I'm in the process of interviewing historical society leaders -- local history lovers, really -- in each of the 12 "Middle Grant" communities celebrating their 250th this year.
So far my favorite question is one suggested by editor Ernie Kohlsaat: Name a spot in town where you feel its history come alive.
Today I interviewed Nancy Hoggson of the Norwich Historical Society, and here is her reply:
"I have two spots, actually. One is the Beaver Meadow Chapel out on Beaver Meadow Road. That was restored in the '90s, and it is just a beautiful building inside and outside.
"When you drive down Beaver Meadow Road, it sits right up close to the road. There's a cemetery close by, and it is such a piece of history -- because in the old days there were all these hamlets, little hamlets. Kind of behind that chapel is the old, little, one-room schoolhouse.
"The people who live out in the Meadow, as they call it, they did a wonderful job restoring the chapel. The schoolhouse needs some work, and they would very much like to have the same kind of project to raise some money to restore that.
"Those two buildings -- they're both modest, they're not fancy, they're just plain and simple, and speak to the plainer and simpler lives that people had back then as opposed to today.
"And then of course there's Dan and Whit's, which is historic in itself. That really is a town hub. Heaven forbid that anybody came in and tried to modernize it and make it all fancy. I think there would be a riot in town.
"It just is what it is -- the quirkiness, and the uneven floors, and the green door, and the slots for the daily newspapers. You always see somebody you know when when you go in there. It's a pretty special place. It's a pretty special place. We're lucky to have it."
I'm sharing Hoggson's thoughts on her favorite Norwich places here because of space constraints we'll face when her turn comes in the newspaper some Sunday soon.
-- Mark Travis