Hidden Treasures program shines spotlight on history of Hollis

HOLLIS – The Hollis Heritage Commission will sponsor a Hidden Treasures event from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Lawrence Barn, 28 Depot Road.

There will be static displays, talks, horses and interactive activities centered on Hollis colonials, their march to Lexington and Concord, and their part in the battle of Bunker Hill and the Revolutionary War.

This family-friendly event is in collaboration with the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service.

In preparation for the Hidden Treasures celebration, the HHC will introduce a series of Hollis historical treasures that date to its early settlers and founding charter of 1746.

Come visit the heritage celebration and see how many treasures you can identify – including the first one:

The first permanent settler in Hollis was Peter Powers. He purchased 37 acres in the Nissitisset wilderness (now called Hollis) and cleared enough land to erect a hut and move his wife, Anna Keyes, and family there in 1731.

For two years, the closest neighbor was 10 miles away, but by 1736, nine additional settlers made their way to Hollis.

Powers became a noted land surveyor who laid out boundaries for farms and townships, often receiving payment in land. At one time he owned 1,500 acres in the northern part of Hollis. Powers was also commissioned captain of a militia in the old French war by then Gov. John Wentworth.

Powers died Aug. 27, 1757, at age 50 and is buried in the Hollis churchyard. His wife, Anna, died Sept. 21, 1798, at 90 years old and also is buried in the Hollis churchyard.