News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your organization?
Jim Mykland of the Sandwich Historical Society.
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
I first washed up on the ledges at the Pothole in July or August of 1956 when I was six months old. My parents were friends in New York with the Pohls and the Lungams who had bought houses in the Maple Ridge/Mount Israel Road area and we came up to visit them that summer. We came back summers after that, staying in the cabin that the Pohls had on Maple Ridge Road.
In the mid 1960’s my father retired and, the North Shore of Long Island having grown up from the farms and pine barrens of the immediate post war years when they moved there, my parents decided to move to Sandwich full time in 1966.
We moved here the October I was in fifth grade, just after the Fair. I went from a baby boom Town with three elementary schools (and building a fourth) of three or four classes of each grade to Sandwich Central School with a combined fifth and sixth grade class of about 16 students.
What got you started working with SHS?
I have always loved our little Town between the lakes and the mountains. All the old houses and fascinating people I remember growing up.
I first visited the Museum probably the summer after we moved here. The thing that grabbed my attention at 11 years old, naturally, was the dugout canoe. And the model of Center Sandwich made by the Quimby School boys in the 1930’s. I came back often over the years to wander around the house. I was fascinated by Sandwich history.
In the late 1980’s, in what I can only assume was an act of desperation, I was asked to serve as a Trustee of the Society. I’ve been here pretty much ever since serving as a Trustee and officer including four years as President. I came back in the 2010s as a Trustee and later Vice President. In December 2020 I was asked by the Trustees to serve as Interim Executive Director.
Tell us about your organization. What do you make, do, or offer as a service?
The Sandwich Historical Society has, in its hundred plus years, made a concerted effort to collect and preserve historic artifacts and ephemera that directly relate to Sandwich. It became evident that a building would be needed to house this collection and in the 1920’s the Society bought the Elisha Marston house at 4 Maple Street in The Center. Over the succeeding years, the Society has added other buildings to our holdings as the need became evident.
We currently own the former Quimby School barn, which was moved across Maple Street and now houses the Transportation Museum of Sandwich-related vehicles, both great and small, including the magnificent Sandwich Coach that used to transport mail and people from Center Harbor to Sandwich and West Ossipee. We also own the former Mount Israel Grange Hall on Maple Street, the former Heard family barn off Skinner Street in The Center, and the former Lower Corner Schoolhouse on Schoolhouse Road.
Throughout the year the Society sponsors programs, talks and walks that highlight features and people of our little hill town. One of the more popular programs is ‘Pictures from the Vault’, an hour or so sample of some of the thousands of images in our collections. Another day might find a walk in The Center or Lower Corner or The Notch highlighting architecture and people who have lived in the area in the past.
Perhaps of more lasting impact than artifacts and buildings, the Society, following its founding principle of collecting and sharing the history of Sandwich, has a unique canon of over a hundred years of written history of the Town in our annual Excursion Booklets. These Excursion Booklets cover the entire history of the Town from the very beginning until today. In the early years these were truly excursions to various neighborhoods in Town sharing the history of each area and collecting the precious memories of older residents before they slipped away.
These booklets form an invaluable history of our small town between the lakes and the foothills of the White Mountains. In 1995 the Society published ‘Sandwich, New Hampshire 1763-1990’ a one volume history of the Town compiled by a number of talented writers who were also members of the Society.
How did SHS get started?
The Sandwich Historical Society was founded in 1917 by a group of full-time and seasonal residents who had grown concerned with the steady loss of artifacts leaving Town as old homesteads were sold and auctioned off as well as the loss of the unwritten Town history as older residents passed away and their stories and memories vanished with them. For a more detailed history of SHS, please visit: http://www.sandwichhistorical.org/society-history.html
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your work?
Working with our great knowledgeable staff Jennifer Wright and Lauren Hansen and our Trustees and Officers. The Society is truly a group effort and being able to interact with these smart, hard working staff and volunteers is exciting and intellectually challenging and very educational to me.
What has happened to your organization in this last Covid year?
The Society offers an annual exhibit at the Elisha Marston House Museum. Last year due to Covid our buildings were closed and the volunteers and staff created a virtual exhibit, both remote and online, with banners and QR codes around Town highlighting historic women of Sandwich and their stories. There was also a virtual Excursion during Old Home Week that provided a driving tour to all their houses.
This year we are planning to be back in the Elisha Marston House Museum with the exhibit featuring portraits by Susan Lirakis of Sandwich mothers and their daughters taken over the last forty years. There will also be an online exhibit again this year.
What are your goals and hopes for the future?
In the most immediate sense my goal is to get the Society back to its normal functioning level as quickly and as safely as possible. Our goal for this year is to have a summer exhibit and our annual excursion this August.
What else can you tell us about yourself and your organization?
The Society is still governed by a volunteer board of trustees with the assistance of a few paid staff members. It exists through the generosity of our members and donations from the public and the thoughtfulness of benefactors over the years. We are here to try and answer your questions about Sandwich and what went on here and what is happening here today. We offer our superb research library to writers and those doing genealogical research. For more information on when our buildings are open and to check a listing of upcoming programs and events visit our website at www.sandwichhistorical.org. Or you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
News & Views
News of what's happening in Sandwich and other items of interest.
Meet Our Members
Please enjoy the Sandwich Business Group's 2021 project called Meet Our Members. Read interviews with fascinating people who live here and run businesses, organizations, and engage in other creative pursuits.
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