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The Thompson-Ames Historical Society
writes a weekly news release.

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12-4-05   Gilford Village Events Scheduled for Sun., Dec. 11th

The public is invited to come to Gilford Village on Sunday, December 11th.

At 2:00 p.m., the terrace in front of Thompson-Ames Historical Society’s Union Meetinghouse, at 24 Belknap Mountain Road, will be the gathering place for the annual Living Nativity.

Local animals will play traditional roles, with sheep and oxen in the stable and a donkey at hand to provide transportation for the holy family.

Parishioners of the Gilford Community Church and the First United Methodist Church will don appropriate costumes in order to participate in the annual reenactment. A narrator will read the familiar words from the Biblical story while a song leader guides all present in singing the traditional carols.

The Living Nativity, now without doubt part of Gilford’s annual December traditions, began back in 1993 as a cooperative venture between the Gilford Community Church and the First United Methodist Church, whose ministers, respectively were the Reverend Raymond Wixson and the Reverend Huntley Halvorsen.

For thirteen years now not only have people and animals gathered together to make the Biblical story come alive but also many other people, often adults with young children, have come to witness the event and participate in the caroling.

Afterwards the animals obligingly stand to accept the attention and pats directed their way by the admiring public.

Of course, after the reenactment, the doors of the historic 1834 Meetinghouse are opened wide to welcome the actors and on-lookers to come in, socialize, view the museum exhibits, and warm their hands and feet while they sip hot spiced cider and nibble on a cookie.

Again this year, as during the past couple years, Thompson-Ames Historical Society will have an Open House at the Rowe House from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m.

The Rowe House, located at 88 Belknap Mountain Road within easy walking distance of the Meetinghouse, is an historic farmhouse, a unique Greek Revival cape constructed about 1838 of bricks made on site. Like the Meetinghouse, the Rowe House is on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places.

The Rowe House is owned by the Town of Gilford but leased to the Thompson- Ames Historical Society which has appropriately furnished it using the vintage family furniture bequeathed to the Society by the late Arthur A. Tilton, who was born and raised in Gilford.

Being a true vintage farmhouse, the Rowe House entry door faces south rather than being oriented to the road.

The house has been appropriately decorated for the holidays. A Christmas tree, donated by Marge Muehlke, was set up on the front porch by Jim Colby, Stan Piper, and Ed LaSala and is now adorned with a plethora of red velvet bows. Gracing the front door is a decorative Christmas wreathe, created by Carmel Lancia. Furthermore, in each down-stairs window is a glowing candle.

When you enter the house, not only do you feel as though you are stepping back in time, but also you are certain that it is Christmastime, thanks to the efforts of Kathy Lacroix. The aroma from spiced hot apple cider greets you even in the entry stair hall and each room has a touch of evergreens, some as garlands, some as decorations on fireplace mantles or tables.

In the parlor is a Christmas tree of Victorian vintage while beneath it are vintage toys from the boyhood days of Arthur Tilton.

Thompson-Ames Historical Society invites the public to take time on Sunday afternoon, December 11th to come to Gilford Village and walk along the red brick side-walk to #24 and #88 Belknap Mountain Road, to experience some special aspects of Gilford traditions that offer a change of pace from the usual December hustle and bustle.

To learn more about Thompson-Ames Historical Society and its activities, do visit our website www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org or e-mail us at thomames@worldpath.net or telephone us at 527-9009 or stop in at the Society’s office in the Grange Museum Building whenever the “Open” flag is on display.