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PORTRAITS OF PLAINFIELD

Plainfield's Oral History Project is now on display in the meeting room at the Philip Read Memorial Library in Plainfield. The Historical Society has encouraged community members to share their memories of life in Plainfield during the  the 20th century as the Town changed from a rural, farming community to the mixed community we now see.  The exhibit features photographs taken by Chad Finer of Plainfield residents who were interviewed for the oral history project and  includes excerpts from their interviews by each portrait. You can listen to their full interviews on this website by clicking on Oral History 2018 under History in the menu at the top of the page.

Rally Round the Flag

In NH Humanities Council program, Woody Pringle and Marek Bennett present an overview of the American Civil War through the lens of period music. Audience members participate and sing along as the presenters explore lyrics, documents, and visual images from sources such as the Library of Congress. Through camp songs, parlor music, hymns, battlefield rallying cries, and fiddle tunes, Pringle and Bennett examine the folksong as a means to enact living history, share perspectives, influence public perceptions of events, and simultaneously fuse and conserve cultures in times of change. Showcasing numerous instruments, the presenters challenge participants to find new connections between song, art, and politics in American history.

Old Country Fiddler

In a NH Humanities Council program, Adam Boyce portrays musical humorist Charles Ross Taggart who grew up in Topsham, Vermont, and performed in various Lyceum and Chautauqua circuits all across the country for over 40 years starting in 1895, including at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH. A fiddler, piano player, comedian, singer, and ventriloquist, he made at least 40 recordings on various labels.  Boyce portrays Mr. Taggart near the end of Taggart's career, c. 1936, sharing recollections on his life, with some live fiddling and humorous sketches interspersed in this living history program.

Derrick Oxford - Revolutionary War Soldier

Oxford was a slave of William Gallup of Hartland, enlisted for three years from Plainfield and fought at the Battles of Ticonderoga and Sarasota. Thanks to the research of our President, Jane Stephenson, Oxford's  grave was identified and marked with a military headstone in keeping with his service. On May 19, 2018, community members along with  Members of the First NH Regiment re-enactor group and descendants of Derrick Oxford and William Gallup held a brief service at the Coryville Cemetery in Plainfield.

Ernest Harold Baynes

Ernest Harold Baynes (1868-1925) was a naturalist, photographer and lecturer. He came to Plainfield in 1904 as the naturalist for Corbin's Park,  a large game preserve. Among other things, Baynes championed the national campaign to save the nearly extinct American Buffalo. He helped establish the American Bison Society in 1905 and led an effort to re-introduce buffalo to western habitats using 'seed herds' including one established at Corbin's Park. The Plainfield Historical Society has a over 5000 glass slides from Bayne's collection, including some which he used in his lecture series about the Buffalo.