A Tribute To
Sarah Josepha Hale At Gilmanton Historical Society
Sarah Josepha Hale, 19th century editor and promoter of
Thanksgiving as a national holiday, is the subject of Sharon Wood’s
presentation at the Gilmanton Historical Society program on Tuesday,
A native of Newport, New Hampshire, America’s first female editor,
Sarah Josepha Hale, made Godey’s Lady’s Book the most influential
women’s magazine of its time. She is also known as the author
of the poem “Mary’s Lamb” and for her efforts over 3 decades ago to
have Thanksgiving decreed a national holiday.
In this living history set in 1866, Sharon Wood portrays Ann
Wyman Blake, a resident of West Cambridge, Massachusetts speaking of
her admiration for Hale. As Blake, Wood shares stories of
Hale’s many accomplishments while living in Boston, including an
editorial career that spanned five decades. The program is
sponsored by New Hampshire Humanities.
The program, at Old Town Hall in Gilmanton Iron Works, begins at
7:30. Social hour and refreshments begin at 7 pm. The
Society’s museum in the basement of Old Town Hall will be open at 7
This is the final program in the Gilmanton Historical
Society’s 2016 summer series. A brief annual meeting to elect
officers will precede the program.
The programs are free and open to the public. The hall is
handicapped accessible. The Society’s Museum is open at 7 pm before
the program, and Saturdays during the summer from 10 am until noon.
Donations to support the work of the Society are always welcome.
Elizabeth “Svarna” Wilkens
- Wendy Elizabeth “Svarna” Wilkens died peacefully at her Gilmanton
home on August 22, 2016 with her family around her.
Daughter of William B. Wilkens and Laurose (Schulze-Berge) Wilkens
MacFadyen, she was born December 9, 1942 in New York, New York.
She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, William B.
Wilkens Jr. and is survived by two sisters, Joanne Wilkens and
Phyllis Weston of Gilmanton, a brother John Wilkens and numerous
nieces and nephews.
Wendy graduated from
Laconia High School and Sweet Briar College, spending her junior
year in Madrid, Spain. After college she served in the Peace Corps
in Thailand for two years where she taught English and developed an
interest in Eastern religions and philosophy.
Upon returning home, she earned a Master’s Degree from Boston
University and subsequently taught English as a Second Language at
Harvard Summer School and the University of San Francisco.
Wendy was a founding director of the English Center for
International Women at Mills College in Oakland, California where
she taught English for several years.
Wendy’s interest moved from education to psychology when she
discovered the work of the pioneer hypnotherapist and psychiatrist
Milton Erickson. She traveled to Arizona to study with Dr.
Erickson and was certified to practice alchemical hypnotherapy,
which she later integrated into her doctoral studies in psychology.
Wendy’s interest in Eastern philosophy developed into a deep
spiritual practice that inspired her family and friends.
Seeking to understand the relationship of Eastern philosophy to
human psychology, she accompanied Zen Master Seung Sahn on a walking
pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in India, and spent time with the
philosopher Rajneesh Osho at his International Meditation Center in
Pune, India. She subsequently earned a PhD in counseling
psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies
integrating her knowledge of Eastern practices into her own clinical
therapy work. Wendy was a licensed clinical psychologist maintaining
private practices in both Gilmanton, New Hampshire and Carmel,
Wendy lived courageously and independently at her much loved home in
Gilmanton in spite of progressive ALS, and enjoyed the beautiful
views and wildlife that surrounded her. Memorial donations may be
made to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, PO Box 173,
Holderness, NH 03245.
A memorial service will be held December 10, 2016 in Gilmanton,
location to be announced.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services,
164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the
arrangements. For more information and to view an online
memorial go to