life in the Kearsarge area

what's happening in the Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee area of NH

Archive for Newbury

Summer in NH

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Here I am, walking lakeside in North Sutton. Cell phone in hand, I snap a few photos of Kezar Lake, the dam and Wadleigh State Park.

It’s what I do most summers. I have time after dropping the kids off at their respective camps. I don’t particularly want to haul my laptop with me, so I take photos for Facebook, Pinterest and my enjoyment. I’ll include a few here to get you in the summer mood.

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Hanging out in Newbury

Why, oh, why, didn’t I bring a book? Then I would have stayed all day (well, I would have stayed for the two hours the parking lot allows me) at the public dock in Newbury, N.H. A gorgeous place to take a walk, catch some rays, gaze at the lake and enjoy a few moments of New Hampshire gorgeousness.

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The 82nd Annual Craftsmen’s Fair!

Fair 2

It’s here! The longest-running annual crafts fair in the country scheduled for August 1-9 at the Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, N.H.

From modern to more traditional styles, the fair features more than 200 booths of fine craft, including colorful pottery, hand-blown glass, framed prints, beautiful bowls, decorative scarves, and handcrafted jewelry. The fair boasts daily craft demonstrations and workshops, fine craft exhibitions, free tours and seminars, and entertainment for the entire family. Along with a vast array of fine, handmade craft, this year’s Craftsmen’s Fair will have a special focus on children, with programs designed to help develop an interest in fine craft, including an all-day pottery school and lessons on the use of woodworking tools.

“The Annual Craftsmen’s Fair is a one-of-a-kind experience where visitors of all ages can explore how fine handmade craft inspires our lives,” said Jane Oneail, Executive Director of the League of NH Craftsmen. “Shop for distinctive, beautiful and functional fine craft that you cannot find anywhere else. Take part in one of the many workshops, such as printmaking or glass blowing. Talk one-on-one with craftsmen to learn about their techniques and inspiration. With a mix of longtime participating craftspeople and relative newcomers, the Fair is your chance to immerse yourself in the world of craft as you learn from some of the most renowned craftsmen in the country.”

Fair 1Kids-focused
With an extra emphasis on developing interest in the world of craft among the younger generations, the 2015 League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair will feature a “Tools for Kids” program. Under the guidance of experienced artists, children will get the chance to try out woodworking tools, with a special spoon carving program. In addition, the fair will host an all-day pottery school, where children can immerse themselves in pottery and make their own creations.

The “Next Generation” tent features work by children who are related to or sponsored by the League’s juried craftsmen. The Next Generation tent gives budding craftsmen the chance not only to showcase their work, but to gain valuable entrepreneurial experience.  Participating children learn to set up and arrange the tent, interact with customers, make sales and process transactions.

Fair Highlights
The Annual Craftsmen’s Fair features a series of demonstrations, workshops and seminars, including clay sculpting, beading, rug braiding and much more. Guests may also enjoy three fine craft exhibitions: CraftWear, the Sculpture Garden, and Living With Craft. Additional Annual Craftsmen’s Fair highlights include:

  • On Thursday, August 6, the fair will be open until 8 pm to give visitors more time to shop and enjoy the activities, and admission is only $5 after 4 pm.
  • A Collectors Seminar on Monday, August 3, will give experienced and aspiring collectors alike the chance to learn the ins and outs of collecting.
  • Fairgoers can purchase the League of NH Craftsmen’s 2015 annual ornament, Sweet Season, which is a hand-formed cast pewter maple tree adorned with a sap bucket. Kristine Lane and Paulette Werger, both juried in metal by the League, created this year’s ornament to celebrate New Hampshire’s springtime tradition of maple sugaring.
  • Visitors can learn more about their favorite craft with guided tours of the fair with a craftsman.  “The Artist’s Eye” tours offer visitors an insider’s perspective of craft on view, and fun, behind-the-scenes details of the oldest craft fair in the country.
  • The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts will sponsor an educational Fiber Arts tent featuring sheep and rabbits, along with demonstrations of traditional fiber techniques, such as weaving and quilting.
  • After a two-year hiatus, the League of NH Craftsmen is pleased to announce that the New Hampshire Art Association returns this year with artwork by members which will be displayed in the Spruce Lodge.
  • Enjoy a variety of strolling performances including oversized puppets, magicians, musicians, and much more!

