Fiske Free Library

108 Broad Street
Claremont, New Hampshire



Story Fest 2007 , a Chautauqua Tellabration

The Friends of the Fiske Free Library will present their 7th annual Story Fest on Saturday, November 17, 2007 from 10:00 am to 3 pm. This year the storytellers are all Chautauqua performers, telling the stories of well-known historical figures in the first person.

Story Fest will begin at 10:00 with "Our National Thanksgiving: With Thanks to President Lincoln and Mrs. Hale." Steve and Sharon Wood, Claremont, will portray the 16th president and the editor of the popular 19th century magazine, Godey's Ladies Book, who was born in Newport, New Hampshire. Together they will tell the story of Sarah Josepha Hale's thirty-year campaign to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. Her efforts were successful when Lincoln signed his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863.
The Woods are historical presenters specializing in 19th century American history. More information about their programs can be found at .
At 11:00 Helene Lang of Montpelier, Vermont will appear as Beatrix Potter, the author of dozens of beloved children's stories about Peter Rabbit and his friends. She will speak about her life from her Victorian childhood, through the years of her "little books," to her final thirty years of farming in England's Lake District.
Lang is a retired University of Vermont professor, having taught literature and literacy. Her work with the Vermont Humanities Council includes leading reading discussions and giving presentations of Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Beatrix Potter for the Council's Speaker's Bureau.

At noon, the stories will stop for a short lunch break to allow the audience to take the edge off their hunger before the afternoon tellers begin. The Friends of the Fiske Free Library will be selling soup and sandwiches in the Sarah Gilmore Room of the library.

At 1:00 pm, Steve Blunt, Nashua, New Hampshire, will portray John Hutchinson of the Hutchinson Family Singers of Milford, New Hampshire, America's most popular musical entertainers of the mid-19th century. A music teacher and performer, Blunt's CD's of children's music, Hang On, Henry! and Outta School!, have each won Parents' Choice "Approved" Awards.
Blunt's passion for New England's historical folklore led him to research the Hutchinsons, who were influential anti-slavery, pro-Lincoln social reformers of their time. He brings a fun, interactive approach to his portrayal of John Hutchinson, so audience members of all ages should be ready to participate as "good old-fashioned singers." More information is available at:

At 2:00 pm, Barbara Miles will speak as Ruth Law, the first woman to fly in New Hampshire and the sixth woman to be licensed to fly in the country. As a volunteer archivist for the New Hampshire Aviation Historical Society, Miles uncovered Law's story while researching the history of flight in New Hampshire. She subsequently developed a program to tell Law's story in the first person and has been presenting it to enthusiastic audiences all over the state.

Miles' appearance at Story Fest is sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council and will be her final presentation through their Humanities to Go program. She will now devote her time to several new projects, including writing and producing a documentary on the life of Ruth Law.

Story Fest was designed to showcase the talents of storytellers from New Hampshire and Vermont. Originally held in October, for the last three years it has been held on the same November weekend that has been set aside for a world-wide celebration of storytelling known as "Tellabration."

"Tellabration" was started in 1988 by J.G. Pinkerton, a "spinner of yarns" from Connecticut who envisioned an evening of adult storytelling across the state. That year storytelling was held simultaneously in six Connecticut towns and the following year Texas and Missouri joined in. Since then "Tellabration" has expanded to include a weekend of storytelling around the world, at schools, libraries, museums, elder hostels, and even on trains and planes.

Story Fest will take place inside the Fiske Free Library, 108 Broad Street, Claremont, New Hampshire. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information call 603-542-7017.

Bookmark and Share

<< Home