Defending the Frontier at the Wentworth House 

In March 1690, a sudden attack by French and Native American raiders devastated the English settlement along the Salmon Falls River in what is now South Berwick, Maine. As the English, French and Native Americans all struggled for control of New England in the late 1600s, English colonists in the Piscataqua region lived under constant threat of attack. To demonstrate how English colonists defended their homes, historical re-enactors portraying Benjamin Church’s Company of rangers will be encamped at Rollinsford’s historic Colonel Paul Wentworth House on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18.

Considered by some to be the forerunner of today’s US Army Rangers, Benjamin Church’s Company was organized to defend English frontier settlements and used fighting tactics learned from Native Americans to carry out offensive strikes against the French and hostile Indians. In addition to displays and demonstrations of military equipment and tactics, demonstrations of early American home life and crafts will be offered from 10 am to 4 pm on both days, along with tours of the house. A donation of $5 is suggested for adults; the event is free to children and ARCH members.

To understand the conflict from the opposing side, on Saturday visitors may cross the river into South Berwick, where the company of “Les Mousquets du Roi,” French re-enactors from Montreal, along with Penobscot interpreter Ken Hamilton, will be encamped next to the Counting House Museum on Liberty Street.

The circa 1701 Wentworth House is located on Water Street in Rollinsford and is maintained by the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH).  For more information about this and other events at the Wentworth House, consult the ARCH website at paulwentworthhouse.org or on Facebook at The Colonel Paul Wentworth House.

 

Historical Committee Meeting 4/6

Historical Committee Meeting

Thursday April 6, 2017

At 6:45pm the committee will gather outside the town hall and travel to see the Pump House from the mills. After their review, an official meeting will take place at town hall.

Wentworth House Event: Winter Life in Colonial New England

Experience a colonial living history weekend with Captain John Harmon’s Snowshoe Company of Rangers at the historic Colonel Paul Wentworth House in Rollinsford, NH on Saturday and Sunday, January 14 and 15.

Reenactors portraying the winter rangers who patrolled the New England frontier during the 1740s and 1750s will demonstrate the use of flintlock muskets and traditional snowshoes, plus the clothing, equipment and tactics used by the frontier militia during conflicts with the French and their Native American allies in the mid-1700’s.

The public is invited to meet the snowshoe men on Saturday, January 14 from 10 am to 4 pm, and again on Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.  Interpreters in colonial attire will be on hand to demonstrate 18th century hearth cooking, crafts, board games and other recreational activities, and other aspects of winter life in colonial New England. Tours of the house will also be offered. A donation of $5 is suggested for adults; the event is free to children and ARCH members.

The circa 1701 Wentworth House is located on Water Street in Rollinsford and is maintained by the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH).  For more information about this and other events at the Wentworth House, consult the ARCH website at paulwentworthhouse.org or on Facebook at The Colonel Paul Wentworth House.

Captain John Harmon’s Snowshoe Company of Rangers, French and Indian War era, at the Colonel Paul Wentworth House in Rollinsford, NH, January 17, 2015.
Photograph by Ralph Morang

Nesman to Receive Heritage Award

The story of a community is told through the documents and objects people leave behind but sadly, these are often dispersed over the years. In recognition of his efforts to bring these objects home and tell our story, the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH) has chosen Robert Nesman as the recipient of the 2016 ARCH Heritage Award. Given annually to recognize significant contributions to the preservation of the history, heritage and culture of Rollinsford and the lower Salmon Falls Region, the award will be presented to Nesman this Saturday night, November 12, at the organization’s annual dinner and auction at Spring Hill in South Berwick, Maine.

Over the past twenty years Mr. Nesman has amassed a significant collection of ephemera and objects related to the history of Rollinsford. A lifelong resident of the town, he began collecting in the 1990s when he happened upon a piece from Salmon Falls and realized that more items could be found if he looked for them.

Today Nesman’s collection numbers over 500 pieces, much of it documents such as deeds, wills, letters from mill girls, advertising handbills from local businesses, and postcards but which also includes objects such as police and fire badges, items from fraternal organizations, and a bottle from Nutter’s Pharmacy. The oldest item in the collection is a deed for property in the Baer Road area dating to 1750 and bearing the name of Daniel Clements. His favorite object in his collection? “The one I haven’t found yet!” One of Nesman’s greatest pleasures is reuniting photographs and other items with families which still reside in the area, and he has also generously shared his collection with local historical societies.

A nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Rollinsford and the lower Salmon Falls region, ARCH maintains the historic Colonel Paul Wentworth House on Water Street in Rollinsford. For more information, please contact (603)742-4747 or consult the website at www.paulwentworthhouse.org.

World War II at the Wentworth House

The public is invited to stop by the Colonel Paul Wentworth House in Rollinsford, NH on Sunday, September 11 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm for a living history day showcasing America’s role in World War II.
Reenactors in period uniforms and in civilian clothing will display the uniforms, equipment and weapons of the US soldier. Visitors will be able to see a newspaper from the day after Pearl Harbor while listening to radio broadcasts from that momentous event, try out a 1940’s baseball glove, see a US machine gun crew in action, and learn about Maine and New Hampshire in World War II. 
The circa 1701 Colonel Paul Wentworth House is located on Water Street in Rollinsford and is maintained by the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH). Tours of the house will also be offered during the event. Admission is $5 for adults; the event is free to children and ARCH members. For more information about this and other events at the Wentworth House, consult the ARCH website at paulwentworthhouse.org.

Salmon Falls River Paddle

Take a unique guided tour of Rollinsford, Berwick and Somersworth by canoe or kayak on Sunday, August 7 from 1 to 3 pm. The Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH) and the Southeast Land Trust (SELT) are co-sponsoring this opportunity to learn about the historic points of interest and conservation land along the Salmon Falls River between Front Street in Rollinsford and New Dam Road in Berwick while enjoying the lovely scenery along the way.

Participants must provide their own watercraft and flotation device; a limited number of boats are available for loan but must be arranged for in advance. The registration fee is $5 for the general public; free to ARCH or SELT members. To register or request more information, email paulwentworthhouse@gmail.com or call 603-742-4747 and leave a message.

Sports History Talks at the Wentworth House

Baseball fans and bicycling enthusiasts who are interested in the histories of their respective sports won’t want to miss two up-coming talks at Rollinsford’s historic Colonel Paul Wentworth House. Both lectures are being presented in connection with “Neighborhood Entertainments: New Englanders at Play,” the exhibit on early New England sports and recreation currently on view at the Wentworth House.Zip Zamarchi will present an illustrated talk about penny farthings, bone shakers and other forerunners of the modern bicycle on Tuesday, July 26. Mr. Zamarchi is a cycling historian and an avid collector of antique bicycles and bicycling memorabilia. Several items from his extensive collection are included in the exhibit.

On Tuesday, August 9, Brian Sheehy will describe the game of baseball the way it was played by early teams such as the Portsmouth Rockinghams and the Newburyport Clamdiggers: no gloves, underhand pitching, and woolen knickerbocker uniforms. In addition to being an historian of the game, Mr. Sheehy plays base ball in the style of the 1800s with the Essex Vintage Base Ball Club.

Both talks will be presented at 7 pm, and the doors will open at 6 pm for visitors who would like to tour the exhibit prior to the presentation. Light refreshments will be served afterwards. Admission to the presentations and the exhibit is $5 for the general public and free for members of ARCH.

Maintained by the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH) as an educational and cultural center, the Colonel Paul Wentworth House is located at 47 Water Street in Rollinsford, NH. For more information, call (603)742-4747 or (603) 749-1966.