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Friday, Saturday and Sunday Evenings 
14th Annual Revival 


<<J Mie 0M Herriestead" 

Potash Bowl Swanzey, New Hampshire 


^Harold & <£rew 



Uncle Josh 
Willard L. Thompson 


Aunt Matilda 
Ethel Dudley 

7/2 e Old Homestead 

DENMAN THOMPSON'S parents, Capt. Rufus Thompson and the former Anne 
Hathaway Baxter, daughter of Dr. Henry Baxter of Swanzey, lived in Beech 
Wood, Pa. for a short time and it was during this time that Denman was born. 
After returning to Swanzey, Denman attended Mt Caesar Academy during the 
winter, and worked on the farm summers. 

At the age of 17 Denman left home and joined a circus in Boston, riding with 
the opening pageant, and working with the wrestlers and tumblers. Later he 
went on the stage and played comedy parts. 

At the age of 42, Denman Thompson wrote a skit characteristic of New Eng- 
land life which he called "Joshua Whitcomb" and which character part he por- 
trayed. This skit was later developed into "The Old Homestead" play which 
opened in the Boston Theatre on April 5, 1S86. The play toured all the major cities 
of the United States and its success was tremendous. Denman played the character 
lead of "Uncle Josh". It is said that he played this part 15,000 times, a single role, 
longer than any other actor on the American stage. 

The theme of the play is built around the age-old story of the Prodigal Son 
and if Denman had searched the world over he could have found no other theme 
which would touch as many human hearts as this. Denman embodied in tins 
play the finer yet homlier characteristics of New England life — simplicity, rugged 
honesty, piety, benevolence, partly hid beneath a rough exterior. Everywhere his 
drama of Yankee life has stirred the hearts of men. 

In 1939 the Hopkins P.T.A. and the Swanzey Congregational Church joined 
m sponsoring a revival of this famous old play. It was a difficult task but the in- 
centive was there, for this was no ordinary play — this was practically a living 
page from the history of Swanzey. The original script, which is faithfully fol- 
lowed in the revivals was presented by Mrs. Ethel Homes and Miss Anita 
Gilpatrick to the Old Homestead Association. 

The Swanzey Players take great pride in the authenticity of their production; 
it has all the heart-warming philosophy of "Uncle Josh", the Yankee wit of "Cy 
Prime" and "Seth Perkins", and the sympathetic story of "Rube Whitcomb," 

The audience, as of yore, still thrills when the yoke of oxen, drawing the 
"last load o hay" passes in front of the stage; when the Salvation Army lassies 
march by singing in front of the original Grace Church scene, and when "Josh" 
finds his erring son on the sidewalks of New York. 

All in Swanzey are proud to give their services to further this wonderful ex- 
ample of neighborhood cooperation; and each year the profits derived from this 
production are equally divided among the four churches of Swanzey — Catholic 
and Protestant, and the Community Houses of North and East Swanzey. 

"God Bless You Denman Thompson, jot the good y do our hearts 

With the music an the memories o' youth, 

God Bless Ye for the facirtty that tops all human arts 

The good at Yankee faculty of Truth," 

— Eugene Field 

Theodore Moe 

Harold Drew 

: ^misiggm; 

Aunt Matilda and Cy Prime 
Ethel Dudley and Arthur Hanrahan 

i |§j| 

Uncle Josh 
Willard L. Thompson 

Rickety Ann 
Dorothy Barrett 

Happy Jack 
Maurice Sullivan 


MANY PEOPLE have perhaps wondered why this amphitheater is called the 
Potash Bowl. During the early part of the last century and possibly earlier much 
of the business of the general stores was by barter and one of the items taken in 
trade was wood ashes. As early as 1800 the proprietor of one of these stores 
in Swanzey, advertised in the New Hampshire Sentinel that he would pay Is 6d 
for good wood ashes or would allow that much in trade for English and West 
India goods such as West India rum at 5s 11 pence per gallon, sugar, 7 pounds 
for 6s, and other articles in proportion. 

