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
The Sandwich Fair Association Board of Directors has announced that it will be canceling the Sandwich Fair for the 2020 Season. With the uncertainty of the direction of the coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect large group gatherings into the fall, the Board of Directors felt that cancelling the fair was the safest option for the fair community and the public.
The Sandwich Fair started in 1886 as an agricultural event where local farmers could trade and sell their cattle. It has since grown into a 3-day event held annually over the Columbus Day Weekend and is a mainstay of the New Hampshire fall foliage season, with 30,000 visitors annually coming to see agricultural exhibits, crafts, farm animals and, of course, get their fill of fried dough and midway rides.
As the last fair of the New Hampshire fair season, the Sandwich Fair puts an exclamation point on the state’s tradition of agricultural fairs. Ironically, the only other time the Sandwich Fair has been canceled was in 1919 during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Dan Peaslee, President of the Sandwich Fair Association, said of the Boards decision, “It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but the board felt it could not in good conscience bring so many people together in the fall if there was a chance that this virus would still be capable of infecting people.” As part of its decision, the fair board weighed several factors, including how the pandemic could impact all the vendors, concessionaires, entertainers, farm families and the visiting public.
While it is sad to think about missing the Sandwich Fair this fall, it will be back on October 9 - 11, 2021 bigger and better than ever. The Sandwich Fair Board of Directors wishes everyone a safe summer and we look forward to seeing you at the Fair in 2021. For more information about the Sandwich Fair, contact the fair at email@example.com or visit our website.
Tappan Chairs are a New Hampshire ladder-back design first crafted in Sandwich, NH in the early 1800’s, and they continue to be crafted in Sandwich to this day, over seven generations of makers, using a medley of modern and historic machinery dating as far back as the 1850’s.
Adam Nudd-Homeyer is the current owner, making him the seventh generation in Tappan Chairs’ line of craftsperson-stewards. It is under Adam’s tenure that Tappan Chairs now celebrate their 200th anniversary--a celebration which had an early start in 2018, with Tappan Chairs’ move into the former, historic, and long vacant Sandwich General Store building, turning it into an open workshop, showroom, and history exhibit, and marking the first time in the business’ long history that it has had its own free-standing building.
Adam Nudd-Homeyer writes:
We welcome you to stop by and visit our shop on August 3 (Saturday), from 10 am - 1 pm as we formally celebrate our bicentennial in Sandwich! We'll have some cake and light refreshments to share, and one or more state "dignitaries" will also be present! We will also be making some exciting announcements...
1. Firstly, we'll be unveiling the first of a "200th year only" style of commemorate rocker (of course!)...
2. We'll be revealing the details on our acquisition of TWO national furniture brands--something that we have been working on for nearly a year, and which is finally happening now(!)--and which we expect to bring a half dozen or more skilled jobs to Sandwich over the next year or so...
3. Finally, we will be announcing our transition in the coming months from an LLC to a benefit corporation, with its core purpose being the support of non-profits which benefit Sandwich and its greater community!
So please save the date and stop on by! If you've never been in our new shop at the old Sandwich General Store (Skinner St./Upper Main St. in Center Sandwich), or haven't been in for awhile, we've added a number of new things to see and learn about for both the business as well as the two historic buildings that we now occupy. And of course, we'll be on hand to give the full scoop on all of these exciting developments...
Please join us—we hope to see you there!
(603) 726-6550, www.tappanchairs.com
Tappan Chairs are a New Hampshire ladder-back design first crafted in Sandwich, NH in the early 1800s. They continue to be crafted in Sandwich to this day. Seven generations of makers, using a medley of modern and historic machinery dating as far back as the 1850s, have contributed to the story of this historic business.
A Brief History
The first Tappan Chair was crafted by Abraham Tappan in the year 1819. Abraham was a resident of Sandwich his entire life, having been among the first settlers of the town in 1768. Abraham’s son Daniel, along with his wife Rhoda, raised 15 children in Sandwich as well, and each had a hand in the chairmaking business. Sons Walter and Winthrop continued the business after Daniel’s passing in the 1880s, and rather than end the family tradition when he retired in the 1930s, Walter chose instead to sell the business to Doc Quinby and Al Hoag, who continued the trade for two decades in affiliation with the Sandwich Home Industries—the original incarnation of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
The business changed hands in the 1940s, passing to Sandwich resident Cy Blumberg after his return from WWII. Cy made other furniture, and even cut hair, alongside his chair work. When Cy passed away in the 1960s, Tappan Chairs nearly vanished as a business when his estate went to auction. But rather than letting the equipment and patterns be parted out, again a Sandwich resident intervened, purchased the lot, and stored the business until Gunnar Berg, a Sandwich cabinetmaker, discovered it and brought it back to life in the 1980s, becoming the first maker to establish a national market for the chairs.
