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Ludlow Celebrates 250 Years

Ludlow Celebrates 250th Birthday

It was a weekend that many will remember as Ludlow celebrated its 250th anniversary of its creation when Benning Wentworth, the Royal governor of New Hampshire, signed the charter that brought Ludlow into existence.

Beginning with a more formal presentation on Friday, September 16, the actual date of the charter's approval in 1761, the gathering crowd witnesses the actual reading of the charter by Newton Rose, a student at Black River High School.  The charter, while full of 18th century legalese language, did spell out some key points, some of which still exist today.

The first year's rent, payable to the honorable Royal Governor, of course, was an ear of Indian corn.  Thereafter the rent was to be much more substantial in terms of real money.  Those who were to settle in Ludlow were not to cut down pine trees since the Royal Navy coveted them as possible masts for its ships.  It also set the date for the first and subsequent town meetings; in this instance the second week in March.  That, of course, has changed slightly to the first week in March.

The following Saturday, a large crowd estimated in excess of 300, witnessed a town parade featuring the American Legion color guard, the Black River High School Band, a number of marchers from a variety of Ludlow and area groups, some cyclists riding those huge one-wheel contraptions that defy gravity, and the Ludlow Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and Police Department.

But the culmination of the day had to be the magnificent cake prepared by Irene Maston of the Andrie Rose Inn.  The cake rose five tiers with a detailed facsimile of the Ludlow Gazebo atop it.  The cake, along with an 8 foot birthday card prepared by the Okemo Sign Shop, drew a great deal of interest and, in the case of the card, signatures.  The cake, of course, was carefully and neatly sliced by Pam Cruickshank, Joyce Washburn, and Linda Tucker - much to the culinary delight of the more than 300 tasters.

The formal Ludlow 250 ceremonies concluded with a concert by Linda Radtke of Vermont's History through Song.  Linda thoroughly charmed the audience with songs dating from the Revolution to campaign songs for Calvin Coolidge's 1924 reelection.

George Thomson acted as the emcee and narrator for the two-day event.

The impact of Tropical storm Irene was not lost on the event.  Representatives from FEMA, appropriately remaining in the background, offered advice and information to those audience members whose property had been damaged as a result of Irene.  They also indicated that FEMA would be opening an office to help those with claims in the Okemo Market Plaza this week.

While all of this celebration was going on, Black River Good Neighbors was busy preparing for its annual fall rummage sale at Fletcher Farm.  The rummage sale will run from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25.  In addition to all sorts of clothing items, the sale will feature a variety of furniture and home appliances.  For more information, call Audrey Bridges, Good Neighbors Director, at 228-3663.

FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) is in the process of upgrading the audio systems in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium to provide easier access to the audio system by visiting musical and other performing arts groups.  It will also be increasing the number of wired and wireless microphones.

FOLA is also looking forward to a very active October season.  In addition to its usual "1st Thursday" movie series on October 6, this movie being the all-time sci-fi favorite, "Close Encounters", FOLA will feature the area favorite, Gypsy Reel, in a concert on Saturday, October 1.  Tickets for this event are $10 and may be purchased in advance at the Book Nook, Wine and Cheese Depot, and Peoples United Bank; they will also be available on the evening of the concert at the auditorium door.  On Sunday, October 9, FOLA will join with the Town of Ludlow and Black River Academy Museum to present a special Civil War/Mark Twain Era piano concert by renowned pianist, Jacqueline Schwab, famous for her work in providing music for a number of Ken Burn's epic PBS series, including both the Civil War and Mark Twain.  On Thursday, October 20 at 7 PM, FOLA, in conjunction with the Rutland Herald, will sponsor a special healthcare forum panel discussing the impact of Act 48.  The discussion will be moderated by Stewart Ledbetter, senior political reporter for WPTZ/WNNE.

All of these events, except for the Gypsy Reel concert, are free.  For more information, call 228-7239.

(If you have any information that you would like to see in this column, simply email the information to ralphpace@tds.net.)

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