When moving to New Hampshire 13 years ago my Dad was concerned I was moving to remote woods (I almost am) asking, “whatever are you going to do?” The question really should be WHATEVER AM I GOING TO DO? There are too many choices! You may have realized that I am pretty much always on the go, but doing things that bring me pleasure — and, I cannot do it all, the choices are just too many.

I had a great week with grandson, Alex, and on 2 July on the way back from taking him home – I scouted for books, and explored. A few stops on the other side of the state proved profitable, and the books I found, once sold, will pay for more adventures. At the New Hampshire Antique Co-Op I found another great set of

Frye's Measure Mill, Wilton, NH

Frye’s Measure Mill, Wilton, NH

candlesticks that fit in nicely on my granite center island in the kitchen – now only 31 candles in the kitchen – “hopeless romantic” that I am. When in Wilton (New Hampshire, not my hometown in Connecticut) I decided to backroad on Route 31 and stop at Frye’s Measure Mill – it had been maybe 10 years since the last stop. What a great place, since 1858, and the last remaining measures mill in the United States. I have to go back for a Saturday tour of the mill itself, but touring the old building and the wonderful decorator displays of goods for sale is worth the trip. Two floors showcase wonderful accessories for the home. Below is a work table where you can see the finishing of one of the measure containers.



And, just one view of the great displays of period goods.


Here are samples of the various size measures, and items being auctioned to help fund the restoration of the mill pond.


RAY RECOMMENDS – Lunch at nearby Pickety Place (long overdue for a luncheon there – hint) followed by browsing through Frye’s Measure Mill.

Leaving the mill and looking at the map, I decided to continue on Route 31 through Lyndeborough to Greenfield, and then turn south to Peterborough. No reason to ever be on that route, so off I went. Now, if you were tooling down a road and saw this, would you stop?

Yankee Siege - Greenfield, NH

Yankee Siege – Greenfield, NH

I hope so !!! YANKEE SIEGE, Greenfield, NH. A catapult, actually called a “Trebuchet”, this device is the 2004 World Record Holder (it was most recently used for Pumpkin hurls). Used to throw 250 rocks at castle walls to eventually crumble 6 to 20 foot thick walls. This device set the world record of 1394 feet with a 10 pound pumpkin in 2004 – yes in New Hampshire.

July 3rd – catch-up day at home. July 4th – plan forever has been to head to my favorite Plymouth Notch, Vermont, and Calvin Coolidge’s homestead, for a nostalgic Fourth of July Celebration which is also the birthday of our 30th President. Weather map did not look good, so BLUE BELLE sadly was tucked back inside – boo, hoo, I only had a few miles of rain.


I am going to work on a video of the day’s experience, but here are a few images for the day, and you can also visit my previous visit on the 4th in 2013 on this page (click link).

The parade from the village to the cemetery is about to begin.


Leaving town.


Graveside ceremonies begin with remarks by Maj. Gen. Steven Cray, Adjutant General, Vermont National Guard following the laying of the wreath from the White House. That is the President’s great-granddaughter to the left.


And, then it was back to town, and I partook in the Chicken BBQ.


At 1:30 I headed to the Union Christian Church for famed Coolidge-actor, Jim Cooke’s final performance of “Calvin Coolidge: More than Two Words.” He first performed his solo act thirty years ago on July 4th in Plymouth. The President’s son, John, was in the audience then and remarked, “The actor did very well with his impersonation.”

Jim Cooke, famed Calvin Coolidge-actor, in his final performance.

Jim Cooke, famed Calvin Coolidge-actor, in his final performance.

I filmed about 4 minutes of the hour show, and will eventually post here. So, so, very glad I got to see this. — Cannot believe, “eventually go to it” on 27 December 2016 – sorry.



I then figured, “I am here, let me hop on the wagon ride.” And it was fun. This one young lady did her hair for the 4th!


And, you know me and Country Stores. Here is an interior view of the Cilley Country Store in the “center” of town.


