A DATE with BLUE BELLE for 7 1/2 HOURS at 19 MPH – 7 September 2014

BLUE BELLE knew that I had just worked out a day’s jaunt and begged me to go out yesterday.  But I finally convinced her that “Tex the Weatherman” (she can relate to that time period) suggested that today, Sunday would be the perfect day for exploring — and it was.

The plan was simple, and I had highlighted it on the map.  Sullivan and Roxbury I had never seen, BLACK BEAUTY has had lunch in Harrisville, but not BLUE BELLE.  And, Franklin Pierce’s Homestead in Hillsborough has been “on the list.”  LADY RAB backed out to allow BLUE BELLE to exit (she is jealous), and off we headed at 10AM.  In case you did not get your map out, here is my marked up map (click to enlarge) but there were some diversions. You will want to take this trip — or join me for a redux.

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I first headed over the hills of Walpole, then down 12A to Surry for the cutoff along a fantastic river (no guard rails, no speeding here) to Gilsum.  Knowing I like country stores, BLUE BELLE wanted to stop at the Gilsum store for a “selfie” (a pattern she demanded for the day).

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We asked the folks at the table where the turn for Sullivan was. BB-2“Head south on Route 10,” I was told, “and turn left at the log cabin.”  Sullivan is one of those towns that you will never see unless you go there.  It is not on the way to anywhere, you can get there from here, but there is no need to.  So, since you have never been there, and probably never will, here is what we discovered.

 

 

Here is the Civil War monument in the “center” of town. The residents lost were engraved in the monument with the battle they were lost in and age and date.

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The Congregational Church and the horse and buggy sheds that still exist.

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I could not resist touring the cemetery.  A great picnic spot (hint).

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As I mentioned, Roxbury (population about 220) was one goal, but hard to find on my maps believe it or not.  When I got to Route 9 I turned left to Concord, and took my first right towards the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.  I had never been down that road, and hoped it would get me close to Roxbury Center.  Well, fantastic isolated dirt road requiring 2nd gear, and once 1st gear to get over a hill. Great views, and all of a sudden I ended up in Nelson.  Toured the cemetery – getting to be a habit – and once in the village (no country store) went back to Route 9 to head back towards Keene and the road (hopefully) to Roxbury Center.

Must confess, I turned on my iPhone to use the maps app to find out where I was and which road to take.  Alas, I arrived in Roxbury.

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But I wanted to see Roxbury Center which I saw on the maps app, and I figured must be the center of Roxbury civilization (BLUE BELLE was hoping for another country store selfie).  Following the route we first came upon the marker for the old school house and its importance since Salmon Chase (check him out) taught there.

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Then I came upon the site of the old church.

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But, where is the village itself?  I did read that Roxbury was a ghost town – read this website – yes, click on this link I have for you.

The road sort of ended at the church site and was posted.  BLUE BELLE was worried about her low slung exhaust system, so she stayed back as I hiked along the path that the maps app indicated was a road.  Soon, according to the maps app on my iPhone coordinated with GPS  — I was at Roxbury Center at the junction of five “roads.”

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Other than stone walls through the woods, here is the only remnants of a village that I saw.

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Well, checking iPhone maps I found I was a short distance back to pick up Route 101 in Marlborough, so off I went to pick up 101 and head east to the western most turn towards Harrisville – the lunch destination.  Yes, BLUE BELLE demanded another “selfie.”

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And, as planned, I had lunch on the porch.

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Harrisville has been “on the list” for detailed exploration (with my cameras) of its old brick factories and buildings and ponds.  This is NOTHING — I need to spend hours to do Harrisville justice.

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Heading out on the eastern entrance to Harrisville we got back to Route 101 in Dublin and headed east to turn north on Route 137.  Sadly never been on this road before towards Hancock and Bennington.  RAY RECOMMENDS – follow this route, in fact all of this day’s route.

In Hancock BLUE BELLE insisted on another “selfie” and turning around we could see the Hancock Inn.  The inn has original Rufus Porter murals, and Cathy and I visited there when Dutchie was painting Rufus Porter-esk murals in a renovated suite.  You cannot see on the sign that there is a Sunday buffet (another hint).

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The Hancock Inn.  Who wants to go when?

 

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Route 137 dead ends on US Route 202 where I headed north (been a long time since on this stretch of 202).  Bennington is just off 202, and of course we had to head into the village.  My “date” insisted on another “selfie” and a fellow asked what we were up to. He approved.

