Two guided tours of the Hay Estate offered in June

The Fells 013Newbury, N.H. – The Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests and The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens are co-sponsoring two historical walks, called “The Hidden History of the Hay Estate,” on Wednesday, June 4, and Wednesday, June 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hay Forest Reservation in Newbury.

Both walks will be guided by Dave Anderson, the director of education for the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests.

Participants of the June 4 walk will examine evidence suggesting what the Hay estate was like during the era of Clarence L. Hay. Walkers will stop at the cement cistern that fed water to The Fells, see the ruins of a sugarhouse, visit the Milton Clark/Nathan Baker farm cellar complex – the last and most expensive parcel purchased by statesman John Milton Hay, secretary to Pres. Abe Lincoln — and walk along the “Old Farm Road Trail” to see the Sarah Bartlett cellar-hole. Walking distance is about two miles.

Participants of the June 18 walk will discover how the Hay family and workers on the estate experienced The Fells from evidence and artifacts that are hidden in plain sight. They’ll tour the “Coach Road Trail” (the historic road used by the Hays to access a favorite picnic spot on Sunset Hill); a unique swath of forest that hosted hurricane salvage operations along Lake Sunapee; the ruins of a water pumping shed; and the site of the former swimming dock located south of the mouth of Beech Brook. Walking distance is estimated to be 1.5 miles.

Attendance at Part 2 is not contingent upon attendance at Part 1. The cost is $5 for each walk. These events, which start at The Fells Welcome Kiosk, are supported by grants from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Wellborn Ecology Fund and the Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation.

To register, call 603-763-4789 x3.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. The organization owns 50,000 conserved acres of land in New Hampshire and holds conservation easements on another 115,000 acres.





‘Ice out’ on Lake Sunapee

Ice Out Day on Lake Sunapee was Thursday, April 18, 2013. In the morning, a mass of  ice blocked boat passage north to south on the lake. However, the ice was gone by 2:30 that afternoon. "Ice out" is determined when a boat is able to navigate the length of the lake from Georges Mills to Newbury. Photo by Charleen Osborne, Sunapee.

Ice Out Day on Lake Sunapee was Thursday, April 18, 2013. In the morning, a mass of ice blocked boat passage north to south on the lake. However, the ice was gone by 2:30 that afternoon. “Ice out” is determined when a boat is able to navigate the length of the lake from Georges Mills to Newbury. Photo by Charleen Osborne, Sunapee.

Sunapee, N.H. — “Ice out” on Lake Sunapee was declared on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

Ice blocked boat passage from north to south at the islands at 8 a.m. By 2:30 p.m. the ice mass was gone and “Ice Out” was called by Richard Osborne and his family.

“Ice out” is determined when a boat is able to navigate the length of the lake from Georges Mills to Newbury.

See earlier “ice out” dates via the town website: Lake Sunapee Ice Out Chart.

League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair runs August 4-12

Sculpture in wood and translucent wood lampshades by Peter Bloch, New London, N.H., will be on display at the 2012 League of NH Craftsmen Fair. The fair runs daily August 4-12, 2012 at Mount Sunapee in Newbury, N.H., and will have over 200 craft booths, daily demonstrations and creative exhibits.

Each summer, visitors come to the Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair in the Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire to experience the fun and fascinating world of craft.

Now in its 79th year, the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair runs from August 4-12 at the Mount Sunapee Resort at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury, N.H.

The fair is a showcase for beautiful, one-of-a-kind craft items that are functional, decorative, and built to last.

All of the craft is made by hand by master craftsmen – juried members of the League – using traditional methods and natural, locally sourced materials, including clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, and paper.

The Annual Craftsmen’s Fair features a variety of activities for all ages in a scenic setting under a series of white tents at the base of the Mount Sunapee Resort.

The atmosphere for this year’s event will be like a street fair, with a variety of performances that feature over-sized puppets, magicians, mind readers, roving musicians, and more.

