News from the Manchester Historic Association
Collect, Preserve, Share
October 11, 2019
In This Issue
1. Weston Observatory Weekend
2. Now on Exhibit: Manchester and the Path to the Presidency
3. Husband and Wife Portraits Reunited
4. New Look for Research Center Receives a Makeover
5. Millyard Museum Beer Tasting Event
6. Civil War Day at Victory Park
7. 2019 Holiday Ornament
8. Historic Preservation Award Nominations
Weston Observatory Weekend
October 12 & 13, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
$7 per person or $20 per family 
$5 per person for MHA members 
We are back this year with another opportunity to climb to the top of the Weston Observatory! Located behind Derryfield Park, Weston Observatory was built in 1896 in honor of James Adams Weston, a former Mayor of Manchester and Governor of New Hampshire. The tower stands 66 feet tall, giving an exquisite view of Manchester and the surrounding areas from its observation deck. 

Normally closed to the public, the Weston Observatory will be open for just one weekend in October during foliage season. Picnic tables will be available, so bring a lunch and come enjoy the beautiful fall foliage while experiencing one of Manchester's best kept secrets! 
Please note that the Observatory is not accessible for people in wheelchairs or who have walking disabilities. 
Walking tours of the area will be conducted at 1:00 each day. Cost for walking tour is included with your admission to the tower. The cost for the walking tour only is $5 per person.
Parking will be available in front of the Weston Observatory off of Oak Hill Ave.

Now on Exhibit:
Manchester and the Path to the Presidency
In the Henry M. Fuller State Theatre Gallery in the Millyard Museum
Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Included with museum admission

Every four years, Manchester is visited by numerous presidential candidates, campaigning in the New Hampshire Primary. This year, the Millyard Museum is showcasing a chronological history of this process through images of candidates through the years as they engaged with Manchester voters in their homes, on the streets and in the many iconic watering holes that are the lifeblood of so many campaigns.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, you're certain to see some of your favorite candidates - Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama - as they meet with your friends and neighbors in their quest to win election to our nation's highest office. We believe Manchester is the crucible of the Presidential Primary process in New Hampshire, and with this exhibit, we demonstrate our pivotal role in American political history.

On exhibit through February 29, 2020

Thank you to our Exhibit Sponsor!
Husband and Wife Portraits Reunited
Portraits of Amoskeag Manufacturing giant Ezekiel Straw and his wife, Charlotte (Webster) Straw, have been reunited and are now on exhibit at the Manchester Historic Association’s Millyard Museum.

A portrait of Ezekiel A. Straw, agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company who controlled the company’s operations, had been on display at the museum for more than a decade. Straw, a civil engineer, was first hired by the Amoskeag company in 1838 when – at the age of 18 – he designed and created the layout for the streets of Manchester. He later served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1872 to 1874. 

Earlier this year, the MHA was contacted by the New Hampshire Historical Society regarding a portrait of Ezekiel’s wife, Charlotte Webster Straw. “Given the important role the Straw family played in Manchester’s history, it was felt that Manchester would be a more appropriate home for the painting,” said MHA Executive Director John Clayton, “so the NH Historical Society graciously brokered an arrangement with the donor for the painting to be given to us at the MHA.”

It was not until the painting was delivered to Manchester that the museum staff made a surprising discovery – the two portraits were companion pieces. “After looking at both portraits, it became evident that they were a perfectly matched pair,” said Jeff Barraclough, the MHA’s Director of Operations. “They are the same size, the frames match exactly, and the styles of the paintings are very similar.”

Charlotte Webster Straw, the daughter of an Amesbury, Mass. sea captain, married Ezekiel in 1842 and they had four children. She died at the age of 29 in 1852, and Ezekiel never remarried. A newspaper account at the time of her death described Charlotte as having “not only filled with fidelity the sacred office of wife, mother and friend, but was a generous benefactor to the poor and needy, to whose wants she administered with no grudging hand.”

