New Hampshire’s first Lafayette Trail marker was unveiled and dedicated on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at its location on the town’s common, in Newport, NH! Despite the slight drizzle, the Sunshine Town came through as Town Manager Hunter Rieseberg and others, participated in the dedication ceremony.
On June 27, 1825 during his “Farewell Tour,” the Marquis de Lafayette was welcomed to Newport by its citizens and later entertained in the homes of Colonel William Cheney and James Breck, Esq., before continuing on to Claremont.
Julien Icher, founder and president of The Lafayette Trail
https://thelafayettetrail.org , spoke about Lafayette and The Lafayette Trail marker program, that plans to place historically significant markers in the twenty-five states that Lafayette visited during his 1824-1825 “Farewell Tour.”
Following the ceremony, the Newport Historical Society’s Museum Director Larry Cote, gave Mr. Icher a tour of the Society’s museum. In addition, a socially distanced tour of the Corbin Covered Bridge and a visit to the gravesite of New Hampshire’s last surviving Revolutionary War soldier, Joel McGregor, was made. It’s quite possible that McGregor was present at the reception that Colonel Cheney held for Lafayette when he was in Newport, as Wheeler’s town history notes that “he was introduced to the soldiers of the Revolution.”
One other connection to Lafayette that we found in Newport, was at the Sarah Josepha Hale Memorial Park at the Richards Free Library on North Main Street. While the Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston in 1825 (on the 50th anniversary of the battle), it was Newport’s Sarah Josepha Buell Hale that helped to raise the funds to complete the building of the monument (through a seven-day fair at Boston’s Faneuil Hall in 1840)!
We wish Julien Icher all the best as he continues his work with The Lafayette Trail!