The ashes taken in trade by at least one of these stores near this amphi- 
theater were stored here, and later processed in huge iron kettles to produce 
potash, lye, etc. for making soap and for other uses. Part was used here and the 
rest sent to Boston. 

It was therefore due to the early use of this site and to its natural contour 
that it was thought fitting to call it the Potash Bowl. 

The old road that passed by the Potash Bowl, once known as the Boston 
Road, was at one time the most traveled road in Cheshire County. Most of the 
travel from this section of the state as well as much of that of Vermont going to 
Boston passed over this road. Due to this heavy travel there were at various 
times as many as eight places in Swanzey Center used as hotels or inns for enter- 
taining the traveling public. The last building used as a hotel was on the site of 
the present Grange Hall adjacent to the Potash Bowl. 

Near the Potash Bowl, to the west of the Carpenter Home, is the site of the 
first church or meeting house which was built around 1764-5. Before it was en- 
tirely completed it was damaged by the hurricane of 1765. Tradition says that 
the members of a church council holding a meeting in the church had hardly 
left the building when the hurricane passed and turned the building one quarter 
round, so that it was made to face the east instead of the south. 

The Mt. Caesar Union Library across from the Potash Bowl was formerly 
the Mt. Caesar Seminary and Swanzey Academy which was founded in 1843. 
It flourished for several years and many of its students later became prominent 
in the industrial and educational life of the country. The library now houses in 
addition to the library an extensive and interesting collection of relics and 
mementos of the past. 

The fields to the east and south of the library were used for military musters 
during that period when all able-bodied men from 18 to 40 were required to 
serve in the militia. At one muster in 1810 as many as four thousand troops 

— Leon A. Woodward 


Uncle Josh and Francois Fogarty 
Willard Thompson and Robert E. Parent 

Uncle Josh Looking for Bootjack 




THE FIRST SETTLERS came to Swanzey in 1733 and the Potash Bowl is in 
the approximate center of this early settlement. The township was chartered by 
New Hampshire in 1753 and took the name of Swanzey. It is not known by whose 
influence the town took this name. Some of the early settlers possibly had con- 
nection with Swansea in Wales or from Swansea, Mass. 

The first Meeting House was built on Meeting House Hill in 1755. (This 
site is marked by a stone tablet a few hundred feet to the north-west at the rear 
of the Carpenter Home). It is perhaps doubtful whether it was entirely com- 
pleted before it was damaged by the hurricane in 1765 and the damages then 
caused were not wholly repaired until 1771. The building was "50 by 40 feet on 
the ground and 22 feet posts. A gallery was on three sides, a row of pews around 
the sides of the house, and back of the body seats; and likewise a row around in 
the gallery." This building was used as a church building and town house until 
about the year 1776 when a new building was erected by the town ( where the 
present Town Hall stands). This building was used by both the Congregational 
and Universahst Societies until 1836 when the Congregationalists built their own 
church — the Brick Meeting House. 

The Baptist Church ( mentioned in the play by Uncle Josh and Henry Hop- 
kins in Acts II and III) is now the West Swanzey Community Church where 
church services will be held this year. The church was formed in 1792 and the 
meeting house erected in 1804, "standing lengthwise north and south, thirty-six 
feet in width by sixty feet in length, with a gallery on the east side — box pews 
on the floor and a line of pews in the rear of the gallery — the seats of the pews 
were hung with hinges and by custom were raised during the time of prayer, and 
the Amen 3 was the signal for the falling of the seats, causing a clattering some- 
what like that of heavy musketry. 

