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New Salem to highlight its 10 villages for Old Home Day on July 20

The old New Salem Academy now houses a museum.

The old New Salem Academy now houses a museum.

NEW SALEM — This year, this small town has decided to focus on its numerous villages during its annual Old Home Day on July 20.

Looking in the history books, the total number of villages seems to vary depending upon what period is being considered, but there are or were at least 10 villages.

There will be a “New Salem Villages” exhibit and photo display at the recently restored and re-opened Old Academy. A tour of the historical homes in New Salem Center will be given, which will include a tour of the former New Salem Academy Academic Building and the home that was the former dormitory building for the academy.

Dale Monette, a New Salem resident who is a Department of Conservation Recreation biologist, will be providing a presentation of the Quabbin Reservoir “Before and After” showcasing photographs taken before the flooding of the Swift River Valley and photographs taken at the same location afterwards.

The Appalachian Mountain Club will be sponsoring an early morning walk in the Quabbin to Puppyville, one of the former New Salem villages. For the young-at-heart, there will be a mini-golf course with a hole for each of the villages. The Mount Grace Land Trust will be leading an afternoon walk on the West Hill land off of New Salem Center.

There will be a performance by the “Tequila Amigos,” a Latin band playing Herb Alpert-type music.

There will be tricycle races, a pie-eating contest, a basketball shoot-out, a cross-cut saw contest, the 1794 Meetinghouse Silent Auction, the Council on Aging Tin Can Auction, a parachute fly-in from Jumptown USA, “Music for Kids” (hands-on instrument sampling), a Cake Walk (sampling and raffling of cakes), the Firemen’s Breakfast and Lunch, the Central Congregational Church’s Red, White and Blue Café, its Bake Sale, the Library book sale, a sawdust treasure hunt and a pizza party with music by the Mid-Range Trio.

Following tradition, there will be the noon-time parade with fire engines, horses and floats related to the theme and vendors on the Common.

Anyone interested in entering cakes in the Cake Walk may contact Bonnie Stewart at 610-608-4891. If you want to set up a vending booth on the Common, contact Jane Clukay at 978-544-2660. If you want to be in the parade, contact Janet Henderson at 978-544-3410. You can also e-mail

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