Sunapee Historical Society Museum to hold Open House

Sunapee Historical Society MuseumSunapee, N.H.– Have you ever wondered what is in the large gray shed opposite the Anchorage in Sunapee Harbor? It’s the Sunapee Historical Society Museum and its directors would like to show you what is there during a special Open House on Sunday, July 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The directors will be giving tours explaining some of the items in the collection and their vision for taking better care of some of it. Also, they’ll be running the equipment from the machine shop that serviced the Woodsum steamboats and serving refreshments. Everyone is welcome.

The museum’s regular hours during July and August: Open afternoons 1-4 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and on Wednesday evenings, 7-9.  Closed on Mondays.  Admission is free, though donations are always welcome.

Free programs at the museum coming up:

  •  July 24, 7 p.m.: A Magic Lantern Show featuring slides from the collection.
  •  August 7, 7 p.m.: Woodbine Dessert Night with refreshments from the cookbook.
  •  August 21, 7 p.m.:  The Wooden Launches of Lake Sunapee.
For more information, email sunapeehistory@gmail.com or call 603-763-8809.
 

Historical Society program: Notable Women of Sunapee

SunapeeHistoricalSocietySunapee, N.H. — The Sunapee Historical Society will host its spring program—Notable Women of Sunapee—on Wednesday evening, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the Lake Sunapee United Methodist Church, Lower Main Street at Route 11, Sunapee. Everyone is welcome at this free event; refreshments will be served.

Ron Garceau will show photos and lead a discussion recalling the contributions of several memorable women from Sunapee’s past. Come and learn or share your memories. Garceau is well-known around the Sunapee area as the publisher of SooNipi Magazine and past president of the Sunapee Historical Society.

The spring program will be a precursor for a homemaker’s exhibit at the Sunapee Historical Society Museum, 74 Main Street, Sunapee Harbor, and a summer program on women’s organizations. woodbinecottage

Other summer programs will be about the Woodbine Cottage and the wooden launches that used to frequent Lake Sunapee.

The museum will reopen (weekends only, 1-4 p.m., through June) on May 24.

The Sunapee Historical Society is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and promote Sunapee’s varied history. For more information, contact the Society’s President, Becky Rylander, at 603-763-8809 or sunapeehistory@gmail.com.

Sunapee Historical Society program: Industry along the Sugar River

Sunapee Historical Society Museum

Photo: Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor. Summer hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday evenings, 7 to 9 p.m.

Sunapee Historical Society Event: Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. at the Sunapee Historical Society Museum, Sunapee Harbor

History of Business and Industry Along the Sugar River

The Sugar River begins at Sunapee Harbor and travels down through the village.  Sawmills, machine shops, and many other businesses depended on the river for power. Come learn about this aspect of Sunapee’s historic past. Open to the public free of charge.

Sunapee dedicates Herbert Welsh Trail on July 6

WelshTrailMapSunapee, NH — On  Saturday, July 6, at 2 p.m., Sunapee will dedicate a new hiking trail that honors Herbert Welsh (1851‐1941), the little‐known leader of land conservation efforts in the Sunapee Region.

The Sunapee Conservation Commission and Sunapee Historical Society, the event sponsors, invite the public to attend.

The dedication will be held along the marsh shore, a short walk in from the road. A hike to the top of Garnet Hill will follow the dedication.  Meet at the trail head parking area near intersection of Jobs Creek Road and Garnet Hill Road.

The Herbert Welsh Trail adds public hiking access to more of the town’s conservation land at Dewey Woods, including the Rogers Brook Marsh and the top of Garnet Hill. The trail was designed and completed last year.

Nature Art Walk

From July 1 to August 31, 2013, the trail will be marked with more than 30 images of historical Sunapee landscapes connected to Dewey Woods, Garnet Hill and Lake Sunapee, as well as Herbert Welsh’s art. The images will also be on display at the Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor.

“These historical images tell a story of the evolution of our landscape since 1900 and bring together a display of some of his paintings, many with Sunapee connections,” says Barbara Chalmers, Sunapee, who led the effort to create the Herbert Welsh Trail and the Nature Art Walk.

“Welsh was THE advocate and leader of conservation efforts for Mount Sunapee and the Dewey Woods,” says Chalmers.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book The New Gentleman of the Road, which chronciled his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book “The New Gentleman of the Road” that describes his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

“A truly renaissance man, Welsh was an artist by training, writer, publisher, conservationist and civil rights advocate. He devoted his life to a variety of causes to aid others less fortunate and to conserve beautiful lands for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Welsh was a founder of the Indian Rights Association, which for 110 years advocated for the American Indian, the International Arbitration Commission, a forerunner of the World Court, the National Municipal League, which still exists today.

He met with three U.S. Presidents regarding Indian rights, civil service reform and good government policies, and in 1892, rode horseback through the Dakota Sioux Reservation with Teddy Roosevelt.

Welsh also was the founder of the Sunapee Chapter of the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The Walking Crusader

For many years, beginning at age 64, Welsh walked each June from his home in Philadelphia to Sunapee, then back in early fall.

His last ambitious project, in 1929, was to raise funds to build a conference center on land he had bought in Vermont for men and women of all faiths and cultures to meet and discuss the important societal concerns of the day. His dream went unrealized with the Great Depression of the 1930s, explains Chalmers.

Chalmers began researching Welsh’s life a few years back for the 2011 Mount Sunapee Centennial Celebration. She was amazed at what she discovered.