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We headed north on 202 to Antrim to turn left on Route 31.  May I say (even without images) Antrim is a MUST VISIT for its charm and architecture.

The next stop on the day’s agenda was the Franklin Pierce Homestead, just off US 202 on Route 31.  I am not even going to begin to discuss this site – it was fantastic.  Brian, again age was a factor, and my admission was free, but this is not a case that you “get what you pay for.”  Given to the state in 1925 and restored at that time, just hope you get Sara for your guide as she is absolutely fantastic with history of an 1804 home and the Pierce family.  I learned so much, and could go again in a couple weeks and still be amazed.  RAY RECOMMENDS – take in Franklin Pierce’s Homestead.

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No cameras inside, so I bought this postcard to scan.  The stenciling duplicates the original which is shown in many spots.

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Alright, an hour and a half fantastic tour of this home, and it was 4 o’clock.  Time to sadly head home (but I do love home). And, I headed out Route 31, first getting to the high Hillsborough village and its “country store.”  BLUE BELLE again yelled, “stop!”

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The entrance

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And, we were greeted only by Moe, Larry, and Curley.

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I continue on Route 31 to Route 10 passing through Washington – a most beautiful (but isolated) hill town.

Washington, NH meeting house.

Washington, NH meeting house.

but when I got to Route 10 I realized that I had highlighted on the map a back road that I had not taken – bummer – and had not found. So, I just continued south on Route 10 but decided not to cut over on Route 123A that you hopefully saw I had highlighted.  A couple years ago BLACK BEAUTY said, “never again, my bolts are hurting.” So, at Marlow I turned right on Route 123 (not much better, but not as far as wash-board) to head back home.

A very great day – 7 and 1/2 hours and 106 miles.  And, I would happily do it again next weekend.  So,

RAY RECOMMENDS:

1) Follow the route I just outlined

2) Have lunch at the Harrisville, NH Country Store  and explore the village

3) Visit the Franklin Pierce Homestead – immediately

Posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

EXPLORING AND RE-EXPLORING THE NH LAKES REGION – 1-3 SEPTEMBER 2014

Last week’s overnight adventure to North Woodstock, Vermont, was an outgrowth of my reviewing things to see and do around Lake Winnipesaukee which I have explored for 40 years, but not yet “done it all.”  And even if I have done something (e.g. Clark’s Trading Post) often a follow-up visit is in order.  The plan now was to use Wolfeboro as a two-night hub, accomplishing exploration on the way up to the Lake Region and back.  I am now completing this post after a tad over 400 miles (sadly in the “new” car) from Monday through Wednesday night.

I knew very little about the Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury (about 20 minutes northeast of Concord), other than I should some day visit.  So I departed home on Labor Day to arrive at Canterbury before 11AM for a couple hour visit prior to meandering to Wolfeboro.  My timing was perfect.

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A guided tour of the grounds was commencing at 11, and I joined right in.

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This introductory tour is an absolute must for historical background, plus you get to enter into the laundry, dwelling house, and chapel that are not open for the self-guided tours.

The Shakers (United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing), so called because of their dancing during worship, are not to be mistaken with the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch.  Celibate and living a simple communal life they were innovators and entrepreneurs.  The innovation was to save time in work thus allowing more  prayer time.  Youth were taken in as orphans or from families who could not afford their children in the 1800s and up into the depression era. The youths, however, were given the opportunity, when coming of age, to leave the community or sign a covenant to stay.  The Canterbury community was in existence for 200 years with the last brother passing in 1939 and last sister in 1992.  You just have to go there.

Here is a gallery of some of the images I took around the village. Remember you can click on any to open a slideshow:

Noting there was an Innovations Tour at 1:30, when my introductory 1 1/2 hour tour was completed, I had a great soup and salad lunch at the snack barn, and then was the solo person on the 1:30 tour which, also lasting 1 1/2 hours, exposed me to new buildings and more historical information.

There is a reason for everything, and usually for efficiency and to save time.  The chairs were hung to make space on the floor for cleaning and other activities.  Hung upside down, so any dust would fall on the bottom and not what you would sit on.

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Most cupboards, drawers, etc. were built into the walls.  Then, there was no furniture taking floor space or needing dusting underneath.

