North Turner history will be focus of presentation

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TURNER — The Turner Public Library and The Turner History Room will host North Turner history expert, Lawrence “Punk” House. He will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 21, at the Leavitt Institute Building.

House is perhaps more closely connected with the village of North Turner than any person on the planet. Born in 1934, he has always lived in North Turner and continues to reside in the village with Laverna, his wife of 55 years.

His roots run deep into North Turner history as it was Caleb House who was the first settler of the area and built a house on Tory Hill in 1784. Punk House also descends from the Keene family. John Keene, who came to the area in 1777, ran an early tavern and his old wooden tavern sign survives to this day. Later on, Elias Keene owned a large hotel in North Turner village. Elias Keene’s daughter Minnie married Richard House, that couple being Punk House’s grandparents.

Richard House opened the country store known as House’s Store or House’s Market in 1925. Punk House’s father, Maynard, took over in 1927, and Punk House was the proprietor from 1954 to 1999. For many years the North Turner Post Office was located in the store.

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House’s Store was often visited by, not only the citizens of North Turner village, but by the folks of outlying areas from Bear Pond to Howes Corner and beyond. Until 1936, when Route 4 bypassed the village center, many travelers stopped at the store. Certain locals plus people from away comprise a long list of “characters” who have passed through the doors of House’s Market.

Punk House has also been eyewitness to triumph and tragedy alike in the history of North Turner. He recalls the Memorial Day parades, minstrel shows at the G.A.R. Hall and the Fourth of July celebrations. He also remembers the burning of the hotel and the school as well as demise of the Burnham and Morrill Canning factory and Teague’s Mill.

Punk House will tell history stories in the Community Room downstairs in the Leavitt Institute Building. The History Room, located on the third floor, houses many of his historical artifacts. It will be open for visitation following the presentation.

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