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The Yankee Express

Past, present on display at Grafton’s Antique & Arts Fair

Nancy Therrien, right, and Helen Blazis at the Grafton Historical Society’s table during the 53rd annual Antique & Arts Fair. Ms. Therrien is Society president; Ms. Blazis is a docent.

By Rod Lee

Residents of Grafton would undoubtedly say there is no better place to hold special outdoor events than the Town Common—arguably the prettiest in all of New England.
They would also probably agree that the Grafton Historical Society is the organization most ably suited to host an Antique & Arts Fair, the 53rd edition of which was held on June 18th.
Under refreshingly cool and breezy skies, vendors had come from near and far.
Jean Pellerin was there with “books and smalls;” Jim Bavosi with “rocks, jewelry and photographs;” Denis Worden with samples from “Sweet Briar Florist;” Bonnie Frederico with “fine art;” Tom Tomaszek, offering “appraisals;” Joanne Beller with “Nantucket Baskets;” Kerry Simmler with “Chrysalis-Grafton Memorabilia;” Deb and Bob Goss, Elaine Koleshis, John Stephens, Tom and Deb Joralemon, Michael Paquette and others with antiques and vintage collectibles.
Elaine Blake of Sterling was present too, standing guard with her husband Steve over an assortment of beautifully caned chairs she had arranged for viewing and purchase.
Ms. Blake does “wicker repair, hand-woven caning and shaker tape” from her home.
“This is our fourth of fifth year here,” she said. “Not too many people are doing caning, I’m trying to change that, one student at a time (as an instructor in the craft). I started caning in high school and I have been teaching off and on for twenty years.”
Ms. Blake says she finds the chairs she turns into absolute gems “everywhere, at flea markets, on the side of the road. I’ll come back from shopping and there will be a chair on my porch!”
The opportunity to be more involved than just as an accommodating host was not lost on Nancy Therrien and fellow members of the Grafton Historical Society. The Society, which Ms. Therrien heads up as president, was represented with an antiques table, books and maps and a silent auction table.
“See this 1887 map,” Ms. Therrien said, pointing to a large item lying on the table at which she and Helen Blazis were positioned. ‘It shows some of the oldest mills in the town.”
Charged with the lofty goal of fostering interest in Grafton’s past, collecting and preserving Grafton artifacts and memorabilia and providing resources for students and future generations, the Grafton Historical Society relishes the opportunity to put on an annual Antique & Arts Fair that draws hundreds to the Town Common. “The turnout was unbelievable,” the Society said, immediately afterwards.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.