I then continued on my self-guided tour, and following an in depth look at the infirmary I finished at the exhibition hall in the carriage barn.  This building houses world-class exhibitions. My tour guides, Pat and Joanne, were tremendously knowledgeable, but when I was leaving the exhibition building I asked a question of Darryl who was tending there.  I pulled up a chair, and listened for almost an hour.  Darryl Thompson has encyclopedia first-hand knowledge of Canterbury Shaker Village having spent 31 years living there.  His father started working for the community (receiving a home as partial salary) and in 1959-60 as I recall, began giving tours of the grounds.  In 1969 Darryl’s Dad was instrumental in the establishment of the non-profit entity that has preserved the community buildings and grounds, and he continued to curate for a number of years.  His collection of Shaker items formed the nucleus of the collection.  Also collecting Native American artifacts, Mr. Thompson also established the Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum in Warner, NH. Walpole’s Hubbard family has contributed greatly to the preservation of the village. The Ken Burn’s film, The Shakers,  was playing in the visitor center, but I will find it on-line or through inter-library loan.

What was thought to be a two hour visit tops lasted 5 1/2 hours.

RAY RECOMMENDS — Hurry to the Canterbury Shaker Village, and plan to arrive for the first general tour — then have lunch — and conclude with the innovations tour.  A full day. Or hike some of their trails with a picnic lunch.

Now, following your map – which you had better have out for this shunpiking adventure – I continued north on Shaker Road past fantastic 18th and early 19th century homes, and tremendous vistas. I then headed east on NH 140 through Gilmanton and Gilmanton Ironworks (a nice ride) arriving in Alton.  For near 40 years I have always toured the old camp meeting grounds in Alton Bay,

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and had to see the devastation suffered from a 2009 fire which consumed over 40 of the small, quaint Victorian summer cottages.  It was my learning about the early camp meeting grounds that lead to my study of the development of the summer vacation, summer resorts, and early tourism.

Below – view from the center of the camp meeting grounds to Alton Bay at the eastern most point of Lake Winnipesaukee.

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From Alton Bay I headed north on NH 28 to my B&B in Wolfeboro – The Topsides.

You know I like to share my rooms — my room (actually a suite) was exceptional – I “do good” at finding B&Bs.

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My “sitting room”

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But I spent most of my two evenings on this porch. Only part of it seen here, and the image does not do it justice.

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I had dinner the first evening on the lake itself.

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TUESDAY – 2 SEPTEMBER

Before I start, did you ask why is Wolfeboro, Wolfeboro?  Named for General James Wolfe who was victorious at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City during the French and Indian Wars in 1759.  And, why is Wolfeboro called the first summer resort in America?  NH Governor John Wentworth built the first “summer home” on Lake Wentworth in 1769

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The "restored" cellar hole.

The “restored” cellar hole.

Now just a cellar hole, it burned in 1820.

Two places were on the agenda for Tuesday, The Wright Museum in Wolfeboro, and The Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough. Of course I had a shunpiking route to tie them together along with other routes I had not before followed.

LW-20I was at The Wright Museum when it opened at 10.  Now about 20 years old, it is a must visit, and my visit lasted 2 1/2 hours, but more time could be spent.  Begun as a collection of military vehicles, the museum portrays Home Front life and culture in the US as the war began, and next provides an interesting Time Tunnel for the years 1939-1945 detailing pop culture, news of the war and the mood of the nation.  I love learning “popular culture” and here is a gallery of some images (click one to open the up bigger) of that room, and then the “time tunnel.”

Here is the main exhibition hall:

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Upstairs was a temporary photo exhibit of D-Day.  This 88 year old veteran landed there 70 years ago, and was relating his experiences to these visitors.  He is still full of shrapnel having gone down 15 minutes after landing.

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Went I left, I realized that to have lunch at The Castle in the Clouds that I should reverse the route that I had originally planned, and should head clockwise rather than counter-clockwise. So, map time.  I headed north on NH 28 and then west on NH 171 towards Moultenborough.  I had done the correct thing arriving just before 1PM at the Carriage House where I had lunch on the patio with vistas south to Lake Winnipesaukee.

The story about the building and life of the Castle in the Clouds, named Lucknow, and now 100 years old, is interesting and comes from a shoe fortune – check their website for some history.  The relatively small Arts and Crafts “castle” is essentially original and untouched with the original furnishings.

