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Arsenals of American Independence

September 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Books, City Library, Events, Local Author Series, Local History, Main Branch, NH Room

600_323338822In the turbulent history of colonial New England, more than two hundred powder houses were built to store gunpowder, guns and armaments. Even the small spark from a metal shoe nail could ignite their contents, so they often sat in remote sections of town. These volatile storehouses played a vital role in earning and preserving American independence.  Author and historian Matthew Thomas explores these forgotten landmarks in his lecture and recent book, “Historic Powder Houses of New England.” The 192-page book explores the history of the more than 200 powder houses in which firearms, ammunition and barrels of gun powder were stored by colonists and sought by the British at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
Thomas said he’s always had a fascination with New England’s historical landmarks, but no definitive study had ever been done on the powder houses that once dotted the countryside.  Mr. Thomas will also share the story of a powder house that exploded in downtown Manchester during World War II, which caused over $25,000 worth of damage and hysteria among local residents. Plan to join us on Thursday, September 18th in the library auditorium at 6:30 PM.  For more information contact Cynthia O’Neil at 624-6550 ext. 306.

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