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Wakefield Heritage Commission hosting dedication of B&M water tower, 25th anniversary celebration

The Boston & Maine water tower and Union Station in December 2017. A dedication will be held on June 23 to commemorate the donation of the water tower and the Wakefield Heritage Commission's 25th anniversary. (Courtesy Photo) (click for larger version)
May 30, 2018
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Heritage Commission and Town of Wakefield invite the public to attend the dedication ceremony of the last authentic Boston & Maine Railroad Water Tower—donated by and relocated from Lake Shore Park in Gilford and restored at Union Station last year—and the Commission's 25th anniversary and season opener on Saturday, June 23.

Over the past 25 years, the Wakefield Heritage Commission has worked to keep local history alive. The Town of Wakefield voted to form the Heritage Commission in 1993, and within its first years of inception, the commission documented historic sites and buildings and began working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation on designation as a Scenic and Cultural Byway. With Town of Wakefield, private donor and volunteer elbow grease and financial support, its restorations include the Garvin Building, Union Station and the Freight House—the heart and soul of the Heritage Park Railroad Museum—the Spinney Meeting House, the Heritage Centre at Wakefield Corner/Lovell Union Grange Hall, the East Wakefield School House, and the Newichawannock Canal—designated the town's second National Historic District. The newest additions to the railroad museum is the authentic Boston & Maine Railroad wooden water tower, donated by the Lake Shore Park Association, and relocated to Heritage Park last year where it was restored and reassembled. The water tower joins the 1902 Russell Snow Plow and 1950s era Boston & Maine Railroad caboose on the grounds of Heritage Park. The restored Union Station includes items for sale and many exhibits associated with the regions history in ice harvesting, railroading and tourism, and manufacturing. Visitors to the Freight House will get a chance to marvel at the progress made over the winter on the H/O scale of the Boston & Maine Railroad as it served the five villages of Wakefield circa 1909. The meticulously crafted layout, created by a team of volunteers -- the Freight Crew -- has been fully mechanized to run several train models along various tracks at once.

Events on June 23 will include a special water tower dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. with guest speakers, including State of New Hampshire Executive Councilor Joe Kenney, Peter Michaud, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources National Register, Tax Incentive and Covenants Coordinator, and others, followed by entertainment by the Moose Mountain Jazz Band, refreshments for sale, and docent tours. Prior to the dedication ceremony, railroad veteran and Conway Scenic Railroad founder Dwight Smith will give a presentation at the Freight House at 10 a.m. on a fascinating "Before and After" train renovation project.

This family friendly event is free and open to all ages. Thereafter, the Heritage Park Railroad Museum will be open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. through Columbus Day weekend. Wakefield Heritage Commission sites including the Heritage Centre of Wakefield Corner and the East Wakefield School will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

For more information, contact Heritage Commission Chair Pam Wiggin at 387-3698, or Heritage Commission Administrative Assistant Larissa Mulkern at info@historicwakefieldnh.com.

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