A Mini-Walkabout in Exeter

Winter seemed to vanish overnight along with the mounds of snow just before the Easter weekend. Spring fever abounded with runners, walkers, shoppers, bikers outnumbering vehicles. We decided it was time to join in the procession and become acquainted with a bit of the town of Exeter, the capital of this new state during the Revolutionary War.

We made a visit to the Exeter Town Hall, built in 1855 and still going strong. It was on these steps that Abraham Lincoln spoke to a large crowd on March 6, 1860 against the expansion of slavery in the Kansas and Nebraska territories. It was later that year that he was elected our 16th president.

We climbed those steps to the interior of the building where we found a beehive of activity. Until 1979, the main floor was home to the police department but now it is used for community meetings. This day, they were making preparations for an Easter service… setting up chairs, sound equipment, bringing in Easter lilies.

We though we might as well climb the seemingly endless staircase to the second floor where District Court was originally held.

Now it’s the home of the Exeter Arts Committee, a volunteer Town Committee appointed by the Board of Selectmen to help promote the arts and artists in the area. This day they were sponsoring a youth art show from a bunch of local schools. I think I’d like to be a regular visitor to the upcoming art shows.

Views from the 2nd floor windows gave a grand panorama of Water Street and the Squamscott River in the distance…..

….and a nice view of the Bandstand in the center of town where the Exeter Brass Band gives concerts on Monday evenings during the summer.

We were in and out of diverse and interesting shops and reading the menus in the windows of a variety of restaurants along Water Street.

Travel and Nature

Stopping on a bridge crossing the Great Falls, we watched the fresh water Exeter River flowing over falls into the salty Squamscott River.

At the end of the shopping area was the Phillips Exeter Academy’s boathouse where four friendly and polite students greeted us at the door and laughed when I told them I thought their grand boathouse was the local farmers’ market. Crew season is just about to begin and training is in progress. mister gardener and I were invited in to see the interior that was filled with boats and equipment, girls on the left, boys on the right.

The girls in the middle are New Englanders, the gal on the left is from Exeter and the girl on the right is from Chicago. They gave us great advice for our next stop on our mini-walkabout.

The Squamscott River is where the teams train but cannot compete on the river, they said, because it is not straight enough.

We took the students’ advice and our last stop on our walk was their favorite ice cream store…. where we found more Phillips Exeter Academy students packing the store. I had butter brickle and mister gardener had black raspberry, a grand way to end our day!

5 thoughts on “A Mini-Walkabout in Exeter

  1. Hard to believe that huge mountain of snow is gone. It melted pretty fast so you must be having beautiful warm weather. I love your new town, and hope to visit.


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