Archive for December, 2009

Sarah Sycz Leaving AHS

Monday, December 14th, 2009
In the spring and fall of each year, Sarah could be seen in a traditional 1830s costume surrounded by enthusiastic third graders.  Photo credit:  Gretchen Chingris

In the spring and fall of each year, Sarah could be seen in a traditional 1830s costume surrounded by enthusiastic third graders. Photo credit: Gretchen Chingris

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It is with a heavy heart that I announce that the Society’s Museum Educator Sarah Sycz will be leaving the Society at the end of December. In her nearly three years at the Historical Society, Sarah brought about significant and positive changes in the way the Society interacts with the Andover community. We wish Sarah all the best with her next adventure as director of the library in her home town of Kingston, New Hampshire.

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Please join us for a farewell potluck luncheon for Sarah Wednesday, December 23rd, 12:00 noon, at the Historical Society. Please RSVP to Carrie or Elaine and let us know what you would like to bring to the luncheon.

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One of Sarah’s first assigned projects was the establishment of the Andover Farmers’ Market. As Sarah began to research how to build a successful farmers’ market, she discovered that she was not the only person in town exploring the possibility of bringing a farmers’ market to Andover. Over the past three years, Sarah worked with Andover resident Libby Poland to bring the Andover Farmers’ Market to the community. Between July and October, hundreds of people now shop the market, visit the Historical Society, and enjoy the weekly craft activities and demonstrations in the Society’s Blanchard Barn.

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In 2007, Sarah also worked with former Historical Society curator Andy Grilz to reconfigure the exhibits and spaces in the Blanchard Barn. Together they created a new General Store exhibit and Print Shop activity area on the first floor of the barn. Students participating in the Society’s signature third grade program, Andover at Work, no longer climb to the second floor of the barn to experience those segments of the program. Over the year that followed, Sarah led a team of volunteers on a project to revise the now 25 year old Andover at Work program to be more efficient to manage and more enjoyable and educational for the students. Throughout, Sarah worked closely with former Andover teacher Jim Redmond, an Historical Society Board member and head of the Life Long Learning Committee, on new educational programs, community outreach, and a wide variety of new projects.

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From the 1830s to the 1950s...Sarah modeled a 1950s ballgown in the Society's Parade of Party Fashions, December 8th.

From the 1830s to the 1950s...Sarah modeled a 1950s ballgown in the Society's Parade of Party Fashions, December 8th.

This year, Sarah launched and managed the Society’s new oral history program, What’s Your Story? Through the oral history program, the Society was able to gather the personal stories of a number of community leaders before they left us forever. More recently, Sarah worked with Historical Society Office Manager Carrie Midura on a new Volunteer Guild for the Society. This group of enthusiastic volunteers meets monthly for a special program, field trip, or project.

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We will miss Sarah greatly. She brought a level of energy and professionalism to the Society that was much needed and she will be leaving behind a legacy of fine work.  Thank you, Sarah!

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Elaine Clements

Executive Director

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The Fourteen Trees of Christmas: Tree Three

Friday, December 11th, 2009

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Tree Three: All Work and No Play
Decorated by Angela McBrien
Inspired by a child’s patchwork pocket

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One of the many sweet clothespin dolls handmade for the tree

My name is Sarah. That is my pocket you see there. I made it from pieces of my mother’s old worn out dresses. My mother also let me have some scraps to make some dolls, but before I can play I must first do my chores.

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Today I must feed the chickens and the pigs. After collecting the eggs I must take some of them down to Kidder and Swift’s store. When I return my mother will need help to make our noon day meal, there will be fourteen of us for that. In the afternoon I will help my mother with the sewing and the mending. I have six brothers and their shirts always need so much mending.

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Isn't the miniature broom adorable?

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Parade of Party Fashions

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
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Erica Sycz models a gown from the 1860s

Tuesday evening, December 8th, Memorial Hall Library glittered as Historical Society volunteers modeled gowns representing 200 years of party clothes in our Parade of Party Fashions.  The room was filled as the first models, Victoria Rebal and Matt Brenckle, walked the runway in costumes from 1810.  The fashion show continued with party fashions from nearly every decade from 1810 to 2010.

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Historical Society Educator Sarah Sycz models a 1950s ballgown, while Carrie Midura provides the commentary.

We’d like to thank our models Matt Brenkle, Julia Centofanti, Raquel Goosey, Kris Ndrecka, Victoria Rebal, Corine Rosenberg, Gabriella Smith, Erica Sycz, Sarah Sycz, Elena Zopes, and Mia Zopes.  A big round of applause also goes out to Touch of Elegance Salon in Tewksbury for providing the hair styling and make up for the event.  Historical Society volunteers Carolynn Nelson and Joan Patrakis helped make the event a success, along with Memorial Hall Library’s Emily Classon.

