I wanted to stop at Santa’s Land in Putney and wish them a happy 57th birthday, and BLACK BEAUTY wanted to visit her favorite Arlington, Vermont — those were the only agenda items for the day.  But here I am home, eleven hours later having explored and discovered new areas, and having had a great time talking with lots of wonderful folks.  I normally make these day trips during the week avoiding crowds.  But maybe I need to shunpike on the weekends – what a difference – and I found Vermont crowds are not big, not to be scared of, just fun to visit with.

I arrived at Santa’s Land at 10:00 AM and visited with the owner Lillian.  They have had some difficulties reopening this year, and are waiting for total electrical rewiring to be inspected. First agenda item done.

There are many (well only a couple) routes to then head towards Arlington.  Now get your maps out to follow, and plan your trip. From US 5 I crossed west through Dummerston to Route 30 and headed north through Newfane to VT-1Townsend.  Heading down the hill out of Townsend I passed an antique shop that has always intrigued me, and realized, “dummy, you just passed it, why?”  A U-turn, and back I went to TWITCHELL HOUSE ANTIQUES.


Remember you can click on my images to enlarge them.

VT-2I explored the barns and went inside.  And to my pleasant surprise, there in the room to the left were original RUFUS PORTER style wall murals – WOW.  Owner Chris was very gracious and said that I could go get my camera.  Recently a muralist scholar had visited and identified the artist, but he could not remember the name.  That artist had not previously been seen this far west, and the grapes in one panel was a clue.  As you may know, it was my following Rufus Porter’s work that brought me to New Hampshire, and my dining room walls have been painted in the Rufus Porter style.




I was fascinated by this volcano.  Chris told me he was told it was the volcano that caused the cold summer of 1816.  Ironically, I am currently reading THE YEAR WITHOUT SUMMER: 1816, and the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815.


Sorry, I just have to share these walls with you – they are so special.

Unusual grapes, possibly helping to identify the itinerant artist.

Unusual grapes, possibly helping to identify the itinerant artist.



Note the Squirrel.

Note the Squirrel.

I found the designs below the chair rail quite different and unique.

I found the designs below the chair rail quite different and unique.


RAY RECOMMENDS – Visit TWITCHELL HOUSE ANTIQUES – savor the murals, and make some great purchases – Chris is ready to “deal.”

Continuing north on Route 30 I arrived at THE STUFFED BUN.  My second enjoyable visit.  I had a nicely done and tasty tuna melt.  Had a chat with a nice couple who have owned a 1969 MGB since new, and yes, David maintains it. Unfortunately, I thought today was tomorrow, but it seems as though since it was today I will have to wait until tomorrow for my free lunch. Hope the sign changes to FREE LUNCH TODAY.



Continued on Route 30 to Bromley, left at the stop following Route 30 and now with Route 11 to Manchester Center.  The outlets have ruined this area, especially since they are largely vacant now.  Headed south on my favorite US Route 7 and was disheartened to see demolished and vanished an old hotel that proudly stood just north of the Equinox House. South of Hildene pulled into an antique/artisan shop.  Owner was from Chester, and we had lots of conversation to share about familiar spots.  He filled me in on all the controversy in Manchester over the now vacant land where the old hotel had been.

Soon entered Arlington.  I camped there in the 1970s, and Cathy and I spent a night at the Arlington Inn while we still lived in Connecticut.


To my surprise a festival was underway along with a town wide yard sale.  I parked and walked around.  Normally I have the park area to myself, get a sandwich at the deli and relax on the bench with it.  It was fun, and I bought some books which will end up (when sold) paying for the day out.

Of course you see BLACK BEAUTY resting in the shade.

Of course you see BLACK BEAUTY resting in the shade.

Then I headed over to the antique center in the old movie house in East Arlington.  Been visiting there for 20 years, having made trips from New Jersey, Connecticut, and now New Hampshire.  Amazingly the same owner always recognizes me, and we chat and catch up.

BLACK BEAUTY then wanted to head west on VT313 to West Arlington to cross the covered bridge to Norman Rockwell’s home – few people know it is there.  You pass through the bridge, a church is to the right, and up on the hill is his home when he lived in the area.  He lost his studio in a fire one night, along with innumerable paintings and drawings.

Norman Rockwell's West Arlington, VT home.

Norman Rockwell’s West Arlington, VT home.


Below, looking back north from his home towards the covered bridge


All the cars parked there are people taking advantage of the entranceway to the Battenkill River.  It is also a pickup point for an outfitter.  On the right, out of the image, was an enterprising young lady (8 or 9 years old) selling Snapple drinks.  I was thirsty, and had to reward her efforts.  I parked near the bridge, and yes, joined in conversation with folks enjoying the river, and then a couple from Missouri on holiday.  “Did you know that is Norman Rockwell’s home back there?” I said.  “No, we have to get a picture, thank you.”

West Arlington, Vermont covered bridge.

West Arlington, Vermont covered bridge.

So, what to do next?  Head west to NY State, and head north on NY22 and cut back to Vermont at some point.  But once across the border I turned right on County Road 61 and then County Road 64 traveling through some lovely farm country towards Salem, NY.  Figured I should hook back up with NY22, and I did.  Turned north into Salem, which I realized I had not been to before, nor this section of NY22 (Gary and I call it “filling in the map”).

