Mason’s Sestercentennial

What’s a Sestercentennial?

Bravo and extra points if you know it’s a 250th anniversary. Mason’s 250th anniversary will be celebrated on August 25, 2018. This is a Saturday, and the main celebration will be held on this one day only, although there may be associated activities on other days leading up to it.

Planning began in February, 2016, and is revving up a notch higher in 2017. There’s a committee, and it’s looking for new people with new ideas. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 1, at 7:00 pm in the Mann House.

What’s planned, tentatively, so far…

The theme is “Bringing you back in time…Mason’s Timeline of History”. The day’s events will be organized chronologically. Events celebrating Mason’s older history will be held earlier in the day and events will progress through history as the day goes on.

Ideas include starting the day with starting the day with Obadiah Parker (or someone playing him) telling how he traveled from Mason to Portsmouth to meet with Governor Wentworth and receive the town charter. Did you know Mason was not the name Mr. Parker was asking for? Well, come find out.

There will be 1700s music, people in costume milling about, and exhibits of old time crafts and critters.

Then, just as life in Mason is getting established, we hear of the Battle of Lexington. A militia is formed. The real life Revolutionary 3rd NH Regiment marches through town and fires a salute.

Around midday, the century changes, welcome to the 1800s. We meet Uncle Sam and hear how he grew up in Mason and how he became famous. We hear about the founding of the church and its role in the town’s history. At the school there is a display about Mason’s quarries and the Peterborough and Shirley Railroad. There’s a band concert featuring 1800s music in the gazebo. Now, people wander around the common in 19th century attire. Even their horses. There will be games, crafts and hay rides.

Mason Village secedes! The northwest portion of Mason, with its river and mills is a very different place that the farms in the rest of Mason. It splits from Mason and takes the name Greenville. Why, you ask? A simplified answer is, taxes! Some things never change. Come hear the real story.

A new century, the 1900s, opens with a flag ceremony honoring those from Mason who served in all the wars our country has fought, including the devastating wars of the 20th century.

Did you know that at Mason’s bicentennial, in 1968, people buried a time capsule for us? Well, the time capsule, and some of the folks who buried it, still exist. We’re going to dig up the time capsule and see what’s in there. Then we’ll bury a new time capsule and wish it luck for the next 50 years.

Over at the library, Mason’s various authors and artists will be celebrated with a display of their works. Learn about C. W. Anderson, Twig (Elizabeth Orton Jones), Bronson Potter, and also Ron Dube who is is still writing to this day,

Celebrating the 20th century would not be complete without featuring the heyday of the 1960s and ‘70s. Planning and scheduling is not complete, but ideas include the history of Hippie Hollow, a contest for best hippie dress, and dancing at the gazebo to music of the era.

Fireworks! Yes, there will be fireworks, at dusk.   

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