Anne, followers get their due in Portsmouth

One of several one-ton stone sitting benches donated by the Friends of Anne Hutchinson. They were designed by Elizabeth Vangel of Foss Media. One of several one-ton stone sitting benches donated by the Friends of Anne Hutchinson. They were designed by Elizabeth Vangel of Foss Media.

Go on, it’s OK to admit it. You’ve never been to Founder’s Brook, right? You may not even know where it is.

One of several one-ton stone sitting benches donated by the Friends of Anne Hutchinson. They were designed by Elizabeth Vangel of Foss Media.

One of several one-ton stone sitting benches donated by the Friends of Anne Hutchinson. They were designed by Elizabeth Vangel of Foss Media.

For those of you who have trekked to the bucolic site off Boyd’s Lane where the town was first settled in 1638, good for you. If you haven’t, though, now’s the perfect time to make your debut visit to this historic landmark.

The park has recently undergone major improvements, thanks to the town’s Department of Public Works, the Portsmouth 375th Committee, the Friends of Anne Hutchinson and other interested citizens who pitched in or made sizable donations that have the site looking better than ever.

There’s a new parking lot near the Mello’s farm stand, an impressive new sign at the Boyd’s Lane entrance and, inside the park, stone benches with inscriptions and rough sitting stones. Of course, the park already had its charms, including a babbling brook, a Portsmouth Compact memorial and a medicinal herb garden honoring Anne Hutchinson and Mary Dyer.

This Sunday from 1-5 p.m., The Friends of Anne Hutchinson and the Portsmouth 375th Committee will host a picnic to mark the 375th anniversary of the founding of Portsmouth and to celebrate Anne Hutchinson. (We’ll leave the question of whether the outspoken Puritan spiritual adviser was actually one of the town’s founders up to you.)

So come and bring folding chairs, a picnic lunch and enjoy live music, an interactive outdoor exhibit on the settlement period and speeches about the life and times of Anne Hutchinson circa 1638.

If you can’t make it Sunday, be sure to stop by some other time. Let’s not let Founders’ Brook be to Portsmouth residents what the Statue of Liberty is to New Yorkers.

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