Thank you…

12 04 2010

A huge thank you to everyone that has left their thoughts and prayers. It means so much to Carol and to myself that so many of you have taken the time to leave your thoughts. My dad would be so happy.

Here is a picture of Mike from about 12 years ago, before he ever started this project…

A few of you have asked me to pick up where my dad left off with this, and I would love to get his work published. He obviously has done his homework here, and soon I will start to go through all of his files and photos and see what I can do. I am no MikeNH, but I would like to finish what he started. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and kind words, I really appreciate it and know that my dad would have to.


Colors of March along the Connecticut River Valley

19 03 2010

Once again Sue at Life Looms Large is requesting colors of the month.  Having missed last month, I’ll try to make up for it with extra photos taken on a Historic Marker hunt down the Connecticut River Valley earlier this month.  The only constant this fine day was a beautiful blue sky.

#21 zpic3March is when the ice fishing shacks begin to be removed from the many lakes in New Hampshire.  This is taken in Canaan, NH. with Canaan Street Lake in the background, and a snowy Mt. Cardigan in the distance.

#202 zpic4 Enfield is home to Enfield Shaker Village.  The “Great Stone Dwelling” is on the right, their chapel on the left.

2010-03-06 12.29.43Contrast.  The noon time sun creates complex patterns on the walkway between the Great Stone House and the Chapel.

#77 zpic3Oak trees stand guard over the chapel at Kimbal Union Academy.

#134 zpic4St. Gaudens National Historic Site is home to miles of walking trails in the nearby forests.  A colony for artsy types back in the day to find their muse, it’s open to all us little people now.

2010-03-06 14.10.58The Cornish-Windsor Bridge over the Connecticut River.  Connecting …uh… Cornish NH., and Windsor VT. It should be named the “Mostly Cornish-Tiny bit Windsor” bridge, as New Hampshire owns the whole thing to the opposite shore, and pays for upkeep.

#41 zpic1A skinny little church.  It’s actually St. Mary’s, the first Roman Catholic Church in NH.  Built in 1823 in Claremont, it’s surrounded by the cemetery on 3 sides.

#74 zpic1The old meeting houses of New Hampshire are beautiful things.  The Park Hill meeting house in Westmoreland was built in 1762.  They didn’t like it where it was, so in 1779 they fired up the trusty Ox carts, took it apart, and reassembled it here.  The steeple houses a bell cast by the Paul Revere Foundry, circa 1826.

#112 zpic1In this unassuming building, steam powered autos were built back in the 1870s.  Wish I could have unfurled the flag.

#204 zpic3As the March 6th sun begins to get low in the sky, the shadow of a Historical Marker hides my own.  Didn’t want to ruin the shot.  The Ashuelot River winds its way past “Granite State Mowing Machine Park” in Hinsdale.  Yes, there’s a Marker for that.

And so a great day comes to a close in the furthest southwest corner of the state.  For the record, the lovely Carol and I located anther 20 Historical Markers.  How is it possible to find so many in a day?  I cheat.  I’ll save the dirty little secret for another post.

Historic Marker facts that may only interest me.

4 03 2010
  • The State list is numbered 1 to 204.
  • There is no marker #189.
  • There is however a marker #122 and 122a. A 2 sided marker with different titles and text on each side.  It’s at the Mt. Washington Hotel.
  • Marker #193 Has different titles and text on both sides, but there is no #193a.
  • This marker is not documented anywhere.  It was put up in 1981.  There was only one other marker erected that year, #141.  There are already markers #140 and #142.
  • This next marker – #144 – was re-written.  The original went up in 1982 and is pictured on the right (photo dated 2007).  Today it looks like the one on the right (photo from January 2010).  It’s dated 2008. The state still lists the text from the original marker.  Any guesses to why it was changed? (Click for readable bigness).#144 First Meeting House
  • This marker was authorized by the State Legislature, not the usual agency.  “Davis Scenic Drive”. There are 2 identical ones, one at each end of the Scenic Byway.#999 Davis Scenic Drive
  • To date, there are 8 new markers located that have been erected since 2007.
  • The newest marker will be unveiled and dedicated this month in Barrington. “Deputy Sheriff Charles  E. Smith.”#903 zpic10

So there you have it.  Many of these are probably typos in the state database, or the quirks of different folks keying in the information.  Updating the state web site is a low priority right now, or so they tell me in emails.

How many markers are there really?  Hard to say.  If you happen upon a marker dated 2007 or later, jot down the title and leave a comment.  You may have found one no one else has!

Thanks for the tickets!

27 02 2010

Well timed twitter luck!   Thanks to the fine folks at for a free pair of tickets to see “The Chieftans” in Lowell in a few weeks. They were in the mailbox today.

The ChieftansIf you haven’t visited, head on over and see all they have to offer.  It’s a well put together web resource for NH residents or visitors.  News, events, recommendations for all kinds of activities, hotels, or restaurants.

The have a pretty good list of New Hampshire bloggers as well, broken down into categories.  Email them to get your blog added to the list.  If you use twitter, follow them.