Visitors can meet and talk to the craftsmen, learn about their techniques, and purchase from them.

Shoppers will find fun and practical gifts at over 200 craft booths and The Shop at the Fair.

Do-it-yourselfers (adults and children) can sign up for workshops, such as paper making, beaded rings, and glassblowing, and make their own handmade treasures.

Daily demonstrations

Those who are curious about how fine craft is made can watch daily demonstrations of glassblowing, woodcarving, blacksmithing and more by juried members of the League of NH Craftsmen, as well as invited guests from the New Hampshire Potters Guild, the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers, the New Hampshire Woodcarvers Guild, the New Hampshire Art Association, the New Hampshire Shaker Museum, the Canterbury Shaker Village, and the New Hampshire Farm Museum.

This year, the woodworking tent will be expanded to feature boat building, guitar making and chair making demonstrations.

Three creative exhibits

Visitors will also see how fine craft is used in everyday life through three creative exhibitions:

  • Living With Craft, which features tastefully decorated room settings furnished entirely with handmade furniture and room accessories
  • CraftWear, which features unique “art-to-wear” clothing, jewelry, and accessories
  • Outdoor Sculpture Garden, which includes pieces such as garden ornaments and landscape sculptures. These sculptures will also be placed throughout different locations on the fairground.

An exhibition of fine prints, called Big Red, will be on display in the Sunapee Lodge.

Ticket information
The Fair will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, rain or shine, from August 4-12. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, students, active duty military (with ID), and groups of 20 or more. Admission is free for children 12 and under. A ticket includes admission to all exhibitions and demonstrations, as well as a second day free return to the Fair.

Visitors who purchase their tickets in advance on the League’s website, will receive a $1 discount, plus no convenience fee. This discount will be offered until August 3.

Parking is free and childcare is available on site at $3 per hour. Picnic areas, as well as a food tent, indoor cafeterias, and an outdoor Garden Café (serving adult beverages) are open daily. No pets are permitted on the fairgrounds or left in cars in the parking lots.

Links to more information on the League website:

The Lake Sunapee Region

Along with the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, the Lake Sunapee region offers a variety of activities for all ages, including the M/V Kearsarge cruises and boat tours, the Fells Historic Estate and Gardens (with its nature trails and tours of historic homes), water activities (boats, kayaks, canoes, sailing) and fun shops at Sunapee Harbor.

“There is a variety of lodging and dining options to suit all tastes and budgets,” says Jennifer Tockman, Director Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce. For information, visit:

Bowers appointed to ED&A House committee

Spec Bowers, Sunapee’s recently elected representative to the New Hampshire House, has been appointed to the Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

“By happy coincidence, Steve Winter from Newbury is on the same committee,” said Bowers (R-Sunapee). “I’ve known him for years and years. I’m glad to be working with him.”

Steven J. Winter (R-Newbury) was also elected to the House in November and represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack County District 3.

It shall be the duty of the Committee on Executive Departments and Administration to consider matters pertaining to the general administration of state laws and changes therein; matters of policy pertaining to the executive departments; matters relating to the New Hampshire Retirement System; matters pertaining to the administration of professional licensing; review of performance audits, and such other matters as may be referred to it. — Committees and Their Duties, 2010-2011 House Rules

Already Planning Your Summer Vacation to NH?

“I am making vacation plans now and would like the dates of the 2011 Craftmen’s Fair at Mt. Sunapee,” asked Myra in a message to Sunapee News. Hi, Myra: The 78th New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair will run August 6 – 14 (2011) at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury, NH.

NH’s Craftsmen Fair is considered one of the première crafts fairs in the country, and it’s held right here, in the heart of the Lake Sunapee region. It’s also the oldest crafts fair in the country showcasing an array of traditional and contemporary crafts, the work of juried members of the League of NH Craftsmen.

