Published April 12th, 2021 in the Manchester Ink Link
Raise a toast
Find your favorite John Stark quote
Today’s the day we recognize
The man who smote
The British in the Battle of Bennington
The game changer that helped create this here United States of America.
(yes, this is national poetry month)
He was born on August 28, 1728, in Londonderry, New Hampshire and was constantly called to arms. He played important roles in the battles of Breeds Hill and Bunker Hill and his strategic prowess contributed to the surrender of the British general John Burgoyne at Saratoga. He died in Manchester May 8, 1822, and his final resting place is a two-acre cemetery within a 30-acre tract called Stark Park long owned by the City of Manchester.
In recent times:
In 2004, a group of concerned citizens founded The Friends of Stark Park a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to develop, revitalize maintain and protect the heritage and recreational use of Stark Park. Led today by board president and local resident Brian Brady, the Friends of Stark Park have revitalized the River Road area containing the cemetery, gazebo and statue of General Stark. In years prior to the current pandemic, there have been public ceremonies at the gravesite recognizing the general.
In 2017, a group of students at The Founders Academy Public Charter school lobbied successfully to have John Stark Day changed to the second Monday in April so it could be celebrated in school rather than during spring break. Today the Founders Academy is concluding their multi-day John Stark day scavenger hunt with an online celebration and presentation tonight at 6:30 p.m.
Manchester Moves has been working hard for months clearing overgrown paths within Stark Park and its connection to city and state-owned lands that can one day connect the Stark Park loop of the Heritage Trail with rail-trails and potentially “rail with trail” sections that would open up a myriad of ways for urban travelers to get around New Hampshire’s largest city. They have been spearheading a collaboration of volunteers and donations to make those less accessed areas safe and open up the lower fields that were formerly farming areas in the 30-acre Stark property. If you want to help, clean-up day will be this Saturday April 17 and The Walk in the Woods Trail will be officially opened in a celebration on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 9 a.m.
The legacy of John Stark lives on through the efforts of caring citizens who have been and are working hard to keep this tremendous gift within the city limits, accessible to all.