The year 2018 has been basically very quiet. We did have a couple of calls from people trying to find information about their relatives. One came from a descendant of the Slaiger family who used to live on Old Post Rd. Another call revealed a story about a young man from N. Attleboro who studied under Harry Houdini and perished in a steamship accident. He was Millard Franklin 1890-1907 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. There is a book, Frozen Voices, that tells the story of the ship The Larchmont and its disastrous trip from Providence to New York City.
As I reported last year, several of the gravestones that we had worked so hard to reset at Newell Burying Ground have once more toppled over. It is sad to see them flat on the ground or broken.
Our church continues to be a highlight of the third grade tour of the town. We have many remarks from the accompanying adults about how beautiful our 1828 building is. Many say they have always wanted to see it but have never come in.
For those of you who may be new to our church these tours are held each year in town for the third graders. They learn about our town’s history in class and then spend one day at the Little Red Schoolhouse at the north end of town. They dress in colonial costumes, learn lessons the old fashioned way, carry their lunch in little pails and then visit the Woodcock Garrison House next door for a tour. Another day is spent visiting Town Hall, our church, the Falls Fire Barn and Museum, the Angle Tree Stone, the Powder House and the cobblestone road. What a treasure trove of history is in our small area and it all began here in Oldtown.
This year we saw 14 classes along with teachers and chaperones. Students number around 275 and with the adults we probably see over 300 people in the course of eight weeks. Thanks to Cindi Barkley for helping this year as well as Pastor Kelly, Ed Clavette, and I am there too. If you’d like to be a part of this program please speak to Pastor, Ed or me. It involves about 3 hours on Wednesday mornings for about 8 weeks from the beginning of March until the first week of May (except for vacation weeks). In our busy, fast paced lives it is very important to teach the kids about their past and tell them the old, old story.
Carolyn E. Chretien, Historian / Clerk