Once they understood the significance of what they had found, the Goshen “friends” contacted the Hillsborough Historical Society to extend an invitation to visit and view the curtains. Among those attending were the present owner of Rosewald Farm, the present owner of the Hillsborough Grange Meeting Room, and the son of one of the curtain advertisers. Once they witnessed the gems in Goshen, they were immediately eager to find a way to bring them back to town.
Goshen on its own would have had difficulty raising the money to restore all of the curtains and really had no place to store and display all of them properly. Good common sense and neighborly negotiations served to deliver a mutually beneficial compromise and to restore curtains to both communities.
At the 2005 Goshen Town Meeting voters approved the following warrant article: “To see if the Town will vote to donate two of the three Goshen Grange hall painted curtains to the Hillsborough Historical Society and to permit the Hillsborough Historical Society to pay in full the renovation of the curtain that Goshen retains.”
After consulting with many townspeople, the Save Our Curtains! Committee chose the two believed to have the greatest significance for the entire town of Hillsborough. First was the beautiful grand draping “Twin Bridges” of the historic Antrim Road double stone arch bridge, a reflection of Hillsborough’s unique and most enduring feature. Second, was the advertising curtain providing a snapshot of Hillsborough businesses in the not so distant but now unfamiliar past.
Edwina Czajkowski, Ennio Gerini, Ruth Gerini, Ginks Leiby, Gilman Shattuck, and Gail Johnson all enthusiastically served on the Save Our Curtains! fundraising committee, creating awareness about the historical find and educating the town about the curtains’ cultural significance.
They discussed and planned three ways to raise funds to finance the restoration of the theatre curtains: soliciting funds from Hillsborough Historical Society through its newsletter, grant writing, and selling note cards featuring Ennio Gerini’s favorite images from the Manahan-McCulloch-Phelps Photographic Collection.
Ginks Leiby and Edwina Czajkowski together wrote and received a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to clean and bring the curtains back to Hillsborough. “Fundraising isn’t necessarily the fun part of a project like this,” says Leiby. “But when you have a vision of what is possible, it is exciting to bring the pieces together to make it happen.”
In August of 2005, the Historical Society sponsored a “Save the Curtains!” program at Deering Town Hall. [Deering’s own theatre curtain was displayed as a backdrop during the presentation.] More than 130 people attended from all over the State, and many enthusiastically supported the Hillsborough project.
The Save our Curtains! Committee was ultimately successful in raising $10,000.