The Mt. Caesar Seminary was established in 1842. Denman Thompson at- 
tended the seminary from 1847 to 1850 during the winter months and worked 
with his father at the carpenter's trade the rest of the year. Three winter terms 
at Mt. Caesar Seminary represents all the time he spent in acquiring a higher 
education through school media. The Mt. Caesar Union Library Association was 
formed in 1880 and, in 1885, by deed of Quitclaim by Mr. George Carpenter, the 
old Academy building was presented to the Library Association, subject to the 
following provisions: — "That it shall always remain where it now stands; that it 
shall never be sold or transferred under any circumstances whatever; that it shall 
never be used for a hotel or lodging house; that it shall never be used for the sale 
or use of any intoxicating liquors or drinks whatever; that it shall never be used 
for dancing, card playing, gambling or skating ... it shall always be kept for 
literary purposes and for the promotion of knowledge and intelligence among the 
inhabitants . . . and as long as the United States remain free and independent 
the boys in the neighborhood shall have the right unmolested, to ring the bell on 
each succeeding Fourth of July." (This deed may be seen in the Library, as well 
as many interesting and historical relics, valuable for their antiquity.) 

( Taken in part from History of Swanzey, N. H., 1734 to 1890, 
by Benjamin Read) 



■■«"■■ II 

PREVIOUS to the year 1880 
little is known of the history of 
the Baptist Meeting House as 
it eanie to be known in later 
years. However, what little in- 
formation we have concerning 
it would indicate that it really 
came into being in the year 
1792 with twenty-five charter 

The first meeting of tliis 
church on record was held eight 
years later on April 18th, 1800 
in what was then known as the 
"Corner School House." This 
record is rather vague, however, 
in diat it did not record the 
names of either the moderator 
or the clerk who participated. 

It was later recorded that 
on October 13, 1803 the church 
united with the "Leyden Bap- 
tist Association" at Guilford, 
Mass. and in the year 1809 by 
her own request was dismissed 
from said Association and unit- 
ed with the "Dublin Baptist As- 
sociation" of N. H. She is still 
a member of the latter Associa- 
tion in good standing. A period 
of 146 years. 

According to the records 
at hand it appears that the 
church was not finished imme- 
diately at the time of erection 
— - — in 1804, for it is recorded that 

in 1814 the exterior of the Meeting House was finished at a cost of $400.00, and in March 
1820 the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars was raised to complete the interior.. 

Twenty-three years later, in 1843, extensive alterations were made throughout and it 
was at this time that the original box pews were replaced with the more modern type. 

Again in 1873 a committee was chosen to remodel and repair the Meeting House. This 
committee raised the necessary funds and went about the task assigned to it and in June 1874 
the work of remodeling was completed and the church was dedicated to the service of God 
in due form. 

This Church, and the Methodist Church, after having served for many years as two 
separate bodies decided at last that the Kingdom of God could be better served if they could 
come together and work as one church to the honor and glory of God. So, on January 22, 
1939 forward steps were taken to this end. Several meetings were held during the next foul 
months; and finally on the seventh day of Mav, 1939 the work of organization was completed 
and the two churches became one under the official name, West Swanzey Community Church, 
and under that name she has carried on for the past sixteen years. 

A church, like a home, needs to be remodeled occasionally for the good of all concerned; 
therefore, with this thought in mind, in the winter of 1946 plans got underway for another 
remodeling Job. A committee was appointed to raise the necessary funds for this purpose, with 
the result that a new Altar, chancel, parapet, lectern, pulpit, organ and chimes were installed, 
a carpet was laid in the chancel and a runner in the middle aisle, and two beautiful memorial 
windows set, one in the back and the other in front over the Altar. These were all given in 
memoriam. The auditorium, vestrv and kitchen were redecorated all at a cost of about 
S9000.0Q. On the 18th of April, 1947 the church was again rededicated with appropriate 

Thus the old Meeting House has stood the stress and storms of time, in war and in peace, 
sorrow and joy, as a beacon light in the center of the community. Her voice is still proclaiming 
the unsearchable riches of Christ. "And whosoever will may come." 

— Rev. R. W. E. Mackenzie 

^be Old SBdptist 3rieeting ^House, %Dest S'W^n^ey, 'where the &ld 
^Homestead Sunday Service 'will be held at n a.m., $tdy yx. 


