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.
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.
Sutton. 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. 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)
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.
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 2,630
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.
Bennington. 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.