Sunapee’s Hames Park, a gem along the Sugar River, tells of times past

HamesParksign2013_CCSunapee, N.H. — A small park, a gem along the Sugar River in Sunapee Harbor village tells of times past.

The park’s pathway, off Main Street near the High Street Bridge, leads down into a garden and granite lined sanctuary that speaks to the power of its townspeople and the river.

In the late 1800s, many New Hampshire’s riverfront villages and towns bustled with industry and business. At the turn of the century, the Granite State was a leading producer of textiles, machinery, wood products, and paper.

In Sunapee, factories harnessed the river for power and employed a variety of workers in its shops, mills and foundries along upper and lower Main Street.

Hames Park, dedicated in 1990, details the history of hame production in Sunapee.

HamesParkwalk2013_CCA hame, made of wood or metal, is the curved part of a harness that fits around the neck of a draft animal and to which the traces (or lines) are attached.

The Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor displays wooden and metal hames and other locally manufactured items from more than a century ago.

A sign at Hames Park talks about industry along the river.

From Lake Sunapee for a distance of nearly two miles, the Sugar River has a rapid descent and this furnished some of the finest water power in the state. On this particular section of the river, there were many factories. Along with hames (which were made on this site) many other goods were manufactured: fork & hoe handles, clothes pins, paper, lumber, tanned leather, meal & flour, sashes & blinds, shoe pegs, starch, inner soles, shingles, splits and excelsior.

Hames manufacturing was big business 

The hame business in Sunapee started in 1860. Ownership changed over time as did its factory buildings that burned and were rebuilt and expanded.

Sunapee’s hame production was big business. In 1893, it turned out about 600 pair of hames per day. In 1899, the U.S. Hame Company of Buffalo, N.Y., took over the Sunapee plant.

However, with the development of the automobile and internal combustion engine that transformed transportation across the country, the demand for hames dropped and the plant closed in 1914.

More than a century ago, industry and businesses lined the river. The hame company, as did other businesses, had buildings that spanned the river.

The center of Sunapee was in the harbor village around the Hames Park area, where Central, Main and High streets came together, and where one found the essentials: post office, livery, library and shops.

The Sunapee Riverwalk, a scenic half-mile walk from the harbor to the town office building and information booth on Route 11, passes the falls at Hames Park and other historic sites along the Sugar River. Visit the park via the RIverwalk by crossing the High Street Bridge.


Garden and granite lined Hames Park in Sunapee Harbor Village tells the history of local manufacturing along the Sugar River, where the power of the townspeople and the river came together. (Photos of Hames Park sign and walkway by Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee.)

Spring into Warner, Jump into the Arts

Warner, N.H. — The Warner group of the Kearsarge Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes spring with a family oriented arts festival in Warner on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Art, music, and crafts will fill the town.

Local artists will demonstrate and musicians and dancers will perform at venues along Main Street.

  • See performances by Click Horning at Main Street Bookends, Marek Bennett at BeezInk and Walking Bear Singers at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum tent at Sugar River Bank.
  • Watch dance demonstrations and workshops by the Kearsarge Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Town Hall.
  • Help create a group mural at BeezInk. (There will be lots for kids to do with crafts and activities throughout downtown.)
  • Look for barn and book sales at the Warner Historical Society, the Pillsbury Free Library and Main Street Bookends.

Rollins State Park will be open that day so plan to include a hike up Mt. Kearsarge in your days’ activities.

For more info, visit or email:

Capture the heat: Workshop on geothermal energy for the home

Logo of the Geothermal Energy Association.Experts to describe ‘the magic of geothermal heating/cooling’ at free workshop in Andover, New Hampshire

Andover, N.H. — A workshop on residential geothermal energy systems, which capture the nearly constant 50-60-degree (f) temperature trapped below the earth’s surface and use it to heat and cool the home, will be offered by two local experts on Saturday, April 6, in Andover, New Hampshire. The program will be held at the Andover Town Hall meeting room, Main Street, from 10 a.m. to noon.

The workshop is open to the public at no charge and is the second in a series sponsored by the Andover Energy Group, a local organization of volunteers. The first, held in February and focusing on solar energy, attracted over 80 attendees.

Leading the workshop will be Dan Grace of Dunbarton, whose Capital Well Clean Water Center is described as “one of New Hampshire’s most experienced geothermal well installers,” and Bill Wenzel, head of a Merrimack heating and air-conditioning business that bears his name. Wenzel is a certified installer for the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association, a non-profit organization established to advance geothermal heat pump technology.

