WPC featured in Derry News
Sunday bulletin announcement
On Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Land and Community Heritage Improvement Program (LCHIP) held a media event in the NH Legislative Offices building to announce the award recipients of their 2015 grant round. Windham Presbyterian Church was among those recipients and was awarded a grant of $20,350 for the repair of the church steeple. A group of five people from WPC, including Pastor Joseph, attended the event that included pictures with Governor Maggie Hassan and LCHIP Board of Directors Chair Doug Cole. A luncheon was held at the building housing the NH Preservation Alliance to allow all grant recipients a chance to mingle and hear remarks from members of other preservation agencies about the importance of maintaining our New Hampshire heritage through preservation of historic resources. This grant, along with over $18,000 from our fundraising efforts, will ensure that the steeple repair project will be completed with minimal impact to the Capital Improvement Fund and our annual budget. Many thanks are given to GOD and LCHIP for this wonderful award.
A better picture of the group
History of Our Bell
In March 2015 it was discovered that the belfry of Windham Presbyterian Church is home to a Holbrook bell. The following is forged around the upper circumference of the bell, “By G H Holbrook East Medway Mass 1847.” Holbrook bells were highly regarded for their undoubted superiority, pure musical tone, and extraordinary vibrations.1 Colonel George Handel Holbrook was a musician and improved the bell tones. The Windham bell rings the tone of A.
Major George Holbrook (G.H. Holbrook’s Father) was apprenticed to Paul Revere originally to learn machinist and clockmaker trades, then returned after earning his rank for his service in the Revolutionary War to learn the art of bell foundry. In 1797 Major Holbrook set up his own foundry in Brookfield MA which operated until approximately 1812 at which time he experienced financial troubles. In 1816 he re-established the bell foundry in East Medway MA. Colonel George Handel Holbrook assumed operation of the foundry from 1820 to 1872 casting thousands of bells. Upon his death in 1875 his grandson Edwin Handel Holbrook assumed operations until relinquishing the business in 1880.1
On November 23, 1846, Alexander Park, Theodore Dinsmoor and David P. Snelling held a vote and approved a bell being placed in the meetinghouse. Jeremiah Morrison, Theodore Dinsmoor and David A. Davidson were appointed “to make alterations and repairs on the belfry and other parts of the meetinghouse as they may deem necessary for the erecting of a bell in the tower of said house, in case the same can be done by voluntary subscription.”2 The Windham Presbyterian Church 150th Anniversary celebration booklet includes the following entry; “1846: A bell was installed in the church tower belfry, this acquisition paid for by subscriptions.”3
The Chepachet Baptist Church, RI, maintains A National List of Holbrook Bells4 within which the Windham bell is not yet listed. They have been notified of the Windham bell discovery for future inclusion in the list.
1 Francis D, Donovan, The Holbrooks & The Holborook Bell Foundry; The Holbrook Bell Foundry of East Medway, (1989) 2 Leonard A. Morrison, Supplement to the History of Windham in New Hampshire (1892), 29
3 150th Anniversary Windham Presbyterian Church 1835-1985, (1985)
4 “A National List of Holbrook Bells” Chepachet Baptist Church, accessed May 19, 2015, www.chepachetbaptist.org/national-list-holbrook-bells.htm