QUfmxlj program 

(Kmmmuuty Qlluu-ch (®Iie ©Jit pajittat ( $feeilug 3Umts*) Best ^lumiscg,^.^ 
Rev. R. W. E. MacKenzie, Pastor Barbara Graver, Organist 

SUNDAY, JULY 31st, 1955 

Organ Meditation "ADAGIO'' Ducoudray 

Processional: Hymn No. 300 

Call to Worship: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength and 
faith, through prayer. For prayer is the sacred key which fits the door between 
man's soul and God." 

Response: "Come, then, let us worship Christ the Lord with hearts sincere, 
through songs of praise and prayer. Amen." 

Invocation; (In unison) 

Almighty God, author of eternal light; illumine our hearts by the light 
of thy grace, that our lips may praise thee, and that our worship may 
glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Lord's Prayer 

Response ( Organ ) 

Responsive Reading: (Selection 68) "Coming Back Home" 

Gloria Patri 

Anthem " O Morn of Beauty " (Sibelius) Old Homestead Male Quartet 

The Scripture Lesson: Mark 9:1-7 

Tenor Solo "If With All Your Heart" (From 'Elijah" — Mendelssohn) 

Richard Hutchms 
Pastoral Prayer 

Response (Old Homestead Male Quartet) 

Offertory "Andante Pastorale" (Stephens) 


Anthem "Peace I Leave With You" (Roberts) Oid Homestead Male Quartet, 

Ken Hallenbeck — Soloist 
Sermon: Regal Companionship 

Hymn: No. 384 


Threefold Amen Old Homestead Male Quartet 

Postlude "March From Tennhauser" (Wagner) 

The pastor and people of the Swanzey Center Church are participating in 
this, the annual "Old Homestead" Sunday Service. Rev. Herbert Buhler will 


The "Old Homestead" Double Male Quartet is furnishing the music. Prof. J. 
Edward Bouvier, Director and Guest Organist. 

Mrs. Maguire 
Irene Wood 

One of the Finest 
Kendall Page 

Eb. Ganzey (Willard H. Thompson) 

Rickety Ann (Dorothy Barrett) 


-M .' 

Happy Jack (Maurice Sullivan) Seth Perkins {Harlan Barrett) Cy Prime ( Walter Hanrahan) 














Mildred Wilson 
Lauralee Hooper 

Scenery & Stage 
Leland B. Bogue 
Norman Cota 
Walter Fred 
Chester Guillow 
Philip Woodward 
John Madden 
Edgar Madden 
Karl Boes 
Charles Hanrahan 
Foster Martin 
Wesley Castor, Jr. 


Marion Haskins 
Nathalie Tisdale 
Marguerite Moe 
Frank Tisdale 
Leon Haskins 
Hazel Wheeler 
Dewitt Skinner 
Amy E. Wright 
Albert Armstrong 

Wardrobe Assistants 
Jean Belding 
Arline Lane 
Bertha Fairbanks 
Pauline Ridley 
Edna Stone 
Barbara Emery 
Rita Stone 


Clark Whittemore 
Caryle Lane 
Pete Holbrook 


Everett Simonds 
Carle Bell 
Lyman Lane 
Dan Emery 
Don O'Brien 

Souvenir Sales 
Rev. R.W.E. MaeKenzie 
Elsie Navish 
Jeanne MaeKenzie 
Ruth Aron 


Harlan Barrett 
Philip Woodard 
Perley Safliord 
Helen Kershaw 
Evelyn Thompson 
Elsie Navish 
Roger Emery 
John Wrigbt 
Leon A. Woodward 

Grounds and 

Warren Tracy 
Douglas Navish 
Edward Aron 
Norman Staubaek 
Morris Wilber 
Edwin C. Landers 
Arthur Duke 
Dwight Stone 
Carroll Dunham 

Souvenir Program 
R.ev. R.W.E. MaeKenzie 
Elsie Navish 
Leon A. Woodward 

Ernest Dunham 
Richard Goodale 
Paul Talbot 
Herman Twombly 

Ellsworth Wilber 
Harry Dunham 
Edward Bourassa 
Richard Keating 
Louis Kirhy 

Box Office Assistants 
Mary Bogue, Chr. 
Jacob Hackler 
Roger Emery 
Ralph Winham 

