Double Birthday Celebration: A Great Success

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Double Birthday Celebration Called Great Success

Making use of the rain date, the town of Kent and the Kent Historical Society held a double birthday celebration on the beautiful Sunday afternoon of October 5.  The occasion was the 275th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Kent, which coincided with the 60th birthday of the Historical Society.  The day’s delay allowed the rain to clear, and over 100 celebrants enjoyed the crisp fall weather at the Seven Hearths Museum just north of Kent.

After a brief annual meeting, KHS President Lynn Mellis Worthington summarized the Historical Society’s recent accomplishments and introduced the new KHS Executive Director, Brian Thomas. Thomas expressed excitement over his new post, and said he was looking forward to working with Marge Smith in her role as Curator.

Everyone gathered in front of Seven Hearths for an official town photo taken by Randy O'Rourke from the Kent VFD's aerial truck. This photo of the crowd was taken by Laszlo Gyorsok.
Everyone gathered in front of Seven Hearths for an official town photo taken by Randy O’Rourke from the Kent VFD’s aerial truck. Photo courtesy of Laszlo Gyorsok.

Beth Dooley, who is one of the longest serving members of the Board of Trustees, thanked Marge Smith for her years of service as Executive Director and presented an espaliered pear tree as a gift from the Historical Society. Smith spoke and reflected on the legacy of Emily Hopson, the organization’s late president and benefactor, and how the Historical Society has grown steadily in the past decade and a half.

The Berkshire Hills Trio livened up an interlude of socializing. Many visitors ventured inside Seven Hearths to see “Iron, Wood and Water: Essential Elements in the Evolution of Kent.” This exhibit will be open this Saturday through Monday (Oct. 11, 12 and 13) – the last official weekend, then by appointment through the end of October.

An old school bell summoned everyone for a town photo in front of the Seven Hearths Museum. Photographer Randy O’Rourke was lifted above the crowd using the Kent Volunteer Fire Department’s aerial truck.

The photo was followed by a presentation from State Sen. Clark Chapin (R-30th District) and State Rep. Roberta Willis (D-64th District), who read the proclamation that sent congratulations to Kent and the Kent Historical Society from the entire State Assembly.  The festivities climaxed with Thomas presenting a Time Capsule to the Town of Kent, explaining that it contained contributions from Kent citizens, businesses, organizations, and government. There are a variety of items that were donated to represent a slice of life in 2014. Items included the Kent Cub Scouts, who listed their favorite books, local restaurants supplied menus, and Kent organizations gave photographs.  It will leave a detailed, valuable record for when the capsule is opened in 2039, the 300th anniversary of the town’s incorporation.

Thomas noted that the capsule was initially going to be buried on the grounds of the Seven Hearths Museum, but KHS board agreed that the proposed Town Green (or Town Hall) would be a more fitting site.

In accepting the Time Capsule, First Selectman Bruce Adams admitted that he wouldn’t have focused on this year as the town’s anniversary, if he hadn’t been approached by the Kent Historical Society. “Zanne Charity came to me and later the Board of Selectmen with a great presentation explaining the event.”

Then a birthday cake lit with sparklers appeared and the double birthdays were toasted with champagne. It was a festive end to a warm-hearted community event.

The Double Birthday Committee: An energetic committee put on the Double Birthday Celebration. From left to right: Julia Samartini, Nancy Schaefer, Melissa Cherniske, Zanne Charity, Lynn Worthington, Beth Dooley. Photo by Darrell Cherniske
The Double Birthday Committee: An energetic committee put on the Double Birthday Celebration. From left to right: Julia Samartini, Nancy Schaefer, Melissa Cherniske, Zanne Charity, Lynn Worthington, Beth Dooley. Photo by Darrell Cherniske