BETHLEHEM — After celebrating in August the new state historical marker that officially marks the Our Lady of the Fairways Shrine, built near the Maplewood Golf Course six decades ago by young golf caddies, Gov. Chris Sununu has formally recognized the site with a commendation.
The shrine in Bethlehem that commemorates generations of caddies who attended caddy camps across New England was added to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places on Jan. 25.
In his commendation, the governor said, “thousands of campers came to New Hampshire from inner cities for the opportunity to enjoy a camping experience, learn how to caddie, and earn their money” and “many caddies worked at the Maplewood Country Club and they came together to raise money for the Our Lady of the Fairways Shrine to memorialize their shared experience at caddy camp.”
The Our Lady of the Fairways Shrine, said Sununu, “continues to have many visitors, and over the last decade, the shrine has been renovated and enhanced by campers and friends of the camp, leading to its designation as a historical site.”
Those helping get the shrine added to the historic register and get the historical marker installed included State Sen. Erin Hennessey, R-Littleton, State Rep. Linda Massimilla, D-Littleton, and State Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester.
Frank Colvario, a Boston resident and retired educator who spent many summers at the Maplewood and who has organized a number of caddy reunions in the last few decades at the Maplewood, is proud of the commendation and said it recognizes an important part of New Hampshire and New England history and an important part in the lives of the caddies, who learned life skills and enjoyed camaraderie at the camps.
Assisting with the governor’s commendation was Massimilla.
“It was important to recognize the contribution the camp made to the caddies and the contribution the caddies made to the camp,” Massimilla said Monday. “The commendation recognizes the place that the caddies had and what the camp did for the caddies, and also the fact that they helped to maintain the shrine for so many years.”
In January, the New Hampshire Senate issued a resolution that formally recognizes the shrine.