But it was miles north on NY22, and more miles.  At worst I would bump into Lake Champlain and turn right to Rutland, but all of a sudden a little sign was on the right – “West Pawlet.”  Perfect, a turn back to Vermont, but the road was closed.  No problem, turn right at the next unmarked road, and voila, 1/2 mile and I am in West Pawlet, VT facing an abandoned building with 1920 GARAGE spelled out on the slate roof tiles. A left turn and around the bend are the untouched vacant storefronts – circa 1900.  I was now on VT153 heading south toward Rupert.  Saw a small sign for that, and knew it was the right way to head even though I had never been to Rupert either.

Coming down a hill I see what appears to be a fairground off to the right with another festival underway.  I get to a stop sign, people are everywhere sitting and waiting.  I call out, “what is going on.”  We are waiting for the parade I was told, it starts at 5:30.  “What time is it now?” I ask.  About 10 to 5 was the reply.  I turn left on Route 315 towards Dorset (first time there was 1964 in my 1929 Model A Ford), but decide to pull over and park.  I ask a lady where the parade starts.  Just a short ways ahead she replied.  I decide to wait, I finish my Snapple and soon learn that it is the Old Home Days parade with the theme – “Old Haunted Homes Day.”

Beginning of Rupert, Vermont's parade 9 August 2014

Beginning of Rupert, Vermont’s parade 9 August 2014


Soon the parade begins, and I could not believe how many towns contributed fire and emergency equipment to the parade.  And, just about every parade participant while in the waiting queue asked about BLACK BEAUTY and said, why aren’t you in the parade.  “Well, I was just traveling back roads and stumbled into the parade.  I get to see more from the side than if in a parade.”  It was fun.  One woman told me there are about 702 residents in town.  I would say that they were all in the parade, and there were twice as many (or more) watching.

Here is a gallery of some of the parade.  Click on any image to open a slide show:

As the last fire truck passed I pulled out and travelled over the mountain to Dorset – great views.  I decided I would end my day on the porch at the Fullerton Inn in Chester, VT, for dinner not having done it for awhile.  Some interesting folks sat down after I did including two very fashionable ladies. As I was leaving one of them jumped up and flagged BLACK BEAUTY down.  Fascinated by the car she came down and again I found myself chatting away.  Ironically she lives next to my home town in Connecticut, and has a weekend place in Andover. I mentioned BLUE BELLE, and she wants a ride when she comes to town for chocolates.  She asked for my card.

Now dark, I had a nippy ride back across the river.  I am sure I have forgotten some of today’s experiences, but if I can share anything it is: 1) have an idea of something to do, but do not worry if you don’t get to it, 2) stop whenever you feel like it, 3) engage in conversation to fill out the experience, and share with others.  JUST GO WITH THE FLOW, and SHUNPIKE and ENJOY.

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350 Postcards, Stereoviews and a few other images, all in full color.

That is less than 6 cents for each. What a way to complement your Walpole, NH, postcard collection and see cards you may never see elsewhere. Or a gift for a former Walpolean, or gift for yourself to remember your home.


Ray Boas’ new 128 page book, AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS – WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE, tours the reader through more than 125 years of history shown through 350 rarely seen images creatively displayed, all in full-color.  Based on Boas’ collection of postcards and stereoviews started over a decade ago, the book has been completed for publication in conjunction with Walpole’s 2014 Old Home Days celebration. The main section of the book divides the town into five sections each beginning with a map.  The postcards and stereoviews, with historical captions, are keyed to the maps.  Also included is a collection of historical articles written by Boas for THE WALPOLE CLARION, and a brief history of postcards further illustrated by Walpole postals.

Below are some sample pages, followed by a review of the book by that was published in the June 2014 WALPOLE CLARION.

Available at $20 a copy, shipping is $4. Mail orders can be sent to Ray Boas, PO Box 757, Walpole, NH 03608 Phone 603 756-4545 –   email: rayboas@comcast.net Payment may be by check or Paypal.

The full-color book measures 11 inches by 8 1/2 inches





Book review published in THE WALPOLE CLARION June 2014


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All good things come to an end it is said, and my program at Campobello Island concluded in time for me to catch the 10AM ferry ($20) to Deer Island in the Bay of Fundy.

On the ferry

On the ferry

Arriving on Deer Island – not your typical ferry landing

Arriving on Deer Island, NB, Canada

Arriving on Deer Island, NB, Canada

A drive north up the island then to catch the second ferry (free) – now follow me on Google Maps up Canada 172 to St. George (interesting waterfall), then west on Canada 1 exiting on Canada 127 heading south to St. Andrews, Canada.  RAY RECOMMENDS – a day and maybe overnight visit at St. Andrews, NB, Canada.

My first stop? VIC – Visitors Information Center, of course, which was right at the beginning of the loop around the tip of this peninsula and town. I was given a great map of the spots to see, and began right around the corner at the Blockhouse built during the War of 1812. There are few remaining original blockhouses. Damaged by fire in 1993, but restored, I saw fire markings on some of the beams holding up the second floor.

St. Andrews, NB, Blockhouse

St. Andrews, NB, Blockhouse

In case you would like to learn more about blockhouses, open up this gallery of images to learn the history here.

Continuing a short distance on Water Street I arrived “downtown.”  St. Andrews is Canada’s oldest best preserved 18th century town, and its oldest seaside resort. The typical grid town layout I found to be an architectural delight and in pristine condition.


