Everything old is new again! How true that really is. We continue to share the story of Oldtown and who we are and what we do with all who will listen and are interested. Not only do we take part in the Tour of the Town for our third graders every spring, but we also share our past in conjunction with the North Attleboro Historical Commission by sharing an Open House at our beautiful 1828 building, the old Powder House on Mt. Hope St. and the Falls Fire Barn on Commonwealth Ave. in the Attleboro Falls section of town. We did this October 20th and it may also take place in the spring.
Speaking of the third graders–Pastor Kelly, Ed Clavette and I have seen 335 children and 48 adults on the tours. That’s 16 classes. Starting at the beginning of March and ending the first week of May they arrive. Two classes usually start out from their school together and visit the Town Hall. Then one class comes here and the other one goes to the Falls Fire Barn. We only have about 45 minutes to cram it all in and if the bus is late that really messes things up. After the first class, the second one comes here and the class that was here goes to the Fire Barn. Tight scheduling makes it possible for them all to meet for lunch and bathroom breaks together at the Fire Barn. After that it’s back on the bus and they see the old cobblestone road, the Powder House and the Angle Tree Stone before returning to their school. On another day they dress in colonial costume, carry their lunch in a small tin pail and spend a day at the Little Red Schoolhouse and also visit the Woodcock Garrison House which is next door. So you see —everything old is new again to another generation.
When they come here, they are greeted at the door by all three of us and brought in to hear the story of Oldtown, see the objects in the historical cabinet and the highlight is ringing the bell with Mr. Ed and riding the rope. Such fun and they laugh and squeal and will never forget.
Other notable things are that while the schoolhouse was being worked on a large 1838 penny and an old glass bottle were found under the floor. Dan Thibeault also discovered the bell in the steeple of the building and now it can be rung by pulling the rope in the small kitchenette.
Every year finds us meeting someone new and someone who has a part of the story making everything old, new again! Would you like to help us ? We can always use an extra set of hands, eyes and ears. Speak to Pastor Kelly, Ed or me about how you can help.
Carolyn E. Chretien, Clerk /Historian