In its early days, Guilford's Green was used communally for grazing cattle, drilling the militia and as a graveyard for early settlers. It was also contained a whipping post and it was the front yard for many of the towns churches and the town hall.
Today, the Guilford Green looks like many town parks, but it is so much more. It's the site of many of the community's most important rituals -- high school graduations, community fairs, photo sessions for prom night, local weddings and town parades.
Guilford's Green is a source of great pride for residents. In the 19th century, a women's group raised money to erect 100 lampposts around the green and paid a man to keep them lighted. Each spring these women gathered to rake the green. In the background they heard the ringing of church bells and the firing of the cannon.
It has been a long time since the women of Guilford have raked the Green, but the community spirit and pride in this historic landmark remains very much alive today.*
* Nona Bloomer, The Guilford Green, (The Guilford Papers, no. 3, Guilford Free Library) 1996.