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VIDEO: The Lure of New England

The Lure Of New England, directed by Bon D. Grussing and produced by Martin Bovey Films in the mid-1940s for the Minneapolis-Moline Company, takes viewers on a short tour of America’s northeast. The film opens with shots of New England food, statues, beaches, rocky coasts, and covered bridges. Rural snow-covered New England (01:22) beckons to visitors with its scenic houses, fields, and churches. People check and empty buckets of sap on tapped maple trees (01:57). A man drives a tractor to plow the ground in spring. Another man plows a field with yoke and oxen. The film shows blooming flowers and apple blossoms (03:12), as well as several bird species nesting in the spring foliage. Next, the film takes viewers to Plymouth Harbor (03:56) and Plymouth Rock. In Boston, viewers are treated to Charlestown Navy Yard and the old naval frigate Constitution. Other highlights of Boston include Faneuil Hall (04:40), Bunker Hill Monument, the home of Paul Revere, and Monroe Tavern. The film then visits Lexington Green, the site of America’s “shot heard ‘round the world.” Concord, MA is where the homes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott are located. In Cambridge, the film shows Henry Longfellow’s home and Henry Ford’s grist mill. Viewers then see the famous House of Seven Gables (08:44) in Salem. The film also shows the campuses of Harvard and Yale, and farms and villages of the region. It then takes viewers to Litchfield, CT, where Harriet Beecher Stowe was born. Historic Deerfield, MA features beautiful old houses (10:06), while the Connecticut Valley is home to large tobacco farms. Water is a major attraction in New England, and the film provides footage of rivers, covered bridges, people canoeing on a river, and waves of the Atlantic Ocean hitting a sandy beach (11:28). Viewers also see the rocky coast of Maine, a couple relaxing on sand between rocky outcroppings, and the rotting hulls of old ships. Old whaling ships are preserved at Mystic, CT (12:53). From there, the film moves to Gloucester, with its famous statue and the harbor where men unload baskets of fish. Viewers are treated to shots of the lighthouses (14:13) that dot the New England coast, as well as the dangerous rocky reef of Norman’s Woe. Lobstermen fish New England’s waters and pull up a lobster pot (15:00). People prepare a clambake on the shore of Moosehead Lake, ME (15:48). Men remove the baked clams, and people feast while sitting at long picnic tables. There is footage of children playing on the sandy beaches and in the water. A piping plover watches her young chicks. Two women sunbathe after landing their plane on the beach. Aerial footage shows the lighthouse on Nantucket Island, a view of the Five Fingers, and a sailboat race. A sailboat race is underway at Marblehead, MA. The film then visits the scenic village of Wellfleet on Cape Cod (19:44). A “pilgrim” greets visitors as they arrive at Cape Cod (20:44). A man harvests Cape Cod cranberries in one of the island’s bogs. Footage shows the region’s colorful autumn foliage. Men participate in a fox hunt (21:44), others use saws to cut ice on a lake. Other highlights of the film include the Old Man of the Mountains, the farm in Franklin, NH where Daniel Webster was born, granite and marble quarries, and mountains. Dartmouth’s campus is decorated with large ice sculptures (23:25). Skiers speed down the slopes in a race at Mount Moosilauke (23:48). Men compete in a cross-country ski race. Crowds gather to watch a ski jump competition (24:50). The film then ends with footage of rural New England during winter.

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