Historical Society Holds Open House to Teach About Londonderry’s Past

Since its inception in 1722, Londonderry has been host to a plethora of historical events, from explaining how the first settlers of the area sowed the seeds for the town’s legacy to its evolution over the decades alongside the rest of the county. But, history does not always peak the interests of certain people, nor are the mementos of the past guaranteed to survive the ravages of time in a constantly moving world.

This is why groups like the Londonderry Historical Society exist. In order to help citizens gain interest in the town’s past, the society recently held their latest open house at the museum on June 24. Designed to preserve and detail the long and colorful history of the town, it was founded back in 1956 in response to the sale and relocation of the “Ocean Born Mary House,” named after the titular woman whose family supposedly survived pirates pillaging their ship because they named the recently born Mary after the lead pirate’s mother.

Eventually becoming a non-profit organization in 1968, the society has worked tirelessly to preserve historical artifacts that make Londonderry what it is today. Many artifacts can be found in the Morrison House Museum off of Pillsbury Road.

Having been a part of Londonderry since 1760, the Morrison House was built and owned by the Morrison family, one of the first settling families in the town’s early days. The building has served as a cornerstone of times long gone, eventually being moved from the corner of Rockingham and Clark Road in 1990 onto its current location.

The Morrison House’s primary purpose now is to showcase a variety of tools, furniture pieces, and belongings of those who lived during the time of the Morrison family, from recreations of sleeping quarters and living spaces to an exhibit on flax spinning that detailed how the material was converted into linen.

But, the museum, which also features a barn and old-fashioned blacksmith shop, serves to also house a long list of mementos, including farming equipment, century old advertising signs, and specialized displays for businesses like the Londonderry Lithia Springs, a mineral water producer in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Numerous members of the society were present during the six-hour-long open house, with curator Ann Chiampa leading visitors throughout the house to go into detail about the history lining the walls of the Morrison House.

President John Savina, who was also present for the event, noted that the society is “trying to have more events,” with the open house serving as just one of many planned for the future as a means of “being more involved in the community.” Savina hopes that if they continue to garner attention and support from residents, the town will be more willing to support their other restoration projects including the next addition to the museum: the original home of Reverend Morrison.

For more information about the Londonderry Historical Society, please visit londonderryhistory.org.

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