Chepachet Baptist Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 100th Anniversary of the First Chepachet Old Home Day
August 26, 2006


The Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church is trying to revive Chepachet's Old Home Day celebrations. On Saturday, August 26, 2006, it held a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first Chepachet Old Home Day, which took place on September 19, 1906. Edna Kent of the Glocester Heritage Society participated throughout the day, and Tom Sanzi of the Glocester Light Infantry impersonated Governor Thomas Wilson Dorr. The event started at 11 A.M. and wound down a little after 2 P.M. The weather was partly cloudy, but it did not rain and was generally a nice cool day. Nearly 200 people attended, fairly evenly spaced throughout the three hours between 11 and 2. Paul Anderton served as Chair of the event.

Preparing to march in Chepachet's Ancients and Horribles Fourth of July Parade to publicize the upcoming Old Home Day 100th Anniversary celebration: standing in back: Rebecca Tabares, Paul Anderton, Clifford Brown, and Lydia Steere. Seated in front: Pastor Emeritus Jeff Brooke-Stewart, holding picture of Old Home day from the 1920's. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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The celebration featured a traditional Old Home Day Luncheon, although one less extensive than the ones in the 1920's and 1930's. There was homemade New England Clam chowder (white), made by Clifford and Marilyn Brown; and homemade Rhode Island quahog chowder (red), made in two different batches by Lydia Steere and Lois Steere Boire.

Marching in the Fourth of July Parade, showing the old kettle in which Old Home day chowder was made from 1906 into the 1940's. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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Clamcakes were made by Jimmy Woodlock, assisted by his wife, Elaine. Lydia Steere also prepared and fried clamcakes near the end of the event. These were fried under the shed behind the handicap ramp. Hot dogs were cooked on an open grill between the tent and the pavilion by Melissa Tabares and Diane Bourget, assisted by her son Joshua.

Guests enjoy chowder and clamcakes at 100th anniversary celebration of Old Home Day on the church lawn where it had been held 100 years ago. August, 26, 2006. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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Watermelon was served by Muriel Buisson and Wesley Steere from a table on the handicap ramp. Kathryn Steere poured the lemonade from a cooler near the steps. Ed Hiller sold the tickets at a table a few feet from the side of the Church south of the cellar door, and the chowder was served from a table a few feet from the church in front of the cellar door.

Edna Kent, Glocester town historian, serves a guest, while Pastor Steve Crosby looks on. Photograph by Beth Hurd. Courtesy of The Valley Breeze and Observer, August 31, 2006, p. 10.

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Programs listing the day's events and giving a history of the Old Home Day celebrations were distributed. Brown bread was placed in dishes on the tables. Margaret Inman prepared the brown bread; Nanci Stankus and Marilyn Brown helped throughout the day.

Paul Anderton, Old Home Day Chairman, referees while guest attempts to hit a pile of sand-filled juice bottles. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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The 1822 Holbrook steeple bell was rung at 12:00, followed by a service of praise and remembrance in the sanctuary. This was conducted by Pastor Steve Crosby, who spoke about homecoming, based on the Biblical passage about the prodigal son. People who had been major figures in the traditional Old Home Day celebrations before World War II were also remembered during the service.

Jimmy Woodlock checks out his clamcake frier at the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church, summer 2005. He made delicious clamcakes at the Old Home Day celebration in 2006 and at many other church events. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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Children of all ages were invited to participate in old-fashioned games which took place in a five-section pavilion built for the occasion by Paul Anderton west of the church. These were run by Paul and Lynn Anderton, Margaret Inman, Bethany Reiner, and Rebecca Reiner. They included Ring Toss (trying to toss a ring onto five pegs); Bean Bag Toss (trying to toss a bean bag into a 6" hole); Hammer the Nail into the Board — seeing how many strikes of a hammer it took to drive a nail into the wood; Knock Over the Bottles (using a light croquet ball to knock over six plastic transparent two-quart juice bottles filled with sand and arranged in a pyramid); and Drop the Pins into a Bottle (using clothespins). Dollar Store prizes were awarded to superachievers at these games. Out front there was a contest to throw a Frisbee into the ancient Old Home Day Cauldron.