The main intersection of King and Water Streets – King heads out to the wharf



Just one of the pristine homes – unique board front, indicative of being built by a shipbuilder


Walking around I toured Sheriff Andrews 1826 house, the old Gaol and the Ross House. Then I drove along the shoreline and looped back to the Algonquin Hotel opened in 1889 having been built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. With my interest in old grand hotels I, of course, had to tour the inn and grounds.  The outside retains its original charm but the interior is new, but elegant — not my longing as in the original charm of Stockbridge’s Red Lion Inn.  But, I had to see it (of course I bought the book on the history of the hotel)

The Algonquin Hotel, St. Andrews, NB, Canada

The Algonquin Hotel, St. Andrews, NB, Canada

Somehow this “rocking chair study” is not classic enough for me


Around the corner was one of the top ten Canadian attractions – KINGSBRAE GARDEN. Covering 27 acres, the garden opened to visitors in 1998 showing more than 2,500 varieties of trees, shrubs and plants in very natural settings. Much more than simply flowers, to my uninitiated eye the settings all seemed to be so natural. I spent an hour walking the grounds, but you can easily spend the day.  I did want to include one colorful image for you.


Before heading out of town I wanted to “drive” over to Ministers Island (” ” on purpose). So named because during the American Revolution a Connecticut minister who was loyal to the crown was eventually driven away and crossed the border to Canada (as did thousands of Loyalists) settling on this tidal island of 500 acres. Eventually he relocated in the town itself.  Sir William Van Horne, builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway “discovered” the island in the 1890s, and built a 12,000 square foot cottage.  The island can be driven for a fee, and many of the buildings toured for that admission.  I did not take the time to drive the island, but since the tide was out, had to drive to the island.  So, here is the “modern car” – the no-named “grey ghost” on the ocean’s floor.



 Heading back north on Canada 127 on the west side of the peninsula you pass St. Croix Island. Established in 1604, this is the first white settlement north of Florida in North America. The US also has a National Park on the Maine side of the river, and click here for that website.

St. Croix Island looking across the river to Maine.

St. Croix Island looking across the river to Maine.

And for the history of this important site, open up this slide show and read the plaques:

Now, that was a pretty full Friday the 25th. Unfortunately I was getting a bad throat and cold.  The first day of the conference an older man sat next to me hacking away saying, “I have a bad cold, you don’t mind if I sit here do you?”  “Why yes,” I should have said.  And, my right foot was starting to act up.  I had not planned my Saturday yet, nor where to stay Saturday night, but I had been able on Thursday to book a B&B in Calais, Maine, so I crossed the border at St. Stephen, NB – not worth a stop – into Calais.  Now, forget your French, Calais is pronounced “callus” – and the town is.  I checked in, started struggling with what to do on Saturday, tried to book the Poland Springs Inn, but finally decided to turn in, sleep and feel better, and probably just get home Saturday.

At 9AM, Saturday, I began my journey home with the only thing on the schedule to see the Poland Springs Inn area – on the list a very long time.  Route 9 takes you from the border to Bangor — it is the only route, so no shunpiking, but it is only two lane, nothing but trees, and often lacking in telephone poles — so it does qualify. Ninety-five miles of basically nothing.  Approaching Bangor I saw a small sign that said Leonard’s Mill. That reminded me of something I read about it being the Maine logging museum (remember a few months ago I went to a logging lecture in Massachusetts?), so I turned and headed that way.  Sadly, no one ever told the world it was closed, but I jumped the gate and wandered in to see not much was there.

Sawmill at Leonards Mill - Maine Loggin Museum

Sawmill at Leonards Mill – Maine Loggin Museum

I passed through Bangor (save it for another day) and headed to Augusta, where I decided to turn into the downtown.  Glad I did, for there was Old Fort Western which I had also years back read about. On the Kennebec River, this is the oldest wooden fort in New England and was built in 1754 as a fortified storehouse to supply Fort Halifax during the French and Indian War. The walls are logs close to 18-20 inches thick.  Over the years the building served many purposes (and changes) enabling it to survive.  After serving as a fort with blockhouses it was a trading post store, then housed a prominent family, and in the mid-19th century turned into tenements to house Irish Famine refugees. Each changed added windows, chimneys and dormers to the original structure, but the original still exists – WOW.  I had an interesting tour.

Old Fort Western - Augusta, Maine

Old Fort Western – Augusta, Maine

Old Fort Western, Augusta, Maine.

Old Fort Western, Augusta, Maine.

The interpretation of the fort is presented in its uses over the years.  You see a military section and orderly room, the old trading post, when it served as a colonial residence, and then as a tenement house.

Docent in a room when the fort served as a colonial residence.

Docent in a room when the fort served as a colonial residence.


Leaving Augusta, I continued on Maine route 9 and US 202 towards Poland Springs.

You know my interest in the development of the summer vacation, and old summer resorts, grand hotels, and roadside Americana.  The Poland Spring resort ranks among the earliest in the country, dating to the 1790s, but there have been changes over the years. You also know of Poland Springs Water, which was first commercially sold in 1859.

I arrived, and first explored the Presidential Inn, built in 1913.

Poland Spring - Presidential Inn.

Poland Spring – Presidential Inn.


Going inside I was disappointed.  The only “old” appearance appealing to me was this part of the lobby, the rest were rooms, and peeking into one I was not impressed.  But I learned why later in reading the book that I, of course, bought. More on this later.

Lobby view in the Presidential Inn.

Lobby view in the Presidential Inn.

I drove up to the main part of the resort towards the Preservation Park museum passing these various history signs that you may enjoy reading (click to open the slide show, and each can be further enlarged):

In heading out the road to the museum, a wedding was just concluding in the chapel, and the door to the Maine Building, relocated from the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, was open (important point to remember).  I got to the museum to find it closed at 4PM, but took this image of the site of the first Poland Water spring.


