The Hersey Family Celebrates Their 120th Reunion

By Rita Norander


Despite a drizzly day, everyone’s spirits were not dampened as they gathered for the 120th Hersey Family Reunion at the Hersey Farm in East Andover,  New Hampshire. The farm was the home for over 50 years of Guy & Nannie Hersey, and this year’s reunion was hosted by their great granddaughter Lori Hersey and her family. The reunion members are descendants of Gilman & Hannah Hersey who were married in 1826 and settled in Hill. The first reunion was started by their children in 1898, and was held at the “Old Home Place” in Hill. The reunion was begun as a way for the family to stay in touch and to remember their heritage.

A big tent, along with 3 pop up tents, were set up in the south field, close to the open barn door, and they provided protection from the occasional light rain, for the 65 members and 2 guests who had gathered. People arrived from several New England states, as well as from the states of California and Washington. The traditional pot luck dinner was eaten under the tents, as everyone visited and caught up on family news. Ice cream cones were enjoyed later in the day.

Special thanks was given to Lori Hersey & her family for having us, and to Jim and Jerry Hersey for completing the haying around the house and barn in spite of our showery summer. A group picture was taken in front of the main barn by Matthew Hersey.

The adults enjoyed walking through the house and exploring the barns, while the children had fun running and playing in the open space that the farm provided. The dunk tank was a popular gathering spot, as people lined up in hopes of dunking the brave volunteers who took turns sitting in the hot seat! It was a fun activity to watch even if one didn’t participate! The day ended with a slightly damp scavenger hunt, but as one person commented: “The kids don’t even realize it is raining!” Unfortunately, Jerry’s planned hay ride had to take a rain check!!

Next year’s reunion will once again be held at the home of Helen Duchesne on Newfound Lake on August 4, 2018.