Congregational Church Centennial Celebration 1874

The status of this page is FRAGMENTARY

Centennial celebration of the Congregational Church, Wendell, Mass., Wednesday, December 2, 1874 (Amherst, Mass., H.M. McCloud, 1875)

“Address of Welcome”

by Rev. B.B. Cutler

We, residents of Wendell, cordially welcome you, visitors, each and all, to this feast of wit and flow of soul;  to these old hills and hollows, stone walls and cellars, built and dug by your fathers and ours;  to that which remains of what once was, and regret that we have not the privilege of making a better show.  But such as we have give we unto you, and cordially invite you to go with us in the past, so greatly superior to the present.  No doubt you will inquire: “Where are the forests, and the cattle upon the hills?”  Well, after you went away, enterprise came in, and we, like Esau, foolishly sold the birthright given us, and lost the blessing we might have had.  Commerce carried away the forests to build and beautify the cities and villages, paying us, it may be, honestly enough;  but vitiated appetites played the saddest game with us, so that what we might have become we are not, perhaps.  We see it, and those of us who think, regret it, but can’t help it now.  The consequence is sad enough, as you must see;  for those noble old forest trees are all fallen and gone, and in their places are ten thousand saplings that only remind us of our folly.  And the once extensive cattle-thronged fields and pastures on the hillsides, are overgrown with brush and wild weeds, and there is left about “one cattle upon the thousand hills, and nary a sheep to shear.”  But, like the prodigal, we are beginning to come to ourselves, and regret the past, and do hope that we shall soon be soundly converted, with no possibility of falling from grace, but of being kept, through faith, from the sins that have well nigh ruined our prospects.  As to the fathers and mothers, alas!  they are nearly all gone, around whose memory your thoughts cluster as you look upon the vision of other days.  Some of them have gone over the river, and the place of their sepulchres is with us unto this day.  The sacred trust we keep as well as we can, and have done it for what our scant means would allow;  and, were it suitable, we would go sorrowfully and view the place where we must shortly lie.  But many went out from us, carrying you away with them.


Wendell Old Home Day


a newspaper clipping from the files of Dick Chaisson in Athol suggests that Wendell’s OHD may not have been started until 1922 (it refers to the 1937 event as the 15th Wendell OHD, although it isn’t clear whether the tradition was continuous or there may have been breaks in it over those 15 years)

according to Ted Lewis, the event continued into the 1950s, and was generally run by the Grange and/or the Ladies Aid Society – it was revived in the late 1960s

according to Annie Diemand Bucci, Pat Judice was the person most responsible for starting the event again in the late 60s

video of late 1960s Old Home Day in Wendell by Lois Ellsworth, 2675 Simpson Mill Rd., Mt Airy, NC 27030 (see

comment by loisdedois (Lois Johnson Ellsworth), who posted it:

  • “This particular Old Home Day was the first of it’s specific kind, thought up and promoted by Pat Judice, others, and myself, brainstorming new directions for the town to go into, seeing as how we had so many new “creative back to the earth” folks who had moved into town. It certainly was a wonderful day, and seemed to bridge the gap between the old and new families, bringing a sense of understanding for all! GO WENDELL, a great little town.”+ “Looking to get this into the email boxes of all those families who are represented here, the Noyes, Fisher, Ellis, Lewis, Tenny, Wetherby, Burnett, Carey, Wilder, Pratt, Johnson, Ricketts, Diemand,Stebbins, Hildreth, and more, all these familiar wonderful families who make up this quaint, unforgettable and diverse home town of ours. Please forward this to anyone you might think would like it. Thanks, Loisdedois”

Wendell Post articles on Old Home Days:

1977 invitation to participate


founded by Frank W. Rollins (1860-1915), governor of NH, in the 1890s

  • on CowHampshire history blog, June 8, 2008:  background on the Rollins family – “Frank West Rollins, son of Edward H. & Ellen Elizabeth (West) Rollins was born 24 Feb 1860 in Concord NH and d. 27 October 1915 in Boston MA. He is buried at Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord NH. He received his B.S. degree from MIT, and a degree of A.M. from Dartmouth College. He then studied law at Harvard University. He practiced law in Concord NH, and was head of the firm of E.H. Rollins & Sons, bankers of Boston MA, New York, and San Francisco. He was also a director of the Great Western Power Company. He was Adjutant General of NH from 1890-95; President of the State Senate from 1895-6, and from 1899-1901 he was Governor of New Hampshire. He was a trustee of St. Paul’s School in Concord NH, the Concord Public Library, the Orphan’s Home of Concord, and MIT. He was a former president of the New England Business Federation, and was President of the New Hampshire Good Roads League, the Church Settlement Society, and was a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce. He belonged to many clubs including the University Union, Exchange, Authors, Dartmouth, Technology of Boston, the Wonolancet, Snow Shoe and Beaver Meadow Golf of Concord NH. He married 6 Dec 1882 to Katherine Wallace Pecker, dau of Frank H. & Anna H. (Wallace) Pecker. She b. 10 Aug 1861 in VT. He was an author of several books including “The Ring in the Cliff (1877), The Twin Hussars,” “Break-o-Da Tales” (1895), “The Lady of Violets,” (1898). Today the Governor Frank West House can be found at 135 N. State Street in Concord NH. His office was located at 19 Milk Street in Boston MA.
  • and piece by Janice Brown on “New Hampshire: The Origin of “Old Home Week” and the Rollins Family”
  • his obit in the NY Times mentions that he pleaded guilty to customs fraud after a 1910 incident after he returned from England on the Lusitania
  • New Hampshire’s Opportunity,” an essay by Rollins in The New England Magazine Volume 22 Issue 5 (July 1897) in which he sets out his vision for how NH should and could attract summer tourists as its next big economic opportunity