History and the arts featured in 2011

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Bolton - posted Thu., Dec. 29, 2011
Cliff Massey looks through the new 'Images of America: Bolton' for familiar faces and locations. The Massey homestead, known as Fernwood Farm, is featured in one section of the book. Photo by Martha Marteney.
Cliff Massey looks through the new 'Images of America: Bolton' for familiar faces and locations. The Massey homestead, known as Fernwood Farm, is featured in one section of the book. Photo by Martha Marteney.

History and the arts were common themes for Bolton in 2011.

On Jan. 19, the Bolton Historical Society held a book-signing for Hans DePold’s latest book, “Images of America: Bolton.” The book features more than 200 photographs dating from 1850 to the present, with 90 percent of them taken prior to 1990. “It’s a big thing for the Historical Society,” said BHS President John Toomey. “It’s the second book in just a few years.”

The Bolton High School Drama Club presented an original production, “We Really Wish This Wasn’t a Musical,” on March 25, written by BHS senior Andy Catanese. Catanese wrote the play and composed the music for his senior project, and nearly 20 percent of the school’s population was involved in musical.

The fifth annual Artists of Bolton art show was held in May, sponsored by the Bolton Land Trust. The exhibit, which included 90 paintings by Bolton residents, took place at the Early New England Homes campus on Route 85 in Bolton. “There’s quite a connection between much of the artwork and the Bolton Land Trust,” said Bolton Land Trust Board of Directors member Richard Treat, “because many are pastorals, animals and nature scenes.” The theme of the show was “Art of Birding,” which tied into the bird walk hosted by the land trust.

The Bolton Heritage Farm enjoyed much attention this year, including receiving a grant for the stabilization of the sill and carrier beams. The town previously received grants to stabilize the foundation and for re-roofing.

On June 22, Revolutionary War tents were set up in front of the Bolton Town Hall, as marchers staged a reenactment for the 280th anniversary of Compte de Rochambeau’s march with 4,000 French troops from Newport, R.I., through Connecticut to helped General George Washington defeat the British in Yorktown, Va. The Bolton Historical Society provided dinner to the participants.

Three Bolton residents - Chris Galo, Mike Muro and Charlie Treat - transformed the 18th-century Ruggles Homestead into a brilliant summer showcase for local artists in their 20s. According to Treat, the artists responded to the small-town appeal of the show, which received great support from the community. “It gives the community a chance to see a different side of Bolton,” said Muro.

Bolton Heritage Week was celebrated throughout the week of Aug. 21, with many activities at the Heritage Farm. “This week was wonderful,” said Sandra Pierog, chair of the Bolton Heritage Farm Commission, about Bolton Heritage Farm Week. “We’ve had a lot of people at the farm who’ve never been here.” The highlight of the week was the “Battle of Rose Farm,” which was a re-enactment of a typical 18th-century encampment, complete with a depiction of tactical maneuvers, had the British army managed to strike the French, American and Spanish soldiers at Camp No. 5. Due to the impending tropical storm, the full mock battle was canceled, although some 200 reenactors still set up camp and conducted scrimmages.

After several years of contemplation and more than a year of construction, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bolton High School renovation project was held on Nov. 20, with tours of the facility and a community reception. Superintendent of Schools Paul K. Smith said the new high school symbolized a new era of education. After the community of Bolton came together to build the school, he said, “Now this school will build the community of Bolton.”

The Bolton Heritage Farm was again featured on Nov. 26, with a joint event between the Bolton Land Trust and Boy Scout Troop 73. “This is one of the most beautiful properties in Bolton,” said Richard Treat, a member of the Bolton Land Trust Board of Directors, about the Farm. “We’re lucky to have all these assets.” The walk drew some 70 community members for a 2-mile walk from the Bolton Heritage Farm to Camp Johnson.

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