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Committee planning Ludlow's 250th anniversary

LUDLOW-As the Town of Ludlow nears the 250th anniversary of its creation, town members are beginning the process of planning appropriate activities and events to commemorate the occasion. Tentative plans call for activities on Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Sept. 17.

The detailed program for Ludlow's birthday party will be finalized during the next few weeks.

Events being considered include the reading of the town's original charter, a brief history of Ludlow, patriotic music, a parade, BBQ picnic, block dance, and an appropriate movie.

Ludlow's original charter was issued on Sept.r 16, 1761 by Benning Wentworth, the royal governor of New Hampshire.

The charter had several unique requirements and benefits: It permitted the first 50 settler families to become residents and hold two annual fairs. When the same 50 families were resident, they opened a market.

The 1761 charter spelled out the local governance for the town, citing Capt. Elakim Hall as the first town moderator.

Following the first town meeting in October 1761, all subsequent meetings were to take place on the second Tuesday of March.

Regarding land use, the charter required that five acres of land be cultivated for every 50 acres owned.

The charter also allocated certain acreage in the center of the town as a "town lot". It clearly specified that all "white and other pine trees" fit for use as masts in the Royal Navy could not be cut without the Governor's license.

The idea of taxation in 1761, as much a part of the zeitgeist of government as regulation, was relatively simple: Payment of one ear of Indian corn.

Later, the tax became one shilling for every 100 acres owned.

How these early tax requirements were satisfied is questionable, given the intervention of the Revolutionary War and the battles between New Hampshire and New York over control of the renegade Vermont Republic.

Anyone interested in serving on the anniversary committee is invited to the next meeting Wednesday, June 22, at 8:30 a.m., in the conference room at Ludlow's Town Hall.

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