2019 OLD HOME DAY
In the withering heat and humidity of Saturday, July 20, the SWANZEY PRESERVATION SOCIETY welcomed members of the public inside the Golden Rod Grange No. 114 decked out in two-story star-spangled banners.
In conjunction with Old Home Day, this was an opportunity for members of the community to learn about the Grange and its place in Swanzey life, past and future, as well find some shade.
Small group and individual tours of the building were conducted by SPS member Linda Minickiello. In addition to learning about the building itself, guests were treated to information about the Grange organization at the national and state levels.
The most common comment among visitors? "I've lived in Swanzey my whole life, but I don't know anything about this building."
Some visitors came for the nostalgia of the place, having been in town long enough to recall the social gatherings that once took place in the Grange hall. Others imagined new uses for the building. For instance, parents of students at Mount Caesar saw potential in the use of the stage by the school, which presently has a single multi-purpose room for lunches, physical education classes, gatherings, and productions. Another guest with ties to the music community noted that the Grange would be a welcome venue for the fine and performing arts. Another noted that with its spacious green back lawn, it would be a lovely setting for the smaller, more intimate weddings preferred by so many.
Making it a family affair, Anthony and Alex Minickiello - well fortified with fresh lemonade from Woody's - manned the information booth that featured SPS membership and donation information and raffle tickets for two signed canvas prints by local folk artist Tim Campbell. The Old Homestead depicts the on-stage production of Denman Thompson's famous story. The Golden Rod Grange depicts a festively decorated Grange with six of its members standing in front.
Swanzey, Then and Now host Jodi Turner staffed a video archive photo and recording booth to capture the memories of Swazey residents and visitors. If you or someone you know is interested in contributing to this collection, please contact the Preservation Society.
Visit Swanzey, Then and Now.