Exeter History Minutes

In each episode of this monthly video series, Exeter Historical Society curator Barbara Rimkunas explores a fascinating aspect of Exeter, New Hampshire's history.

In 1929, a town philanthropist offered to create a beautiful parkway on the site of the town dump; a little more than two years later, the spot was transformed into a community gathering place. In the third episode of the Exeter History Minute Swasey trilogy, Barbara tells the story of Ambrose Swasey and our town's permanent "beauty spot," the Swasey Parkway.

Before Paul Revere made his famous ride, prior to the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party or the Stamp Act, there were Mast Tree Riots. What are those, you ask? The answer involves the King's Broad Arrow Mark, colonial bartering and, of course, trees.
Bicycles have moved Exonians around town for a century and a half. Their invention created opportunities for greater independence for women and more affordable transportation for the working class. In this episode, Barbara explores the development of the long-standing tradition of bike-riding in Exeter.
In our third special "Hey, What is that Thing" edition of the Exeter History Minute, Barbara explains the origins of an unusual curbstone on Front Street, across from the Post Office. Hint: It has ties to the American Revolution. This history minute is generously sponsored by Foy Insurance, www.foyinsurance.com.

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In the late 19th century, Alice Chesley taught school and then worked in Exeter's probate office. In her 30s, she decided to study medicine, eventually becoming Exeter's first female doctor. In this episode, Barbara examines the twists and turns in Dr. Chesley's life, including her journey from teacher to physician.
In the dark early morning hours of September 3rd, 1965, several people -- including two police officers -- saw unexplained red lights over and around Exeter. This would come to be known as the "incident at Exeter." For the 50th anniversary of the "incident", Barbara explores this strange occurrence.
In February of 1860, Abraham Lincoln stepped off the train in Exeter, New Hampshire, to visit his son, a student at Phillips Exeter Academy. Lincoln's trip east became a turning point in his life and career; just three months later, he was the Republican nominee for president.

The Swasey Pavilion - or the Exeter Bandstand, as it is commonly known - is more than just a place for the band to play. It's a work of art! Built in the summer of 1916, the bandstand was designed by Henry Bacon - the architect of the Lincoln Memorial - and gifted to the town by industrialist Ambrose Swasey.

We have produced over fifty Exeter History Minutes. To see more episodes, visit our YouTube Channel.

The Exeter History Minutes are written and "performed" by curator Barbara Rimkunas and produced by program manager Laura Martin.