UPDATE: On Jan 9 we announced to the Exeter Select Board that we will partner with the Black Heritage Trail of NH on the proposed pocket-park, and are in their queue for a 2024 project.Happy New Year to all!
And a great big thanks to all who purchased my mystery books this past holiday season. Let me give you an update on where your money has and will be going…
As the black hole in time that was the Covid-era begins to recede, finally we are ready to look forward again. It is with a happy heart that I tell you that the timing is finally right for Exeter’s Black Heritage Pocket-Park that had been proposed just before Covid hit.
As you remember, I pledged to donate profits from my book sales to tangible reminders of Exeter’s historic Black community. So far, money has been spent on: a gravestone for Rebecca Walker, a plaque for John Cutler (via Sandy Martin), and a large stone step for Jude Hall (this spring at the American Independence Museum). All that remains for us is to finish is the pocket-park idea. (Depending on the design and some other details, there may be a crowd-funding element).
The idea was to locate a bench and a stone near/in the Swasey Parkway area. The Town had to jump through many hoops to enact the closure of half of Swasey Parkway (requested by citizen vote 2022). They are almost ready. So, I will speak to them on Monday night to update them on the pocket-park, and see what they have to say.
We look forward to partnering with the Black Heritage Trail of NH to place their handsome stone marker in the pocket-park. The remainder of my book profits are earmarked for this project (and one with Exeter Chapter DAR). Depending on the design, there may be a crowd-funding element this spring, too. TBD!
Stay tuned – and once again – thanks for your support of the project.
~ RM Allen
PS: An annual NYE ritual of mine is the “Word-of-the-Year” and this year it is “home”. Thank you for helping me to bring this historic community home 🙂