News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Greetings from our new normal! Back in May we announced this season’s summer exhibit would be virtual and remote. Since then, we have been very hard at work on the exhibit, and the time has come to reveal!
We are excited to announce our 2020 Summer Exhibit ~ Our Women of Sandwich ~ is now live! Whether you visit us virtually or are able to go on our self-guided walking tour, we hope you enjoy it! While the walking tour will remain the same throughout the summer and fall, our virtual exhibit will be updated weekly, and we encourage you to add to it! Please read on to find out more.
Our 2020 Summer Exhibit, Our Women of Sandwich, consists of twenty posters displayed prominently around town on various buildings. Each poster features a woman’s picture, name, dates, and a couple of things for which they were known. Additionally, each poster features a QR (Quick Response) code that can be scanned from a smartphone (you can download a QR reader from the Google or Apple store online), which will take you to our website to read more about the featured woman! While this is a very different style of exhibit for us, we believe it will prove to be a fabulous celebration of some truly inspiring Sandwich women while also helping us all to stay safe and maintain social distance. In fact, it may also help get in some steps while “visiting” the outsides of buildings around town!
How will you know where to find these amazing women? We have created a map which is available on our website as well as a limited quantity available outside the Elisha Marston House. Of course, you may also just “stumble” upon them as you move about town in the course of your weekly activities! And, again, all of the women are featured on our website, which you may view from the comfort of home!
We are also celebrating other women of Sandwich virtually. We are featuring a few as part of our exhibit kick-off women right away on our website. We will be adding to this list of virtual vignettes as the summer progresses. In fact, we welcome you to add a woman (or two!) to our special virtual exhibit by sending us a personal story…. a paragraph or several. It need not be lengthy, but it is a wonderful way to acknowledge a Sandwich woman of significance to you. It would be helpful if you could provide at least one picture of her too! In this way our celebration of Sandwich Women will continue to grow all summer! We can also add your story(ies) to the women we are already highlighting. The more voices, the better! Email us at email@example.com.
Finally, we will have a little something extra associated with our exhibit this summer. Coming out July 31 and running through August 21 there will be a scavenger hunt format for children (11 & under) and a bingo format for adults (12 & up). We hope this will encourage folks to visit our remote exhibit sites, our website, and celebrate the time of summer that includes Old Home Week! Stay tuned for more information on these and other virtual offerings that we may have this summer.
Although this “new normal” is uncharted territory, the staff and trustees of the Sandwich Historical Society are working hard to ensure that we continue to share Sandwich History. Our Excursion Bulletin will be published as usual! Our Museum Shop is open online and features wonderful gift items, clothing, publications, and postcards. Be well and we hope you enjoy Our Women of Sandwich!
Abby Hambrook, Director
Geoff Burrows, President
Web: sandwichhistorical.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Exhibit Team would like to extend special thanks to the following for their help with our exhibit:
Property & Business Owners: “Maple House” (David Patridge & Mallory Hathaway); Town Hall & the Old Fire Station (Sandwich Board of Selectmen & Fire Chief Ted Call); Parade & Fair Museum Buildings (Sandwich Fair Association President, Dan Peaslee & the Board of Directors); Baptist Meetinghouse & Methodist Meetinghouse (Trustees, Community Church of Sandwich); Samuel H. Wentworth Library (Director Nancy Fredrickson), Sandwich Home Industries (Manager Martha Nichols); Center Post Office (Trustees, Alfred Quimby Fund & the Postmaster); Tappan Chair Shop (Artisan Adam Nudd-Homeyer); and the Corner House Inn (Lexi Townsend)
Pictures (to date): Carl Hansen, Sue Greene, Abby Hambrook, Wendy Ritger, Deb Kerr, David Crory, Joan Cook, Trecia McEvoy, Susan Lirakis and Geoff Burrows.
Map: Bob Dustin and Jim Hambrook
By Janina Lamb
I am planning a new series on this blog called People of Sandwich. It will showcase stories of people in our community. I'm beginning this series with a person who died recently and whose impact on our community cannot be overstated. Alan Switzer, who for years ran the Sandwich Aquatic School, died on May 4 at the age of 90.
I wonder how many people in Sandwich learned to swim, during the summer, under Alan Switzer's steadfast and very effective tutelage. Many who are now adults learned to swim there, many of us sent our children to Switzer’s, and some of us watched our grandchildren learn to swim there.
From the SAS Facebook page:
Sandwich Aquatic School began when Alan Switzer began teaching local children to swim on the shores of Squam Lake in the summer of 1966. Since then the program has grown to instruct roughly 500 children every year and host several third generation families. Sandwich Aquatic School has a proven track record of teaching children how to swim the right way for over 50 years.
Some kids found Mr. Switzer’s style tougher than they liked, or were used to, but by golly, they learned to swim, often returning summer after summer.
Those of us who might be called permissive parents (overly-permissive?) were quite willing to have our children put through a no-nonsense, challenging set of swimming lessons that resulted in strong swimmers. Same time every day for two weeks, rain or shine, cold or warm.
We, the parents, sat around the pool inside the fence and watched as our children were taken in hand by Mr. Switzer’s firm, never ruffled, never slackening instruction. How pleased and proud we all were, children and parents alike, when our kids got their card of completion at the end of a session.
My granddaughters, Willa and Molly Canfield, learned to swim over several summers with Mr. Switzer, when he was already in his eighties. Willa Canfield says,
"Going to Switzer's was one of the formative experiences of my life. It made my friends and me into such strong swimmers. We can go down to Squam Lake and swim great distances together. Mr. Switzer was an amazing teacher. Even as a very old man, he was so vital and present."
We in Sandwich knew Alan Switzer primarily as the head teacher and owner of the Sandwich Aquatic School. Outside of the summers, Switzer had a long, illustrious career as a swimming coach at the University of Maine and Plymouth State University. The links below provide more information on his life and career beyond Sandwich.
How fortunate we were in this town of lakes and rivers to have such a master to help generations of Sandwich youth become confident, skilled swimmers.
Thank you, Mr. Switzer. You are a legend.
News & Views
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