Jimmy Woodlock making clamcakes at the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church, 2005. He made delicious clamcakes at the Old Home Day celebration in 2006 and at many other church events. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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In addition, near the end of the afternoon, the Pastor, Steve Crosby, and the Pastor Emeritus, Jeff Brooke-Stewart, seated in the pavilion section nearest to the road, volunteered to become the targets in a water-balloon throw, for which participants paid a small fee for the chance to throw the balloons at the ministers. This was the only "game" for which a charge was made.

Muriel Buisson and Wesley Steere preparing the watermelon. August 26, 2006. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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There was a classic car show on the adjacent field, with a Model A Ford and a variety of about 15 English Cars. This was supervised by Jeff Brooke-Stewart, assisted by Maggie Brooke-Stewart. Prizes were awarded for the best of category, as determined by people's votes. The Hopkins Family graciously permitted the Church to use this field and prepared it for that purpose.

Model A Ford at the 100th anniversary celebration of Old Home Day, August 26, 2006. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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Music was provided by "Wet Paint," a Christian soft rock group, and by "Sound Waves," from the Coastline Show Chorus of Sweet Adeline International, an all-female barbershop quartet, who circulated among the people seated at the tables and sang songs specifically addressed to them.

Pastor Stephen Crosby and Pastor Emeritus Jeff Brooke-Stewart about to be on the receiving end of the water balloon throw at the 100th anniversary celebration of Old Home Day on the church lawn. August 26, 2006. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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There was an exhibit of Old Home Day artifacts and photographs in the Vestry. Edna Kent served as a docent, explaining about the artifacts and answering questions. The exhibit was on the west wall between the windows, and was backed by an American Flag with 45 stars on the union — the official American Flag for 1906 when the first Old Home Day was celebrated. Old Home Day photographs were placed over the door lintels and over the window valances.

Governor Dorr (Tom Sanzi) drops in for a visit at the 100th anniversary celebration of Old Home Day on the church, and is welcomed by Lorraine Laprise and Judy Hall. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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The exhibit on the table consisted of original Old Home Day table artifacts, including three place settings (plates, bowls, flatware); accompanying tin bowls and containers for chowder, steamed clams, and clamcakes; mugs; and Bare Rock soda bottles from the 1920's.

Kathryn Steere, Publicity Chair and Beverage Committee Chair for the 2006 Old Home Day, pictured at a church chowder event in 2005. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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2006 Committee: Paul Anderton, Chairman; General Committee: Steve Crosby, Margaret Inman, Nancy Stankus, Jeff Brooke-Stewart; Chowder Committee: Cliff Brown, Marilyn Brown, Lydia Steere, Lois Boire; Clamcake Committee: Jimmy and Elaine Woodlock, Lydia Steere; Game Committee: Lynn Anderton, Paul Anderton, Margaret Inman, Bethany Reiner, Rebecca Reiner; Antique Car Committee: Jeff Brooke- Stewart; Beverage Committee: Kay Steere; Watermelon Committee: Wesley Steere, Murial Buisson; Selling Tickets: Ed Hiller;

Ed Hiller, ticket collector at the 2006 Old home Day event, pictured here at a church chowder event in 2005. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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Music Committee: Kay Steere, Lydia Steere; Publicity: Kay Steere, Cliff Brown; Hot Dog Committee: Lois Boire, Melissa Tabares, Diane Bourget, Joshua Bourget; Set Up Committee: Paul Anderton, Paul Boire, Jeff Brooke-Stewart, Murial Buisson, Rollin Hannaford, Margaret Inman, Nanci Stankus.

Senior Deacon George O. Steere, Sr., arriving to sample the clamcakes at the 2006 Old Home Day 100th Anniversary celebration. Photograph by Marilyn Brownell.

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The Website of the Chepachet Baptist Church
(Historically the Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church)
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The Proprietors of the Chepachet Meeting House

© Copyright 2004-2017 The Chepachet Free Will Baptist Church Society. All rights reserved.
1213 Putnam Pike - PO Box 148 Chepachet, RI 02814 (401) 568-3771
The church logo was produced by Zachary Andrews.
All photographs, unless otherwise noted, courtesy of Marilyn J. Brownell. All rights reserved.

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