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Back among the hills

old-home-day[NOTE:  The full version of this article by Cathy Stanton originally appeared in the Greenfield Recorder on July 17, 1999, as “Franklin County comes home:  Old Home Day is a century-old tradition to boost civic pride.”]

The nearest public transportation was miles away, and the only way to get to the pretty hilltop town was by what one visitor called “the strenuous Up route.”

Nonetheless, people started gathering early in the morning for a day of games, picnics, music, and visiting with neighbors.  In the afternoon, two scratch teams faced off on the baseball diamond.  A local band played long into the evening.  “These Old Home occasions,” the same visitor remarked, “retain their popularity to an unusual degree.”

The comment was made in August of 1916–but it might have been referring to last weekend’s Old Home Day in Rowe, or to any of the other Old Home Days celebrations that survive in Franklin County in 1999.  The combination of sports, music, and food–and the community goodwill they generate–have changed very little in the past hundred years… Continue reading