Nelson History Is Alive in Many Ways

There was a celebration of Nelson’s history at the Olivia Rodham Library on Saturday, December 14th. It began with the unveiling of the painting of Helen Towne painted by Marie Spaeth in 1933 that was recently purchased by several donors, and given to the Library for permanent display.  Marie Spaeth was a part of the so-called “Pennsylvania Settlement an Art Colony in Nelson, New Hampshire” and that is the title of the book written by Teri Upton in 2012. Teri spoke briefly about the gifted and talented group of people who came to Nelson in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and lived in the old farmhouses, mainly in the summertime. Many of them were from Philadelphia and friends and colleagues of Olivia Rodham.

Bert Wingerson read excerpts from the book by Bruce White called “Sunsets, Stars and Blueberry Pie” about his childhood spending summers in what was Olivia Rodham’s house. Bruce recalls fondly his memories of Helen Towne working on her family’s farm, tirelessly. Helen was a member of the Warner family and spent her entire life in Nelson.

Betsy Street introduced the “Nelson Music Collection” recently compiled from manuscripts by Newt Tolman and Kay Gilbert. Renn Tolman has lovingly put together music and tunes so the package is a combination of stories, a CD and tunes composed for the flute. Karen Tolman has created an iMovie on a DVD based on a talk she did last summer for the Library Forum. It is called “Live from the Tolman Pond Archives.” Hunt Smith and Allison Aldrich ended the morning with musical excerpts from their booklet called “Pie for Breakfast, Tunes and Musings.”

Another highlight of this event was to introduce the Town of Nelson Calendar 2014. A small but dedicated group of amateur but enthusiastic historians has put together a very interesting pictorial presentation of old photographs of Nelson village and Munsonville from nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are some historical facts about Nelson interspersed throughout with ample room left for writing in your own dates. There are a few calendars left for purchase, and we hope you will get one for your own personal use. All the books and collections mentioned above are for sale as well. Just contact the authors and editors who created them.

Stop by the Library to see the painting. The library staff can also help you locate the sources for all of the above mentioned items.

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