Candia remains an old town trying to hold onto a rich history
The Smyth Library on High Street, although in need of repair, hasn't changed much in appearance over the years. (Benjamin Klein and courtesy)
Settled in the 1740s and incorporated in December of 1763 after it split from Chester, Candia has produced a governor, business leaders and many American war veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War.
"Governor Smyth was really big on libraries and education in general, and he started a public library in someone's house and provided money for books. And when he died, he left money, and his wife decided to donate a building so that the town could have a place for the library . ," Lindsey said.
"It surprised me that when Smyth put up the statue in 1892, they say about 5,000 people showed up on the hill. It amazes me that such a large group of people would celebrate something like that, but historically, it's a very patriotic town," Lindsey said.
Reviving old tradition
Ray Cresswell is the founder of the modern Candia Militia, and he wants to keep the group alive because of how important it was to founding and maintaining the town.
"The militia was founded in the early days of the town. We had a militia prior to that, even with the first settlers. They existed to protect the town, act as a police force, to protect from Indian raids and even help out at fires. They were an all-purpose unit," Cresswell said.
Candia also contributed to the development of Manchester, Lindsey said, as both an industrial area and as a recreational one. Mills in Candia and in many surrounding towns contributed to the development of Manchester.
One of the problems that a town as old as Candia faces is the upkeep of its historical treasures. Lindsey said the Fitts Museum is unique in the state in that it is town-owned and operated.
However, while the Fitts Museum is thriving, Lindsey said, the old Smyth Library is struggling.
"That's why we are trying to do something to make it usable for the people in Candia and make it so it doesn't just deteriorate," Lindsey said.
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