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2018-07-11 / Arts & Entertainment

More Than 400 Visit Hanford Mills for a Hot and Festive July 4

By Rosie Cunningham


Brian and James Reese were the perfect pair as they fished together for July 4 festivities at Hanford Mills in East Meredith. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter Brian and James Reese were the perfect pair as they fished together for July 4 festivities at Hanford Mills in East Meredith. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter EAST MEREDITH - More than 400 Hanford Mills visitors turned out on July 4, for an afternoon full of old-fashioned fun.

This is the 45th anniversary of the location operating as a museum.

“Personally, the highlight of the day for me was the little boy who told me that blowing the steam whistle was the best thing he’s ever done in his entire life,” said Liz Callahan, executive director for Hanford Mills.

The Independence Day Celebration features a kids’ fishing derby on the Mill Pond, frog-jumping contests, field games, live music, local food, steam-power demonstrations, and the chance to sample ice cream made on a steam-powered churn chilled with ice cut during February’s Ice Harvest Festival.”


Frankie Graham and Peg O’Dell were hard at work greeting visitors at Hanford Mills on July 4. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter Frankie Graham and Peg O’Dell were hard at work greeting visitors at Hanford Mills on July 4. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter “Visitors enjoyed 24 gallons of ice cream,” said Callahan. “We had 72 participants in the fishing derby with a total of 142 fish caught (reported), a crayfish and a dog toy.”

She added, that what makes the day special is “watching kids and families slow down, unplug and bond over ice cream, traditional music, frog jumping and catch-and-release fishing.”

“The Museum’s small staff was assisted by 26 awesome volunteers who help with many aspects of the event - including the rigorously trained Steam Team,” said Callahan.

The museum’s 70-acre site was open to explore, and tours were offered throughout the day at the water-powered sawmill and woodworking shop, as well as the historic Hanford House, which recreates home life in the 1920s.


Cade Sanford of Elk Creek, took time out to hit the pond during Hanford Mills July 4 festivities. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter Cade Sanford of Elk Creek, took time out to hit the pond during Hanford Mills July 4 festivities. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter Hanford Mills is open Wednesdays-Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as holiday Mondays (Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day).

“Upcoming events include two, Free Family Saturdays ( July 28 and Sept 1), the Sept 8 Antique Engine Jamboree, and the Woodsmen’s Festival in October,” said Callahan.

For more information, visit www.hanfordmills.org.



Matt Griswold of Delhi, was all smiles as he fished on July 4 at Hanford Mills. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter Matt Griswold of Delhi, was all smiles as he fished on July 4 at Hanford Mills. Rosie Cunningham/The Reporter

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