I had a slow start on Sunday, July 5th. Discovered a new great mystery writer, Janet Evanovich, and had two chapters to go when I thought, “let me see what concert is at Saint Gaudens this afternoon.” Well, I found out it was the Cornish Colony Family Picnic Day with festivities before the 2PM concert, and at 12:30 the The Knave of 74-14Hearts was to be performed as a “human puppet show” featuring Cornish, Plainfield and Fairlee elementary students with Upper Valley adult actors voicing the parts. Written by Cornish writer Louise Saunders, and illustrated by Maxfield Parrish, I last sold a first edition of the play in 1995 for $1000 — I had to see it.  I knew one friend was busy, and I fired an email off to another before jumping into the shower – I had just enough time to fly up to Cornish. Sadly, when I stopped at my spontaneous friend’s home  on the way out of town, work prevented play – so off I sped over to US 5 in Vermont.

US 5 is a “sports car road” at least from the north end of Rockingham up to
Windsor. Perfect for “blowing out the carbon” – but I did not say that. Roughly in thirds, the best part are the southern most two thirds – Ascutney to Windsor is populated – not fun. My favorite parts are not traveled, beautiful, and made for low flying vehicles. Soon after I left Springfield at the bridge back to Charlestown I flew by two historical markers that I have missed in the past – mental note – come home that way.

RAY RECOMMENDS – Buy a vintage sports car (keep the top down) and travel US 5 from Rockingham to Ascutney

I arrived at Saint Gaudens National Historic Site just after noon, and realized that I have to admit that my pleasure in going here surpasses the Fort at Number 4, and almost ties Plymouth Notch. So, let’s say that I have a tie for number 2 drives, and the fort is alright as a third (remember RLI !!!!). I had quickly packed a lunch and had some in the field where I parked, then headed up to the house and the sculpture’s studio.


The play was to be performed on the pergola of the Little Studio with limited seating. Sometimes there is an advantage of being alone – there was one perfect seat remaining. Presented in “tableaux vivants” (a mime technique in which human figures  “freeze” in poses) adult actors read the parts off to the side. The half hour show was amazing, and the costumes fantastic. Here are some images.




And, the actors lined up in front of St. Gauden’s home when all was done.


And then I had about 1/2 hour before the concert began. I found a shady spot on the edge of the porch with a commanding view.


The best view was this Perfect Picnic.





BUT, note the wine glasses – and the holders. I could not resist, I visited the trio and learned all about their Steady Sticks, and wine glasses with stems that unscrew and then seat in the glass for easy moving/hiking/sports car packing. YES, now on order – you know me. Summer is still young – let the parties begin – hint again.


The concert began, but I only stayed for about a half hour. I had to check out those historical markers.

So, down Route 12 in NH, crossed the Connecticut River to Ascutney, and south on US 5 – did I tell you I love that stretch of road?

First monument will need more research, as to Gen. Morris’ involvement in the 1801 presidential election.




Just south were two markers for the Crown Point Road. This is the first road in 74-25Vermont which was built in 1759 from the Fort at Number 4 to Lake Champlain for the movement of troops and supplies. It was a very important military road which I need to learn more about and travel. I thought it crossed the Connecticut River close to the fort’s reconstruction, but I was wrong. The crossing was at Wentworth Ferry just under a mile north of the current bridge from Charlestown to Springfield. Of course, I have a book on the road, but have yet to study it – still on the list.


Well, a great day, and:

RAY RECOMMENDS – Visit Saint-Gaudens to enjoy the exhibits, house, grounds and just the drive up and down both sides of the Connecticut River  – it cannot get much better.

This entry was posted in Day (or maybe two) Trips, Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Saint Gaudens, Cornish, New Hampshire and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to JOYOUS JULY – RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOU – 2-5 July 2015

  1. Betty says:

    Loved the concert video! …and tableaux vivant… what an interesting way to present a play. What a great weekend of travels and experiences you had!

  2. Carolyn Norback says:

    Oh Ray, you do do the most splendid things!!! Can’t wait for the next adventure.

  3. Carol Crolle says:

    Now feeling relaxed after viewing another of your wonderful adventures. Can almost taste the delicious fare at the Pickity. Grateful to ride along on your coattails as you traverse the countryside. Thanks for the invite! Carol

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