Ticket Takers 

Raymond Lane 
Frank Domina 
Francis Stone 
Elmer Barton 
Borden Webb 


Austin Curtis 
Fred Frieze 
Cecil Plummer 
Rodney Plummer 
Henry Oski 
Ralph Plummer 
Oscar Bloom 
Elbert WUlard 
Paul Fisher 
Austin Curtis, Jr. 
Carl Jef ts, Jr. 
Leo Miller 
Al Dunnell 
Reginald Grover 
Waino Kauppi 
Don Guyette 
Joe Budzir 

Information &. 
Registration Booths 

Evelyn Thompson 
Helen Kershaw 
FJsie Navish 

Fire Protection 
Robert Goodale, Capt, 

Grange Supper 
Willard Adams 
Anna Goodale 
Elise Adams 
Thomas Fairhurst 
Harry Adams 
Veronica Goodale 
Myrtie Hackler 
Harriet Corliss 

Church Supper 
Phyllis Tracy, Chr. 

G. Marsh 
E, Jenks 
H. Lewis 
M. Goodell 
E. Devoid 
R. Parent 
R. Pollard 


Chas. H. Miller, Chief 
Ralph Rines 
Max Brink 
William MeLellan 
Randolph Lavigne 
Westly Braley 
Robert Cornwell 
John Dennis 
Donald Duquette 


Ethel Barrett 

Hazel Wheeler Snelling 

Mary Bogue 


J. Edward Bouvier 
Harlan Barrett 
Mary Stone 
Myrtie Hackler 


Dorothy C. Robinson, 

Mildred Cross 
Gladys Starkey 
Francis Small 
Zora Lane 
Mary Whittemore 
Myrtle Dunham 
Edith Cummings 

P.T.A. Refreshment 


Charlotte Skinner, Chr. 


E. Swanzey Fire Dept. 

K. Ridley 

E. Ridley, Sr. 

E. Ridley, Jr. 

L. O'Brien 

R. Rines 

H. Johnson 

E. Morse 

M. O'Brien 

Max Brink 

Grace High 
Clara Gomarlo 
Esther Blake 
Vera Blake 
Myrna Curtis 
Nancy Bradley 
Patricia Sarsfleld 
Mary J. Perry 
Martha Perry 
Patricia Armstrong 
Norma Richardson 
Ceona Martel 
Barbara Stone 
Barbara Bussiere 

"Where Is My 
Wardering Boy 

Tonight ?" 
George Lovell 


Fred Hebert 


Geraldine Plamondon 


Robert Prince 

Gordon H. Sargent " 

Richard Bogue 

Double Male Quartet 

John Russell 

Herbert Capron 

Richard Hutching 

Frank Niles 

Fred Hebert 

Joseph Kershaw 

George Lovell 

Ken Hollenbeck 

Salvation Army 

Fred Hebert 

Herbert Capron 

Robert Calef, Jr. 

