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7th Annual Old Ways Days Oct. 19-20

CANTERBURY — Dave and Anne Emerson are planning for the 7th annual Old Ways Days, October 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Ways Traditions, 418 Shaker Road, Canterbury.

Old Ways Traditions is part of the Ham Farm which was started by Joseph Ham, one of ten children of a Portsmouth ship carpenter. In 1785, 24 year old Joseph paid the first taxes on the 100 acre farm.
This year Dave and Kevin Fife, master stone wall builder, will reintroduce farm tours, "The Stone Walls Tell the Story of the Farm," 2 p.m.. both days. The farm has about every type of stone wall there is, and they all have something to tell us. Jessica Abbate and her large, strong, friendly pack goats (they can carry quite a load) will accompany the tour. They will also lead a walk on the trails at 11 a.m.

Weekend activities will involve visitors with early ways of work. The corn sheller will be working with the corn grinder, as well as the bean sheller and winnower. People are urged to bring their dry beans and corn. A crab (a portable capstan) is probably the only one on display and working in the state. It pulls a freight wagon, but was used to move buildings and ships.

Tools for Kids provides the opportunity to discover how easy it can be to use traditional tools such as hand drills, bit braces, several types of saws, spoke shaves with shaving horses and early laundry equipment.
There will be at least two steam engines running the lathe and, for the first time, an antique planer.
New blacksmith this year is, Zach Archambeault, who says "Blacksmithing has been my passion for a number of years, and in the Summer of 2012, I stepped away from engineering medical devices to be able to chase the iron and work at the forge full-time. Since then I have been demonstrating at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, creating ironwork using traditional tools, techniques and thrift to bring the craft into the contemporary lifestyle, and sharing the love of traditional designs with others."
Music will be by Homefolks Saturday at noon. Their style is country gospel with a bluegrass flavor. On Sunday from noon to 2 p.m, The Fiddling Thomsons, the unique duo of Ryan and son, Brennish, fresh from The Big E, will perform.

This award winning twosome perform lively tunes on a variety of instruments including banjo, accordion, flute, whistle, percussion, and, of course, fiddles. Friends and neighbors who show up will also be playing occasionally.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:22

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Archaeology Dig at Holmes House a 'Hands On' Lesson in History

PLYMOUTH — It's early October, 1892, and the village of Plymouth N.H., is winding down after a busy fall day. As the autumn light fades and breeze turns cooler, a man steps out of the rear door of his house on Summer Street, walking toward an adjoining barn, and without breaking stride, he throws away a dish he had just broken in the kitchen. Just below him, the Main Street is quiet, except for the occasional clatter of horses' hooves, while the dim yellow glow of kerosene lamps in the windows of neighboring houses provides a counterpoint to the gathering dusk.

It's a scene repeated countless times over dozens of decades in Plymouth; but that one act of discarding trash will ultimately produce an exciting and transformative moment for a Plymouth State University student. Now, nearly 120 years later, students in David Starbuck's Intro to Archaeology class are digging behind the Holmes House–and Hannah Dutton's eyes widen as her trowel delicately scoops up a tiny shard of a broken plate, seeing the light of day more than a century after it was thrown away.

"I really like feeling connected to history, this came from a different time, a simpler time, and it hasn't been touched since it was thrown away, which is really cool," said Dutton. A first-year Anthropology major from Merrimac. Dutton says the dig is galvanizing her career choice.

"This makes me more excited and solidifies what I want to be doing–I definitely want to keep going with this in the future."

According to Professor Starbuck, Holmes House pre-dates any of Plymouth State University's academic predecessors by nearly three decades, and the grounds are a prime spot for unearthing artifacts of life before any modern conveniences, like rubbish collection.

"We're digging on the east side of Holmes House, which has always been the backyard of the home and adjacent barn," said Starbuck. "Right behind the rear doors of dwellings is where you find the most artifacts. There are nails from the house, pieces of pottery, buttons and buckles, tobacco pipes, pieces of butchered bone. For the folks who lived in the Holmes House in the 19th century, their lives are reflected all through their backyard in their trash, and the students are helping tell that story. Real archaeology starts with these basic skills in the field. This is real archaeology and it's on their own campus."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:08

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Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event October 20

LACONIA — Greater Lakes Region residents are needed to help change the course of breast cancer forever. The American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is hosting a 3.5 mile non-competitive fundraising walk, with a five mile option, on Sunday, October 20 at 10 a.m.. The walk will begin at Opechee Park in Laconia, and will help the Society do the most for people with breast cancer today to end the disease tomorrow.

Making Strides walks in nearly 300 communities nationwide, help to raise$60 million dollars for the American Cancer Society each year to save lives from breast cancer. The dollars raised fund groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat, and cure breast cancer; ensure access to mammograms for women who need them; and provide free resources and support to the one in two newly diagnosed women who turn to the Society for help and support, including transportation and lodging during treatment.

"Making Strides Against Breast Cancer unites us to walk together as the most powerful force to end breast cancer," said Erinn Drouin, American Cancer Society staff partner for the Greater Lakes Region "The progress we are making is remarkable, but we need volunteers to help us finish the fight."

Sponsors of this year's Greater Lakes Region Making Strides event include: Meredith Village Savings Bank.

For more information call 1-800-227-2345, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.makingstrideswalk/laconianh

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:00

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CASA Guardian Ad Litem Training sessions in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH — Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of NH is holding four training  sessions from October 19 through November 16 in Plymouth to help increase the number of specially trained advocates available.

CASA volunteers advocate for children in our state who have been abused or neglected. Unfortunately, in the last several months, CASA of NH has had to decline working with some of the children who need advocacy the most throughout the Plymouth and Lakes region area due to a shortage of volunteers.

Currently, there are about 400 everyday heroes who voluntarily advocate for kids and youth throughout the state with CASA. These 400 volunteers are able to meet the need of about 80% of the children and youth who have been abused

Training is led by CASA supervisors as well as a local family law attorney, social worker and foster parent, and covers a wide array of topics to best prepare each advocate for the child or sibling group they choose to work with. Once trained, CASA volunteers are appointed a staff supervisor who is available to support them in court and for all questions, concerns and assistance they need throughout the process.

Volunteers do not need a legal or social work background. They do need to be 21 years of age, have a high school diploma, ability to attend court hearings approximately every three months, the time to meet with the child once a month and the time to talk with various people involved in the child's life. Transportation and computer skills are essential.

Volunteers are expected to commit to the length of time that it takes for a safe, permanent plan to be established for the child or youth. While this amount of time can vary widely, the average length of a case is 22 months. CASA volunteers become the expert on the child, represent their best interests by making independent and objective recommendations and really make a difference to a child or youth in need.

To be eligible to take the training an application must be completed along with various background checks and an interview. Applications and further information can be found at www.casanh.org or contact Jen at 603-237-8411 or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 07:51

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