2017 Program Calendar

The Centre Harbor Historical Society is proud to announce its educational programs for 2017.  Programs are held on the fourth Thursday of the month from April through October at 7:00pm in the Schoolhouse Museum, 94 Dane Road/Route 25B in Center Harbor.  Programs are free and open to the public.  Donations always greatly appreciated.

A short business meeting will be held before each program.

April 27, 2017


The Civil War Soldier
Warren Sommers

The everyday life of the Civil War soldier is often not known or discussed.  More familiar are the names of generals, like Lee and Grant, or the famous battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.  But, hundreds of thousands of young men volunteered to fight in this bloody war against their fellow Americans, and many were killed or seriously wounded.  What was it like to be one of these soldiers? Speaker Warren Sommers shares his understanding of the daily trials and tribulations of the Civil War soldier.  His unique perspective offers an opportunity to learn more about the events that divided our nation from 1861 to 1865.

About the Speaker:  Warren Sommers is a retired public school teacher and college professor, with decades of interest in and research on the Civil War.  During the past 20 years, he has presented numerous talks about the Civil War to schools, universities, historical societies, civic organizations and church groups.

May 25, 2017
7:00pmColonial Hotel ca.1900

On This Spot Once Stood:  Remembering the Architectural Heritage of New Hampshire
Maggie Stier

New Hampshire has lost many of its historic buildings to fire, neglect, intentional demolition, and redevelopment.  In some cases, a plaque or marker provides a physical reminder of what once was;  but in others, no tangible evidence remains. Speaker Maggie Stier showcases some of the celebrated buildings that our state has lost, including such local treasures as the grand tourist hotel Senter House in Center Harbor.  The Senter House burned in 1887, was immediately rebuilt as the Colonial Hotel (pictured above), and was lost to fire again in 1919.  Ms. Stier also explores how and why we remember and commemorate these losses. 

About the Speaker: Maggie Stier is well-versed in historic preservation issues.  She served as the founding director of The Fells historic estate and gardens on Lake Sunappe, as a field service representative for the NH Preservation Alliance for 10 years, and is the chairperson of the Wolfeboro Heritage Commission.  She currently works as Director of Development for Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

This program is jointly sponsored with the Town of Center Harbor Heritage Commission.  Learn more about the Commission by clicking here.

June 22, 2017
7:00pmOne-room School

New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools:  The Romance & The Reality
Steve Taylor

Hundreds of one-room schools dotted the landscape of New Hampshire a century ago and were the backbone of primary education for generations of children. Revered in literature and lore, these schools were actually beset with problems, some of which are little changed today. The greatest issue was financing the local school and the vast differences between taxing districts in ability to support education. Other concerns included teacher preparation and quality, curriculum, discipline, student achievement and community involvement in the educational process. Speaker Steve Taylor explores the lasting legacies of the one-room school and how they echo today.

About the Speaker:  Steve Taylor is an independent scholar, farmer, journalist, and longtime public official. With his sons, Taylor operates a dairy, maple syrup, and cheese making enterprise in Meriden Village. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, and served for 25 years as New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Agriculture. Taylor was the founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state's rural culture.

This program was made possible with support from New Hampshire Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Learn more at www.nhhumanities.org.


July 27, 2017

Etched in Granite:  A Historical Novel
Mj Pettengill

The year is 1872. The Civil War has ended, leaving behind a nation torn and economically depressed. Etched in Granite is a harrowing account of life and death on a rural New England Poor Farm – a tragic, yet triumphant novel that tells a story of courage, survival, and secrets surrounding lost love.  Author Mj Pettengill was inspired to write this novel by the her discovery of a pauper cemetery on the Carrol County Farm in Ossipee, New Hampshire, where there are 298 numbered graves. This program is part of her mission to give voices to those silenced, to evoke images where they have been erased, and to replace the numbers with names.

About the Speaker:  Mj Pettengill is an author, lecturer, and historian with a focus on cultural narrative, intergenerational studies, and social history.  A Civil War music historian, she performs Civil War Era music and presents living history events throughout the Northeast.  She lives on a small farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she is also a wildcraft practitioner.  Pettengill holds degrees in History and Psychology, and has an MFA in Creative Writing.

August 24, 2017
Archie & Betty

Bob Montana's Archie & Betty
Lynn Montana

If you’re of a certain age, or love comic books, you probably think you know Archie Andrews and his gang of friends from Riverdale High.  But... do you reallyWere Archie, Betty and their friends, Jughead, Veronica and Reggie, based on teenagers with whom Archie cartoonist Bob Montana went to high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts or Manchester, New Hampshire?  Will speaker Lynn Montana reveal the true identities of these beloved comic strip characters?  Or will they remain a comic mystery?

About the Speaker: Lynn Montana is the daughter of Bob Montana, the creator of the classic Archie comics and one of America's greatest cartoonists.

September 28, 2017

Fiestas in Springtime Spain:  Fire, Faith & Food
John Chaston

With festivals year-round, all over the country, in every city, town and village, Spain is the nation of fiesta.  Through video and pictures, speaker John Chaston narrates the the fun, excitement, pagentry, and history of Spain's springtime fiestas, including the magical parades of Fallas, the solemn processions of Semana Santa (Easter Week), and the mock battles of Moros y Cristianus (Christians and Moors).

About the Speaker:  John Chaston is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of New Hampshire. He currently teaches linguistics and culture and is the director of the UNH Study Abroad to Granada, Spain program. He has lived a significant amount of time in Spain, including four semesters as resident director of the UNH-Granada program.

October 26, 2017

Trails Less Taken:  Challenges & Rewards of Long Distance Hiking
Gordon Dubois

A long-distance hike offers an exciting and challenging opportunity to get away from it all and experience the wilderness in a way that shorter trips often do not allow.  Everyday life fades into the background and the only cares are the next mountain view, the next cool water source, the next choice campsite - as long as you are prepared for the challenges along the way!  An avid hiker, speaker Gordon Dubois has traversed footpaths that few others have.  He has hiked extensively in northern New England, especially NH's own White Mountains, and also along the Apalachian Trail, on the International Apalachian Trail, and in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. 

About the Speaker:  Gordon Dubois' passion is winter mountaining.  He is a member of the AMC Winter 4,000-Footer Club and, with his hiking partner Bob Manley, authors the website http://winterhiking.org.  Dubois worked in the disability field for 40 years in Maine and New Hampshire, and he wrote and produced the movie documentary about the Laconia State School, entitled Lost In Laconia (2010).