If there’s ever a day to block off for a full day of fun in the Town – aside from the day that includes a large parade – then that day would be this Saturday, May 12, when the Friends of Memorial Hall and the Charlestown Preservation Society will combine with other friends to have an entire day and evening full of events.
Dubbed ‘Celebrate Historic Charlestown Day,’ the day is designed to celebrate the launch of CPS’s new walking app, and also to draw major attention (and funding) to the restoration efforts underway at historic Memorial Hall.
“Most people haven’t been in the Hall for at least 20 years or more, and if you’re under 50 or new to the Town, then you probably haven’t ever been in the Hall,” said Joe Zuffante of the Abraham Lincoln Post, which is housed in the Hall. “This will be a great opportunity to get in there and see what we’ve done and what we hope to do. We’re very excited and it’s going to be a very big day.
“The Hall is the first Federal Georgian mansion built after everything burnt up and it’s the only one still remaining,” he continued.
Ellen Kitzis, president of CPS, said Memorial Hall should be preserved, and CPS was founded in 1967 to do just that kind of thing.
“People come from all over the country to see our buildings and historic sites, and this should be one of the places they come,” she said. “Charlestown Preservation started with the idea of restoring the Tavern and the Thompson triangle in 1967. That is our original mission in restoring historic buildings. To get a chance to work on that mission with Memorial Hall has been really fantastic.”
CPS’s Amanda Zettel said the day will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the ground of Memorial Hall where they will have coffee, tea and morning bites from Charlestown Tea & Treats. After being joined by three musicians from the Lexington Drum & Fife Corp, they will walk to the Monument where the first CPS Mobile Walking Tour will take place.
“The app has 15 stops with at least 30 sites on it,” said Zettel. “There are about three to seven sites at each stop. The app is available on a phone or computer laptop. We also have QR codes that we hope to eventually put on windows of private residences. Joe Treppicone has produced wonderful renderings of the sites for the app. We also have photos of private residences and got fantastic access to private homes that one could never get to see on any other tour.”
The new app is available on computer, tablet or phone, and highlights numerous stops around Charlestown. On Saturday that will begin with a talk about Monument Square by the National Park Service, and there will be a Junior Charlestown Militia Training for kids.
The tour will move to the Training Field afterward, where the Charlestown Mothers’ Association will sponsor that stop on the tour. The National Park Service will speak about the Soldiers & Sailors Monument there. It will move to City Square afterward, then to the Warren Tavern and to the Thompson Square Triangle. After that, guests can go on their own to Phipps Burial Ground, which will be open, or back to Memorial Hall for a fundraising BBQ. They will have beer, wine, hot dogs, hamburgers and all of the rest of the fixings – with a $5 minimum contribution to go to the renovation of the Hall.
After a bit of a break, at 6 p.m. the fun will start again with the Friends of Memorial Hall Gala in the upstairs Hall – which at one time was the best dance floor in all of Boston.
Pippa Nava said they will be using three different local companies for the food and drinks. Sunday Supper Catering will provide starters, while Beantown Smoker will provide a BBQ dinner of pulled pork, chicken and sides. David Greenough will be on hand from the Upper Glass to provide wine pairings.
They will also have signature cocktails where guests can choose to be a Friend (Colonist) or Foe (British), with the Friend drink being a New England rum-based cocktail and the Foe being a British gin-style drink.
They will also have DJ Smokey Cain, a 50/50 Raffle sale (winner to be pulled at later date), and fine art photo prints for sale from Paul Lane. They will also have two local art vendors raising money for the Hall, including Summer LaLande and Emily Quigley.
Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online, at Bunker Hill Florist (cash or check only), or by calling Zuffante at (617) 477-7494.
May 12 will be a big day for Memorial Hall and the historic preservation of Charlestown. The Friends of Memorial Hall and the Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) have aligned to have a full day and evening of fundraising fun to help raise money to restore the old, historic Hall.