Podcast: Rocks Village Memorial Association’s Yard Sale This Weekend Offers Bonus Tours

Hand Tub House and Toll House Museum. (Courtesy photograph.)

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Furniture, vintage items and modern kitchen tools, hand-sewn quilts, artwork and more are among the finds when the Rocks Village Memorial Association’s yard sale takes place this Saturday and Sunday to support restoration of the Hand Tub House.

Association member Christine Kwitchoff, a recent guest on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, says the yard sale features items donated over the summer including such oddities as the 16-foot metal and wood sign from the former Haverhill Music Center. Shopping or not, she says, there’s another reason to stop by.

“Something that we will be doing, during the sale, both on Saturday and on Sunday, will be giving tours of the second floor of the building. Not many people have been up there yet, and we’re excited to open that to the community, Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the day of the sale, Saturday, Sept. 30, and Sunday, Oct. 1, you can tour the upstairs of the building.”

Kwitchoff says the Hand Tub House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is owned by the city, but under the stewardship of the Rocks Village Memorial Association. She explains its long history.

“I should mention it’s a hand tub house/meeting hall. The reason it is called the tub house is because it housed a manually operated firefighting pump. And, the water from the river was pumped into a tub. That tub was on top of four wooden wheels, and then men would take this tub on the wheels and run to the fires to put the fire out,” she explains.

The original hand tub is on display at the Haverhill Firefighting Museum, 75 Kenoza Ave. Kwitchoff says the Hand Tub House was located next to the Rocks Village Bridge, which was made out of wood at that time, so firefighters would be able to respond quickly and be able to maintain travel across the river.

Kwitchoff offers details of previous restoration projects paid by supporters.

“We went down into the basement, saw that restoration work. I showed you how we had redone the roof—50 sheets of plywood up there. We’ve redone the wiring on the first floor, reglazed windows, repainted inside, outside, plaster work, and it looks really beautiful.”

The Rocks Village Hand Tub House yard sale takes place this Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 1 River Road and East Main Street in Haverhill. There’s more information at rocksvillage.org and on the Rocks Village Memorial Association Facebook page.

Mary Murphy contributed to this story.

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