Through the planning efforts of our co-hostesses, Aroline Godbout, Hazel Gott and Ruth Albert, all descendants of Signer Dr. Josiah Bartlett, our meeting in New Hampshire was uniquely personal. Taking a little different tack on our traditional Friday schedule, members met at the Ashworth Hotel by the Sea in Hampton Beach in time to bus to Portsmouth to view the home of Signer William Whipple. Afterwards, Board Members walked to the Rusty Hammer Restaurant to conduct business while spouses and guests toured the sights of historic Portsmouth on their own. After the Board Meeting, everyone regrouped at the Rusty Hammer for an informal buffet supper.
Saturday morning we headed for Exeter and the American Independence Museum, where our museum hosts made a special effort to retrieve their Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence from its storage vault for our exclusive viewing. Separating into two groups, tour guides from the Exeter Historical Association took us through the Folsom Tavern and the Ladd Gilman House. From there we continued a walking tour of the town of Exeter including seeing such things as Philips Exeter Academy and the town square and stopped by the Congregational Church where several members took the opportunity to sit on Abraham Lincoln’s pew.
From Exeter we traveled to Kingston to the home of Ruth Albert and her Signer Dr. Josiah Bartlett for a boxed lunch and hot apple cider. What a treat to relax in such a historic setting and tour the house at will. A short walk across the street was the Church on the Plains where the General Meeting was conducted. Following the meeting, members gathered at the tomb of Josiah Bartlett to pay our respects.
Returning to the Ashworth Hotel, we enjoyed a Saturday night banquet and an insightful presentation on the New Hampshire Signers from guest speaker, Jere Daniel, Professor of History, Emeritus at Dartmouth College. This meeting did indeed have a special, small town intimacy to it that all very much appreciated. Thank you Aroline, Hazel and Ruth for a job well done.
Lawrence “Laurie” M. Croft
1st Vice President-General