So I went back through the park up the hill to the chapel and Maine Building.  Walking to the building everyone was now gone and I saw the door closed.  But I went up to peer in the door, and turning the knob the door opened.  In I went, but noted that the unlocked deadbolt was keyed on the inside also — if locked from the outside I would be there for the duration.  When exploring the tower at the Atheneum Hotel at Chautauqua last year I saw that if the unlocked door I entered was later locked when I was inside that I could still unlock the door from the inside — important note for you intrepid explorers.

One of five remaining buildings from this iconic exposition (and the only state building remaining) this too had been on my list (you did not know that I am also an avid World’s Fair aficionado). An impressive building costing $30,000 in 1892, subsequently disassembled, moved and rebuilt here for $5,000, I was thrilled to be inside (even though after hours).

1893 Columbian Exposition Maine State Building.

1893 Columbian Exposition Maine State Building.

I was on the second floor in one of the exposition rooms and saw a lady locking the chapel across the street and head down the path to the Maine Building – I have uncanny timing. I headed downstairs, and as I heard the door open called out, “are you still open?”  Lynn (the wedding coordinator) was gracious, said she was locking up after the wedding and I could continue to browse, which I happily did, but respecting her time, I ran through.  What luck, thank you Lynn.  The image below I took as I entered the side door.






And in this part of the museum were models of the two hotel buildings that had been lost. The Poland Spring House 1876, burned in 1975, and the Mansion House 1790-1978.



I then headed up to the Maine Inn, built in 1963.  Not my thing, but I was there so had to see it, and glad I did because I bought the book on the history of the resort which answered my questions as to why things were as there are now.

The grand portico on an otherwise two story motel, built in 1963.


What I learned from the booklet I purchased and read is that for 160 years the original family ran the inns before selling in 1962 to Saul Feldman. He maintained things for 5 years, but in 1967 he turned the property over to the US government to utilize for the women’s training center for the Job Corps. That lasted for three years, and when the girls left in 1970 they left all the properties in shambles.  New owners arrived in 1975 with new ideas.  Renovations to the 1913 building created more rooms and now with baths – thus the modernizations inside.  The other main building was built in 1963 — both thus not what I cherish in the Red Lion Inn — but I understand now why things are what they are. The new owner’s approach is to provide an experience to the masses that is like what the Astor’s and Vanderbilt’s would have had, but not at the cost.  I like the grounds and amenities, but again I do not go somewhere to play golf, tennis or swim.  I approve of what has been saved, and many people were enjoying the experience.  It was new on the old grounds – not totally me, but I am so thrilled to have now been there and understand the history of this important place.

424 miles from 9AM to 10:15PM and I was back home.  Glad I came home because it ended up raining this morning. All I would have done if I had stayed at the Poland Inn Resort would have been to explore New Hampshire spots that I can day trip to.

So, I am back in “shunpiking mode.”  And based upon this past week, RAY RECOMMENDS:

1) Experience FDR’s beloved Campobello Island

2) Spend time in St Andrews, NB, Canada

3) Swing by and see and learn at the Poland Springs Resort.

I have no idea what is next, but something will brew soon. Yours, RAY

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CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – 23-24 July 2014





Wednesday the 23rd was a day that we could explore on our own.  Most folks, as did I, headed back to the states with Eastport, Maine the destination.  On Tuesday I learned of a museum in Lubec – the last remaining herring smokehouse, and wanted to start my day learning there.

Part of the Smokehouse Museum Complex in the Fog



Remember where the tide is

But, I found it did not open until 10 AM and with the time change it was too long a wait, so off I headed to Eastport – but not the direct route.  I shunpiked on even further back roads, but was only able to experience trees.

ME-39Eastport, Maine is the most eastern city in the US (Lubec is the eastern most town in the US). Sardines were first canned in Eastport in 1876, and soon the city became the Sardine captial of the world with 18 canneries.  The last one closed in 1983. Most of the downtown is of brick following a disastrous fire in the 1870s. It is becoming an art colony, and worth a visit.

Beginning of Downtown Eastport, Maine

Beginning of Downtown Eastport, Maine

And, down the dirt road to the right, the recommended Quoddy Bay Lobster – the spot for lunch on the pier


Another recommended spot to visit is Raye’s Mustard Mill – and I did stop to see the 100 year old factory stone wheels grinding the seeds.  The mill wheels are driven by leather belts from overhead drive wheels, and pumps driven in the same way pump the mustard from one stage to another – no images allowed – a proprietary thing, sorry.

On my list to learn more about is the War of 1812.  England invaded and occupied this area in 1812. The Treaty of Ghent in 1814 settled the dispute, but the English did not leave the area until 1818.

Lubec Smokehouse Museum

Lubec Smokehouse Museum

I got back to Lubec in time to experience the herring smokehouse complex (do click onto their website) which closed ME-46in 1991 after about 150 years of operation in the same manner. Sardines and herrings come from the same family, and if I am correct sardines are baby herrings (at least smaller).  Sardines are cooked in the tins, but the herrings were smoked following a process of pickling in brine, then secured on skewers through a gill and the mouth.  The smoking process occurs in another building on the piers with fire built on gravel spread over the floor boards.  The skewers are moved higher and higher in the smoking process, and when done are removed from the top, and then cut up and packed. If you click and expand the diagram just above on the right, you will get an idea of the workflow in the process, each building having a different function. Note that a few buildings and piers have been lost from fire or storm. RAY RECOMMENDS a visit to this unique museum.



