"Historic Highlights" for Gilford Steamer’s 25 Nov. 2004 issue

A Time for Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to give thanks -- and members of Thompson-Ames Historical Society raise their voices in giving thanks for another wonderful year.

One thing that Thompson-Ames Historical Society is thankful for is the financial support that has been given in respect to its annual fund drive.

The Board of Directors of Thompson-Ames Historical Society is happy to announce that the Society’s 2004 Fund Drive was recently completed and the Fund Drive thermometer sign, that had been on display in front of the Union Meetinghouse, has been taken down. The thermometer hovered at the $8,500 level for some time but a recent generous donation of $1,500 from the Laconia Savings Bank filled the gap.

Financial support enabled T-AHS not only to match the $2,500 grant from the Samuel P. Pardoe Charitable Foundation to complete the humidity-control efforts at the Union Meetinghouse and to underwrite the cost of establishing a website for Thompson-Ames Historical Society, but also to address other pertinent issues, including up-grades of electrical and heating systems in the Grange cellar, replacement of two broken dead-lite storm panels, and reconstruction of two doors and doorways, to mention a few.

Our thanks go out to the many who helped fund T-AHS’s 2004 appeal, including the Samuel P. Pardoe Charitable Foundation, the Laconia Savings and Loan, the Daniell Family Foundation, the Penny Pitou and Milo Pike Charitable Foundation, the Village Bank and Trust of Gilford, WalMart, Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Company, Page Roofing, Steve Weeks Realty, Shaw’ s Supermarket, Inc., Gilford Well, as well as to the more than 75 individuals, whether they chose to be in the category of "donors" or "donating members", who harkened to T-AHS ‘s annual appeal and made contributions ranging from $5 to $250 each. All who contribute to T-AHS’s annual appeal underwrite the efforts of Gilford’s historical society to preserve and celebrate Gilford’s cultural heritage.

The willingness of Gilford citizens to annually fund at Town Meeting the $10,000 cost of T-AHS’s employing part time a collection manager to catalog, organize, and advise about the preservation of the extensive collection of items that have been entrusted to Thompson-Ames Historical Society during its sixty years of existence is not only a wonderful testimony to the efforts of Gilford’s historical society but also an assurance that these precious items will continue to be preserved as evidence of Gilford’s cultural history. We are truly thankful for this on-going funding.

Ultimately the sustained success of Thompson-Ames Historical Society rests on the shoulders of the many people who during the past sixty years have been willing to volunteer their time and talents to do the work essential to any historical society. It has been they who have been willing to roll up their sleeves time and again to do whatever is necessary.

Some have acted as tour guides or docents during school field trips or as hosts/hostesses or demonstrators during open house activities or have volunteered their time when a call for help has been sounded. —— Terry Bobseine is one of those people always ready to lend a helping hand. --To all of them we are grateful and say a hearty "Thank you!"

Some volunteers share their special talents as only they can. Susan Percy MacDonald’s talents as a crystal cutter have preserved the Union Meetinghouse’s window panes of stained and etched glass. Ellen Peters has been ready each year for five years now to work with Stan Piper to create a unique quilted wall hanging as a raffle item in T-AHS’s annual fund raising efforts. Jan Dean’s interest in sewing helped establish the annual ABC quilt efforts of third graders as well as create doll clothes for craft sales and for T-AHS’s American Girl Doll raffle, an activity that Carole Johnson’s sewing talents also supported this year. Gardening enthusiasts, Doreen and Gerald Knight and Carmel Lancia, along with other members of the Opeechee and Gilford Garden Clubs, have taken a big step towards preserving the gardens at the Benjamin Rowe House. To these and other talented volunteers we are indeed thankful.

But it is to the volunteers who are willing to serve as officers and members of T-AHS’s Board of Directors that a special word of thanks is due. These volunteers are willing to attend two two-hour meetings each month in addition to giving time to other T-AHS endeavors in order to keep Gilford’s historical society on an even keel.

Who are these 2004 T-AHS Board Members who give so generously of their time? Officers Marge Muehlke (Secretary), Rick Moses (Treasurer) Esther Peters (Vice-President), and Joan Nelson (President) serve along with other very active Board Members, namely Pete Allen, Shirley Burns, Jim Colby, Dale DalPan, Judy Dal.Pan, Lloyd Ekholm, Don Frost, Mary Frost, Kathy Lacroix, Ed LaSala, Diane Mitton, Dot Pangburn, and Stan Piper to preserve and celebrate Gilford’s cultural history. For being willing to give so much of their time and talents, a resounding "Thank " is certainly in order.

Thanksgiving, a time of year to pause and to be thankful, seems an appropriate time to recognize those who make Thompson-Ames Historical Society the successful historical society that it is. I hope that you agree.

Those who wish to join Thompson-Ames Historical Society or to become a volunteer, may call T-AHS’s telephone 527-9009.