In 1991, the late Elaine Fairbanks and I began the Halifax History Project. It was started at Elaine’s suggestion because when members of the Halifax Historical Society wanted to learn Halifax history, it was found in different places and different formerly printed publications. Elaine saw the need for the history to be published in a comprehensive publication. She approached me to see if I would help her. I also saw the need and my answer was yes.
After beginning the project, we realized we needed more help and began sending out the message for more volunteers. Eventually, we got them and formed a committee of eight, Stephen and Mariette Sanders, Susan Rusten, Constance Lancaster, Carrie Perna, Molly Stone, Elaine, and me. The next step was to hire an editor, who was Hilly Van Loon.
In June 2008, “Vol.1, Born In Controversy, History of Halifax,” was completed and a book signing was held at the Community Hall in West Halifax. The volume contained history and events, which happened from the signing of a grant from the then-governor of New Hampshire, Benning Wentworth, to the mid- 1800s. It documents subjects such as Early Settlement, Politics On The Way To Statehood, Taverns and Meeting Houses, Community Life, Halifax In the Wars, Agricultural Life, and Commercial Life.
As we were putting Volume I together, we realized there was more material that should be included in a history of Halifax, so we began planning for “Vol. 2, Hills and Hollows, History of Halifax.” It contains, historical history from the mid-800s to the early 1900s. Titles of the sections are Two Hundred Year Families, Kirth and Kin, Serving the Town, The Center, A Sense of Place-Part One, A Stroll in the Village, A Sense of Place, Part Two, In the News-Then and Now, and Community Life. Both volumes contain an appendix, maps, and an index. It was in distribution mode by the middle of November 2013. In total the two volumes have over 1,000 pages of Halifax history.
When Volume 1 was ready for publication, the committee borrowed $5,000 to pay for the printing. At a Town Meeting held on March 4, 2014, the voters in Halifax fogave our loan. We greatly appreciate this generosity.
A book signing for Vol. 2 will take place on June 14 at the Halifax Town Clerk’s Office. All members of the History Writing Committee will be present to autograph books. There will be both volumes of Halifax history available for purchase.