Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Another Look at Canterbury's 2011 Old Home Day

Now that I'm done working those triple double shifts, I've got some time to post a few more pictures from last Saturday's Old Home Day in my hometown of Canterbury. Just in case you're still wondering what on earth Old Home Day is, it's not a day when people who live in old houses throw open their doors and allow people to tour their homes, it's a day when a community steps back in time a little bit and celebrates their roots.  That most venerable of New England periodicals, Yankee Magazine, describes it this way:
"The tradition of Old Home Days began in 1897 in New Hampshire and still goes on every summer across New England. Parades, ball games, and band concerts are the order of the day, while new folks get acquainted and returning folks reconnect with their communities."
Granted, Canterbury's Old Home Day is certainly not as elaborate as some in New England as there are no parades or ball games but there is music and "old time" craftsmen and good eats during which time the old one-room schoolhouse that has been renovated is open for tours giving a chance for old classmates to reconnect while they reminisce over the pictures and other items that have been collected over the years. In other words, it's rather like a Fall Festival served up with a dose of history!

As my cousin Amy, who is one of the co-chairs of the event, and her family are quite heavily involved in the Canterbury Historical Society (go figure, there are other folks in my family who like history!), it has somehow come to pass that I have become the "official" photographer for Old Home Day.  It's kind of a win-win situation in that I get to practice my photography and the CHS gets a few pictures of Old Home Day - plus there's the added bonus of when I get photo credit on their website, they always spell my last name right!

So, anyway, here's a bit of a look at Canterbury's 2011 Old Home Day held on the lawn of the First Congregational Church on the Green:

Everett St. Louis and Jack Kerouack were the first performers of the day
Visitors take a look around the Green School>
Visitors take a look around inside the one-room Green School
A young Civil War re-enactor from the Roseland Cottage Education Department
Fred Brehant, a traditional blacksmith, explains his craft to two interested on-lookers
Bob Noiseux offered free rides in his 1918 Buick
Rick Spencer entertains at Old Home Day
Rick Spencer, a historical music entertainer, took to the stage 
Beekeeper Christopher Swift shows off his wares
Erich Steinhagen of Steinhagen Pottery works the pottery wheel.
"Chili Bob" Whatley, an Early American candlemaker, and his wife strike a traditional pose.
James Easton, to the left, does amazing woodcarvins while my Uncle Alton, to the right, talks to visitors about his display of antique tools and furs.
Blacksmith Alexander Kostuk tends to his fire.
The World's smallest Quartert took their turn on the stage and really had visitors' toes tapping -  mine were for sure!
A young trio enjoyed a fall treat of candied apples from the Canterbury Lions booth.
Bear Minimum + 1 performs bluegrass music
My cousin Dave on guitar and Dave Shaw on the mandolin of Bear Minimum, a bluegrass duo, welcomed Ken Belanger, guest bassist, to the group for their performance. 
Bill Kivic fired up a tasty treat over an open flame with his antique waffle irons.
Emily Noiseux caught a cat nap with her baby goat
Toby, one of my cousin Rachel's pygmy goats, welcomed a small visitor to his pen - he was probably wondering how she tasted being that he's happy to eat pretty much anything in sight!  
Doug O'Connor works on a handcrafted Windsor chair.
Tony Denning of Maple Leaf Farm had some delicious looking maple products for sale
One of the Peruvian alpacas from Burgis Brook Alpacas
Paul Rulli Reproductions displayed beautiful museum-quality 17th and 18th century reproductions
The old Green School provided the backdrop for the stage.
The McV Farm offered very tasty corn on a stick! 
Overall, the day was nice enough to even make a goat smile!
There was a lot more to see than what I have posted here and by the end of the day, I think that the Canterbury Historical Society could declare the 8th Annual Old Home Day a success as the weather couldn't have been nicer and everyone who attended seemed to be having a fine time. Hopefully next year the local media will help to get the word out a little better that the fun family event is going on before the event happens rather than after so that more people can come out and enjoy a glimpse into the past while enjoying some of the treats of fall at the same time.

If you'd like to see more of Old Home Day, please visit the gallery on my SmugMug page where you'll find over 300 pictures that hopefully captured the spirit of the day.


  1. That was pretty cool. The past part kind of reminded me of Columbia State Park. Lots of history to be had there too. Thanks for sharing your weekend.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  2. Anonymous6:56 AM EDT

    That photo of Emily and her baby goat is just precious... so innocent.

    OK, I gotta ask, I Jack Kerouack related to the writer?

    Candy apples dipped in sprinkles? yum!

  3. must have been a wonderful day, very cool photos, pass me a corn on a stick please......

  4. These re-creation events are always so entertaining if only to get away from modern life for awhile. It may have been much harder work back then, but the simplicity is something I think we truly miss now.

  5. These are wonderful Canterbury tales, if you ask me! It's hard to choose a favorite, but I love old cars. So.

    I don't know why, but I never really thought you were originally from Connecticut. Shows what I know about you. :) My first immigrant ancestor landed in Connecticut in 1637 just in time to participate in the Pequot (?) War. I wonder if that qualifies me to claim Connecticut as my ancestral home? Probably not. I have pictures of old (REALLY old) headstones of there of an ancestor in my family history records I have gathered.

    Sorry. I know that doesn't cut any ice and won't get me invited to Canterbury during Old Home day. :) Nice post.

  6. Good music, good eats, and lots of good things to see. Sounds like a fun time!


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