Sunapee Historical Society plans a “walk back in time”

The Sunapee Historic Society will follow-up its 2010 history walk along Lower Main Street with another “walk back in time.” This year the scene is Central Street in Sunapee.

Lots of interesting people lived on Central Street, according to Barbara Chalmers, Sunapee, a researcher for the event.

On the day of the event, July 28 (9 a.m. to noon), volunteers stationed street-side along the tour will assume the persona of people from Sunapee’s past… people with a connection to Central Street.

Outfitted in costume and versed from prepared scripts, the actors will relate their character’s personal history as well as town history.

The cast of characters will include: George Bartlett, founder of U.S. Hames Company; his son Ernest Bartlett, who built Indian Cave Lodge; Henry Goss, the town undertaker; Dr. Edwin Fisher, the town doctor;  Marcia Runals, talking about her father Albert Runals, who built the Runals House Hotel in the Harbor (predecessor to the Ben Mere Inn); Albert Stocker, builder of many homes, cottages and buildings in town; and John Young, an itinerant preacher with the leather tannery on the river. A supporting cast will add to the feel of Central Street circa 1900-1910.

The historical society will sell tickets for the tour.

The organizing committee meets at the historical society museum at Sunapee Harbor and invites participation.

For more information, contact Ron Garceau (

Sunapee Sighting: Remembrance of our WWI soldiers

May 28, 2012 – Photos courtesy of Charlotte Carlson, Sunapee: A memorial stone on the lawn at Abbott Library, Route 11, Sunapee, remembers our World War I soldiers. Read the “honor roll” by scrolling down and clicking on the image.

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Sunapee Sighting: World War II Memorial

The town’s lakefront park at Sunapee Harbor is where you will find the World War II memorial highlighted in our previous Sunapee Sighting.

Charotte Carlson, Sunapee, shares this photo of the decorated memorial on the edge of the public green.




To suggest or send a Sunapee Sighting or to help with research, please contact Sunapee News. Or send a message via Facebook:

Sunapee Historical Society: Spring Meeting is May 9

What’s on the Sunapee Historical Society calendar for May (2012)?

  • Wednesday, May 9, 7 p.m., at the Sunapee Community Methodist Church.  Spring meeting and program:  The Life and Times of William Cant Sturoc, Sunapee lawyer, politician, farmer, and poet. Presented by Bev Cutts and Ron Garceau with readings from Sturoc’s diary, photos and more. All welcome. Refreshments.
  • Saturday, May 19, from 10 to noon, at the historical society museum at Sunapee Harbor. Clean Up Day.
  • Sunday, May 27, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the museum.  A book signing with Paul Rheingold, author of the recently published postcard history book, “Lake Sunapee.”

For more info and current SHS newsletter, visit: Sunapee Historical Society.

And to view/download the 2012 guide for “Then and Now – History Around Lake Sunapee” from Partners Around Lake Sunapee click on Pals Map and Brochure 2012 (Note the file size: PDF 2.5 MB).

N.H. and the Civil War: The homefront

As part of New Hampshire’s “May is Preservation Month” observation, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is publishing a series of articles exploring the Granite State’s involvement in the Civil War. Throughout the month, Sunapee News will post article highlights with links and images.

This week, the focus is on both the growth of industry and social reform: The Homefront

Part of the mill complex in Harrisville today, listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1977. From the collection of the NH Division of Historical Resources, Concord.

By the mid-1800s, manufacturing was already a growing presence in New Hampshire’s towns and cities.

During the Civil War, mills increased production of woolen blankets and clothing and other war supplies as demand on the front lines rose.

More workers went to work at the mills, turning villages into towns and towns into cities. As a result of this increased production, the state’s rural populations were dramatically reduced, forever changing the landscape.

Read about Harrisville, a village whose existence has always been tied to the ups, downs, and history of the woolen industry, and how it benefited from the war’s demand for woolen cloth.

Social Reform

A wide variety of social reforms – most notably the anti-slavery movement – swept both the state and the nation during this time.

The Hutchinson Family Singers, part of a family of sixteen children from Milford, began giving concerts in the 1840s. By the 1860s, their songs about abolition, temperance and women’s rights were known throughout the country. Even today, they are considered an important influence both musically and socially.

>>For more about the state’s industry growth and social reforms during the Civil War, visit NH-DHR: May is Preservation Month.

>> For N.H. Civil War Calendars and Databases, visit the division’s page: N.H. Civil War

The N.H. Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archeological, architectural, engineering and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among the most important environmental assets of the state. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit or by calling (603) 271-3483.

Coming up: The Life & Times of Herbert Welsh

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

Sunapee Historical Society

Presents a Cracker Barrel Talk

The Life & Times of

Herbert Welsh

Sunapee Artist, Humanitarian, Indian Rights Activist & Father of Mount Sunapee’s Public Lands

Thursday, July 21, 2011 – 7 PM
Sunapee Historical Society Museum, Sunapee Harbor

Presentation by Barbara Chalmers
Part of Friends of Mount Sunapee
“Mount Sunapee: Welsh Centennial Celebration”

Program is open to the public free of charge. All invited to attend.

Related info…

Lost Ski Areas of SooNipi Country

Click on the image for a PDF of the entire article.

As New England ski areas gear up for what they hope to be a busy holiday season, there are others less fortunate. Recent articles have lamented the loss of ski areas in New Hampshire and Vermont, and they often reference the New England Lost Ski Areas Project.

So, what about lost ski areas in the Sunapee area?

Lost Ski Areas of SooNipi Country, an article by John Warren, was published by Soonipi Magazine in the winter of 2007-2008. It also referenced  NELSAP and its website.

With permission from Ron Garceau, publisher of the Soonipi, here it is. Just click on the image or SooNipi Winter 2007-08 P.46-49 (PDF 197 KB).

Sunapee’s Ski Tow Hill

Unlike many lost ski areas that are sold off for private development, Ski Tow Hill on Route 103B in Sunapee is now public property, owned by the town, and has been officially named Harry Tilton Park. It continues to serve the interest of outdoor enthusiasts offering open-space, forest land and recreation. A new play area, the Lynne Peirce Memorial Playground, opened in 2010, and the town rec department is considering other features for the site.

Rope tow is gone and XC is alive at Dexter’s

At Dexter’s Inn on Stagecoach Road, Sunapee, where there once was a rope tow,  cross-country is alive. The inn offers a network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails that crisscross the 20 acre property. The ski center is managed by the folks from Norsk who built and maintain the trails and give lessons, said innkeeper John Augustine. This year, Dexter’s is adding night snowshoeing (with headlamps) and horse-drawn sleigh rides. And with more snow, some 6 to 12 inches, the ski center can open.

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