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Peterborough

A life of adventure

Anne Frantz, 101, presented with cane as oldest resident

  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Anne Frantz was given the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the oldest resident of Peterborough.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — As a youngster, Anne Sharples spent parts of every summer at the Yellow House, near Upland Farm in Peterborough. Her mother, Ruth Morison, was a member of one of the town’s oldest families, and Anne first came to town in 1912 as a 6-week-old baby, riding up with her parents from their home in Belmont, Mass. Her earliest memory of the house is the birth of her sister, Abby, in 1917, and in a book of reminiscences, she recalls the “amazing amount of freedom” she and her two sisters had. They’d wander the trails of the Morison land, ride bicycles to a nearby house to get milk in the morning, light candles to get to bed in the old house that for many years had no electricity.

“I think Peterborough has been my favorite spot to be my whole life,” Anne told her daughter-in-law, Peri Frantz, who prepared the oral history for Anne’s 100th birthday. “Peterborough was always our preferred place to live.”

After graduating from Radcliffe College and marrying Wilbert Frantz, Anne Sharples Frantz settled down in Garden City, N.Y. But she continued visits to Peterborough every summer and in 1995 became one of the first residents of the RiverMead retirement community in Peterborough. And on Monday, Anne was presented with the town’s replica of the Boston Post Cane, honoring her as Peterborough’s oldest resident.

Although she worked much of her life as a math teacher in Garden City, Anne was an adventurer, according to her son, Bill Frantz, who spoke at the cane presentation. She drove all over Peterborough during the hurricane of 1938, sawing through logs that were blocking roads in order to get home. She learned to ski in Austria, and didn’t give up cross country skiing until she turned 90. She drove the Alaska highway all by herself and travelled often to Yosemite, Yellowstone and other western parks.

“She led what she always calls the first man-less ascent of Grand Teton,” Bill said, referring to an expedition of women who climbed the peak in the 1930s. “Her true love was the outdoors.”

Select Board member Barbara Miller, in presenting the Boston Post Cane, noted that Anne donated a set of steps to the Peterborough Town Library and has been a generous supporter of the library for years.

As Anne admired her new cane, she said she was honored to receive it.

“I never expected to get a cane like this,” she said. “This was a lot of fun. I always wanted to come back to Peterborough and I’m glad I moved here.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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