Independence Day Has Special Meaning in Mendon  
     
    Independence Day in Mendon in 1882 was celebrated in a special way. Nipmuc Park, a family recreational
    resort,  had its grand opening. There had been a renewed interest in Lake Nipmuc, the town's most beautiful
    natural resource. It offered clean water surrounded by pure air. "Nature's beauty spot" provided the setting for
    family festivities in celebrating the birth of our nation.

    Opening day  on the Fourth of July attracted hundreds of people who enjoyed  many leisurely activities. There
    were opportunities for rides around the lake in row boats, sail boats, and a newly licensed steam boat.
    There was a clam bake at the grove near Nipmuc Hall. Swings, hammocks, and rocking chairs were
    available for visitors who wished to relax while listening to the spirited sounds of Brown's orchestra. Picnic
    lunches were enhanced by summer treats that were for sale. After sundown, there was a fireworks display
    from John Guild's cottage from the island. Nipmuc Park provided a Fourth of July  to remember.

    The celebration of our independence from Great Britain is a reminder of Mendon's role in the early stages of
    the American Revolution. The town's Fourth Meeting House at the north end of Old Cemetery was the site of
    fiery speeches and debate. The Sons of Liberty in Boston took note of Mendon's nineteen resolves from a
    town meeting on March 1, 1773. Six scholarly residents, in response to a letter from Boston's  Committee of
    Correspondence, wrote wording that clearly defined the issues of the colonies.  They included.....that all men
    have naturally a right to life, liberty, and property, and that a just and lawful  government  must originate with
    the free consent of the people. Another resolve stated that quartering an army in a free country in times of
    peace without the consent of the people was a violation of rights of free men. The other resolves, similar in
    tone and eloquence, were debated and approved at that meeting. Colonial leaders, such as Samuel Adams,
    John Hancock, and Paul Revere,  took notice.

    The opening of Nipmuc Park on the Fourth of July in 1882 was a special celebration of our freedom. More
    than one hundred years earlier in 1773, the spirit of the American Revolution was exemplified at a Mendon
    town meeting, just down the street, near the corner of Providence Road and Blackstone Street. We celebrate
    the birth of our nation as July 4, 1776, and we credit Thomas Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of
    Independence. It was a proud day in our history, one to celebrate.  Most certainly it could be said that the
    founding fathers of our nation were well aware of what took place at a Mendon town meeting three years
    earlier. Independence Day has a special meaning in our town, and it is with pride that we celebrate it.
    Richard Grady -- Mendon Historical Society  --  June 11, 2015

    (The Fourth Meeting House became obsolete by 1843. It was sold and dismantled. The wood was
    purchased by Holland Albee for a boarding house for the workers of his bakery.  It currently exists as the
    home of Randy and Sharon Gebelein at 8 Hastings Street.)

    For more information about Mendon in the American Revolution, see Dan Malloy's web site : hope1842.
    com/mendonmenu