Freedom on May 17 at 7 PM.   Refreshments will be served.   For additional information please call 603-539-5799.

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Posted April 22, 2017

Happy Spring!

The snow has melted and the warmer temperatures are slowly warming the Allard House & Works Barn Museum in anticipation of our seasonal opening on Saturday, May 27.  There’s work to be done to get ready and we will share more later on about how you can help!  In the meantime, enjoy reading our Annual Report about our successful 2016 season and the things that are currently underway to improve YOUR museum!

Directing the Society and operating the Museum require many concurrent activities and competing demands:  From caring for the facilities to updating collection records… [click for more]

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Artwork by Peg Scully.