A little history: The League began in 1932; the Fair began in 1933. The first fair held in Crawford Notch was a big success with sales of $2,698! The Fair then moved to the Hancock, and through the years to other locations: the UNH Field House in Durham, Holderness School in Plymouth, Dartmouth College in Hanover, the Belknap Recreation Center in Gilford (1948-1960), and Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro (1962). The Fair came to Mount Sunapee in 1964.

Goubert Family Protects 75 Acres on Mount Sunapee


Andrews Brook forest pool on Mount Sunapee. Photo by Jeff Sluder.


Last summer, Delnoce Goubert, Sunapee, attended a Forest Society lecture about the natural history of the Mount Sunapee region. After the event, he approached the presenter about land that his family owned near the base of Mount Sunapee. He asked if the Forest Society would be interested in taking ownership of this land, which had been in his family for more than 70 years.

Almost one year later, the Forest Society accepted a gift of 75 acres in Newbury from Delnoce, his brother Peter Goubert, and his sister Jean Goubert Sisley.

The land has been in the family since 1937, and the Gouberts themselves have been actively involved with the Forest Society since the late 1930s. Originally from New York, the family initially purchased the land, along with some surrounding acreage, as a country retreat.

The original estate included a 250-year-old house, where Delnoce and his family spent summer and winter vacations. The house wasn’t far from Andrews Brook, which cuts through a deep gorge on the property. Delnoce remembers carrying fresh brook water to the house during summer and chopping ice in the winter.

He reminisces about the land with affection. “As kids, we spent our summers here,” he said. “Long before there were trails, we used to run up and down the mountain. We’d come up in the winter to go skiing.” Continue reading

F & G Presents Plan for Hay Reservation

Logo of the United States Fish and Wildlife Se...

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The US Fish and Wildlife Service will present their draft conservation plan and environmental assessment for the John Hay National Wildlife Reservation in Newbury (NH) tonight March 11 at the Newbury Town Hall at 7 p.m. The draft plan has three alternatives that will be discussed. “One of these alternatives of the management plan will guide the refuge for the next 15 years, and is important to residents in the Sunapee area,” said June Fichter, executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. In an email announcement, Fichter encouraged the public to attend and provided a website link to the draft plan:

Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway Takes the Show on the Road

Lake Sunapee Scenic and Cultural Byway

Lake Sunapee Scenic and Cultural Byway

What does the Presidential Range, Canterbury Shaker Village, Amoskeag Millyard, Moose Path north of the notches, and Lake Sunapee have in common? Each are central to a New Hampshire Scenic Byway showcasing some of the state’s most outstanding scenic, cultural, historical, natural and recreational values.

The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway is now the subject of a slide show that’s going on the road. Presentations will be shown in Sunapee on Thursday, October 15 at 7 p.m. at the Sunapee Town Offices; in New London on Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the New London Town Offices; and in Newbury on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. at the Newbury Town Offices.

The slide show is a virtual tour of the Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway–a driving route around Lake Sunapee that connects the towns of New London, Newbury and Sunapee along Routes 11, 103, and 103B.

“The purpose of the slide show is to inform the public of the resources along the Byway and to spark discussion about potential future projects or improvements on the Byway,” according to the program announcement.

The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway committee hopes to expand the route to include the town centers and add Route 103A and a loop through New London along Newport Road, Main Street and King Hill Road.

The slide show presentations are part of a Byway planning project funded by the Federal Highway Administration through the National Scenic Byways Program. For more information,  contact Rachel Ruppel, Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission, at 603-448-1680.

Naturalist Dave Anderson to Lead Workshop at The Fells

Forest Society naturalist Dave Anderson

Forest Society Director of Education and Volunteer Services Dave Anderson to lead workshop at The Fells in Newbury, NH on October 7

Join Forest Society naturalist Dave Anderson for Stories in Stone: Common Clues to Land Use Before Reforestation on Wednesday, October 7 from 1 to 4 pm.  Learn about the land use history at The Fells in Newbury (NH) during this introductory field workshop, which begins with a 20-minute indoor presentation followed by a hike to local woodland sites. Anderson will explain how to determine site age and significance by studying cultural artifacts like cellars, wells, stone walls, stone piles, fences, and farm implements. Participants should dress for indoor and outdoor activity.

