Did you know that there was a Rotary Club of Milford, N.H. back in 1924?.........Read on to learn about "The Saga of the Mystery Gavel"
Remember that ancient gavel we found in the attic?  It had a silver band and was inscribed "Rotary Club, Milford, N.H. 1924.” That was the kicker - 1924. As far as we knew or could find out, there was no Rotary Club in Milford back then.
But now the mystery is partly solved. The Rotary Int'l office in Evanston has come up with some old correspondence which tells us a lot about what happened. The letters are dated over several years, beginning in 1923 and running to 1928. They're e marred and dark and often hard to read, but the history is there.
In Octobers, 1923, Dist. Gov. Daniel Murphy appointed Edwin Morcy of the Nashua club to be his special representative to organize a Milford club. He surveyed the community and reported on the number of manufacturing plants (35) and “one bank, four insurance agents, 20 retail merchants, seven schools, five churches, one hotel, two railroads, one newspaper, three attorneys, six physicians and three dentists."
Names used in the correspondence will be familiar to old timers (Harland Holt, our only charter member) is listed along with Edward Kittredge, Judge Prescott, Rodney Woodman, Arthur Rotch, Hugo Trentini, Fred Wadleigh, Bradley Frost, Fred Sawyer, Ernest Stickney, Arthur Comolli -- and 30 others. These men were all sent complimentary mailings of The Rotarian.
You can read the letters if you wish, but the nub is this: there was a Milford Civic Club at the time, very active and involving all these men. Some of the men appeared to agree to formation of a Rotary Club, but this lasted only three weeks. Some of them told the Dist. Gov.'s rep that they thought the civic club fulfilled all their needs!  So the Nashua club and the Dist. Gov. gave up on Milord “until a later time.” (1950, I guess.)
During that euphoric three weeks (we can presume), one euphoric gent had the gavel made up. That detail is still a mystery. But the question
its appearance posed is now answered: yes, there was a Rotary CIub in Milford back in 1924, but only for a few bright shining hours!
                                                                     The Editor     {presumably William Ferguson}
Many thanks to Steve Desmarais for sharing his Rotary RoundUp archives!   But now a new question arises. Rotary International's website lists April 12, 1950 as the Milford NH Rotary Club's charter date! Everything we can find so far lists June 1, 1950 as our club's RI charter date.......including the gavel, presented to the club by Doc Burns, that we still use today!