1816 Year without a Summer
In 2016, Ashland NH commemorated the 200th Anniversary of “1816 The Year Without A Summer” when Holderness citizen Reuben Whitten shared his precious and rare wheat crop with his neighbors who had no crops that year due to the unusually cold weather that year due to a volcanic eruption the prior April 1815. The Town of Ashland Board of Selectmen proclaimed August 27th, 2016 Reuben Whitten Day to honor this hometown hero!
Celebrbation included: a First Frost Ice Cream Social on June 6, 2016 with a first look at the newly preserved exterior of the Whitten House; a Whitten Wheat Festival community stone soup meal on August 27th, 2016 when we harvested our own wheat field; Ashland Garden Club's planting of white flowers and silver foliage with wood Whitten logo markers throughout our town gardens to evoke he snows and frosts of 1816; a song composed by the Ashland Parks & Recreation Summer Campers about Whitten; and the naming of the 500+ acre forest purchased and preserved by the Squam Lakes Association, "Whitten Woods". Press included a local news station's weather spot, a national magazine's article on 1816's weather with an insert page about Reuben Whitten, and numerous articles in local, regional, international and on line media.
Ashland admires and honors his generosity and this bicentennial milestone by preserving the house that Reuben Whitten built and where he dried his precious wheat crop. The Reuben Whitten House Project (RWHP) underway 2014 - 2016 was concluded in June 2016 with the preservation of the exterior of the home. The Ashland Historical Society's Reuben Whitten Committee continues to raise funds to stabilize the Reuben Whitten House interior anticipating an additional $20,000 needed to complete this preservation.
June 2016 we completed preservation of exterior!! Interior needs $20,000.
Whitten Family Cemetary
Reuben Whitten saved the town of Ashland NH during 'The Year without a Summer' in 1816. 200 years later, the town of Ashland would like to save the house Whitten built and the fireplace where he dried the wheat which saved his neighbors.
His neighbors honored him with an engraved tombstone upon his death in 1847 and his grandson created the monument stone in 1911.
1771 REUBEN WHITTEN 1847
SON OF A REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER, A PIONEER OF THIS TOWN, COLD YEAR OF 1816 RAISED 40 BUSHILS OF WHEAT ON THIS LAND WHITCH KEPT HIS FAMILY AND NEIGHBOURS FROM STARVEATION.
Both are located in the Whitten Family Cemetery on Highland Street in Ashland NH.
Alfred Roberts, grandson of Reuben Whitten
Installed 1847 from funds raised by the children of the families he saved.
Reuben Whitten Died May 18, 1947
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You can donate at any time using the donate button above or mail your check to:
Reuben Whitten House Project
Ashland Historical Society
PO Box 175 Ashland NH 03217