Named after the Scottish word for rocky upland pastures, The Fells is situated on a nearly 1,000-acre hillside overlooking scenic Lake Sunapee. It is the former lakeside summer home of American writer and diplomat John M. Hay (1838-1905). Hay’s son Clarence inherited the property and along with his wife Alice Appleton Hay, transformed the rock pasture into extensive formal and informal gardens. In 1960 the Hays donated 675 acres to the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Anderson is the Director of Education and Volunteer Services for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, where he has worked for more than 18 years. Anderson is responsible for the design and delivery of conservation education programs including field trips, tours, and presentations to Forest Society members, conservation partners, and the general public.

He is perhaps best known as a working naturalist (he prefers “dirt naturalist”) who guides group field trips on conservation land statewide while teaching about forest ecology, wildlife ecology, forest stewardship, and land conservation initiatives to introduce both life-long residents and visitors alike to protection and management of New Hampshire forests, farms, and open space.

Anderson’s bimonthly column “Forest Journal” appears in the statewide New Hampshire Union Leader’s NH Sunday News in the State and Local section. His quarterly “Nature’s View” columns are long-time regular feature in the Forest Society’s magazine Forest Notes.

This workshop is co-sponsored by The Fells and the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Fells and Forest Society members pay $24; all others pay $30. Participants should meet at The Fells Gatehouse before 1 p.m.

The Fells is an independent not for profit 501c(3) organization that has owned and cared for the property since 1995.  Located on Lake Sunapee, the historic estate and gardens are at 456 Route 103A, Newbury.  For directions or more information, call 603-763-4789 or visit

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit

Center Meeting House Update

Standing in the center of Newbury, New Hampshire as a symbol of where we have been and where we are going, the Center Meeting House is a link between our town’s historic past and its vibrant future.

The Center Meeting House Committee in Newbury, NH has updated its website with news about its recent fundraiser, a tour of Newbury lake lodges and farmhouses. Held in association with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, the tour was  a “huge success” with “250 gala attendees and nearly 600 historic home tour visitors,” according to event organizers. “Some have said that this was the largest event of its kind in Newbury’s history.” For more info, visit

Related article: New England Antiques Journal Chimes in Newbury (

Tour of Treasures: Newbury’s Lake Lodges and Farmhouses

Newbury’s Treasures: Our Lake Lodges and Farmhouses, a tour of of the 1832 Center Meeting House and eight historic lake and farm homes will be held on Saturday, August 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Newbury. The tour will start at the Newbury town office building on Route 103, adjacent to the historic Center Meeting House.CMHouse3_AB

The fund-raiser is sponsored by the Center Meeting House of Newbury, NH in association with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and will include a preview gala party on Friday, August 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the ‘turn of the century’ Stone Barn on Route 103A. The garden party will include music by classical guitarist John Sanchez, an art exhibit and sale by noted Newbury artists, a tour of the stone barn, and hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

Event proceeds will be used to continue restoration of the Center Meeting House. The goal for 2009 is to restore and raise the bell tower back on top of the Meeting House.

Tour tickets: Pre-buy, $15 each/Day of tour, $20. Preview gala party, $60. Combination preview party, tour and 2009 Center Meeting House membership, $75. Tickets can be purchased at Morgan Hill Bookstore in New London, Marzelli’s Deli in Newbury, and Bayberry Barn in North Sutton. For more information, call 603-763-2840 or 603-927-4006. All events will take place ‘rain or shine’.

