Pelham - Windham News September 17, 2010 - 3
Pelham’s Sherburne Hall: Rich in History
Cyber-bullying and Harassment Presentations at PHS – Public Welcome
submitted by Heather Simione Lagasse, Pelham High School Pelham High School (PHS) has recruited John Halligan to conduct a presentation on September 22 on Cyber-bullying and Harassment for the students of Pelham High School. However, PHS believes it is such an important and current topic that we would like to extend the invitation to the public.
Halligan will be giving two 90-minute presentations that day. The first begins at 7:40 a.m. in the PHS gymnasium and the second presentation will start immediately following at 9:16 a.m.
Halligan will relay his own tragic experience as a dad whose 13 year old son took his own life in 2003 after incessant bullying by peers since the fifth grade, both in school and online. His story is
riveting and powerful, and reminds students that there is a face, a person, and a heart on the other end of the computer screen or phone. Halligan will show a short video collection of his son and share the factors that led up to his son’s suicide. It is our hope that our students gain an
awareness about the signs and risk of suicide and how best to help those suffering in silence from the pain of bullying and harassment. PHS would also like to thank Salem’s Wal-Mart for their donation of a grant in helping us attain Mr. Halligan. If you are interested in reading more on the presentation, we encourage you to visit a Website named for his son: www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org
. We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, September 22, at PHS.
by Doug Robinson The legacy of E.G (Gardner) Sherburne (1885-
1948) began nearly a century ago, and his values and contributions to the Pelham community are still witnessed today. Sherburne understood and valued the need for good education, and he was committed to assisting Pelham with their educational system. His dedication to education was recognized by the Pelham School Board by the naming of the four-room schoolhouse, originally built in the 1920s, in his honor in 1950. Today, after nearly a century of transition and change, the function room within Pelham’s Town Hall continues to bear his name. The story begins in the early 1900s with Pelham voting to build a new school. In 1919, the residents of Pelham voted on
School Warrant 14 to approve or not approve “to see what action the District will take relative to the erection of the new building voted last year and if is voted to proceed with the same to appoint committees and raise and appropriate money for the same,” states Pelham’s Annual Report dated January 31, 1920. The Pelham School Board commented that “the matter of the much discussed new building should be taken up at once and pushed so that it may be used the coming fall, in view of the threatened condemnation of the present graded school quarters by the state and in this connection would make the following recommendations. The District should elect a committee in whom they have sufficient confidence to allow them to constitute the whole or a part of the construction committee; also not withstanding the vote as it now stands for a three-room building; they would advise, as they did originally, a two- room building with a basement, with provision for a stock room for the District.” So began the construction of the original E.G. Sherburne school, long before it bore his name. Once erected, the small, rural schoolhouse
was located in the center of the town of Pelham. “In contrast to the one-room schools, the new school was to have a furnace, running water, and inside toilets,” writes the Pelham Historical Society. During this past century, that tiny schoolhouse
has manifested and grown into many different buildings and uses. Today, as the buildings have been altered, enlarged, and changed to keep up with current times, one cannot even recognize that the historic site upon which Town Hall sits once resided that four-room schoolhouse. The original E.G Sherburne building was built
of white clapboard with an entrance located in the front of the building, just underneath the present-day sign stating “Town Hall.” Having been enlarged to support a municipal center, the rural school now rests within Pelham’s Town Hall. At the other end of Town Hall is located Pelham’s Police Department, while the structure to the right of town hall is the old elementary building.
photo courtesy of Pelham Historical Society The entrance door and windows to the old
schoolhouse has long since been replaced with walls that house the Pelham’s Planning Department. The ceiling, however, continues to sport the big beams and original ceiling first constructed nearly a century ago. According to Reflections, A Pictorial
History of Pelham, New Hampshire, 1746- 1996, Pelham is “nestled in the southeast corner of New Hampshire,” also stating that “Pelham was incorporated in July 5, 1746. The land that became Pelham had been part of Nottingham, Massachusetts to the west and Dracut, Massachusetts to the east.” Between the 1720s and 1920, most of Pelham’s residents were involved with the business of farming. Regardless of profession, most of the residents participated in the farming trade to some extent. Today, few, if any, Pelham farms exist. Prominent to Pelham was the John Sherburne
family. “John Sherburne, the emigrant ancestor of the Pelham Sherburnes, was born in Odiham, England, in the early 1600s and emigrated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he married Elizabeth Tuck in 1645. John, his brother Henry, and their descendants were very prominent in the government of colonial New Hampshire. On November 29, 1751, John’s great-grandson, James Sherburne, purchased from Joseph Wright 150 acres adjoining the property of Captain William Richardson,” states Reflections. The road leading to Sherburne Farm was
eventually called Sherburne Road and, to this day, remains named the same. As generations grew up and worked the farm,
the last Sherburne to work the farm was Ernest Gardner Sherburne (b.1885), more commonly known as E.G. Sherburne. Educated in Lowell, MA, Cushing Academy,
and the University of New Hampshire, Sherburne “had a great respect for education and he supported the Pelham School System throughout his lifetime,” continues Reflections. Ernest G. Sherburne served as a School Board
member for many years and had great concerns for the students, teachers, and curriculum. He was a hands-on administrator who took the time to become personally involved with fixing broken windows, windows, unclogging the plumbing, or repairing the furnace. In 1950, after an addition was added to the small schoolhouse, the building was renamed the Ernest G. Sherburne building in his honor. In later years, the E.G. Sherburne School was replaced with Pelham Elementary School. Twenty years later, it was written that “if one
were to identify Pelham’s paramount problem, it would have to be ‘space.’ That concern will be partially solved with the opening of the new addition to the E.G. Sherburne school during or prior to the coming school year,” writes Pelham School Superintendent Peter G. Dolloff in his Annual School Report for year ending June 30, 1971.
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