In 2013, coinciding with Sandwich’s 250th anniversary, Gunnar continued the tradition of passing on the business to yet another Sandwich resident, Adam Nudd-Homeyer, making him the seventh generation in Tappan Chairs’ line of craftsperson-stewards. It is under Adam’s tenure that Tappan Chairs now celebrates its 200th anniversary—a celebration which had an early start in 2018, with Tappan Chairs’ move into the former, historic, and long vacant Sandwich General Store building, turning it into an open workshop, showroom, and history exhibit, and marking the first time in the business’s long history that it has had its own free-standing building.
Under its current ownership, the business launched a successful 2014 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign which was designated a Kickstarter global “Project of the Day.” On the heels of that effort, Tappan Chairs developed a national markeng partnership with Chilton Furniture of Maine, and through that connection Adam became introduced to the last living Shakers who reside in Sabbathday Lake, ME. As a result of that introduction, Tappan Chairs has become the only commissioned chairmaker in the world for the living Shaker Community, and crafts a number of models on their behalf annually.
Adam has also continued a tradition begun over previous generations—that of using Tappan Chairs to help raise money for a number of local, regional, and national nonprofits. Since 2013 alone, donations of Tappan Chairs have raised over $50,000.
Bicentennial Events and Celebratory Activities
With the beginning of 2019, Adam is announcing a number of celebratory activities for this important year, the first one being the most significant. In celebration of the generations of townspeople who have supported and nurtured the business, making it what it is today, Tappan Chairs is donating 10% of all retail chair sales this year to be divided among the Sandwich Historical Society, Sandwich Home Industries, and Sandwich Children’s Center, thereby celebrating the stewards of the “History, Heritage, and Future” of Tappan Chairs in town.
Adam also intends to use this occasion to challenge other businesses in the community to match Tappan Chairs’ contributions this year, so that together they can contribute to as many important cultural and social nonprofits and charities which serve the town and its population as possible.
As the year progresses, many more events lie in store. Tappan Chairs is currently seeking a formal celebratory proclamation from the Governor of NH, and has invited him to attend the official “Tappan Chairs Birthday Celebration” on August 3 in Sandwich, kicking off Sandwich’s renowned Old Home Week.
Also in store is the publication of a “Spotter’s Guide to Tappan Chairs,” the expansion of the museum exhibit to feature biographies and photos from the many generations of Tappan Chair makers and their helpers, as well as historic chair examples and patterns from the different periods of their manufacture. Finally, Tappan Chairs looks to release an all-new chair design to symbolize and and celebrate its many generations of makers.
We at Tappan Chairs not only invite you to join us in this special year, but encourage you to help us share this special story of what we have become, which deepens with every year!
For further inquiry and information, please contact:
Adam Nudd-Homeyer, owner-steward and craftsperson
Tappan Chairs, LLC
The Sandwich Business Group presents a house tour of four historic Sandwich homes on Saturday, August 18, from 10 – 3. Learn about the history of the town as you walk through these wonderful homes, two in the village center and two on Wentworth Hill Road, both with amazing views of surrounding mountain ranges. All have undergone renovations by the current owners. Visitors can start at any of the 4 houses and pay and get a ticket. Their ticket will be hole-punched at each house.The suggested donation of $10 for all four homes will benefit the 2018-2019 Sandwich Central 6th grade class trip to Washington DC in April 2019.
29 Church Street: Historically called the E.J. Bryant house, physician Aaron Howe owned the home in 1850. William Ham, another resident, died as a result of wounds received during the civil war and was given the first military funeral in Sandwich.
15 Maple Street: The Heard Family home was built by Quaker Timothy Varney in 1948. James L. Marston, proprietor of a successful basket shop, owned the home for a time, before passing it to Arthur M. Heard in 1920. His heirs are the current owners.
252 Wentworth Hill Road: The Wentworth Homestead was built by Col. Joseph Wentworth in the grand style of a southern mansion. The views from the house are extraordinary.
284 Wentworth Hill Road: The Isaac Adams Homestead (formerly Chestnut Manor) is perhaps the best known house in Sandwich. Originally built in 1844, Isaac Adams added other houses to the original house, numerous outbuildings, and developed extensive gardens. Subsequent owners made other changes to the property, and the current owner is doing extensive renovations, bringing the buildings and property back to life.
News & Views
This is the new blog that goes with our website update. An archive of blog entries from May, 2015 to May, 2018, is available here.
Personal Mastery Programs, a Sustaining Sponsor of this website, is proud to support the Sandwich Business Group in its efforts to promote small business in Sandwich and enrich the community through events and initiatives.
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