Although it’s still summer, some species of the area’s trees are beginning to wear their glorious fall colors. It’s a slow process and by the time autumn comes officially in late September, there will blazes of warm colors throughout the hills and valleys. I’m finding that anticipation of changing seasons is at least half the fun.
Exeter’s history as a town goes back to 1638 when it was one of four original towns in the colony and was capital of the new state during the American Revolution. There are signs dotting the streets telling of important events in the town’s past. Although New Hampshire sired one president (Franklin Pierce), many future presidents visited during the primaries to gather voters to their cause. Few returned once elected. However, George Washington was different!
As newly inaugurated first president, Washington began a tour of New England in mid-October of 1789. He skipped Rhode Island because it hadn’t yet adopted the Constitution and rode through Connecticut and Massachusetts. By early November he had arrived in Portsmouth and after several days there, he set out at 7:30 am on horseback and arrived in Exeter at 10am. Exeter wasn’t ready for him and the planned dignitaries failed to collect so Captain Wiggin and his artillery company greeted the new president with a thirteen-gun salute. Washington dismounted and had breakfast at the Folsom Public House. The dignitaries finally gathered and gave him a grand send off. How presidential travel practices have changed…