Townsend Historical Society Open House and Encampment
Join the Townsend Historical Society as the shot heard round the world rings out once again. On Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1, visit the Preservation Collaborative Inc. and the Townsend Minutemen at the Townsend Historical Society's Open House. This daylong event will feature a patriot encampment at the Reed House from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. at 72 Main St.
Throughout the day, the Townsend Historical Society will be giving tours of their circa 1809 Federal Style homestead, best known for its Rufus Porter murals. Volunteer re-enactors will set up camp, perform military drills and musket firings, and demonstrating military tactics of the 18th century. Civilian re-enactors will be demonstrating period crafts and activities, including lace-making, candle-dipping, writing, toys and games. You will also be offered a rare glimpse into 18th Reed House's kitchen hearth.
The event seeks to demonstrate life during the turbulent times spanning April 1775 through March 1776. Townsend played an important role in these early days of the Revolution. Having received Paul Revere's message from another rider, the militia assembled on the common and marched to North Bridge. They later partook in events at Bunker Hill and even Dorchester Heights, which ultimately drove the British from the City on a Hill. They ratified the Declaration of Independence when it arrived in October of 1776 and finally, continued to have men serving in various capacities until the war ended in 1781.
At 2 p.m. re-enactor Neil Gustafson will portray patriot printer Isaiah Thomas at the Harbor Church, 80 Main St. Thomas played a significant role in the events leading up to the American Revolution. In 1770, he launched a newspaper called "The Massachusetts Spy," reporting on the injustices inflicted by the British government on the colonists. It inflamed the British officials and Tories to such an extent he had to close his shop, operating his printing presses out of his home. Thomas is also known for founding the American Antiquarian Society. The program is made possible through the sponsorship of Freedom's Way National Heritage Association and the American Antiquarian Society. For information, call the Townsend Historical Society, 978-597-2106.
Come down and get a hands-on experience of late 18th-century life. General admission is $5 or free with a Townsend Historical Society Membership. All children under the age of 18 admitted free. For information contact the Townsend Historical Society at 978-597-2106.
This program is funded in part by a grant from the Townsend Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, in partnership with The Preservation Collaborative Inc., Townsend Historical Society and Townsend Minutemen Company