150 year old oak sticks used for smoking the herring.

150 year old oak sticks used for smoking the herring.

Today, Thursday the 24th, Colin (an outstanding lecturer) returned for the morning to teach us more about FDR and Eleanor and their family roots – the Delanos and the Roosevelts and Roosevelts (pronounced differently for Oyster Bay branch (Teddy) or Hyde Park).  Both families of money and quite a seafaring background for the Delanos. Wish I had taped the talks – so much to learn about these fascinating people, but I have already ordered two recommended books to add to my reading piles.

In the afternoon we toured the Roosevelt Cottage.  For the most part it is as the family had it with their furnishings.  After contracting polio in 1921, FDRs visits were fewer.

LIVING ROOM in the Roosevelt Cottage

LIVING ROOM in the Roosevelt Cottage


Dining Room in Roosevelt Cottage. Note large megaphone Eleanor used to call the family to meals.

Dining Room in Roosevelt Cottage. Note large megaphone Eleanor used to call the family to meals.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Then at 3PM we had “Tea with Eleanor.”  Wherever she was, no matter what she was doing, tea was at 3PM.  And at Campobello the hostesses provide a great deal of information about the life of the First Lady while guests are enjoying their tea and cookies.

Overall — it is a long way to travel, but RAY RECOMMENDS add the Roosevelt Campobello International Park to your list of “must visits.”

Remember I had no idea of what to do getting here or in returning home?  Well, I stumbled into this ferry landing on the island yesterday on the “do it yourself” day


and looking at the map decided that instead of driving back through Lubec and Eastport to cross back into Canada at Calais to explore some small villages, I will take this ferry to Deer Island, cross that island and take another ferry to the mainland (get your maps out, or at least googlemaps.com.  Then I will explore, and end up in a B&B I just booked in Calais.  So, you will eventually get that report, and also learn what I figure out tomorrow to do on the rest of the way home.  So, bye for now, as always, yours, RAY

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CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – 21-22 July 2014

Welcome Back to Roosevelt Campobello International Park, NB, Canada! The program I am attending, “The Roosevelts on Campobello Island,” has been designed to give attendees a feel for the influence this place had in forming the make-up and decision making process of the President and Eleanor.  For me, it has also provided an insight into one of my interests – the development of the summer vacation, and summer resorts.

In 1767 Captain Richard Owen was granted the island for service he rendered in the Royal Navy.  Settling the island in 1770, it remained in tight control of the family for over 100 years, essentially run as an independent country.  In 1872, descendent Captain Robinson-Owen began trying to sell the island.  The family control ended in 1881 when his widow sold the south end of the island, along Friar’s Bay, to American investors for $1,000,000.  The new Campobello Company planned to build a summer resort.  Three hotels were built between 1881 and 1883, and the land was divided into lots to sell for summer “cottages.”

The Roosevelt Cottage

The Roosevelt Cottage

James and Sara Delano Roosevelt first visited the island in 1883 staying in one of the new hotels with their one year old son, Franklin. They liked the island, and bought ten acres on the bay to construct a cottage, which was completed in 1885. Yearly summer visits began. Eleanor first visited in 1904. Franklin and Eleanor were married the next year, and in 1909 Sara purchased the cottage next to hers for the young couple.  Summer visits continued, but were few in the 1930s.

The hotels closed by 1910, and not many of the lots had been sold or built upon. Campobello Island as a resort faded as did many such resorts, falling victim to many factors including the servant problem, income tax, the motor car, and the first World War.  Even though an ideal resort location (which I can now attest to), Campobello Island is just too far for the wealthy from Boston and New York to have travelled to, and too far for weekend excursions as the automobile became “king.”

It is hard to believe that I just finished the second day – the days are so packed, and I have been cramming myself with learning.  I did not know anything about FDR and Eleanor.  Monday we had extremely informative lectures on the history of the island, and the uniqueness of the Bay of Fundy and its tides.  We have heard about the area’s influence on the thought processes of FDR and the First Lady. Several books on the couple are in the lecture area for perusal, and following the speaker’s reading of a few passages from a children’s book, ELEANOR by Barbara Cooney, I finished it on a break.  Childrens books can often give an adult a fast snapshot of a subject because they are succinct and to the point.  Wow, what an education this provided me on Eleanor’s life up to marriage.

In the afternoon we toured the island.

At the northern tip of the island, this becomes an island as the tide comes in

At the northern tip of the island, this becomes an island as the tide comes in

Light house on this island

Light house on this island

Lichen and iron fitting

Lichen and iron fitting

Below is Herring Cove, a favorite picnic spot of the Roosevelts

Herring Cove

Herring Cove

And this observation platform is at Eleanor’s favorite spot where she was photographed in 1962, three months before her death



Vera Calder

Vera Calder

Tuesday morning began with a fascinating film, “The Living Tides of Fundy.”  We then had a “morning with Vera Calder.”  Her grandmother and mother worked for FDR, and, at 84, she too remembers Sara, Franklin and Eleanor. Her grandmother was considered family having been housekeeper for 40 years at the various Roosevelt homes.  Her stories brought to life those times here at Campobello.


An afternoon two hour cruise in the bay followed.

My humble cottage from the bay (note my oval window)

Hubbard Cottage on Campobello island

Hubbard Cottage on Campobello island

“whale watching” was not as successful as it could have been, but I have included one image below of the six whales I saw just below the surface.


