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July 16 Monthly meeting

Merrimack Historical Society Meeting
Agenda – July 16, 2024 – 6:00 PM – #3 Schoolhouse
10 Depot Street, Merrimack, NH 03054
6:00 PM Open Doors: Beverages and refreshments served
Courtesy of Bess Parks
6:15 PM Pledge of Allegiance
6:15 PM There will be a short business meeting including the President’s Address by John Lastowka and the VP’s Tidbit by Chuck Mower.
The business portion of the evening will conclude by 7:00 PM and after a short break our evening program will start.
7:00 PM Guest Speaker: STEVE TAYLOR

Steven will present “New Hampshire’s Long Love-Hate Relationship With Its Agricultural Fairs”

Program: The first agricultural fair in North America was held in what is now Londonderry in 1722, and it would become a wildly popular event lasting for generations until it came to be so
dominated by gambling, flim-flam, and other “scandalous dimensions” that the legislature revoked its charter in 1850. But fairs have always had strong supporters and eventually the
state came around to appropriating modest sums to help them succeed. Temperance groups and others would continue to attack the fairs on moral grounds and their close connection to
horse racing was a chronic flashpoint. Steve Taylor will discuss the ups and downs of the fairs down through years and how public affection for rural traditions helps them survive in
contemporary times. 

Bio: Steve Taylor is a farmer, newspaperman, and longtime public official. He has studied, written, and spoken for many years about New Hampshire’s rural culture and the state’s agricultural history. With his three sons, he operates a livestock and maple farm in Meriden Village. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor and was founding executive director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council. He served 25 years as the state’s commissioner of
agriculture.