080913 115th annual Gilmanton Old Home Day August 10 (312)

GILMANTON — The 115th Gilmanton Old Home Day is scheduled for Saturday August 10 on the grounds of the Smith Meeting House. There will be an official opening at 10 a.m. by the American Legion Ellis-Geddes-Levitt Post 102 and the festivities continue until 3 p.m.

Activities include an arts and crafts fair, art show, children's games and animals in addition to informational booths of local organizations. This year there will be the first annual Tug-O-War. There will be two divisions - adults 18 years and older and children 12 years to 17 years.

There will be an antique auto show and parade, contact Dick Burchell (364-2668) or Dave Russell (364-7449) if you wish to participate.

After cooking for eleven hours, the famous bean hole beans will be served with all the fixings at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Music will be provided by the Parker Hill Road Band and there will be a demonstration of prize oxen by Kathy Salanitro owner of Ox-K Farm Discovery Center. Old Home Day t-shirts will be available for $15.

The proceeds from Old Home Day go towards the restoration of the five buildings on the grounds of the Smith Meeting House, which is located on Meeting House Road off Route 140 and approximately 3.5 miles east of Route 107 in Gilmanton. Restoration work has begun on the School House building, and two monuments between the church and the school were moved back to provide a larger space for tents and festivities.

For 115 years the Smith Meeting House and the Gilmanton Old Home Day Association have hosted Old Home Day activities. In 1899, then New Hampshire Governor Frank W. Rollins declared the nations first statewide "Old Home Week" in an effort to lure back native sons who had traveled west after the Civil War. He asked the various towns to establish a day of prayer and a week of celebration to showcase all the wonderful traditions of the state.

For more information go to www.gilmantonnh.org.