PEPPERELL -- A revolutionary war hero, a historic covered bridge and a proud legacy of manufacturing were highlighted at the Historical Society's "Glimpse of Pepperell" Oct. 19.
Held at the Community Center, the event allowed several local groups to set up booths displaying artifacts and information related to Pepperell's history.
"It's intriguing. When you start going into the genealogy of some of our early heroes, it's amazing. Very common men and women did extraordinary things," said President of the Historical Society Susan Smith.
One of those heroes was Col. William Prescott, who purportedly cautioned his troops not to shoot until they "saw the whites of their eyes" at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Smith said. Another was Prudence Wright, who helped capture a British spy at the site of the covered bridge in 1775.
Chair of the Historical Commission Diane Cronin said the turnout was steady throughout the day, with residents stopping by to learn about the town's history.
"I hope people see things and learn so they have an appreciation for the breadth of our history. You can understand a lot more about the people of our town based on where they came from," Cronin said.
On display from the town clerk's office were an original copy of the town's record where the Declaration of Independence was transcribed after being read aloud in the town as well as an early ballot box and documentation of the creation of the district of Pepperell.
"It gives you a remarkable insight into the context and anxiety leading up to the war," Town Clerk Jeff Sauer said. "Certainly, you have to understand history, where we came from and how the country started. It was built on a desire for not only religious independence, but also civil independence."
Paula Terrasi and Ken Hartlage, of the Nashoba Conservation Trust, helped to man the organization's table, which provided information about efforts to raise money to conserve the land that formerly housed the Pepperell Springs bottling company.
Hartlage said conserving the land is key to conserving the town's character.
"The land we have here is living history. If you conserve and preserve it for future generations, then they will have the opportunity to experience what Pepperell looked like hundreds of years ago. If that was developed, you could imagine it, but you couldn't experience it," Hartlage said.
The study of Pepperell's history goes deeper than just facts for Tony Saboliauskas of the Lawrence Library.
"It gives people context for their own lives, to see what people did and what challenges they faced with less resources than today. I think it can inspire people to a greater effort and greater persistence," Saboliauskas said.
He urged Pepperell residents to come to the Lawrence Library history room, where many of the items on display Saturday are permanently stored.
"They can see this history and look for themselves any time. It's all there," he said.