Boston Post Cane awarded to Warren Schomaker
The Jackson selectmen awarded Warren Schomaker the Boston Post Cane at their meeting July 27, 2021. In 1909 the Boston Post, in a publicity effort, sent 700 gold-headed ebony canes to towns in MA, RI, ME, and NH to be given to the oldest resident of the town. Most of the canes have been lost over the years, however Jackson still has its original cane, which is stored in the Town Office. A replica cane is given to the recipient.
Warren Schomaker, aged 97, was born in Sydney, Australia, on January 27, 1924. His mother, Ivy Emma Hill, was from Braidwood, New South Wales, Australia. His father, George, was born in 1885 in a covered wagon travelling west from Chicago on the trail to Oregon. His birth was registered in Seattle, Washington.
Warren came to America in 1945 and secured his first job with Stromberg Carlson, a maker of telephone equipment, in Rochester, NY. While in Rochester, Warren and a partner formed Utility Services, Inc. in 1955 to acquire its first small telephone company in Melvin Village, NH. More acquisitions were made in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota. In 1960 Warren and 2 partners formed Continental Telephone Corporation, later renamed Contel. During the next 10 years, more than 110 acquisitions were made in 42 states, Barbados, Trinidad/Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, Grand Bahama, Quebec, and Ontario. Contel went public in 1964.
In 1996, Warren and Leslie moved from Kennebunkport to Jackson. Having been president of the Kennebunkport Historical Society, Warren was interested in joining the Jackson Historical Society. Under his leadership, with the help of many, accomplishments of the Society have been numerous and have placed it in the enviable position it holds today. Just a few accomplishments include:
- Getting 17 structures named to the National Register of Historic Places.
- Staging a year-long bicentennial celebration
- Helping the grammar school kids create a time capsule, which is stored at the Society
- Erecting the Korean War monument
- Creating the Memorial Walk to the Town Offices.
- Restoring the old snow roller across from the Wentworth
- Paying for the paving of the Old Town Hall (before the Society was using it) and purchasing the chairs now at the Whitney Center
- Restoring the Town Hall – new roof, upstairs egress, new siding, new wiring, general renovations
- Publishing numerous books of historic interest.
- Making 19th century White Mountain Art a focus of the society, with lectures, exhibitions, and art sales, and creating the Museum of White Mountain Art upstairs in the Town Hall.
- Commissioning a replica of the Town’s Boston Post Cane and having a case made for the original.
The stunning new library is a prime example of the Society working with other organizations and the entire community. The Society saved the timbers of the historic Trickey barn, which was scheduled to be demolished to make way for the Whitney Center, and stored them in trailers for a future use. They were later donated to the Town for the library. Building the library was a town-wide project with many people, young and old, involved. Once building plans were complete, Sam Harding was the general coordinator; Carrie Scribner mobilized the children; Michael Weeder was the master builder.
Anne Pillion noted “Warren Schomaker, through both his extraordinary vision and getting-it-done abilities, is a shining example of how one person can accomplish far-reaching and long-lasting community benefits. We thank Warren for his years of tireless work, generous support, valuable expertise, entrepreneurial leadership, and unsurpassed dedication on behalf of the Society and the Town of Jackson.”