This 50 foot waterfall – FALLS OF SONG – is but a short hike off the twisty tight drive up the mountain.

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Here is another gallery of the Castle. The servant’s wing was fascinating, and I just realized I have no images to share – sorry.

Leaving the Castle I continued west to Route 25 and turned right towards Center Ossipee.  Nothing to report along this route, other than the important fact that the snowmobile (Built as an accessory on a Model T Ford) was first built in Ossipee. Well, this was a nice post office in South Tamworth.

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I was going to take Route 16 south to 109 to head back to Wolfeboro, but before I left home I looked at my “round-about bookshelf” on the porch and saw NEW HAMPSHIRE OFF THE BEATEN PATH.  I collect items like this even if dated – someday I will write the penultimate guides.  This guide said, “Route 153 is … a good alternative for shunpikers seeking to avoid the traffic of Route 16.”  The book used shunpiking (would you believe?), and there was no traffic on 16, but off I headed for Route 153 first detouring to FREEDOM, NH – highly recommended for its architecture.

FREEDOM, NEW HAMPSHIRE

FREEDOM, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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Route 153 touches the border with Maine at Taylor City – population 5 according to the sign posted by the Mayor.

TAYLOR CITY, NEW HAMPSHIRE and MAINE . Population 5.

TAYLOR CITY, NEW HAMPSHIRE and MAINE . Population 5.

Of course I stopped – you know me.  I went into “Ye Olde Sale Shoppe”  I visited with Bill Taylor.

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His family started this shop in 1815 !!!  “How do you survive?” I asked, “customers from Portland, Maine.”  “No,” he replied, “people travel this route to avoid Route 16.”  Wow, so glad to hear others are shunpiking.

Well, at Sanbornville I had a burger at the Poor People’s Pub and then headed west on Route 108 back to my B&B.

WEDNESDAY – 3 SEPTEMBER

The plan was to head west to Route 3 to then south, but with some circuitous routes.  Only objective was the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum which I just recently discovered on the internet. At 9AM I headed out of Wolfeboro on remote Rt. 109A going through Center Tuftonboro and Melvin Village before connecting to Rt. 109 into Moultenborough.

Peacefully enjoying the scenery, I enter Melvin Village  which is on the lake…

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and proclaim, “what is this?”  All of a sudden there were three replica 1920s gas stations, old cars and Model A Ford after Model A Ford.

This Model A Ford pickup truck is a "survivor" having served a prospector.  Fellow who works for Richie uses it daily.

This Model A Ford pickup truck is a “survivor” having served a prospector. Fellow who works for Richie uses it daily.

Yes, (did you have to ask?) I stopped.  I passed about 7 Model As in a garage and entered the immaculate museum like display area of Village Antique and Classic Cars  – I could not believe my eyes – in the middle of basically nowhere. Feasting my eyes, I finally heard someone in the corner and struck up a conversation.  He tells me there are 4 such set-ups here and many, many auto hobbyists living in the area with 10 plus/minus car garages packed with quality high end unique cars. In my reminiscing and sharing I mentioned having sat in the 1907 Thomas Flyer that won the round the world race when Henry Austin Clark owned it on Long Island before selling it to Harrah’s.  “Oh,” my host said, “I think Richie next door owns it now, let me introduce him to you.”

We enter Richie’s garage, and there he is fine tuning the 1931 Chrysler Imperial Town Car that Walter P. Chrysler had Lebaron Bodyworks build specially for his wife — it was original to every detail including paint and upholstery.

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I meet Richie Clyne, and find he has a Thomas Flyer, but Harrah’s still owns the round the world race winner.  “Come into the office and let’s talk,” he invites me.  Well, memory lane.  Everyone my Dad knew, and I had great memories of (Ralph DeAngelis, Henry Austin Clark, the Tunick brothers), Ritchie also knew.  I had so much fun. We exchanged cards. At 60, Richie’s card reads “Retired – Thanks for the Memories.”  My host from next door told me that Richie is probably the preeminent car collector in the country.  Having owned the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas he has some cars on display there.

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He also built the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  But visiting with this wonderful host, you would never know.  May I invite you to read this piece I found on-line to learn of his contributions – Upon leaving, my original host kept encouraging me to write about this unknown center of collector car activity.

Route 109 joins with Route 25 in Moultonborough for a short distance before you need to turn right to follow 109 to Sandwich.  And on the corner, one of my weaknesses, The Moultonboro Country Store and Museum which has been there since 1781.

