Tuesday, April 26, 2016

John Stark Day, Manchester, New Hampshire

In New Hampshire Major General John Stark Day is celebrated on the fourth Monday of April.   He is a local hero, and those of you "from away" may not know who is General John Stark.  He was an officer in the French and Indian War, and also in the American Revolutionary War.  He led the troops at the Battle of Bennington, Vermont, and also is famous for the state motto "Live Free or Die".  You can read more about his life in the links below.

I attended the ceremonies at Stark Park in Manchester, New Hampshire yesterday.  Stark Park is the former Stark homestead, and the place where the family burial ground is located.  Major General John and his wife, Molly Stark are buried here.

The ceremony was celebrated by local officials and a plethora of patriotic organizations such as the DAR, SAR and CAR (Children of the American Revolution).  The New Hampshire Sons of the American Revolution (NHSAR) Colonial Color Guard and bagpiper posted the colors. 

Linda Wood, the Vice Regent of the Molly Stark Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) read the proclamation by New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan.  Ted Gatsas, the Mayor of Manchester, read a proclamation, too.  

John "Jack" Manning, the Historian General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), and the Secretary of the NH SAR, read some remarks on the life of Major General John Stark.   Bryce Laurendeau, past president of the John Stark Society of the Children of the American Revolution, laid a wreath at the grave of Major General John Stark.  

The NH SAR color guard gave a musket salute

Diana Duckoff, President of the Friends of Stark Park, gave an address about the three new additions to the park this year:  a new flag pole with a green Stark flag, a newly planted maple tree, and the General. John Stark memorial plaque (see below). 

American Revolutionary War Hero, Major General John Stark
was born in Derryfield, New Hampshire in 1738.  Upon his death in 1822
this gravesite, on what was the site of the Stark family farm,
became his final resting place.  The General's beloved wife Molly,
who predeceased him in 1814, and other members of the 
Stark family were later laid to rest alongside the General.
The hand-forged wrought iron fence was added to the site in 1913.

Restoration of Stark Gravesite  2013 - 2014
A joint project of the City of Manchester and 
The Friends of Stark Park with the generous support of
The Molly Stark Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
The National and New Hampshire Societies,
Sons of the American Revolution
Foundations, Families and Friends

There was another ceremony yesterday, too, at the green in Dunbarton, New Hampshire at the statue of Major Caleb Stark.

For the truly curious:

A previous blog post at Nutfield Genealogy about John Stark Day:

From Janice Brown's Cow Hampshire blog:

The Friends of Stark Park:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "John Stark Day, Manchester, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 26, 2016  (  http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/04/john-stark-day-manchester-new-hampshire.html:  accessed [access date]).


  1. Living in the West I feel so far removed from so much of the early history. When we visited Virginia a few years ago and were able to visit some of the battlefields and historical sites, everything really came alive for me. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I missed yoga class to attend this ceremony. Now I don't feel so guilty.

  2. Thanks for posting about this event! My 5x great grandfather, Samuel Cherry, of Londonderry, served as a private under Stark at Bunker Hill, eventually rising to the rank of captain of the 2nd New Hampshire Light Infantry. My ancestors always seem to be the ones who "served under," or were "down the street from," or "related to distantly by marriage to" the sort of people who get plaques and statues! I've written about Capt Cherry, as well some other fame-adjacent relatives a few times at my blog, Uncontained Multitudes, at