Evelyn Thompson 

Myrtie Hackler 

Mary Stone 

Alice Blackmore 

Helen Kershaw 

Mary Bogue 

Amy Wright 

Rose Dubois 

Hazel Wheeler 

Ethel Barrett 

Driver of Oxen 
Robert Smith 

Owner of Oxen 
Charles Richardson 


Joshua Whitcomb Willard L. Thompson 

Aunt Matilda Ethel Dudley 

Cy Prime Walter Hanrahan 

Happy Jack Maurice Sullivan 

Eh Ganzey Willard H. Thompson 

Rickety Ann Dorothy Barrett 

Frank Hopkins Theodore Richardson 

Annie Hopkins :.. Edith Armstrong 

John Freeman Jerome J. Rogers 

Nellie Freeman Josephine Richardson 

Maggie O'Flaherty Joyce LeFebvre 

Henry Hopkins Leslie J. Eraser 

The Dude Clifford Coles 

Mrs. Hopkins Marion Haskins 

Alternate — Rua Ridley 

Judge Patterson Leon Haskins 

Nellie Patterson Josephine Richardson 

Francois Fogarty Robert F. Parent 

A Drunken Man Albert Armstrong 

Rueben Whitcomb Edward Jenks 

Hoboken Terror William Mitchell 

One of the Finest Kendall Page 

U. S. Letter Carrier Lester Pelletier 

Mrs. Maguire Irene Wood 

Seth Perkins - Harlan Barrett 

Mrs. Murdock Ethel Barrett 

Stratton Girls .. Esther Blake, Joyce LeFebvre, Karen Stone 

Warren Ellis Walter Parker 

Les Holbrook Harold Bell 

Dave Willard Anton C. Bowie 

Jew's Harp Laverne Bushnell 

Melodeon Myrtie Hackler 



Homestead Farm of the Whitcombs 
iri Swanzey 



Interior Hopkins Mansion, New York 



Grace Church at Night, New York 


Kitchen in the Old Homestead in 



It is impossible, in an undertaking of this size, to properly credit all who con- 
tribute to its success. There are many people in Swanzey and elsewhere whose 
names do not appear on this programme, but have had a large part in the work 
of "putting on the show". 

We wish to thank these folks and everyone else for their unselfish help, then- 
constant effort and their splendid cooperation. 

The Directors of The Old Homestead Association 

officers of the old homestead association 

President Theodore E. Moe 

Vice-President Harlan G. Barrett 

Treasurer Mary F. R. Bogue 

Secretary Elsie C. Navish 

Harry Dunham Perley F. Safford Harlan G. Barrett 

Warren Tracy Francis Stone Ivan L. Scribner 

Ellsworth Wilber 


General Manager Harlan G. Barrett 

Asst. Gen. Manager Warren Tracy 

Supervisor of Police and Parking: Supervisor of Grounds: Warren Tracy 

Ivan L. Scribner Supervisor of Seating: Francis Stone 

Supervisor of Refreshments: PntiiiVitT ■ Harlan Barrett 

Ellsworth Wilber Publicity. Harlan Barrett 

Ushers: Grace High, Clara Gomarlo Fire Protection: Harry Dunham 

Souvenirs: Rev. R. W. E. MacKenzie Advance Ticket Sales: Evelyn Thompson 

Overnight Reservations: Advertising: Roger Emery, 

Helen S. Kershaw Philip Woodward 

Supervisor of Box Office: Electricians: Richard Sloan, Lyle 

rt . ■ rm M £ r y^R; Bogue Talbot, Clifton Hills 
Director of Play: Harold F. Drew 

Make-up Dorothy C. Drew Director of Music: J. Edward Bouvier 

Stage Manager: Edwin E. Brewer Supervisor of Music: Harlan Barrett 

Asst. Manager: Kenneth K. Lane Scenic Designer: Leland Bogue 

Wardrobe Mistress: Jean Belding Asst. Scenic Designer: Mildred B. Wilson 

Director of Lighting: Everett Simonds Master of "Props" Leon H. Haskins 

Sound Engineers: Clark Whittemore, Asst. Master of "Props" Carroll Dunham 

Pete Holbrook, Caryle Lane Exhibits: Dorothy Robinson 


Director J. Edward Bouvier 

Manager Harlan G. Barrett 

Harlan Barrett Carol Bernier Frank Blackington 

Richard Bogue Barbara Bernier Carleton Russell 

Rose Marie Niles Charles Banner Robert Calef, Jr. 

Fred Story, Jr. Harold Bernier Edwin Sterling 

William Zimmerman Francis Wheeler Edgar Reed 

Cecil Nash Harold Tyler Dominic King 

Herbert White Philip Barrett Anton Bowie 

Robert E. Bethen Carol Croteau Frank Niles 

Laverne Bushnell Herman Hill Solon D. Connors 

This Play is produced by special arrangement 

with the 

WALTER H_ BAKER CO. of Boston, Mass. 

Tentative Dates 1956 — JULY 20-21-22— FULL OF THE MOON 

"Now don't let this be your last visit to THE OLD H&MESTEAD"