Moultonborough Country Store and Museum - NH

Moultonborough Country Store and Museum – NH

Of course a stop (you know how I am about country stores) to enjoy the second floor museum and tour the sales floors.

Traditional Candy Counter

Traditional Candy Counter

More touristy gift type stuff — not the products you will find in the Vermont Country Store, but still when passing by do park in the rear and spend some eye time.

Sandwich Historical Society

Sandwich Historical Society

Heading through Sandwich to Center Sandwich the views are amazing and worth the trip.  And, the lovely village of Center Sandwich is worth a trip.  I found the historical society open and toured the barn and house. Great exhibits. Something I need to learn more about is the OCR scanners that gather a document from the internet so you can read more about an item on your smart phone (hint to Andrea and Christie).  I want to get back to the area, and would love to go to The Sandwich Fair which has been in existence since 1886 –  but it will not be this year.

Leaving town I headed west on Route 113 towards Holderness – another great drive.  The past two days I have been constantly passing very small cemeteries that have been enclosed by stone walls – something I had not seen before.  And, I passed another, and turned around to show you.

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Just two stones were left. The first had the date of 1800, probably the date of birth, and the broken stone indicated the person had died in 1845.

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Driving by the Squam Lakes, I arrived in Holderness and turned south on US 3.  I passed the former Burlwood Antique Center building that Cathy and I used to visit.  And, Rich and Scott, that is now where the American Police Motorcycle Museum in now located – I did not go in – waiting for you to join on a “road trip.”

The Lake Winnepesaukee Museum was slightly a disappointment, and I am glad that I did not rush, missing other adventures, to get there.  Nicely done, with wonderful artifacts, a nice overview, but I like their website a tad more.  Leaving the museum I headed back to an antique center. There was a postcard dealer in one booth.  Would you believe I had to buy 8 Walpole postcards I had never seen before, including four I would have definitely had in the book.

Weirs Beach is always fun to stop at, but I have never been there with crowds or motorcycle week, and never will be.  I would like to ride the Mount Washington, or at least tour the lake on the mailboat, and will do some day.

The Mount Washington and the Mail Boat - built on an old PT-Boat.

The Mount Washington and the Mail Boat – built on an old PT-Boat.

I could not believe all the tourist cabins, motels and the like in this area – now empty for the season.  I bet it is impossible to move around in season.

Done at 5:30 – the hour long drive from Wolfeboro to Weirs Beach had taken me 9 1/2 hours – I am still doing well and meeting my shunpiking standards.  The plan was to see what was on US3 from Franklin to Concord not having been on that stretch of road before.  RAY RECOMMENDS – DON’T BOTHER.  The time to get through Tilton to Franklin is hard, and there is nothing to get excited about between Franklin and Concord, other than maybe the NH Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

I hope you got this far — but remember I do this for Ray, but I am well over 2,200 words, 67 images and one video.  Just remember my recommendations, and happy shunpiking.

Posted in NH - 1-3 Sept 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

TWO HOUR TRAIN RIDE TO NOWHERE and MUCH MORE 26-27 AUGUST 2014

You know I have hardly travelled this year what with my book and now with the renovations to the building I purchased with Barbara and Lynne — but I started getting itchy.  The other day I was thinking about staying on Lake Winnipesaukee and doing things “on the list,” but in that research the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in North Woodstock flashed through my mind.  I had discovered it last June on the way back from my train trip from Montreal to Halifax, and Cog Railway trip.  I called Leslie, and yes they had space on the 26th,. So, then I found a nice B&B booked it for a night, and called Leslie back to book the train.  Dinner on the train could be done concluding a day trip from home, but I thought why not go back to Clark’s Trading Post for another visit.  Thus the overnight and two days.

I have wonderful luck picking B&Bs, and here is the view from the couch as I am writing. The Wilderness B&B was built in 1912 in the arts and crafts style, and still retains that atmosphere.

The Wilderness Inn B&B - North Woodstock, NH

The Wilderness Inn B&B – North Woodstock, NH

Other than boarding the train at 4:30 on the 26th, and going to Clark’s on the 27th I had (note past tense) no plans, but played with a map and a yellow highlighter.  So get your map out, and follow along.

