Friday, August 5, 2011

Revolutionary War Encampment at Fort McClary

A living history presentation of a Revolutionary War encampment will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14 at Fort McClary State Historic Site and Park, Pepperrell Road (RT. 103) in Kittery Point, ME. The Royal Irish Artillery will have a full British tent camp set up on the Upper Battery near the Block House and a second American campsite with other re-enactor groups will be located on the Lower Battery.
Re-enactors will be in period uniforms and dress and will demonstrate what camp life was like. There will be a camp kitchen and cooking over a fire pit, period craft demonstrations, Colonial children’s games and a trader’s, or “sutler’s” tent. Artillery demonstrations will be conducted and cannons will fire off on the hour beginning at 10 a.m. on both days.
A special event will take place on Saturday from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. with a Maritime Folk Concert performed by “The Dog Watch” and friends.
When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, all Kittery Point property of the Pepperrell’s, who had remained loyal to the British Crown, and the Fort were confiscated by local citizens. Because British war ships had destroyed or captured several towns along the Maine coast and were expected to attack Kittery and Portsmouth, there was intense excitement and great alarm and every effort was made to be ready for the coming enemy. The Fort was put in order and well garrisoned.
Along with Fort Constitution (formerly Fort William and Mary) directly across the mouth of the Piscataqua River, the defense of the river was so formidable that the British never attacked.
Sponsored by the Friends of Fort McClary, Park gates for this event will be open at 9:00 a.m. on both days. Only regular State Park fees are charged. Adults age 12 to 64: $2.00 and children age 5 to 11: $1:00. Senior citizens are free. Additional parking is available on the picnic side across from the Fort or you can park and walk from Mitchell School.
The Friends, a nonprofit group, supports historical preservation and educational and recreational activities at Fort McClary and welcome new membership and donations to cover the costs of our summer events. Donation buckets will be prominently placed around the old Fort site.
For more information, go to, email or call 207-703-2069.
Photo caption: Fort McClary will host a living history presentation of a Revolutionary War encampment August 13-14. (Photo courtesy

Thunderbirds Return to Pease

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
It’s been 25 years since the United States Air Force Thunderbirds have performed in the Seacoast, but their long awaited return will be accomplished next weekend.
The F-16 Fighting Falcons with the easily recognized red, white and blue design will headline the Service Credit Union Boston–Portsmouth Air Show at the Pease International Trade Port Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14.
A year ago, a crowd estimated at 70,000 attended the two-day event that featured the United States Navy’s Blue Angels and a crowd of similar size is anticipated this year, said Herb Gillen, spokesperson for the show. Those returning to this year’s event will find several changes to enhance their enjoyment of the festivities.
Gillen said one of the top concerns following last year’s show was the handling of traffic and soon after the event, meetings were held with safety officials to come up with “a better plan this year.”
He said the parking plan has been refined and “a more coordinated effort” is in place to move people on and off the trade port. He added, however, it would still be best to “get there early” as “there’s plenty to see.”
There will also be “heavy emphasis” on water and helping people “stay cool” during the show. Free water will be available from Monadnock Mountain Spring Water of New Hampshire and water will also be sold at a reduced rate.
In addition, a concerted effort has been made to secure large-scale static airplanes to help provide shade in the main spectator area.
Gillen said Portsmouth Regional Hospital is establishing water and misting stations and more concession areas have been increased from 18 to 37 to reduce the time spent in line a year ago.
A heat index flag system has been established and the show announcer will stress the need for people to keep hydrated during the show.
Military demonstrations by the United States Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, the Navy F-18 Super Hornet and the New Hampshire Air National Guard KC-135 are scheduled. The Super Hornet will also be featured in the Navy’s Legacy Flight with an F4U Corsair.
Civilian aerobatic displays include the National Aviation Hall of Famer Sean D. Tucker, New England native Michael Goulian, and Jason Newburg.
Teams performing include Team AeroShell with four AT-6 “Texans,” The Northeast Raiders flying Yakovlev 52’s and Nanchang CJ6’s, and Team Heavy Metal; a new jet demonstration team flying four L-39’s and one T-33.
The show will also have MIG-17 and P-51 Mustang demonstrations as well as a solo demo by the F4U Corsair.
There will also be a large number of on-ground aircraft displays and the popular Kidz’ Zone Play Area.
Tickets for the show are available at The Service Credit Union Boston–Portsmouth Air Show is again being jointly produced by the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America and the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.
At a recent press conference announcing the various aspects of the show, Steve Wade, CEO, of the Brain Injury Association said: “We are excited to once again bring a world-class lineup to our air show fans throughout New England. Pease will be rocking with the Thunderbirds and this phenomenal lineup.”
Michael Kaufman, CEO of the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America detailed the show’s enhancements for 2011. “We are very excited for the show and know that these site enhancements will go a long way to improving the fan experience this year. We are thrilled to have such strong community and business support to the make the air show a success.”
Photo caption: The United States Air Force Thunderbirds will perform a long-awaited return performance at Pease International Trade Port August 13-14. (Photo courtesy

Roche Selected to Work in Washington, D.C. as Senate Page

Wells High School student Sean Roche learned that he will begin his junior year of study in Washington, D.C., working at one of the most exciting ‘after school’ jobs any teenager could possibly hope for. From September to January, he will become a Senatorial Page in the United States Senate, living, working, and studying in the nation’s Capital.
“I was honored. I was really excited to hear,” said Roche in a brief interview. “I was really surprised actually because I really wanted it...” However, Roche was under no illusions of getting appointed when he applied, because only 30 students are selected at a time. Roche was appointed by Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Maine.
To qualify to be a Page, one must be an American citizen and a high school junior with a 3.0 or above grade point average. Pages work for members of either party and are supervised by the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms.
They live a short distance from the Capital complex at Daniel Webster Hall. A typical weekday for these students includes high school studies on the lower level of this facility from 6:45 a.m. till 9:45 a.m. Depending on the Senate’s schedule, their workday in the Senate begins about an hour after school.
According to the U.S. Senate’s web site, “Senate Page duties consist primarily of delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Congressional Complex. Other duties include preparing the chamber for Senate sessions, and carrying bills and amendments to the desk.”
Roche indicated he will enjoy this rare proximity to history in the making as the subject of history is his favorite, along with math. He feels it is one thing to read about government in class and another to handle actual legislative documents.
The Senate Page program is over 100 years old. Former Pages include Hannah Pingree (current Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives), Amy Carter (daughter of former President Jimmy Carter), Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and former Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew.
Sean Roche is the son of Cindy and Tim Roche of Wells. After high school, Roche says he would like to attend either Stanford University or Pepperdine University.
Photo caption: Sean Roche of Wells was recently selected to participate in a Senate Page position, studying and working during his junior year of high school in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Reg Bennett)