Photo by Alena Banks

US Navy Showband at Mount Sunapee July 10

Northeast Navy Showband

The US Navy Northeast Showband will give a concert at Mount Sunapee in Newbury (NH) on Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m.  It is open to the public free of charge. The performance is part of a community project, restoration of the Newbury Center Meeting House built in 1832 and located in the center of town.

“We’ve been fundraising for a number of years,” said Doug Whelan, chairman of the CMH fund-raising committee. “We decided that we would do this as a ‘thank you’ to the community. Everybody is welcome to attend.”

Before the concert, there will  be a Sizzling Summer Buffet at Spruce Lodge from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Guests will be able to mingle and meet the sailors, and meet CMH organizers and supporters. Tickets can be purchased for $20. Reservations for the buffet dinner must be made by Friday, June 26. For more information and to make reservations, call event organizer Gloria Whelan at 603-763-3461.

“One does not need to attend the buffet to attend the concert,” Whelan said, and the concert will be held under a tent, rain or shine.

The Northeast Navy Showband is one of the most sought-after big bands in the Northeast. This highly polished ensemble travels extensively in support of local community and educational events such as public concerts, music clinics, and jazz festivals. The Northeast Navy Showband is comprised of five trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, rhythm section, and vocalists. This group of talented musicians from across the country performs big band favorites by such notable artists as Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, The Brecker Brothers, Glenn Miller, and more.  — Northeast Navy Showband

Related articles:

Newbury Meeting House a Labor of Love (

Newbury’s 1832 Center Meeting House, An On-going Project (

Newbury Restoration Project, The Center Meeting House (

Newbury Harbor Project Working Towards Completion

Newburyproject_lot1Anyone that’s traveled by Newbury Harbor in recent months has seen large equipment and assorted highway workers along the road including the flagmen. The construction is part of a Federal Transportation Enhancement project that began last fall. It will be substantially completed except a footbridge and lighting by the beginning of June, according to Town Administrator Dennis Pavlicek.

The $676,000 project includes new sidewalks lakeside along Route 103 that will connect the harbor area with other town property—the library, town offices and up to Bald Sunapee. It also includes vertical granite curbing, a re-vamped dockside parking lot, and a new walking and sitting area that will host benches, planters and bike racks. And, yes, there will be a pedestrian bridge and decorative lighting.

A substantial part of the project, although less obvious, is the drainage work that re-directs run-off that previously went directly into Lake Sunapee. It’s been a long-standing problem, Pavlicek explained.Newburyproject_equip_AB

Runoff now will go into catch basins including the special “Sunapee Swirler”—a catch basin designed to improve sediment retention efficiency.

On the third application, the project got approval and the number one ranking in New Hampshire. The federal government is paying 80% of the cost, the town 20%.

As for parking, the re-configured parking lot will have 13 spaces, 7 less than before. However, the plan was designed to improve traffic circulation, safety and pedestrian areas at the dock and make efficient use of all paved areas, as some of the old parking spaces were sub-size.

As for the pedestrian bridge, that’s being built in New York and will be installed by a crane in one day, exact date yet to be determined.Newburyproject_lot3

Photo credits: Alena Banks and Catherine Bushueff

Over 200 Attend DES Hearing on Wild Goose Boat Launch

By Katie Richardson

The Department of Environmental Services Wetlands Bureau held a public hearing at Sherburne Gym in Sunapee on Wednesday night.

Over 200 were in attendance to discuss New Hampshire Fish and Game’s application for a wetlands permit, needed for the proposed public boat launch on Lake Sunapee.  Having already received a shoreland impact permit, Fish and Game must obtain a wetlands permit in order to move forward with the launch planned for what is locally known as Wild Goose in Newbury.

The Wild Goose property, purchased by the state in 1990, is on the western shore of Lake Sunapee, north of the state beach.  The proposed project is to “construct two public boat ramps with parking for 31 car/trailer and 12 cars impacting 1500 sq. feet” on Birch Grove Road in Newbury.  The installation of another public boat launch at Wild Goose has long  been a contentious issue, with environmental and safety concerns heading the opposition’s list.

Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau attended the hearing and gave an overview of the launch with assistance from the project’s engineer and environmental consultant.

Those opposing the launch were quick to speak up, beginning with selectman Dick Wright of Newbury.  “We as a board of selectman do not oppose additional public access,” he stated, “but we do not believe the issues of safety have been addressed.”  Though safety was not the intended subject of the evening, several Newbury residents made mention of it, agreeing with Wright that vehicles hauling boat trailers would be a hazard entering and exiting Route 103’s 50 mile an hour zone.  Wright also took issue with fact that the launch proposal is not in compliance with Newbury zoning ordinances.

Katheryn Holmes, chair of the Newbury conservation commission, was the first to speak to the environmental concerns.  She felt the plan was in violation of the state’s Shorelands Protection Act and urged DES to protect Wild Goose from development.  “We encourage the Wetlands Bureau to deny Fish and Game a wetlands permit.  Let Wild Goose stay wild,” she said.

June Fichter, Executive Director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association, honed in on the extensive dredging the project would require.  The LSPA advocates for an upgrade of the boat launch at Sunapee State Beach rather than a new launch at Wild Goose, reasoning that the impact to the shoreline would be far less.  Fichter said only 1400 yards of dredging would be required at the State Beach, versus 5000 yards at Wild Goose.

Fichter’s other concern was the lake as a source for drinking water.  She said inadequate filtration at the site will negatively affect the water quality.  Fichter informed the public that $20,000-25,000 a year is now spent on milfoil control and asserted that an additional launch would require more expenditure in that area.

Atty. Howard Dunn, representing the Sullivan County Sportsmen Association, presented DES with a petition of over 900 New Hampshire residents in favor of the launch.  He stated there is “a terrific need for more access to the lake”, a sentiment echoed by several members of the association present.  Reggie Dodge of Newport expressed his frustration that fisherman have long been prevented from launching a boat on Lake Sunapee by inadequate parking for vehicles and trailers.

The hearing was attended by State Rep. Ricia McMahon (D-Sutton), State Rep. Suzanne Gottling (D-Sunapee), State Rep. Thomas Howard (R-Croydon), State Rep. Dave Kidder (R-New London) and State Rep. Beverly Rodeschin (R-Newport).  Members of the Newbury and Sunapee selectboards were in attendance, as were LSPA President Deb Benjamin, former Fish and Game Executive Director Don Clarke, Newbury Police Chief Bob Lee, New Hampshire Wildlife Federation Communications Director Bob Dufraine, Newbury Town Administrator Dennis Pavlicek and Sunapee Town Manager Donna Nashawaty.

Normandeau concluded the meeting by stating his wish to put this long-debated subject to rest one way or the other.  “I recognize everyone has a point of view,” he said, “and I respect all of them.”

DES will accept written public comment on the wetland application through June 26.

NH DES Holds Hearing on Wild Goose May 13

Want to read more about the May 13 public hearing on the proposed Wild Goose boat launch on Lake Sunapee? Check out Sunacom, a regional on-line news source and forum and read a column on the subject by Ricia McMahon, the legislative representative for Sutton and Newbury.

McMahon’s column also provides an on-line link to a video of the April 15, 2009 Executive Council discussion on the topic.

“It is not only interesting but critical for advocates for or against the boat ramp to watch and listen,” McMahon noted.

The public hearing on the project will be held by the Wetlands Bureau of the NH Dept of Environmental Services in Sunapee at the Sherburne Gym, Route 11, on May 13 at 7 p.m. The purpose of the hearing is to explain and get comment on the Fish and Game boat launch proposal and permitting. The controversial plan includes a double ramp boat launch and parking facility on a 3.3 acre lake front parcel known as the Wild Goose property located on Birch Grove Road off Route 103 in Newbury.

“Everyone interested in this issue should attend,” McMahon urged.


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