Retro Creche Finds A New Home
by Cheryl Luther Michaels, Community Journalist (with Gail O’Brien)
EAST HARDWICK – In August, Denise (LeMay) Hark of Walden and her sister Jane (LeMay) Richards of Florida, discovered the LeMay family creche in the garage, where it had been stored for many years. They asked Gail and David O’Brien if they would like it. “We said yes,” commented Gail. Anne Batten, a neighbor on Mountain View in East Hardwick, said she remembered that the Lemay’s creche won a prize in a Christmas display contest. Outdoor Christmas decoration contests seemed to have been popular starting in the mid 1950s according to articles found in the Gazette’s Local Lumps. Denis LeMay of Florida said he also remembers that “the creche won a prize: a string of Christmas Lights.”
The creche was displayed on the lawn of the farm owned by Alphege and Ann Marie Lemay, now deceased, on Mountain View Road in East Hardwick for many years, probably starting in the mid 1960s.
Gail O’Brien said that “other than the plastic manger being broken the Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus dolls were in the original box and in good condition. David built a new crib and we replaced the lights.” The original stable structure was built by Mr. LeMay, but has been lost. “We plan to add a stable structure for next year.” added O’Brien.