From home I worked my way up to Sunapee Lake and took 103 down to Newbury where I turned north on 103A past the Fells (been there, worth a revisit and picnic). I picked up Route 11 towards Andover (been awhile) and then took US4 east towards Salisbury.  Never been that route, but wanted to see Daniel Webster’s birthplace (open only weekends – but what the heck I am in area). Salisbury Heights remote and nice, as is Salisbury where I turned northish on 127.

There I spotted the sign proclaiming CURRIER AND IVES BYWAY.WM-2  In the last year more and more routes have been designated byways, and I have been accumulating information to develop a section on my website about them, but I did not know of this route.  Also, fascinated by Ethan Allen, since I have been to and enjoy most of the places he lived, traveled to, owned or fought at, I want to create my own “Ethan Allen Trail.”  Yes, another book or website.

At the ubiquitous brown state sign turned left and around the bend sat the bucolic spot – Daniel’s small birthplace  –

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Someone else I need to know more about.  Remember last year when BLUE BELLE and I visited the remote Vermont spot where he spoke in 1840 to 15,000 people?

SHADOW STUDY at Daniel Webster's Birthplace

SHADOW STUDY at Daniel Webster’s Birthplace

I next arrived in Franklin.  Even before we lived in New Hampshire Cathy and I enjoyed our visits to the three story Franklin Antique Market.  Not only is it now gone, but every storefront in town displayed a FOR RENT or FOR SALE sign.  You kind of wonder what happened.  Wonder if there is a package deal price?

From Franklin I headed north on 3A which skirts the east side of Newfound Lake.  I wanted to see The Inn on Newfound Lake which has been “on the list” to stay at having been built in 1840 as a stage stop half way from Boston to Montreal.  Pretty sure I had been down this road before, but nothing seemed familiar.

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Got to stop at the inn – the porch has my name written all over it – someday!

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Arriving in Plymouth I followed US 3 north (who needs the parallel I-93?) arriving in North Woodstock with time to spare.  I had not planned to go up to the notch, but having time I continued north.  But, wait, right turn to the FLUME — now that has been many decades, think I visited with the boys when they were very little, or maybe when BELZEBUTH (1929 Model A Ford Roadster) and I ventured that far north in the mid-60s.  I turn in and go to the visitor center.  Great exhibits, and wonderful introductory video (RAY RECOMMENDS – always avail yourself of the videos).  Not WM-7enough time to go in, BUT WAIT, look at this sign.  I will return tomorrow, and this “deal” also covers Cannon Mountain – maybe I get to ride the gondola for the same “fee.”  You will find out later in this post.

Check into the B&B at 4, shower, and arrive at the Dinner Train at 4:30.  I miss my sleeping car train experiences in Canada – have to do the US.  If you have never had dinner on a train, this is a must do — two hour, twenty mile ride with a five-course meal.  Scenery not something to write home about, but savor the experience and meal.

The view from my table as the train evening began.

My Dinner

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And, desert (can you believe?)

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The kitchen after we arrived back at the station

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and, one of the cars for dining

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After a full 12 hour day, I am now home recounting in images and words the full and fantastic day I had, today, Wednesday, 27 August. B&B was delightful, breakfast on the porch just right, and I left about 9:15 to be at Clark’s Trading Post when it opened at 9:30.

Just inside the entrance to CLARK'S TRADING POST

Just inside the entrance to CLARK’S TRADING POST

This was my third or maybe fourth visit there in as many decades. CLARK’S TRADING POST is eight-six years old and probably the best family fun entertainment in America.  It is the best value, unique, and reflects exquisite taste in showing showcasing early life, and what early roadside Americana was.  I will let pictures tell my story in the gallery which I really have posted to remind myself of the joy I have always had here.  And, if you look at the images (remember to click on any one to open the slideshow), you will see my comments that there are still items “on my must own someday list.”

Of course I had to show you this replica Cretors popcorn wagon.

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Made by “Wagon Popcorn” in the early 1970s, I seriously considered buying one new when stationed in Charleston, SC.  My plan was to sell popcorn in the old market that was at the time under renovation downtown.  Glad I just have CORNELIA tucked away in my stable now.

I toured the park, took in the Chinese Circus, hopped on the White Mountain Central Railroad into Wolfman Country, and then took in the noon Bear Show. In case you do not get there before the bears go into hibernation, here are two videos of today’s performance

 

Everything is timed perfectly.  I really enjoy the museums which have just about everything that I enjoy.

