FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
For information contact:
Jeffrey R. Barraclough
MANCHESTER, NH – A rare opportunity to visit a unique Manchester landmark will be available during the first two weekends of October. Weston Observatory, near Derryfield Park, will be open on Oct. 4, 5, 11 & 12 from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. each day according to Jeffrey R. Barraclough, acting director of the Manchester Historic Association. “The MHA is pleased to provide this special chance to view fall foliage in cooperation with the Manchester Parks, Recreation and Cemetery Division,” Barraclough said.
Admission will be $10 per person and $25 for families. Parks and Recreation will provide picnic tables and trash cans and MHA will sell soft drinks. A series of short talks and walking tours of the nearby Amoskeag Ledge, McIntyre Ski Area, and Manchester Water Works reservoirs is planned.
James Adams Weston (1827-1895) was the youngest of five children. He was a civil engineer by trade and designed much of Manchester’s street and sewer infrastructure. A former Mayor (1861, 1867, 1869, 1874) and Governor (1871, 1874), Weston left $5,000 in his will to provide a monument atop Oak Hill “for the use, enjoyment, benefit and mental improvement of the inhabitants of the City of Manchester.” The cornerstone was laid on Sept. 27, 1896.
Weston Observatory is a circular 66-foot tower made of granite quarried in Allenstown. It is 360 feet higher than Elm Street, affording a spectacular view to the west and north. On a good day Mount Washington is visible. The observation deck is reached via a series of 85 steps and is not accessible for people who use wheelchairs or have difficulty walking. Click here for more details about the tower.
Once a popular tourist destination, during World War II air raid wardens used the tower to scan the skies for enemy aircraft. After the war it fell into disrepair. City officials were about to demolish it in the 1970s when a group of citizens led by the late Louis Israel Martel led a fundraising effort and the stone tower was rebuilt. Weston Observatory was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The Manchester Historic Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Its mission is to collect, preserve and share the history of Manchester. It operates a Research Center at 129 Amherst Street and the Millyard Museum at 200 Bedford Street. Please call (603) 622-7531 for more information, or visit the website www.manchesterhistoric.org.