Dinner this evening was at St. Anne’s Church following a tour of the church built in 1855 by the Owens, and attended by FDR’s family.  The evening concluded with a member of the Passamaquoddy tribe discussing his tribe’s routes in the area, and the birch bark canoe FDR had made by a Native friend.

Most of tomorrow is an “explore on your own day,” so who knows what Ray will end up doing.

Good night from Atlantic Time – yours, RAY



Posted in 2014-a - Campobello Island | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments


Many months ago I signed up for a Road Scholar Program, “The Roosevelts on Campobello Island: Life at the Glorious Edge.”  Part of the reason was to delve more into Maine back roads coming and going, but I have been so busy in 2014 that I did not do adequate preliminary planning — but I still manage to explore and learn.  The almost eight hour road-trip (with some pikes that cannot be shunned in need for time) I broke up into an overnight half-way to the Canadian border on the eastern most point of the US (gee, and I have even lived at the southernmost point of the US)

Saturday 19 July, leave “44” at 8:30 and cut across NH on Route 101 to pickup I-95. At Portland bear right onto I-295 exiting on US Route 1 at Brunswick to head to my afternoon destination, the Maine Maritime Museum.  One gas stop, and, OF COURSE, stop at Maine Welcome Center to collect travel literature, and arrive at the museum about 12:30, just in time to grab a sandwich and join the 1PM docent lecture and tour.

RAY RECOMMENDS – an afternoon or day at the Maine Maritime Museum – (actually HIGHLY RECOMMENDS)

ME-1The museum is located on the original site of the Percy & Small Shipyard where large four-, five- and six-mast wooden ships were built, including the world’s largest wooden ship, the Wyoming – a schooner (schooners were built with rigging requiring smaller crews than sailing ships, and moved cargo up and down the coast – usually coal in the early 20th century). Most of the shipyard’s original buildings, plus tools and equipment are still in place. In the center of the yard, a full-scale metal sculpture of Wyoming’s bow and stern gives visitors a sense of the enormous size of the ship.  The Bath Iron WorksME-2 shipyard is just up the river.  Here one fourth of our WWII destroyers were built – one launched every 2-3 weeks.  The new “stealth” destroyer, DDG-1000 THE ZUMWALT, was in view.  Zumwalt was the Chief of Naval Operations when I was a young supply officer.  The museum, its buildings and museum deserve more time.  I learned a great deal in the lobster building, and wanted to share the placards below telling that story.  Click to open up a “slide-show” to read along.




A History of Lobstering in Maine

I drove around Bath (nice) and continued north on US 1 to Wiscasset, billed as the “prettiest village in Maine.”  I picked up (when illegally parked) a great walking tour brochure titled THE MUSEUM IN THE STREETS, but sadly without parking (it was a busy little village) I could not take in all the historic architecture (next time – off season).  It was then time to cut over back roads to my B&B in Jefferson but a little sign caught my eye for a left turn “WW&F RR 1/10 mile.”  The small museum was closed but two gentlemen spent some time telling me about their work restoring the narrow gauge equipment of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway.



My hosts back to work on the roof to an engine they are restoring.

My hosts back to work on the roof to an engine they are restoring.

What followed was another wonderful B&B experience at the Clary Lake B&B. Rick and Linda were extremely cordial, and their 160 year old farm house was impeccably restored, furnished and clean.

For the next half of my trip to Campobello Island I struggled and struggled with a route still having 3 1/2 to 4 hours to go and needing to arrive around 3PM Atlantic time — there was just no time to serendipitously explore and I could not to be tempted – you know me by now.  But I decided to cover as much of US 1 as possible cutting back down to Waldoboro and then go through Rockland, Rockport and Camden.  I had been through once before in mid 1980s.  These busy, resort artsy communities are not Ray, so I am glad I traversed to learn that, and need not return that way this trip — but possibly that area will be a separate trip sometime to do it justice.

ME-16Heading further east however, towns became more to my liking, and Belfast and Searsport deserve return visits.  And then I arrived at Fort Knox (no Dorothy, I did no spin off to Kansas – oops that is Fort Leavenworth).  Besides seeing the fort, I also must return to go up the observation tower overlooking the Penobscot River which is part of the new bridge finished in 2007.


A View on the new Waldo-Hancock Bridge

A View on the new Waldo-Hancock Bridge

Once you pass the turnoff to Bar Harbor (Route 3), there is more and more openness and less population.  The terrain is more open and as you approach Lincolnville and Machias it is evergreen country.  Then I remembered, when inspecting the Cutler Naval Station in the early 1980s I was told that the sailors were busy each fall “tipping.”  Tipping is cutting boughs to be made into Christmas Wreaths, and I passed several such plants.  For nostalgia I cut down to the base which is still in operation as possibly the most powerful radio station in the world but sending signals to submarines.

Downtown Cutler -- note the tide variation near the Bay of Fundy.

Downtown Cutler — note the tide variation near the Bay of Fundy.

Following really back roads past the village of Cutler I arrived at downtown Lubec, Maine and the location of the bridge to Campobello Island.

Downtown Lubec, Maine

Downtown Lubec, Maine


Bridge to the Island.

Bridge to the Island.

I checked into my Road Scholar program and received the keys to Hubbard Cottage in the park.

My room is the window on the second floor (left) and bathroom window the first dormer on left.

My room is the window on the second floor (left) and bathroom window the first dormer on left.