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A Parade of Party Fashions was conceived, researched, organized, and beautifully delivered by Historical Society staff members Carrie Midura and Sarah Sycz.

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Touch of Elegance stylists worked to give every model the perfect look.

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Thank you to everyone who helped make the event a success!  You can view a slide show of the entire event on the Historical Society’s facebook page.

Costume historian and Historical Society Office Manager Carrie Midura gave the history of each fashion era as the models walked the runway.

Costume historian and Historical Society Office Manager Carrie Midura gave the history of each fashion era as the models walked the runway.

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The Fourteen Trees of Christmas: Tree Two

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

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Downhill all the Way!
Decorated by Tommy Doucette
Inspired by antique wooden skis and bamboo ski pole

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Tommy adds a finishing touch to the top of the tree

I decorated the Christmas tree with images I found online.  One image in particular was taken at a familiar location for those people who are from the area. That picture was taken at the Boston Hill Ski area. The ski area has now been closed for some time now. It was a very popular ski area for people who lived in the area. Two purchased theme ornaments distinguished themselves from the others. Can you find which ones?
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It is really cool to see how the first skis were basically two pieces of wood with two straps. When you look at the tree you will see all different types of skis that date back to the past century.
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The Fourteen Trees of Christmas: Tree One

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

As part of our holiday programming, an American Christmas Story, we’ll be adding a new tree and it’s description to the blog each day for the next fourteen days, providing an armchair tour of our history-inspired  Christmas Tree exhibit. We don’t have any clever songs to go along with our trees, but I think you’ll see that stand nicely on their own! And of course, if you’re anxious to see all the trees before our virtual tour is over, you can visit them in person at the Historical Society (97 Main Street, Andover) Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.  Now without further ado…

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Tree One: Home Cookin’
Decorated by Atria Marland Place
Inspired by antique tin reflector oven and iron toaster


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A vintage nutmeg grater hangs on the tree

In days gone by (and today still), the kitchen-hearth was the heart of the home, a place of warmth and comfort, where aromas of baking and cooking emanated throughout. What could comfort us more than the smell of a delicious custard spice pudding or a rich stew cooking over the hearth on a wintry night?

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A special family recipe is nestled among the branches

Inspired by the iron hearth cooking tools, the staff and residents of Atria Marland Place Assisted Living have filled our tree with antique kitchen gadgets and favorite family recipes for comfort foods and holiday treats, many from our own residents. We hope you’ll be inspired to break out those old cookie cutters and create the smells and warmth in your own home.

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The day in the life of a teenager in 1866

Friday, December 4th, 2009

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Wednesday Beautiful day. Went to sleigh ride in the morning with Hattie. Mr. Bates was up in the afternoon. Now he will start for Philadelphia to sty about two weeks. I cut the . . wart on my forhead which has troubled me so much and I am glad. Louise went down to have some tintypes and they were very good. Mother had some too. I went to ride with her and Kitty in the afternoon, had a splendid time.

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Friday February 2nd Mother went to Boston today and bought me a new dress

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Sunday 4th Went to Church in the morning. Test was “Be ye therefore perfect as you father in heaven is perfect”. Went down to Aunt Abbie’s in the afternoon. W. Frye was there when we got home

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Tuesday 6th Pleasant but cold. Went to the Prayer meeting. After that I had a talk with Miss Hebbard, she wanted me to be  a Christian very much and I do want to be one. She gave me a little Book “What shall I do to Honor Jesus to day” and a little card which to consecrate myself to Christ. She talked very beautiful and she is truly Christian.  Am going to try.  Father and Mother went to Haverhill to night, will be home about 10 I expect. Father left over two thousand dollars up stairs under the sink and told me if the House caught fire to run and get it. I am keeping the expenses of the whole house now. I expect to go to the dedication of the New Phillips Academy to morrow and in hopes to see our (statue?) some where.

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Wednesday 7th I did not go to the dedication as I expected to. I think it was laziness.

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Are you a writer, a poet or a genealogist?

Friday, December 4th, 2009

SOUP’S ON at the Andover Senior Center on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at noon, and the lecture is at 12:30 PM; $4.00.  Are you a writer, a poet or a genealogist?  Have you ever wondered about the process of taking a manuscript to press?  Learn from local publisher, the Cheshire Group, as they share books that have been published by local authors, ranging from a clergyman to an artist to a retired business man from Maine.  find out about three local writers who fulfilled a life-long dream of publishing their writing.  Soup, desert and drinks provided for this informative lecture.   Pre-registration required.

 

The Andover Senior Center is located on Whitter Street (the opposite end from the Town Offices)   The phone number is 978-623-8321.  I will see you there.

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