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By May 20, 2019 Read More →

D is for Fletcher Dole

D is for Fletcher Dole

Is Peterborough Our Town? This is probably the most frequent question visitors ask us at the Monadnock Center. The answer is not straight forward- more like “yes and no” but Fletcher Dole provides us with part of the answer.

Thornton Wilder first came to the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough in the 1920s and returned nine times throughout his life. In 1937 he wrote the first act of his Pulitzer Prize winning play, Our Town, while in residence. The play tells the story of two families in a small New Hampshire town and explores the universal themes of human experience: love, family, and mortality.

Many believe Our Town was based on Peterborough but Wilder himself never confirmed the town was the setting for D is for Fletcher Dolethe play. He did say the milkman character, Howie Newsome, was modeled on Fletcher Dole, a local milkman who delivered his goods to the Colony.

Fletcher Dole and his wife ran a small dairy farm and Dole worked as a janitor at the Peterborough Central School. Dole is fondly remembered by former students for allowing them to help him ring the school bell, a treat that would often sweep a child off his or her feet as they clung to the bell’s rope. Late in his life, Dole was asked by a reporter, “Did you know Thornton Wilder?” Dole responded, “Nope, but he sure knew me.”

Learn more about Our Town and Thornton Wilder

Monadnock A to Z is a 26 day exploration of the people, places, events, and things that tell the stories of the Monadnock Region. Visit our blog each day or follow us on Facebook for the day’s installment. To find all of the posts on Facebook, search #MonadnockAtoZ.

Monadnock A to Z will feature a new post each day from May 17 through June 11, 2019.

D is for Fletcher Dole published on May 20, 2019.