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Historical Society hosts Christmas open house

By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff

Located in the Deacon Willard Lewis House, the Walpole Historical Society is a primary
resource for residents and visitors to learn all about Walpole’s past. Established in 1898, the
society holds records, replicas, and artifacts that showcase the town’s rich history.

A Christmas open house held at the house on December 17 made spirits bright — while also
hoping to promoting knowledge surrounding the society itself.

From 4-7 p.m., visitors were welcomed to the Historical Society. Tours were given to showcase
the work of curators and volunteers that keep the house looking aesthetically pleasing and
historically accurate. Guests were also able to sip on fragrant wassail and enjoy a performance
featuring Charles Dickens and characters from “A Christmas Carol”.

Guests readied to watch the performance, already eager from the ambiance of the room. A
small writing desk with a quill framed Dickens’ playing space as he told a tale of Christmas and
detailed the strife of capturing a story. Professional reenactor Michael Lepage took on the role of
Dickens, accompanied by Ebenezer Scrooge. Compliments and cheers picked up as audience
members joined in reciting the last line of the play with Dickens, “God bless us, every one!”

Board Member Annie Lepage led a tour for guests, pointing out key aspects of each room.
“We’re an old town and we have a lot of interesting history,” Lepage shared. From irons to
handlooms and horse plows, the basement of the house held significant everyday tools. In the
children’s room, clothing and replicas of desks from the Stone School sparked nostalgic
conversations from Walpole natives. Also upstairs, traditional militia regalia, including a Native
drum, was carefully preserved. Lepage answered questions with great interest and knowledge.

The Christmas open house turnout was greater than expected. The Historical Society Facebook
revealed that organizers were “overwhelmed and delighted” at the attendance and “hadn’t seen
this many people in the building before” previously. The support from the community was
astounding. Many left with books from local authors and historians, maps, and other mementos
that benefit the society.

It was further proof that Walpole both appreciates its past, and knows how to celebrate.
The Walpole Historical Society is open to the public on Saturdays from 1-4 pm or by
appointment. For membership inquiries or more information, visit their website at
www.walpolehistoricalsociety.org.

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