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The Thompson-Ames Historical Society writes a
weekly column for the Gilford Steamer.

A recent article is shown below.
You may view and / or download previous articles here...

1-06-05          “Website Spotlights Gilford's Cultural Heritage”

One of Thompson-Ames Historical Society's foremost goals for 2004 was to implement a long-time plan: to create a website. A month ago that plan finally materialized when www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org went online.

Extending beyond preservation of the museum buildings and the historic collections, Thompson-Ames Historical Society strives to spotlight and share Gilford's cultural history.

One way of achieving this broader goal, we believe, entails creating and maintaining a website that not only invites the public in but also gives the public opportunities to express their voice in the form of questions and feedback.

With these ideas in mind, several months of work saw the involvement of several volunteers working under the guidance of web designer Dale Dormody.

The first concrete item that was created was a logo for T-AHS's website. Our desire was to have a logo that features the three historic building in which T-AHS maintains museum displays. Also it was considered desirous to have a logo that reflects the buildings' relative locations along Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford Village.

To the rescue: Devitt Liptak who volunteered her expertise! She listened to our wishes and worked with Stan Piper as she sketched, consulted, and made changes over countless hours. Her finished product was an inspiration to us as we worked countless hours ourselves to develop the website itself.

Diane Mitton helped us broaden our knowledge of websites. Together we viewed websites of several historical societies and discussed what we liked, what we didn't, what could be effective for us, what couldn't.

We met with Dale Dormody to discuss a template framework that he envisioned would work for us to use. But since no two historical societies are exactly alike, it became our task to develop a unique persona.

As with the components of our logo, we wished to present Gilford Village's museum buildings as they would be encountered by someone walking along Belknap Mountain Road, first the Grange Museum Building / John J. Morrill Store at 8 Belknap Mountain Road, then the Union Meetinghouse at #24, and finally the Rowe House at #88.

We wished to present some historic statements about each building and then spotlight display areas from each. To this end, photos taken over the past seven years were carefully scrutinized. Then Ernie Gault offered his expertise in professional photography to help capture the essence of Gilford's cultural heritage. It was agreed that the photos used as part of the website would be added to and even changed over time.

To capture the magnitude of T-AHS's activities meant that the roles of volunteers would need appropriate emphasis. Again the backlog of snapshots taken over the past seven years proved useful.

Photos on the website show volunteers in a wide gamut of activities, participating as docents / tour guides during school fieldtrips to doing behind-the-scene work essential to preserving the museum buildings themselves.

The listing of programs and activities during the year will be everchanging to reflect the upcoming offerings as well as The items that require long-range planning. Media releases are updated weekly so that members who live in other towns and in other states can keep informed.

T-AHS hopes that checking in weekly on www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org will become a habit for those who live near as well as those who live far away. T-AHS also looks forward to continue receiving feedback from those people who are staying tuned in via T-AHS's website.

Now that our website is up and running, T-AHS looks forward to sharing with The public more and more of the rich tapestry of Gilford's cultural heritage.