Tiny Town of Monroe Celebrates 200 Years

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State Rep. Paul Mark presents a replica of the fully-restored Town Charter to the Monroe Selectboard, from left, David Gagne, Alice Houghtaling, Paul Mark and Carla Davis.
MONROE, Mass. — The town celebrated its 200th anniversary with a special day of festivities on Sept. 17 this year. 
 
Visitors came from as far away as Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont to help mark the occasion and share in the celebration.
 
The Franklin County town was named for President James Monroe and incorporated during his second term in 1822, years after it was first settled in the early 1800s. With 118 residents, it's the smallest town on the mainland and the second smallest in the state after Gosnold, population 70.
 
The day began with a prayer given by the Rev. Rick Gramlin of First Baptist Church in neighboring Readsboro, Vt.,  followed by the reading of town's Bicentennial Proclamation by Selectboard member Carla Davis.
 
State Rep. Paul Mark presented the town with a replica of the fully-restored Town Charter as a personal gift from himself and state Sen. Adam Hinds.
 
The celebration continued with kids' games and activities and Frenchy's Food Truck on one side of the Community Building, and food and drink served by the Fire Department on the other. Inside the historic building, (in what used to be a classroom for Grades 1-4 beginning in 1936), eventgoers found a memory board that displayed old photos and stories of growing up in Monroe, a booth to purchase a special one-day commemorative postal stamp marking the bicentennial, raffles, and lots of memorabilia including the new Town of Monroe Bicentennial History Book, T-shirts, postcards, magnets, calendars and tote bags for sale by the Monroe Historical Society. 
 
The Historical Society's "room above the garage" was also open throughout the day and saw lots of visitors.
 
A cash-prize cornhole tournament for adults was held beginning at 1 p.m. and provided lots of fun for everyone. First-place winners were Jim Bua and Scott Charron. Taking second place were Avery Bills and Dan Lauth, and Brett Pierce and Jason Bills came in third. 
 
Visitors were also welcome to travel down to the Monroe Bridge Overlook area and sit, relax, take in the view of the Deerfield River and enjoy the beautiful day.
 
Birthday cake made by Bailey's Bakery was provided for all later in the afternoon, and the band, Midnight 30, played to an enthusiastic audience from 2-5 p.m. Many positive comments were shared for days after. A big thank-you goes out to all who provided financial support, and a special thanks to those who volunteered so many hours of their labor to help make the day possible, including members of the Monroe Historical Society, the Monroe Fire Department, and the Monroe Selectboard.
 
Anyone still wishing to purchase memorabilia or visit the Historical Society for what remains of Monroe's Bicentennial Year, should contact the society at monroema2022@gmail.com, visit the Monroe Kiosk on Facebook, or mail requests c/o Lucy Passardi, PO Box 7, Monroe Bridge, MA 01350.
 
Submitted by the town of Monroe and the Monroe Historical Society.

Tags: anniversary,   bicentennial,   

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