Submitted by Patricia Pellegrini, Chairperson, 300th Anniversary Committee
What events happened at the [Job Lane] house and barn this year? Well, the usual events (open house tours, gardening, mowing, children’s activities, etc.) plus a few special ones happened.
Don Corey and Ralph Hammond co-chaired an archaeological dig for 6 ten-year-olds on two test pit sites behind the house and kitchen. Sharon McDonald, Judy Barber, and Pat Pellegrini completed that team. This committee really wanted to do this, but we also had some hesitations as we did not want to destroy any future archaeological digs on this particularly historic ground. Mina Rosecan, an archaeologist and Bedford High School Social Studies teacher, met with us in May and agreed to be our volunteer consultant. We also consulted the report of a 1976 dig done by archaeologists from Brown University which Don found in the Bedford Historic Society archives. As it happened, we only needed Mina for one meeting, but it was comforting to know that she was there for us should further advice be needed. Ralph had participated in digs before. He documented the children’s found artifacts each night and wrote the final report, copies of which can be found at the town library and in the Historic Society archives. Jennifer Zhang, a high school junior and member of the Rotarians’ Interact Club, helped bag and label artifacts. Our crew of young people included Vincent Canciello, Kayla Casserly, TJ Mead, Justin Morris, Paris Stone, and Kathrine Surgay who registered for this activity through the town recreation department. Some of the interesting artifacts they found which dated to the 18th century included a pearl ware plate shard, a clay pipe stem, and some handmade nails. When asked what they liked best about this activity, comments included: “I am going to be archaeologist when I grow up; have want to ever since I can remember” (Vincent); “This is something that usually only grown-ups get to do” (Kayla); and “This was the best camp ever!” (TJ Mead). How successful is that? Click to read about this summer’s dig in The Bedford Citizen.
The public was invited to join Ralph Hammond, Sharon McDonald, Judy Barber, Lee Yates, and the two Pats (Leiby and Pellegrini) on two Saturdays to learn how to make artisan paper from recycled paper and plants. We are considering offering this as a workshop through the town recreation department sometime next year.
Members of the Garden Club, represented by Kathryn Rifkin and our own Jeannette Pothier, offered advice on the uses of herbs during one open house. Sharon McDonald also wrote an article about colonial herb uses which is available to those who are interested. This adds to another article which Jeannette wrote many years ago and is also available. Read about the herb garden in The Bedford Citizen.
Lee Yates held children’s activities in the barn on the second Sunday Open House each month. These included such events as kite-making and flying, colonial games, and making ice cream, just to name a few. Sometimes Lee and Sharon led the children in songs. Another time, Don Corey helped them make apple cider from his press. These children’s activities have done much to draw more people to the house. Sometimes, they just came for the children’s activity in the barn, but often the families stayed for a house tour. Sometimes people who were just driving by became curious enough to join us when they wondered what was going on in that barn. If they could not stay just then, they made a note to join us for another open house.
Judy Barber chaired the committee (Sharon, Lee, and Pat P) which held an art contest for anyone between the ages of 6 and 106. The theme was, “Show us what is special about the Job Lane House, barn, or grounds.” Lee Yates made sure that this event was well advertised on- line, in the Bedford Minute Man, and in posters around town. The committee welcomed the public on two Saturdays to sketch and take photographs. The parameters were 2 or 3 dimensions, original artwork on paper in any medium, and photography. Judy planned this event right down to every detail: rules, age groupings, labeling, retrieval, and awards. Judy and Pat P were judges. Eighteen winning entries were on display at our FJLH booth on Bedford Day where Sharon distributed postcards advertising the October 6th Birthday Party and the two Pats served free birthday cake. Particular place awards were announced at the 300th Birthday Party. Click here to see the image that was Best in Show and see the full list of winners.
Lee Walus videotaped our 300th Birthday party. It may be available soon on local cable television: channel 9 for Comcast or channel 8 for Verizon customers. Please check the Bedford Citizen for cable programming.
The final special event for our 300th year was a poem written by Ruth Gambeki Bragg in the voice of “Martha Lane.” Ruth plans to develop this further into a book. We look forward to its publication.
We are very grateful to all the people who helped to make our 300th year special: officers and members of FJLH as well as members of the public (both children and adults) who cared enough to participate. On behalf of the FJLH, I would like to thank especially the members of the 300th anniversary committee: Judy Barber, Don Corey, Ralph Hammond, Mike Hand, Sharon McDonald, Pat Leiby, and Lee Yates. It was their creativity, generosity, diligence, and dedication that made this special year possible.