House numbers, decisions, Foss Farm, Battlefield re-enactments and the Horn of Gondor

I am feeling quite a bit better this weekend than last weekend – though I still have a bit of a chest cough from having the flu at the beginning of the month.  So forward !

I met Paul and his son Tim at the house yesterday and we took care a lot of final detail things.   We took measurements and located stuff into position

  1. The propane tank position was laid out – approximately 15′ from the generator towards the septic field in a generally flat area.  They are going to put in a concrete pad and trench a line.  It will generally be parallel to the septic line from the house to the septic tank.  This will have three main advantages in my mind.
    1. It will be on the side of the garage and out of harms way from falling ice and junk from the slope of the roof during the winter
    2. The location will make it easy for filling/servicing of the tank by the propane company
    3. it is far enough away that it will allow for easy mechanized access to the generator in case we need to remove/replace it in the future
  2. The house number placement was modeled.  We held it up in a couple different ways and decided on a spot near the exterior light at the foot of the entry ramp/patio and the carport
  3. We came up with measurements for the height of the light fixture over the island (7′ 6″ – which is basically the top of the cabinets as well – so it will line up with that – though we did not measure this till the end – thereby validating our eyeball “what looks good here” process)
  4. We discussed the power fixtures that are in the center of the floor in the living room that Tim Hebert came up with – which are fantastic.  I will take photos of those when they are fully installed
  5. Finally we spent a lot of time discussing and measuring for the sink back splash.  We decided on a 3 piece stainless steel backs splash in the texture of SANDTEX from Commerce Metals (scroll down the page at Commerce to see sandtex).  The main area directly behind the sink will cover the full area from the counter up to the bottom of the cabinets and shelves.  The areas to the left and right will only be 6 inches high (so we have clearance under the electrical outlets, light switches etc…).  I will order this online today
    1. 6″ by 3 feet,1 inch and 5/16 of an inch
    2. 35 and 3/4″ by 2 feet 2 inches and 1/8 of an inch
    3. 6″ by 2 feet 11 inches and 7/8th inches

Paul is also thinking about using sheets of this same stainless steel in the overhead lighting structure for the island.

Yesterday was Carlisle Old Home day (website here.  2016 program here).  Old Home Day is the local Independence Day celebration – held off cycle from the official holiday of July 4th so that people can travel “Home” to participate in the celebrations from their old home town and also on the official holiday.  Carlisle historically has only celebrated on Old Home Day as far as I can recall – there are no firework’s shows or parades on Independence Day.  Below – copied from the Carlisle OHD website:

ORIGINS OF OLD HOME DAY Researched and written by Al Peckham At the annual town meeting 85 years ago, on February 1, 1909, Article 15, “To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of one hundred dollars for Old Home Week and to appoint an Old Home Week Committee to act thereon.” The article failed to pass.But in 1912 the first old home celebration was held for one day on July 31, 1912, according to Ruth Wilkins Hollis’ record, “It was a beautiful summer day, with the Town Flag flying on the Common and the Soldiers’ Monument in the Square decorated with flags and flowers.”

That was 82 years ago. The next year a Carlisle Old Home Day Association was formed. Held annually until 1915, the fifth event was held four years later after World War I on September 1, 1919, including a reception for Carlisle soldiers and sailors returning from war service. The parade that day included most of the twenty World War I veterans and a few Civil War veterans.

It is not clear how many such days were celebrated between 1919 and 1975; there were none for several years. But on Labor Day, September 3, 1934, Old Home Day was held by the Carlisle Old Home Day Association, which had its beginnings in 1913. This was in the depths of the Great Depression.

The next event is said to have been held on Labor Day, September 2, 1946, and was a welcome home event for World War II veterans, to whom Certificates of Appreciation were given.

Edmund L. French printed the programs through all these years until his death in 1982.

After another lapse, Mrs. Mary Sleeper, now of Rivercrest in Concord, NH revived the customs with a local committee in 1967 as a Fourth of July happening.

The enthusiasm for the Old Home Day event heightened in the mid-1970s, largely because of the bicentennial, it has continued consistently during these past three decades. In 1974, the late Andrew L. Brown chaired the event. An honored guest that year was Alfred M. Worden [Apollo Astronaut] of the Apollo 15 flight, and a friend and guest of Dave and Florence Reed.

As I was driving over to met Paul and Tim (at around 8:00am) I drove through the center of town and through the tail end of the road running race.   When we wrapped up, I decided that I would avoid going back through the center – so I headed out towards the Concord River with the intent of looping around.  I got distracted on the way by the sign for Foss Farm conservation land as I had not been there in several years.  I was thinking about the old Thuderbridge Musters held on Foss Farm around the Bicentennial in the 60’s and 70’s.  Mr. Foss, before he sold the land to the Carlisle Conservation Commission, allowed a LOT of varied use of his land, including the Colonial Minutemen Historical Musters.  I remember these vividly and being a lot of fun for a kid.  Below is an excerpt from the Carlisle the 2008 report on Foss Farm done by the Land Stewardship sub-committee of the main Commission (pages 28 and 29)

The first Annual Colonial Muster and Field Day at Foss Farm was held in September, 1967 (prior to the Town’s purchase of the land), with the Bedford Minute Men as hosts. Many attendees wore Colonial costume and a group marched from as far away as Charlestown. There were fife and drum drills, musket contests, and cannon firing. The day ended with a mock battle between the Redcoats and the Minute Men. This event became known as the Thunderbridge Muster (18) and was often held in subsequent years at Foss Farm, hosted by Carlisle’s Colonial Minutemen. Activities expanded to include a wide variety of events, including living history displays of Colonial crafts, oven baking, weapons, and music (19) The event was continued through the late 1970’s but was discontinued by the early 1980’s due to lack of interest. In its heyday, the event was enthusiastically attended and some re-enacting participants apparently refused to leave, camping overnight at Foss, firing shots into the evening, and leaving beer cans about for horrified residents to find in the morning. However, the event organizers always cleaned up.

(18)The term “Thunderbridge” refers to the iron and plank suspension bridge built in 1893 over the Carlisle half of the Concord River on what is now Route 225, replacing the bridge that was originally built around 1795 (Bull, Sydney A., History of the Town of Carlisle, Massachusetts. 1754-1920, The Murray Printing Company, Cambridge, MA, 1920; Carlisle Historical Society, Images of America: Carlisle, Arcadia Publishing, 2005. The term refers to the noise made when traveling over the bridge. The Heald House of the Carlisle Historical Society has an undated painting by Ed French of the “Thunderbridge”.
(19) Forsberg, Charlie, personal communication, 2008; Town Files – Foss Farm, Carlisle Town Hall, Carlisle, MA.

As I recall, there were a lot of demonstrations and contests like tomahawk throwing, musketry and a very long firing line of cannon.  The cannon shooting contests were crazy because they fired coffee cans filled with concrete at targets down field – the woods on the other side of the field were cleared and closed – but the Concord River was not.  My Dad recalls reports from canoeists on the river of the shot visibly skipping across the river as they paddled by.  Yikes!  Fortunately no serious injuries that I can recall.  I tried finding some pictures online and I was not able to – however, I did find a fascinating someone on Youtube who is a historical re-enactor who records from the first person point of view re-enacted battles.  Below is a re-enactment at Allaire Village – great detail on reloading the gun, marching, fixing bayonets and at the end, if you listen closely, comparisons of the battle field horns to Boromir’s Horn of Gondor!

Ok – on with my pictures!

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