This Week in Concord History

Nov. 13, 2001: Concord City Manager Duncan Ballantyne outlines two options for dealing with the Sears Block project, the city’s biggest and most important project in limbo. The city can meet with Hodges Development Corp. or they can proceed with demolition.

Nov. 14, 1861: A fire at Main and School streets, the fourth major fire of the year in downtown Concord, destroys a harness factory, a shoe store, the gas-light company offices and homes.

Nov. 14, 1963: Visiting Concord, Mrs. Eddy Peterson, assistant chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, says she is excited about the prospect of Sen. Margaret Chase Smith running for president. Nevertheless, Peterson adds, “I don’t think the women of America are ready to see a woman candidate for president yet. I think the women are even less ready than the men.”

Nov. 15, 1978: The Monitor reports that Concord is about to hire Jim Smith away from Berlin as city manager. “He’s a good, solid choice,” says Councilor Rod Tenney. Smith will come to Concord after the first of the year and remain in the job for more than 13 years.

Nov. 15, 2001: After a request by Ward 3 City Councilor Andy Tarbell, a recount confirms that Kipp Cooper has won the seat, 263-260. The original count was 262-260.

Nov. 16, 1861: After several devastating fires in the city in preceding months, a committee under Concord Mayor Moses Humphrey releases a study recommending that a steam fire engine replace the hand pumper stationed on Warren Street near Main. The new engine, the “Gov. Hill,” will go into service in early 1862. It will work so well that the city will soon be shopping for another.

Nov. 16, 1896: A paltry turnout of 100 people comes to the 1,100-seat White’s Opera House on Park Street in Concord for the first motion picture, which is to be shown on Edison and Dow’s Rayoscope. The Rayoscope doesn’t work, and the crowd goes home disappointed.

Nov. 16, 1908: With a friend at the wheel, Mayor Charles Corning leaves Concord at 10:35 a.m. for a drive to Cambridge, Mass. “The highways are far from perfect, but we are covering mile after mile,” Corning writes in his diary. It takes them six hours to reach Harvard Square.

Nov. 16, 1988: Concord city planners consider the school district’s plan for a $1.1 million addition to the Broken Ground School off Portsmouth Street.

Nov. 16, 2000: A federal judge in Concord upholds the right of an internet company to refuse to register profane website addresses as it sees fit. The company was sued by a woman who claimed her First Amendment rights had been violated.

Nov. 17, 1965: Opening Day at Concord’s Everett Arena draws thousands of skaters. “They came streaming across the river bridge and down the hill from the Heights – the moppets and the middle-aged and here and there and old-timer. … This community, long known in sports circles as the ‘Cradle of American Hockey,’ celebrated in a mood of holiday revelry,” the Monitor reports.

Nov. 18, 1730: The Rev. Timothy Walker is ordained at Pennycook (later Rumford, then Concord), the community’s first minister.

Nov. 19, 1846: Three laborers on the Northern Railroad are buried when a sand bank near the railroad bridge in Penacook caves in. Two survive; one is killed.

Nov. 19, 1863: Lyman D. Stevens of Concord represents New Hampshire at the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pa. He is near Abraham Lincoln during the Gettysburg address. A prominent lawyer, Stevens will later serve as Concord’s mayor, a state senator, a school board member, a bank president and president of New Hampshire College at Durham.

Nov. 19, 2001: The Concord City Council makes a three-year, $150,000 commitment to the downtown, and on terms that downtown merchants want. The merchants hope to join the Main Street Program, an initiative to help preserve and sustain downtowns across the country.

Author: Insider Staff

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