The Hike Through History is Coming!

The Hike Through History is Coming!

Past and present will unite on May 30, 2014, when the streets of South Berwick come alive with history. The 20th annual Hike through History will bring 720 Central School, Eliot Elementary School, Marshwood Middle School, and Berwick Academy students and their teachers and families on a walking tour up the streets and through the dooryards of our town. Village trades will be the focus of this all-day tour for elementary grades, with visits to the shops and homes of the tinsmith, the tailor, and twenty other individuals who lived and worked here over a century ago.

Spring Hill Family Photo Dawson Scharf (center), a descendant of Arthur Swasey and an 8th grader at MMS, in the kitchen at his family’s Spring Hill restaurant. From left, his aunt Karyn Scharf, mom Dulcy Scharf, great uncle Harland Goodwin, and grandmother Rosalie Scharf.

Spring Hill Family Photo
Dawson Scharf (center), a descendant of Arthur Swasey and an 8th grader at MMS, in the kitchen at his family’s Spring Hill restaurant. From left, his aunt Karyn Scharf, mom Dulcy Scharf, great uncle Harland Goodwin, and grandmother Rosalie Scharf.

Before Facebook, before cell phones, before the computer, before automobiles lined our streets, Arthur Swasey delivered bread by horse and wagon from his bakery on Main Street. About 1912 he opened a bakeshop in the storefront where Asia Café is located today. Arthur grew up on a 100-acre farm a few miles from the center of town, near Junction Road, where the Swaseys grew oats, barley, corn, potatoes and apples. He moved his family to a house on Main Street, just down from the bakery, so his daughters Alice and Marion could attend school in town. Today Arthur’s great-great-great grandson, Dawson Scharf, is a student at Marshwood Middle School and his family owns Spring Hill Restaurant, where bread is still baked weekly in their kitchen. Spring Hill has been a family business for almost forty years and is now owned by Arthur’s great-granddaughter, Rosalie Scharf.

Swasey Bakery Wagon Arthur Swasey (on wagon) delivering bread from his bakery on Main Street in South Berwick about 1915.

Swasey Bakery Wagon
Arthur Swasey (on wagon) delivering bread from his bakery on Main Street in South Berwick about 1915.

We are proud to share the story, as well as the wares, of Swasey’s bakery on this year’s Hike! Thanks to the generosity of the Scharf family, eighth-graders working on the bakery site will learn to bake bread at Spring Hill, and students on the hike can sample whole-wheat bread from their ovens. Over fifteen local businesses have contributed to this year’s Hike to supply tools and equipment needed by students to demonstrate historic trades. Watch those skilled trades return to Main and Portland streets on May 30th, when the Trades Hike transforms downtown South Berwick into a hive of historic activity.

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