Experienced in team presentations, Grace and Wenzel will offer an illustrated “Geothermal 101” session describing “the magic that is geothermal heating and cooling,” and answering questions. Refreshments and handout materials will be available..

Advance registration is encouraged but not required. For more information and to register, e-mail Maria Glorioso at or call 603-735-6128.

Established in 2011, the Andover Energy Group has offered several public workshops and an “energy awareness day” featuring guided tours of local homes using alternative energy sources. It also oversees local distribution of the Green Energy Times, a bi-monthly newspaper devoted to clean energy. A workshop on home weatherization and another on financing alternative-energy installations are tentatively planned for later in the spring.

Capital Comments: Briefings give budget writers plenty to ponder

Senator Bob OdellCapital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

One newspaper’s front page headline on Tuesday read, “For NH budget writers, it’s doom and gloom.”

The article was about a long day of briefings for House and Senate Finance and Ways and Means Committee members. Every two years the House and Senate invite in economic experts and analysts to put things in perspective as the budget writing process is beginning.

I remind my colleagues that the Governor will take the first step next month when she announces her budget plan in an address to a joint session of the legislature. That address will set out her spending plans that will tell us her policy goals. And she will explain her predictions on revenue for the next two years beginning on July 1.

Here is some of the news legislators heard.

First, economic growth is anemic. It is taking us longer to recover from the recession which officially ended months ago. And New Hampshire for the first time in memory is recovering more slowly than other states in New England except for Rhode Island. New England is also recovering more slowly than the rest of the country. That’s not good. Continue reading

MV Kearsarge is afloat!


Sunday, January 13, 2013, MV Kearsarge afloat at Sunapee Harbor. Photos by Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee.

The MV Kearsarge is afloat dockside at Sunapee Harbor.

Late yesterday, Saturday afternoon, salvage workers lifted the stern off the bottom of Lake Sunapee.

The restaurant boat took on icy water Thursday evening while at its berth, the town dock. The boat’s stern sank in about eight feet of water.

MVK_CC8“Still foggy, yet quieter at Sunapee Harbor on Sunday,” wrote Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee, who shares these photos. “You can hear the sound of the water pump and see the dinner boat now floating at the dock.”

Saturday the harbor was busy with hundreds of curious onlookers while the salvage crew worked throughout the day to raise the boat.

“A salvage team stabilized the vessel Friday afternoon using a sling wrapped around the boat and secured to a cable from a truck,” wrote Valley News correspondent Patrick O’Grady in the newspaper’s Sunday edition.

“Yesterday, divers placed several large airbags underneath the stern of the boat. When inflated, they began easing the boat out of the water, eliciting cheers from onlookers, many of whom were standing on the harbor ice.”

The owners of the Kearsarge (and its sister boat the MV Sunapee II), the Fenton family, expect to repair the dinner boat and have it in service for the summer.


Read related article via – Lake Sunapee MV Kearsarge sinks, awaits crane and salvage

Spring Ledge Farm recycles Christmas trees

Still have your Christmas tree and want to put it to good use? Spring Ledge Farm on Main Street in New London, N.H., is still accepting Christmas trees for recycling, but be sure to drop off your tree before Tuesday, January 15, and remove all ornaments and decorations. The farm does not take roping, garland and wreathes. Spring Ledge recycles the trees by using the chips to mulch its blueberry rows. The farm stand’s Winter Market hours: Open Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CSC grads to talk about success: Poly-Recovery

New London, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College graduates Mike Mooney and John Pelech, owners of Poly-Recovery, will return to campus Wednesday, November 28 at  7 p.m. to talk about  success and recycling. The program will be held at the Ivey Science Center, and will be hosted by CSC environmental studies students. The public is invited to attend.

Pelech and Mooney will share information about Poly-Recovery’s 100-mile model that handles waste, from pick up to new product manufacturing, all within 100-miles.

Poly-Recovery, in Portsmouth, N.H, has three goals: to eliminate landfill dumping, to reduce carbon waste, and to sustain both the environment and the local economy.

In 2012, the New Hampshire Business Review explained what success in recycling looks like: Portsmouth firms transform companies’ trash into opportunity.

This community program is part of the outreach underway by Kearsarge Valley Transition, a “local network of individuals, businesses and organizations that are committed to improving the well-being and resilience of our neighbors and communities now and into the future.”

For more info, visit Kearsarge Valley Transition or email:


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