Dexter is Looking Great for Its Coming 200th Birthday


Mark your calendars and save the year. Dexter will be celebrating its Bicentennial in 2024 all year long.

Ask people living in and around Dexter what they like about the town, and the word “community” is almost sure to be somewhere in the answer. We’re not the first to realize this place is special. People have known this for two centuries.

Whereas other settlements such as Scio, Hudson Mills, Delhi, and Dover have come and gone, Dexter remains. For 200 years, the town has weathered wars, depressions, recessions, pandemics, disagreements, the rise of industrialization, and agricultural decline. It is something to be celebrated, and celebrate we will.

Meet the team making it all happen—the Bicentennial Committee. (L-R) Front Row: Michelle Paris, Secretary; Cheryl Willoughby, President; Bev Hill, Vice President; Rich Bellas, Treasurer. Second/Middle Row: Laura Telesco, Lynn Babcock, Kandie Waggoner, Laura Fawcett, Lynnette Schwartzenberger, Dawn Gilbert, Julie Wilkinson, Tracy Rose. Third/Back Row: Quaila Riddle, Becky Cobler. Not pictured are Jill Ringlein Covington, and student representatives Anna Kovarik and Dana Kulas.

June 2024 marks the 200-year anniversary of Judge Samuel Dexter purchasing the land in 1824 that he would clear and map out as the Village of Dexter.

You can expect Dexter’s annual events to have a unique Bicentennial flair as the whole city gets involved. And in addition to our usual family fun festivities, plans are in the works for a huge bicentennial weekend celebration in the summer.

And here’s a little teaser.

Dexter’s last anniversary celebration was its Sesquicentennial (150 years) in 1974. As part of the event, some residents then contributed to a time capsule to be opened at the Bicentennial. Well, it may have seemed like a long way off back then. Maybe some of you remember. But here we are, and the Dexter Area Historical Society will unseal the Sesquicentennial time capsule to reveal what Dexter residents thought most memorable in 1974. It should be fun!

And the fun will continue for at least another 50 years as the Historical Society assembles a new time capsule to be opened at Dexter’s Semiquincentennial (250 years) celebration in 2074. You, and especially your kids, can be a part of this by including something special, maybe a note to your future self or future residents, a keepsake for your family, a special memento, a favorite toy, etc. Keep it small, or we’re going to need a bigger capsule. Or at least a thumb drive with the blueprints of artifacts that we can 3D print in 50 years, or whatever the technology may be.

The point is a lot of great stuff is coming our way. Give it some thought. Maybe make some plans and invite family and friends back into town for the big event (exact dates to be announced). More news to come as plans are solidified. Follow along on Facebook at

If you are a business owner or organization, the Bicentennial Committee will contact you for ideas and suggestions on how you may want to be involved. Anyone who would like to get involved with Dexter’s Bicentennial Celebration can contact organizers at

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