STOP IN AND HAVE A LOOK — This mural, titled “Fiddlers Green,” which was painted by artist Victoria Huntley, was installed at the Springville Post Office in 1938. Photo submitted by Joel Maul.The following guest column was submitted by Joel Maul.
In the summer of 1938, a beautiful mural titled “Fiddlers Green” was installed, in the newly-completed Springville Post Office, on Franklin Street.
The previous year, the artist, Victoria Huntley, had been awarded a commission by the United States Treasury Department, to paint a mural for the Springville Post Office.
Why did she title her mural “Fiddlers Green?” The following story recently unfolded for me, while I was visiting Springville, reading histories and talking to older inhabitants.
In approximately 1815, David Strickney, the proprietor of “The Tavern,” applied the name “Fiddlers Green.” The Tavern was one of the village’s first hotels, situated on the north side of Franklin Street, east of Chapel Street. This plot of ground, on the corner of Buffalo and Franklin streets, was donated to the village by Rufus Eaton and was, at first, called “The Green.”
David Leroy was a famous fiddler, who lived near The Green. Fiddlers came, from a distance, to practice with and learn from Leroy. The sound of the almost nightly fiddle music floated on the evening air and all the villagers listened to its melody.
Based on these facts, posterity has become satisfied that Leroy and the music of his and other fiddles inspired The Green to evolve into “Fiddler’s Green.”
From this, the little village took its name and, for many years, it was known, from New England to the Far West, as Fiddlers Green.
In earlier times, Fiddlers Green was used as a parade ground, for the military companies that trained in Springville. Sometimes, traveling shows and caravans exhibited there. Today, it is still the center of many of the community festivities.
Huntley’s mural, which can still be seen in the Springville Post Office, above the postmaster’s door, depicts the Grande Marche Right and Left. It shows two sets of people: a group of fiddlers, a caller and local towns folk’s enjoying the festivities.
The information I have shared was compiled from the archives of the Springville Post Office and a Springville Journal article, from June 1938.
The Concord Historical Society has begun planning the second annual Fiddler’s Green Country and Bluegrass Festival. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3. Festivities will be held on Franklin Street, from the Fiddler’s Green Park to the historical society’s circa 1890’s general store, at Franklin and Main streets.