The Somersworth Scene
Everything has a beginning and an end. Right now this is the beginning of something new. Something, I hope will always shine a positive light on the city I now call home; Somersworth.
I may not have been born a Hilltopper and I’m still unsure as to whether I adopted Somersworth or if it adopted me but whichever way it happened I am glad it did. My life has been filled with some wonderful Hilltoppers who exemplify the spirit of a city steeped in history and Yankee traditions.
Traditions that date back to 1823 when Somersworth was no more than a sawmill and waterfall. Over the years Somersworth has seen tremendous changes but in essence has always stayed loyal to its foundations.
As the city grew in years it also grew in population and that population became more diverse with each passing year. The French Canadians followed the English, the Irish followed the French Canadians and they in turn were followed by the Greeks. In more recent history Indonesians have begun to call Somersworth home. All have found a place here and all have been welcomed, myself included.
Each of us that call ourselves Hilltoppers are as unique as the city itself. That is because Somersworth is the only city on the entire globe with that name. Type Somersworth in Google and you are guaranteed to find the right place. The name itself means Summer town and was originally spelled “Summersworth.”
New City Council, New Two Year Term
Talking as we are of new beginnings, two week ago we witnessed the swearing in of the new Somersworth City Council and school board. Something that has occurred every two years since Somersworth became a city back in 1893.
Just as the city’s first Mayor, Franklin Chase gave his speech, current Mayor Dana Hilliard delivered his. Another nine members of the City Council took their oath of office and the wheels of local government began to turn once more.
Those wheels turn not only for those who sit on the seats at City council but the department heads, city clerks and all those who work behind the scenes but rarely get credit because well it’s just their job. Just as no man is an island neither is a city or city hall. It takes a village to run a city after all.
So Much We Take For Granted
There is so much we take for granted each day as we go about our daily lives and rarely give them any thought. For example our drinking water which is controlled by the Public Works department. The truth is the only time we ever truly notice these departments is when things go wrong. We simply assume when we turn on the faucet, clean drinkable water will appear as if by magic. Truth is it’s not magic and it takes a lot of money, effort and monitoring to ensure that water gets from the Salmon Falls River to your tap just as you expect.
We assume that the roads will be plowed when the first storm of the winter hits or that the police will turn up when we call. Again the truth is there is a myriad of people behind the scenes that work to ensure all of this runs smoothly and does not impact your life negatively. I think these are the people that deserve our praise to be honest but we so rarely do that. I’m hoping to change that with this column as I highlight those departments and the people that run them.
Perspective Is Just A Different Point Of View
So much we see depends on our perspective. Some walk past an empty storefront others pass by the same store front and see opportunity. It is hoped that you will soon see those empty storefronts in a new light as they are filled with artwork that will tell the story of Somersworth. This project was the brainchild of Somersworth’s Downtown round table which is made up of a collection of downtown businesses. They partnered with Somersworth teacher Kayla Tompkins and the first Somersworth Art Walk exhibit will feature the artwork of her classes over the February Vacation: Feb 24 – 28th 2020. So make sure you keep an eye on those storefronts….
As we begin the new year, we have much to look forward to in Somersworth. Last year saw the opening of the new State Liquor store which left a hole downtown. A hole that is about to be filled along with several others including the old bank of America building that will become home to a pediatric dentist. Last year also saw the opening of Stripe Nine brewing as well as a second Indonesian restaurant in the city. Incidentally these two restaurants represent the only Indonesian restaurants in New New Hampshire and if you have not visited either Bali State House or Tasha’s Kitchen I highly recommend both. The 1886 Barber Shop which also opened last year is another thriving business and was recently featured on WMUR’s Chronicle.
We will also be seeing a new restaurant open on Main Street called Gravy. You can read all about it in THIS piece I recently wrote for Fosters Daily Democrat recently.
So let’s toast to a New Year in Somersworth and get ready for the bright future that is part of the cities motto,
Till next time…