..by Anura Guruge
Yes, this is the impressive, iconic, white edifice with the ever shining gold dome, completed in 1819 and now having the distinction of being the oldest state house in the U.S. where the legislature still meets in the original chamber. [Some simplify that to say that it has the oldest ‘working’ chamber.] Our visit was for home-schoolers. It was organized by the same lady that arranged the equally successful and rewarding trip to the UNH ‘Know the Coast‘ day in October. It was originally going to be on Thursday, but got postponed till Friday because of the Nor’easter. We had to be there at 10 am. We had to first shovel the drive again and clear up the approach to the mailbox before we could leave. Since it was a ‘holiday’ parking wasn’t a problem and we parked right behind the State House, at a meter, with six quarters for 2 hours.
We lucked out in multiple ways. There were only three families the group just met the minimum 10 requirement for a guided tour. Furthermore, though their was another tour at the same time for a troop of boy scouts, we got the Director of the State House Visitor’s Center, Virginia Drew. She was good. She has been doing this for 12 years. She was knowledgeable, engaging, friendly and very helpful.
I was surprised how ‘open’ the State House is. I know it is the people’s house, but it was different. You just walk in. Everybody was ultra friendly. It was a good visit, a good tour. I was impressed. It was my first time. Devanee had gone with her school in Grade 4, as is the norm. Deanna had never been, and neither had Teischan. I am going to go again. See NH government in action. That we know a few legislators will make it even more fun. We got to see where Senator Andrew Hosmer will be sitting. Teischan even tried it out.