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Shortly after 1PM, after 3 1/2 hours, I sadly left, and headed a tad north to the Flume.  But, I saw Murray Clark, and thanked him for the pleasure his family has provided me in the past 40 years with their premier slice of Americana, the best in family entertainment.

The obligatory FLUME image

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And, yes, I showed my NH driver’s license and received my free ticket.  I completed the two mile walking loop through the Flume and past the Pool in about an hour and a half — not bad since that is the predicted time.  Now, Road Scholars would class this “most difficult” warning their typical traveler, but obviously I am in the top 1 percentile of fit travelers.

WONDERS in the NEW HAMPSHIRE WOODS

WONDERS in the NEW HAMPSHIRE WOODS

Since the same deal applied to the Cannon Mountain Tram, I headed there next arriving in time to catch the 3:30 tram.

Heading up Cannon Mountain on the tram

Heading up Cannon Mountain on the tram

Built in 1980, the current tram replaces the original built in 1938 which was the first tram built in the US.  I am about 80% sure now that Cathy and I traveled up on one of our sojourns and stays at Sugar Mountain, but considering what I paid, it was worth it. Now, the same deal applies to skiing Monday through Friday, so Bill and Dutchie take note, and Gretchen remember when your time comes.

 

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I was done looking at the Skiing Museum at 5PM, and it was time to head back south.  So, map time to follow along.  Back down US 3 to North Woodstock, west on 112 to Route 118 south through the national forest.  Wow – no telephone poles, no signs of life, and straight up before going straight back down.

the one open view on Route 118

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Road deadends at Route 25 where I headed south to Warren, but first bumped into Warren where on its ancient, decrepit common has proudly stood this Redstone Missile since 1971.  Gives me an idea for another Ray legacy here in town.

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I was heading to Wentworth to pickup Route 25A west towards Orford.  But the turn was before the town. One thing Ray has learned is that when this happens forget the turn and find the town first — you can then turn back to take your turn.  So glad I did so in this case.  Wentworth is a minute untouched gem. Small common with raised bandstand with Congregational Church at the end of the green.  And just a couple architecturally interesting homes. Enjoy these images

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Turning back to Route 25A (previously never traversed) it began to rain as I passed several old summer camps for kids.  At Orford I headed south on Route 10 remembering how I was impressed with the Common in Lyme.  Getting hungry I was pretty sure that the one other time I passed through Lyme that I saw an old tavern, but alas I was wrong.

Head of the common in Lyme, NH

Head of the common in Lyme, NH

But there are two lovely looking inns (probably getting some Dartmouth trade) that have gone on the list for a quiet getaway.  And, alongside the church is the longest buggy shed that was probably ever built, and deserves a visit.

Well, dinner in West Leb, and after four exploration hours from leaving the notch I was home.  This was a trip I have done before, and will do again.

RAY RECOMMENDS:

  1. Take a trip on the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train
  2. Visit CLARK’S TRADING POST in Lincoln, NH again and again and again.
  3. Explore all the Franconia Notch has to offer — but at least spend some time in the Visitor Center at the Flume Gorge

 

 

Posted in 2014-b -Quick White Mountain Trip - 26-27 August 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A SERENDIPITOUS, WONDERFUL 148 BLACK BEAUTY MILES ON 9 AUGUST 2014

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.

 

HOW INVITING IS THIS ENTRANCE?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS… WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE

AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS…
WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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.

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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.

FOLLOWING ARE THREE SAMPLE PAGES
The full-color book measures 11 inches by 8 1/2 inches

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Book review published in THE WALPOLE CLARION June 2014

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THE MAINE WAY HOME – WITH DIVERSIONS 25 and 26 July 2014

GOODBYE, HUBBARD COTTAGE

HUBBARD COTTAGE - CAMPOBELLO ISLAND

HUBBARD COTTAGE – CAMPOBELLO ISLAND

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.

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

COMING DOWNSTAIRS FOR ONE LAST SUNSET

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CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A LARGER SIZE

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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ON THE ROAD TO LUBEC, MAINE and CAMPOBELLO ISLAND – 19-20 July 2014

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.

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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

HAD TO ADD THIS
GOOD NIGHT – Monday 21 July
More to come

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“The Making of AS IT WAS…AND STILL IS… WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE”

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.

As-it-Was-FrontCover

 

 

 

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