Leeds society plans historic spring walks


Pupils from the Keene’s Corner area sit for their school photo on the steps of the Nazarene Church opposite the school in the autumn of 1932 in Leeds. Photo submitted

Members of the Leeds Historical Society plan to offer weekend spring walks to explore some of the city’s historic sites.

The following walks are on the program.

A tour of Keene’s Corner is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.

From an early store run by John Keene that sold spirits, among other things, to a 130-year-old church that still serves the community, the Keene’s Corner area has some interesting stories to tell about a once prosperous southern part of the town. , according to a press release from the company. Participants will experience the determination of an inspired group of women – the Ladies Aid Society – and a one-room schoolhouse that once stood there. The walk will continue a short distance to Keene’s Corner Cemetery to learn about some of the remarkable people who lived, worked and worshiped in this area.

The company received permission to park in the lot near the Church of the Nazarene at the southwest corner of US Route 202 and Leeds Junction Road.

The second scheduled tour will take participants to the confluence of the Androscoggin and Dead Rivers starting at 1pm on Saturday April 23.

This region was first inhabited by groups of Abenaki Indians. Leeds pioneers, the Stinchfield brothers, met and lived peacefully among them in the 1780s. This story, the strange flow pattern of the Dead River and the location of the largest (at one time) silver maple in the countries will all be told. The walk will continue for about a quarter of a mile up the road to talk about one of the first hand-built houses in town.

People can meet at the end of Campbell Road off Route 219. The 1.5 mile journey should be done slowly as the road is rough and potentially wet.

A third visit will be the Fish/Lothrop Cemetery and Poor Farm Walk starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.

This roadside cemetery, which contains a number of the city’s first families with a wrought iron fence, many revolutionary soldiers and several mysteries, will be the first stop. After noting some of the open natural wetlands near Androscoggin Lake, the walk will continue for three-quarters of a mile on Ridge Road, which is part of a long esker and offers spectacular views. The end of the road was the location of the poor town farm.

People can park in the fire hall lot just across from the fish graveyard on Hwy 106. It can get wet, so wear proper footwear.

The rain date and times for all walks are the following day, Sunday at 1 p.m.

For more information, call Laura Juraska at 207-524-2324.

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