Scout House anniversary celebrates its importance
By Casey Lyons/ Staff Writer
Thursday, April 27, 2006 - Updated: 11:08 AM EST
Over time, the Concord Scout House has itself become the kind of tradition that it seeks to preserve and foster.
For 75 years, the building has been a home for the tradition of boy and girl Scouts, as well as contra dancers preserving old time heritage.
On Sunday, April 30 from 3 to 5 p.m., the Scout House, located at 74 Walden St., will celebrate 75 years as a public institution.
Lori Stevens, office manager at the Scout House, suggested residents attend the event, "because itıs been a resource to the community for decades. Many people have memories and we hope this will continue on for many decades."
The dayıs activities will include the dedication of a bench to long-standing caretaker Thurston Handley, reminiscence by Concordians with ties to the building, music and a raffle to raise money, awareness and celebration of the Concord Center building.
For 25 years, Handley, a Concord resident, could be seen at the Scout House keeping the grounds immaculately and participating in the buildingıs overall health. For the past two years, Handley has scaled back his involvement to an advisory role, but he continues to have a fondness for the Scout House and a open phone line for questions about the converted barn.
Though Handley still makes his way to the building once or twice weekly, a granite bench will forever memorialize the man who spent his time at the building for the last quarter-century.
"I think itıs a pretty nice place in terms of not only the historical aspects, but in terms of the youth in town and the adults in town," he said, rattling off events from the Scouts to aerobics, contra dancing and day care.
A brief history of the building puts its genesis in the late 18th century, when it was established as a barn on a farm that ate up the entire block. After changing hands for a number of years, the barn officially became the Concord Girl Scout House in June 1930, a move sponsored in part by Concord benefactor Mary Chamberlin.
After some renovations, the Scout house held its opening celebration on June 5, 1931.
At first, the structure was a simple barn, but time and dedication turned it into a multi-use, multi-season structure able to comfortably hold private organizations and events. Seventy-five years later, the Scout House still looks mostly the same, but its interior has been carefully renovated to keep it within the appropriate historical context.
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