And I am currently writing this in the properly restored Victorian living room.

View from where I am sitting (and also strongest WI-FI spot)

View from where I am sitting (and also strongest WI-FI spot)


View from dining room to the bay and Maine.

View from dining room to the bay and Maine.

I have this entire house along with three other attendees, and it is grand.

And now it is time to experience life as a Rusticator sometime in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — more to come, and thank you for reading, as always, yours, RAY

GOOD NIGHT – Monday 21 July
More to come


Posted in 2014-a - Campobello Island, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


REPEAT PERFORMANCE – Yes, so many people who missed the June date have asked Jan and I to give our presentation again.  And we are scheduled for Thursday, August 28th at 7PM at the Walpole Town Hall.  If you would like Jan or me to send you an email reminder, or give you a call, please let us know.  See you on the 28th for another fun evening.

On June 24th, Jan and I presented at The Walpole Historical Society our talk, “The Making of AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS… WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.”  I asked my friends at Fact8-TV — Falls Area Community News TV (Bellows Falls, Vermont) —  if they would like to tape it to show on their channel and have available on the website.  The Executive Director, Jake, has always told me he “needs content” and he readily agreed. He sent Melissa over to tape our talk (I am getting older – Melissa and I were in plays together when she was in high school – she is now a college graduate).

Well, our talk is now on-line, and if you have 58 minutes and one second, you may wish to watch.  Jan and I have already been asked to “go on the road” and give our presentation to others, and we are anxiously looking forward to doing so.  If you have a venue where you would like us to make our presentation, just let me know.

So, click on the link I have attached to this line, and it will bring you to the video of the presentation.  Once the page loads, click on the arrow to start the presentation.  And, if you wish, just click “back” to return to this page.

If you would like to hear Jan and me in person, email me and I will let you know where we will be and when.  And remember, my book is but $20 ($4 shipping) and just contact me for a copy.  Thank you, RAY

Mail orders can be sent to Ray Boas, PO Box 757, Walpole, NH 03608
Phone 603 756-4545 –   email: rayboas@comcast.net   Payment may be by check or Paypal.





Posted in Miscellaneous Musings | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments


Thirteen plus years in the making, but worth the wait.  One of those “crowning moments” in my life.  CORNELIA (aka a replica of a 1906 Cretors No. 2 Sidewalk Popcorn Wagon) finally popped away, and for a good cause.  I did not want to “sell popcorn” but wanted to give it away for a donation to the two local food shelves – The Fall Mountain Food Shelf, and Our Place Drop-In Center.  These two organizations have received our A CHRISTMAS CAROL audiences donations the past six years — now over $20,000.  And, this evening (thank you Walpoleans) CORNELIA received a tad over $300 in donations for these worthy causes for almost 300 servings of popcorn.  I brought my stool along to sit down – and never was able to sit once. What can I say further?

The rest of this weekend I will be in front of my home, with AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS – WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE — my new book for sale.  And CORNELIA will be there too, ready to accept your donations for more tasty popcorn.

So, here are some images and a video from this evening.


Guess who this is – complete with outfit I have had for over 30 years.



FIREWORKS – away – yes “downtown” Walpole




Goodnight, Walpole — See you tomorrow.




And, a video, complete with music.

Posted in Miscellaneous Musings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WALPOLE OLD HOME DAYS 2014 – Full Schedule 25-29 June 2014

In the past few days I have had a large number of “search hits” on SHUNPIKING WITH RAY with people looking for information on this year’s Old Home Day celebration.  That was because my mention of it in my posts for AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS… WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.

So, to help, I woke up this morning saying, “Ray, post the full schedule for out-of-towners looking for details to enjoy our weekend.”  So, below is the full schedule.  And when in town, do stop by a take a look at AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS… WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.


Walpole Old Home Days 2014

Schedule of Events

(Note: $$ indicates that tickets need to be purchased or cost involved. Otherwise, events with no symbol are free)

 Wednesday June 25th

WALPOLE OLD HOME DAYS 2014 – Update 11AM — the Block Party tonight will be on the Common and in the Town Hall … and, CORNELIA will make her “popping debut” right along with the festivities tonight.  See you there.

 5:30pm – 8:30– Block Party
hosted by Connecticut River Bank, N.A. & The Walpole Foundation
Connecticut River Bank Parking Lot with music by “The Illusion
TOWN HALL in case of rain

Thursday June 26nd

 Walpole Players — “A Long Weekend in New Hampshire”
Doors open at 6:30pm, curtain rises at 7:00pm.       $$

Friday June 27th

 9am to 8pm    Walpole Community Pool, Free to all


4pm to 6pm    Farmers Market
 ~Kids games and activities ~Local Vendors
Ray Boas’ book will be available then


5pm to 8pm    Talent Show sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole
Congregational Church
Awards given right after performance.