The portraits were likely painted after her death in the early 1860s. It is unclear how the two paintings were separated, but they were given to the MHA by two different branches of the family. “It’s our best guess that, after Ezekiel’s death in 1882, Charlotte’s portrait was passed down to their daughter – also named Charlotte – and Ezekiel’s portrait was passed down to their son, Herman,” Barraclough said.

After that initial bequest, it is believed that the paintings were handed down within the family for decades, before being rejoined at the Millyard Museum. “Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic,” Clayton said, “but we think this is a really exciting discovery. It’s a love story, if you will, of two people, and their portraits finally being reunited after all these years.”

Research Center Receives a Makeover
The Manchester Historic Association Research Center at 129 Amherst Street is receiving some upgrades, thanks to generous support from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation. The historic windows are receiving some much needed restoration and new banners have been hung on the front facade. Home to the MHA's extensive archives, the building is open to researchers Wednesdays 10-3 and Saturdays 10-4. Come and visit!
Millyard Museum Beer Tasting Event
Thursday, October 24, 2019
5:00 - 7:30 p.m. - Millyard Museum 

Civil War Day at Victory Park
Saturday, October 26, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Victory Park 
FREE Admission 
The Manchester Historic Association is partnering with the Manchester City Library to put on an all-day Civil War event in the Victory Park.  
10:00 - 2:00 = The 1st New Hampshire Light Battery Reenactment Group will have an encampment in the park and will be putting on demonstrations.
11:00 = Historian Ed Brouder will give a lecture about Manchester during the Civil War at the City Library
1:00 = Talk in the park about the history of the 1st New Hampshire Light Battery
2:30 = MHA Executive Director
John Clayton will give a lecture at the MHA Research Center about "The Last Boy in Blue" 
The MHA's Research Center will also have rarely shown Civil War era material on display. 
This is a free event so don't miss out! Come see your city's history! 

Announcing the 2019 Holiday Ornament
The Manchester Historic Association is pleased to announce this year's holiday ornament featuring the Lincoln Monument and Manchester Central High School .

The ornament features the Abraham Lincoln Monument in front of the Central High School Classical Building. The statue was designed by sculptor John Rogers and dedicated in 1910. Manchester Central High School is the oldest public high school in the state of New Hampshire, founded in 1846. The Classical Building was opened in 1897. 
Each year the Manchester Historic Association produces an original, limited edition brass-plated ornament that celebrates Manchester's history. These unique, detailed ornaments are handcrafted in the United States by the same company that makes the annual White House Holiday Ornament. They make perfect Christmas tree decorations or gifts for the holidays and for many other occasions. Each comes in a decorative box. 
These ornaments are available for $25.00 in the Millyard Museum Shop as well as at the Manchester City Library. The 2019 ornaments, as well as a limited number of ornaments from past years, can also be purchased online .   

Historic Preservation Award Nominations
The Historic Preservation Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Historic Preservation Awards.  
The Historic Preservation Awards program recognizes and supports the efforts of individuals, businesses and organizations who have made significant contributions to the preservation of buildings, neighborhoods, traditions and other historic resources in the Queen City.
Over 27 years, more than 230 recipients have been recognized for a wide variety of preservation efforts in 40 different categories. The annual event has become the MHA's single largest fundraiser to support its non-profit mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Manchester.
If you are interested in nominating a person, organization or business for a Historic Preservation Award, please complete the HPA 2020 Nomination Form
The 28th Annual Historic Preservation Awards will be held on May 12, 2020.  

The Manchester Historic Association is an independent tax-exempt charitable 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization with the mission to collect, preserve and share the history of Manchester, New Hampshire USA. The Association operates the Millyard Museum and Research Center.  
The Millyard Museum is located at 200 Bedford Street in the historic Amoskeag Millyard. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Research Center is located at 129 Amherst Street in the Victory Park Historic District. The Research Center is open to the public on Saturdays 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., and Wednesdays 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  
Admission for both facilities is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 and over) and for college students, $4 for children 12-18, and free for children under 12. Group rates are available. Please call (603) 622-7531 for more information, or visit the website .
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To learn more about being a Business Partner with the Manchester Historic Association, click here or call (603) 622-7531
Manchester Historic Association
(603) 622-7531