(This post is a unabashed plug for the website, because they sent me free stuff.  And I like the web site. I hear disclaimers might be needed for this sort of thing.  So here it is.)

Back at it.

16 02 2010

It’s been nearly a week since my computer decided to jump off the Hudson bridge into the Merrimack.  The good news as I mentioned in my last post was that I was able to save the data.  The even better news is a spiffy new laptop!

So I’ll be back at the New Hampshire markers again with a vengeance.  I lost some research time, but the next marker will be “The Chocourua Legend.”  It will be up this week.

Thanks to all for your patience


Oof… Laptop goes boom?

11 02 2010

A whole host of demons settled into my computer today. They seem to have an in for the graphics chip and driver (it’s a laptop).

I managed to get all my data off, which is good. I’ll spare the details for now.

I’m posting this via the free WordPress app on my Droid. I will say that WordPress probably has the best mobile device support of any free blog platform.

Anyway, it may be a bit before I can get things back to normal, but I can keep up with comments and such  and keep up with all my NH blog friends as well.

Be well, and wish me Luck!

Marker Road Trip

6 02 2010

Yesterday the lovely Carol and I jumped into the car to hunt for Historic markers.  It’s always a fun day exploring the back roads and tiny villages of the less visited parts of our state and this trip was no exception.  And we struck it rich.

collage Marker gold. 14 more crossed off the list.

Beyond the markers, the communities themselves are almost always a surprise.  Here’s a few highlights from yesterday’s trip.  All population numbers are from the state’s 2008 estimate.  Click for bigger pics.

SuttonSutton. Population 2,910

After Rt 114 South passes under I89 (no exit on 89) it’s a bumpy frost heavy ride into Sutton.  The town itself is divided into Sutton and South Sutton.

This is the “First Freemen” Baptist church near the entrance to Wadleigh State Park in Sutton.  The cemetery is behind the church.

Rt. 114 bends sharply left, passing a small general store on its way to South Sutton.

Bradford Bradford. Population 1,586

In Bradford is the junction of Rt 114 and 103. A right turn heads to Lake Sunapee.  Just after the turn is Center street on the left and a covered bridge. At the end of Center street is what was the original center of Bradford.

Rock walls are everywhere you go.  This wall is made of some pretty large boulders, and as you can see from the lichen they were placed a long time ago. This wall surrounds lines the original cemetery in old Bradford Center from the 1790s.

This road is a dead end, but there is a marker here seemingly in the middle of nowhere.


Goshen. Population 818

South of Newport, NH on Rt. 10 is Goshen. The small dam above was probably built long ago to power an old mill.  The lower pond is beginning to freeze over again as the mildly turbulent water creates ice Frisbees.

Lempster. Population 1,111

Did you know there was a wind farm in Lempster? I didn’t until yesterday.


Amazing things.  It’s hard to get a feel for the real size of it.  Each of those blades is 170 feet long.  From one blade tip to another is about 300 feet – the length of a football field.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, I could hear it.  A deep woosh-ish sound as the blades spun.

There are 12 of these things running along the ridges of Lempster, producing enough power for about 10,000 homes (1/40th the output of Seabrook).  At a cost of $48 million it provided a lot of “green jobs” during construction.  Now that it’s operational, not so many.  Only 3.  The company that built and runs it, Iberdrola Renewables, brought in the wind turbines from Spain. (Source)

IMG_0687 Washington. Population 995

From Lempster there is back road imaginatively named Mountain Road. It climbs over the ridge the wind turbines are on to the little town of Washington.

The town straddles Rt 31 about halfway between Goshen and Hillsborough.  The center of town has a Gazebo (you can see it left) and some well maintained classic New Hampshire buildings.


A shot from the Gazebo.  Church, 1800s era school house, and the Washington Town Hall.

If you ever get down this way stop at the general store in town.  Along with the usual snacks, drinks and suds, they have a Pizza oven and are open serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And they have a gas pump (just one, no brand).  I hear they get a lot of snowmobile business.

Hillsb1 Hillsborough 5,857

Maps are a funny thing.  Sometimes a road becomes a dirt road.  So there you are driving along a well plowed dirt road and bam!  You see something like the bridge at left.

Further along this dirt road are some insanely beautiful original brick farm houses from the 1700s and many of the farms are still operational. There’s money in there.

Antrim. Population 2,630Antrim

With the sun getting low it’s time to find a way home.  31 South runs through Antrim.  Here’s the chariot in front Antrim Town Hall (1894).

There’s a marker across the street but I’m thinking I need to go back as the fading light didn’t make for any really nice shots.

I’m keeping a list of places that we would like to revisit in the spring, summer or fall.  Antrim gets added.

Benning2Bennington. Population 4,904

Bennington has been a mill town forever.  And in fact the marker here talks about just that, so I’ll save a lot of the shots from there for the appropriate history post.

Mills mean dams and dams mean ponds and ponds mean ice this time of year.

Ice piling up against the dam in a refreezing pond.

I realize it’s been a bit since the last history post, but the next one is just about ready to publish – back to Exeter one last time before the revolution.