5:30pm  Strawberry Shortcake by Tom Murray
In front of Murray’s Restaurant        $$
To benefit the Helen Miller Theater


6pm to 11pm Friday Night Street Dance
sponsored by The Burns Family
Savings Bank of Walpole parking lot, across from the Tavern
Two Sets: First set 6-8pm
Music by local Country Musicians;
“Will Buchan, Shawn Keniston and Dwight Smith”
Second Set 8-11pm
Music by Rock and Roll Group  “Turn it Loose” 


 6pm to 10pm American Legion food booth   $$
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs


9:30pm  Fireworks
                             sponsored in part by Theodora Berg and Applied Bolting
Shot from North Road over Village

Saturday June 28th

 7am-9am Academy Breakfast

for all who attended the Academy and spouses.
Prizes for youngest, oldest, longest distance travelled
Tent on Historical Society lawn


7am to 9am “McGrange’s”
Breakfast Sandwiches by The Grange     $$
Town hall


8:30am 5K Race and Children’s Race (12 and under)
sponsored by Kris and Bill Tyson

Start/Finish at Walpole Town Hall, prizes       $$
(to benefit Fall Mountain running and skiing teams)


9:00am  Walpole PTG — Coffee, muffins          $$


10am to 8pm Walpole Community Pool, Free to all



Sponsored by John and Carol Hubbard  Foundation
Starts at Walpole School

Prizes for Most Humorous, Best Historical,
Best use of “Country” Slogan, Best Action,
Best Youth Exhibit, Best Business Entry



Hills Band Wagon
East Bay Jazz Ensemble
Keene American Legion (Bandstand)


10am to 4pm  4-H Petting Zoo — Walpole Common


10am to 4pm Common displays for Walpole Non-profits
educational, fundraising and food, Kid’s activities

American Heritage Tour  Bake Sale, Hot Dogs
FM Scholarship Fund  Ice Cream
Cub Scouts  Bake Sale
Fire/Auxiliary  Popcorn, Cotton Candy, Drinks
First Congregational Church Pie Sale
Walpole 4-H Clubs  Petting Zoo
Hooper Hill Hoppers  Fried Dough,  Sausage, Hamburgers, Fries, Onion Rings, Drinks
Hooper Preservation Fund Tee shirts, totes
Walpole PTG  Cheeseburgers, Grilled Cheese, French Fries
Pinnacleview 4H Rootbeer Floats, Milk, Hotdogs, water
Girl Scouts Bake Sale
Swim Group Strawberry Shortcake & Face Painting
Walpole Village School Shaved ice
Women of Walpole Gift Baskets, silent auction
Many more info booths on the common!


10am to 4pm  Children’s Play Area and Equipment Displays

sponsored by Cold River Materials Savings Bank of Walpole Parking Lot.


11am to 4pm Antique Vehicle Show
Historical Society Lawn
People’s Choice Award


12pm – 4pm Firefighters Challenge — Stone Church Field
Walpole Volunteer Fire Dept.


12 noon Pet Show
Sponsored by Bonnie and Charles Casserta
Children’s categories: l argest pet, smallest pet, longest tail, costume class, owner pet look alike, most enthusiastic pet owner, cutest pet, judges choice award
Adult categories:  oldest pet, costume class, owner pet look alike, most enthusiastic pet owner
Roxy Memorial Trophy

12pm-3pm Hay rides around town provided by John Tarmey Jr.


6:30pm Baseball Game at the Hubbard Fields
Walpole Wild Blue vs. Claremont Cardinals
Free to the public
Concession stand will be open $$


6:00-8:15pm  Voting/Sampling for the Cookie Bake off — Hastings House

 7:30pm Lou Andreoli Memorial Jazz Concert        $$
Featuring: Atlas Soul
Hastings House Ballroom, two sets and refreshments available


Walpole Players

A Long Weekend in New Hampshire”
Doors open at 6:30pm, curtain rises at 7:00pm. $$

 Sunday June 29th

 7:30am-11am  Pancake Breakfast – Town Hall
To benefit Walpole Village School   $$


8:30am  Walpole Old Home Days Golf Tournament
Hooper Golf Club
To benefit Save the Hooper Committee         $$


Church Services:

8:30am St. Peters Catholic Church, North Walpole
10:00am First Congregational Church, Walpole
10:00am  St. John’s Episcopal Church, Walpole
10:00am  Walpole Unitarian Church, Walpole


10am – 8pm   Walpole Community Pool – Free to All


1:00pm  Amazing Race
Solve clues, perform challenges and tour the town
as you compete for prizes in the Walpole Amazing Race
in support of Walpole Village School.
Starts on the Common at 1pm             $$


4pm till sold out  Chicken Barbeque First Congregational Church     $$


5:00pm  Band Concert
Sponsored by the Boy Scouts of Walpole
The Walt Sayre Orchestra” – Featuring “Rebecca Holtz
Donation basket will be passed
Refreshments available    $$

***Presentation of parade awards and other drawings at intermission***


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Are you looking for some good old-fashioned New England fun?  The first Old Home Days celebration was in New Hampshire in August, 1899, to encourage former residents and friends to come home to visit, and maybe stay.  Walpole has held Old Home Days celebrations since that time — 115 years.  Now held every three years – this is the year.

Four days of festivities begin on Wednesday June 25th with a Block Party “downtown.” The curtain rises on The Walpole Players production of “A LONG WEEKEND IN NEW HAMPSHIRE” on Thursday, and Friday there is a street dance and fireworks.  Saturday is THE DAY with one of the largest New England parades you would ever want to see, events on the common and around town.  The festivities continue on Sunday.

Just as the week begins, Jan Kobeski and I will give a talk, “The Making of AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS…   WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE.”  I will discuss my collecting and the beginning of the idea, and Jan we talk about his design process.  So, join us at The Walpole Historical Society on Tuesday the 24th


My book is $20, and is now available, and I will be around town with it starting at The Walpole Farmers Market this afternoon, June 20th at 4PM

Cornelia will make her “popping debut” next week, but will cross over to the common this afternoon to hold the books.  So, please stop by, today’s weather will be ideal, and next week is so far looking good.


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