Events and exhibits throughout the course of the year give us the chance to help you and your family experience many aspects of Peacham’s rich history. Our public programming is completed for this year. Please check back with us in May 2017 for a schedule of next summer’s exhibitions and events.
It was almost a phantom party, as many speakeasies were; the day before, Rusty and Kathleen Barber’s barn was empty, and the day after there was no trace anything unusual had happened there. But on Saturday, September 17, guests arrived at the barn door, gave the password “Paradise Alley,” and entered a world of lights, music, and “medicinal spirits.” In theme with this year’s summer exhibition and Ghost Walks– Whiskey, Temperance and Prohibition in Peacham–the Speakeasy was the best-attended annual fundraiser the PHA has hosted.
Rusty Barber offered information the great barn itself, its history and the restorations his family has made to it. Susan Chandler spoke about the location, a largely undocumented corner of town. It was originally the Deweysburg Gore, a marginal area between Peacham and Danville with intriguing records on old maps of a “Gypsy Camp,” a “Rouser Town,” and as well as the site of shady activities still alive in local memory– including, perhaps, an actual speakeasy! On some current digital navigation maps, there is even a stretch of road called “Paradise Alley.”
The PHA board thanks everyone who made this year’s fundraiser so lively and full of fun– a success by any measure!
The Peacham Historical Association hosts many popular annual events:
Peacham July 4th Celebration includes the Peacham Historical Association’s popular Ghost Walk. During the Ghost Walk, local citizens present speeches and songs based on the lives of people buried in the Peacham Cemetery. They dress in period costumes and present “in character” to bring you a new historical reenactment each year. For more information on Peacham’s July 4th celebration, click here.
2016 Ghost Walk featured four characters from this year’s Historical House Exhibition theme of “Spirited Peacham”: General Chamberlain, Farmer Hooker who was converted to temperance, Pastor Merrill’s wife, Mary, and Eloise Miller, who watched the bootlegging cars race through East Peacham.
Click here for a PDF file describing the 2016 Ghost Walk.
The Historical House is open for visits on Sundays from 2-4 pm from July 4th through Fall Foliage Day. In addition to permanent displays about farming and the industries of Peacham, an annual exhibition is drawn from our collections. This special exhibition is coordinated in theme with our Ghost Walks in the cemetery on the 4th of July and Fall Foliage Day.
The 2016 Historical House Exhibition: Spirited Peacham: Whiskey, Temperance and Bootlegging was drawn from our collection and from loans from friends. The exhibition included a recreation of General Chamberlain’s potato whiskey still, original editions of Pastor David Merrill’s temperance sermon, The Ox (2’5 million copies sold!), plus a fascinating collection of bottles of “underground alcohol” (patent medicines and elixirs).
Click here for a PDF describing the 2016 Exhibition.
The Ashbel Goodenough Blacksmith Shop is open July 4th and Fall Foliage Day.
Fall Foliage Day is an annual event in Peacham. The Historical House and Blacksmith Shop are open, and a repeat performance of the year’s Ghost Walk takes place at the cemetery at 2 pm. Join us in Peacham for plenty of events and activities for the whole family. You can read more about Fall Foliage Day here.