Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 11-20-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 THE VALLEY / PAWTUCKET NOVEMBER 20-26, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION LINCOLN – The old farm is long gone, the house on it moved with the early 1950s construction of Route 146, but to a family that first started having Thanksgiving dinner here back in 1901, it will always be "home on the farm" at this time of year. May Rancourt, now 83 and a mother of nine children, said her family will be together again for its 119th Thanksgiving dinner in the same house off Breakneck Hill Road. And though some family members have moved elsewhere in the coun- try, and some in the younger genera- tion are off at college, everyone tries to make it back at least some years. Some family members have never missed a Thanksgiving dinner here. "Everyone goes there," said Rancourt, of Cumberland, even though the Lincoln home isn't the permanent home base anymore for any one segment of the family. "We are so happy to be able to get together all these years." Rancourt herself has only missed two Thanksgivings in her 83 years, both for hospital stays. Family members come from far and wide, many bringing their own contribu- tions to the feast. Six generations of Andersons have now spent Thanksgiving on the farm. "It's home for the holiday," said Rancourt of the family home. Her own father, Lester Anderson, was born in this house in 1900, she said, dying in 1955. "It's still considered the farm even though there's not an animal on it," she added. There's never been a thought about hosting Thanksgiving else- where, according to Rancourt. "It's always got to be home on the farm," she said. Her grandparents, James and Annie Anderson, first started hosting Thanksgiving dinner here in 1901. At that time, the house was located on the family's Anderson's Poultry Farm, located just up the road, but the home was later moved for highway construction, which "killed farming," said Rancourt, and the property was split in half. Karen Roderick, daughter of Rancourt's sister, Ida McDermott, does much of the cooking. She and her brother, Bob McDermott, have owned the house since Ida entered a nursing home a few years ago. Rancourt's granddaughter, Melissa Rancourt, daughter of May's daugh- ter Dianne LaFlamme, lives there currently. The typical number for past Thanksgiving dinners was 35, but numbers have dropped off somewhat in recent years. Rancourt said she loves the memo- ries made in this house, and plans to continue making them as long as she can. She said she expects this tradi- tion to live on even after she's gone. "They say they're going to keep going with it," she said. One favorite tradition is when she passes out chicken wishbones for everyone to make a wish. She then tells everyone that she can guess their wish, to which they yell out, "That we'll be together next year!" This will be 119th Thanksgiving in one local house By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com The Breakneck Hill Road home, left, as it looked around 1900 when it was part of Anderson's Poultry Farm. Below, from left, MELISSA RANCOURT, MAY RANCOURT and KAREN RODERICK, represent- ing three generations of the Anderson family, stand in front of the home that will host its 119th Thanksgiving din- ner next week. BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY LIBRARY NEWS Pawtucket Library Hours for Thanksgiving week PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Public Library, 13 Summer St., will close early at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27, for staff training. The library will then be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28 through Friday, Nov. 29, for Thanksgiving. The Bookmobile will be off the road on these days. It will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and the Bookmobile will follow its normal schedule. The library's Passport Acceptance Office will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Nov. 29, for the holiday. The office will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 1 to 4:45 p.m. For more information, visit the library's website, www.pawtucketli- brary.org .

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