“He was so ahead of his time. His societal concerns became his life’s work: economic and social justice for the American Indian,  fighting corruption in government and the civil service, and land preservation for future generations.  Welsh not only led the effort to conserve land on Mount Sunapee, but he was responsible for conserving Dewey Woods too.”

Among the images along the Nature Art Walk is this “penny postcard” view from 1916: Garnet Hill looking across the lake to Mount Sunapee.

Penny Postcard Garnet Hill to Mt Sunapee

Related articles: New hiking trail in Sunapee honors Herbert Welsh (SunapeeNews.com)

MV Kearsarge and Steamboat Kearsarge “Sunk in Ice”

Kearsarge photos_SHSLake Sunapee, N.H. – The similar look of being sunk in ice. The MV Kearsarge (left) sank into the ice on Lake Sunapee in January 2013, and the steamboat Kearsarge (shown in the photo on the right) had a similar experience… some 80 years ago.

The old photo (on the right) reads: “Steamboat Kearsarge, Sunk in ice near Davis Cabins, Lake Sunapee – Circa 1933?, Sunapee Historical Society Collection.”

Photos courtesy of the Sunapee Historical Society and local historian Ron Garceau.

Look for these photos in the March 2013 issue of SooNipi Magazine.

Read related articles:

MV Kearsarge is afloat! (SunapeeNews.com)

MV Kearsarge back afloat after small hole detected (UnionLeader.com)

Sunapee Historical Society: Winter newsletter previews summer projects

SunapeeHistoricalSocietyAlthough the Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor is closed during winter, members are open for business researching and seeking out information for the Society’s summer projects.

In the recently published SHS Winter 2013 newsletter, President Becky Fitts Rylander previewed each of these programs:

  • A program on summer camps. This will be done in conjunction with our friends in other towns, coordinated through PALS (our Partners Around Lake Sunapee). Each town will focus on camps that operated within its boundaries. If you have any information about or photos of Camp Sunapee (a boy’s camp on Lake Ave. 100 years ago), please let us know. We have a photo and brochure for Camp Manauke, a girl’s camp on Star Island in the 1920s, but would welcome more. Any others?
  • Industries along the Sugar River. With a new pedestrian bridge being built in the spring behind the Harbor House Livery, we think this year will be a good time to explore all the industries that lined the river between the Harbor and Coffin Park. That area looked quite different a century ago. We have some information and photos, but would welcome more.
  • The old information booth. Despite our best intentions last summer, this 1929 vintage building still needs to be restored—and we still need help to get that done. If carpentry is up your alley, please let us know.

To volunteer or exchange information, email sunapeehistory@gmail.com.

To download/view the Winter 2013 newsletter, visit the Society’s website: www.sunapeehistoricalsociety.org. A membership form is also posted on the website.

Behind the name: Georges Mills

Welcome to Georges Mills. Photo by Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee.

Welcome to Georges Mills. Photo by Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee.

Sunapee, N.H. – Georges Mills, Muzzey Hill, Cooper Street, Russell Place, all tell interesting stories. However, sometimes the stories behind village names are not readily apparent.

Along busy Route 11, the Newport Road, between exits 12 and 12A off Interstate-89, a sign welcomes you to Georges Mills in the Lake Sunapee area. Georges Mills is an unincorporated village of Sunapee. Daniel George was one of the town’s early settlers and a mill owner.

Sunapee is another New England town shaped by forces of nature and man. Thriving mills once dotted the region’s rivers and streams.

The road skirts the southern shore of Otter Pond and then passes Georges Mills Harbor, at the northern tip of Lake Sunapee, and passes over streams that feed the lake.

In the early 1800s, George built and operated mills along these streams. He operated a grist mill, the first mill in the village, built by Archibald Hersey in 1798. Back then families grew their grains for milling… into flour, cornmeal, buckwheat, and barley.

George was industrious and later built a new grist mill and a saw mill. He also built his home in the village, on the corner of the Springfield and Newport roads. It is nestled next to the present day Georges Mills General Store, which has its own story to tell: It once housed horses and carriages used by “Uncle Charles Russell,” who transported mail from Georges Mills to Sunapee.

Cooper, Muzzey and Russell

Although long gone, another mill built in the village operated under different owners from the 1820s to 1920s. The mill started by carding and dressing wool. Later it turned into a shingling, planing and board sawing mill.

Across the stream from the shingle mill was a cooper shop (1820 – 1825), which bustled with activity manufacturing a variety of wooden measures, barrels, scoops and containers.

These businesses were by the dam on Cooper Street, which loops down to Georges Mills Harbor.

On the hill heading toward Sunapee, in 1818, Moses Muzzey built the first blacksmith shop in Georges Mills. Muzzey Hill remains a common reference point.

Russell Place, now the home of condominiums at the bottom of Prospect Hill Road, also has a story. The building once served as the village post office and store under several owners including the Russell family.

GeorgesMillsPO

Old Georges Mills, N.H. photo shows T. O. Russell Meats and Groceries (1936-1948) on Prospect HilL Road. Tony Russell owned the store at the time. It also housed village the post office.

In 1898, Charles Russell installed the first telephone company in Georges Mills; it connected the store with Newport. Until 1906 and again from 1936 to 1948, the Russells operated the store, thought to be the oldest in the village and built about 1835 by Burpee & Colcord.

You can find pictures and stories about the enterprising people who settled the area in the “Sunapee Bicentennial 1768-1968,” a booklet reproduced for the Sunapee Historical Society. It’s available for sale ($10) at the Sunapee Historical Society and SooNipi Publishing Company.

Have a local story to share? Contact SunapeeNews.com.

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