WALPOLE AT THE MILLENIUM – Published in 2001
PDFs reproduced here for your reading pleaseure
Part 1 – Click here for interviews with:
Clarence Houghton; Paul McGuirk: George Watkins; Doctor L. Tucker Burr; David Hewes; Marion Andros; Jane Praeger; Larry Burdick; Paul Tole, Sr.; Lois Ford; Bob Graves; Chet Newkirk; David Maysilles; and John and Peggy Stevens
Part 2 – Click here for interviews with:
Jerome Galloway; Madeline Tole; Donald J. Tisdale; Doctor William Tatem; Bill Williams; Tom Murray; Bill Houghton; Harold Putnam; Victor Castellano; Vincent Malnati; Rick Cooper; and, Sam Jacobs
Part 3 – coming soon
Part 4 – coming soon
In 2001 the Walpole Historical Society published WALPOLE AT THE MILLENNIUM. Edited by the late Judson Gooding, the publication included fifty interviews of residents, their reminiscences, and their reflections looking “… back at Walpole as it was in past years and to observe the changes the town undergone, to serve as an historical record for future generations, and help forecast how the town may evolve.” Arriving in Walpole in 1986, Gooding was an author and award-winning journalist who worked for Time and Life magazines as a foreign correspondent and editor.
Reading the interviews is heartwarming, and confirms my observation that Walpole is, “AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS.” A dominant thread in the interviews is it has been the people who have made Walpole what it is, and maintained a stability to life here. From just a small sample from this collection, here are a few residents’ comments. Marion Andros (now gone) told readers, “…look at my husband. He’s lived here since 1907 – going from horse and carriage to the space-age, but through all those changes Walpole’s sense of family, community and history has endured. I hope that the strong community feeling remains here because that’s one of the best things we have.” Former Police Chief David Hewes agreed, saying, “The way people get together and support the town. This is the biggest asset for people seeking a place to live – this coming together, the idea of ‘Help thy Neighbor’. You see it in many ways.”
Seventh generation Walpolean, the late Bob Graves, stated right up front “Walpole today is about as perfect as you can get. ”He continued, “Sixty years ago I thought the economy was in trouble: houses were run down, downtown homes needed painting and repairs, lawns were neglected and roads were not good. Since then a lot of people have moved here from other places … their involvement in the community has been very good for Walpole.” Involvement in the community, and care for your neighbors are themes through a number of the interviews. David Maysilles (deceased) moved to Walpole in 1994 after a military career, and almost 20 years as executive director of Kurn Hattin Homes in Westminster, Vermont. As a boy, when attending school at Kurn Hattin, he remembered a Walpole club known as “The NP Club.” It stood for “neighborly people”, founded for the purpose of doing good things for others. In retirement he and his wife did not want to sit idle. Realizing there were many ways in which they could volunteer, he stated. “Walpole offers a good variety of volunteer services and you can do as much or as little as you want … the Walpole community depends on volunteers for a variety of its needs.”
Recently passing, John Hubbard told readers twenty years ago, “What made Walpole interesting, what makes Walpole attractive to people who come into town is the rural character. The challenge is how to keep it that way – how to make sure that Walpole is not over developed.” Larry Siebrands, former pastor of the Congregational Church, said, “What’s special about Walpole is that it’s a beautiful place to live, a Currier and Ives setting. People are from lots of places, so there’s a variety of experiences. It is within traveling distance to many cities – we go to Boston and Montreal. … I like Walpole for its relaxed informal atmosphere.”
There is a great deal of wisdom on the pages WALPOLE AT THE MILLENNIUM. Ideas of what makes Walpole special, attractive, and welcoming to newcomers. I encourage you to click the links above and leisurely read through and think about what can be done to keep Walpole AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS, and WELL INTO THE FUTURE.
THE WALPOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY gave permission to reproduce WALPOLE AT THE MILLENNIUM for everyone’s enjoyment.