2014 Children’s Fair – Larry Ackerson Auction

The roots of the auction go back to the very beginning of the Fair

“The conception of the Children’s Fair of New Ipswich was in this wise:
“One afternoon in September, 1862, the Pastor of the Congregational Church and Professor E.T. Quimby, the preceptor of the Academy, were driving home from a Sunday School Convention held at East Wilton, and the Rev. Mr. Cutler and Prof. Quimby fell into talk in regard to the possibility of so training children that they , in the early beginning of their lives, would feel it a pleasure and a duty to share with others the good gifts of life bestowed so freely on themselves.
“Mr. Stephen Sylvester had met (with) the young people and had rehearsals, and quite a large band (group) came marching through the entering door at the appointed hour, the older ones, members of the church choir, singing a hymn written for the occasion.
“I think there was prayer and a few brief speeches, and following these, more singing. (Then) the purchase and partaking of refreshments with lively sociability, then an animated auction was attended, at which there was merry competition and playful rivalry, each bidder saying inwardly, ‘It is all going for a good cause.’.
“The sum raised was $65 for the various objects named. It will be remembered we were raising supplies for the Union Army, paying 4200 for the support of a teacher among the freedmen, (emancipated slaves) and living at largely increased cost, with no prospect of immediate change.
“In the early years there were problems designating where the proceeds would go. Here is an example:

Says Mr. T: “I don’t believe in sending money out of town to the heathen when there are neighbor’s children who are staying away from school for want of shoes.”

Response: “ALL right, Mr. T., if you have beets from your garden or plums or currants from your yard to spare, send them up to the Fair so marked. the proceed will be sent where you direct.

“We met as human beings; children of one Father, for one common purpose, to extend to other children of God who are needy the blessings more abundantly bestowed on us. We rarely see, I think, a crowd of happier-looking people than that at the Congregational Church in New Ipswich at the Children’s Fair.”

Taken from a little book owned by NICC and the Historical Society printed on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first Fair.
A special thank you to Betsy Thoms for supplying this information.
We look forward to more tidbits about our past, and how it influences us today!
Auctioneer Bill Tobin discusses the merits of antique tools

Bob Romeril keeps tally of auction items

Bill explains that this is an old painting as evidenced by the lack of a toilet

Do I hear five dollars for this?

Dixie assembles a bag of irons

These were worth a bit more money than most items

Saturday, August 16th, was Larry Ackerson’s 40th Children’s Fair.
Sunday, August 17th, Larry went to home to the Lord.


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