By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
BELMONT — The annual Belmont Old Home Day celebration on Saturday, Aug. 12, has a theme of "Summertime Fun" and will get underway with a pancake breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. at the Tioga Pavilion on Mill Street.
The always challenging 10-Mile Road Race will begin on Concord Street at 8:30 a.m. with registration in the Belmont Middle School parking lot on Memorial Drive.
The family-friendly Tioga Fun Run (approximately 1½ miles) starts on Concord Street at 8:45 a.m. and weaves through downtown side streets and around the fire station.
There will be lots of fun for children with the Pedal Tractor Pull and other children's games held near the bandstand behind the library on Main Street. There will be a free climbing wall, both during day and evening activities this year.
The Tyler Road Band will be performing on the bandstand starting at 10:30 a.m. and the grand parade will kickoff down Main Street at 1 p.m.
People will fun strolling through the craft and information booths, and find lots of food available at the various concession stands.
The Belmont Fire Department hosts its annual chicken barbecue dinner at the fire station starting at 5 p.m. and activities on Bryant Field start at 6 p.m. The B Street Bombers will be playing music from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Old Home Day will come to a close with a spectacular fireworks display which gets underway at 9:30 p.m.
There will also be a tribute to Wallace Rhodes, town historian and preservationist, who died last month at the age of 82. For some 50 years he served as a volunteer, elected official and the town's leading preservation advocate – notably for the Belmont Mill rehabilitation after a massive 1992 fire, and the 1792 Province Road Meeting House. Old Home Days were a favorite time, and he enjoyed presiding over a collection of vintage photos, carefully curated and researched, and annually displayed at the historic Belmont Public Library.
The library will still host a tribute featuring his paintings of special Belmont places, past and present, and a book of memories organized by Friends of the Bandstand. According to Library Trustee Chairman Mary-Louise Charnley, a Book of Condolences will also be available for extending sympathy with signatures, and other remembrances. Subjects of the paintings include the Mill complex, in the early 1900s with multiple buildings spanning the Tioga River, an early view of the Meeting House with parishioners, carriages and horses and a wintry arrival of a passenger train, to the Town's Village and depot. Art was a new undertaking for Rhodes, fostered with introductory lessons at the Belmont senior Center about 10 years ago. The paintings are on loan from cousin Elaine Corriveau and Sherman Gammon, a longtime friend.
Library staff and programming have paid special attention to local history, according to Charnley, in recent years. "Wallace was always a friend and resource. We are proud to exhibit still another example of his passion for the Belmont story." All are welcome to visit the Library, listed on the National register of Historic Places since 1985, and view memories and photos of this outstanding citizen. The Book of Condolences will also be available through this month.
A Wallace Rhodes painting of a wintry train arrival to the Depot, in the Factory Village District, at Belmont's center. (Courtesy photo)
Elaine Corriveau, a cousin of the late WallaceRhodes, holds one of his paintings with the Belmont Mill and Bandstand as Village focal points. With her are longtime friends of the artist and historian, Bob Rein and Sherman Gammon, all of Belmont. (Courtesy photo)