Learn more at nhcrafts.org

Maple madness

Be on the lookout for bellowing smoke stacks in March. This means that the maple sugaring season has begun.

For many, the draw is the aroma of the sugarhouse — the addictive smell of boiling maple — and the opportunity to taste the warm syrup. For others, it’s the chance to venture out of the house. “After being cooped up in the house all winter, I’m ready for a tromp out in the woods to tap trees and put up tubing. It’s nice to get out this time of the year,” says Barbara Lassonde, publicist for the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association and a maple syrup producer with her husband, Don.

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Van Webb of Harding Hill Farm in Sunapee agrees. “I love this time of the year — spring, change of seasons, the renewal,” he says.

Even if you know how maple syrup is made — from tapping the sugar maples to boiling sap in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire — it is still a treat to visit working sugarhouses and learn more about the families who continue the ancient tradition of making syrup. Will Leavitt’s sugarhouse was built in winter 2005, but his family has “been doing some sort of sugaring for more than 50 years,” the Sunapee resident says.

The sugarhouse on Harding Hill Farm was built in the 1920s. “It’s quite an antique,” says Webb. “My dad started in that sugar house in 1963 or 1964, I’ve helped since the 1970s, and now my son is going to start sugaring this year.” The only modern technology is a reverse osmosis machine; Webb still uses an old wood-fired evaporator to make the syrup, between 225 and 350 gallons a season.

This year, New Hampshire Maple Weekend will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s free to visit the sugarhouses in operation; just bring along your wallet to purchase a jug of warm syrup. For more information, go to http://www.nhmapleproducers.com

 

Where to Go

Ben’s Sugar Shack

693 Route 103, Newbury

762-6111

bens-maple-syrup.com

 

Courser Farm

427 Schoodac Road, Warner

456-3521

 

Harding Hill Farm

131 Route 103, Sunapee

863-6493

 

Kearsarge Gore Farm

173 Gore Road, Warner

kearsargemountaincsa.org

 

Leavitt Family Maple

546 North Road, Sunapee

763-5323

 

Tucker Mountain Maple

224 Tucker Mountain Road, Andover

tuckermtn.com

 

Valley View Maple Farm

1269 Main Street, Springfield

763-5661

valleyviewmaplefarm.com

25 Things to Do this Spring

An oldie but goodie updated for 2015: 25 things to do this spring.

  1. Enjoy Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon at the Center at Eastman in Grantham
  2. Set the clocks back an hour, and check the batteries in your fire detectors as well
  3. Learn to square dance with the Bradford Country Squares on Thursday night
  4. Put on a green shirt and head over to Salt hill Pub in Newport for a celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day
  5. If you can still feel the cold of winter in your bones, try a hot stone massage at a local spa
  6. Warm days and cold nights bring the sweet delight of maple syrup. Go to www.nhmapleproducers.com and find the sugar shack nearest you
  7. Need some gardening tips? The Fells in Newbury offers horticultural classes in March
  8. Now that the Easter chocolate is gone, maybe it’s time to join a gym or check out sporting opportunities at the local rec department
  9. Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to pick up the trash along the sides of our country roads
  10. When will the ice on the lake melt? Take a guess in one of the area’s ice-out contests
  11. It’s Cinco de Mayo! Head over to Revolution Cantina in Claremont and raise a taco in salute
  12. Welcome spring in Warner at the Annual Spring Arts Festival in mid-May
  13. Show Mom how much she really means to you
  14. Get out the bug spray and hit the greens at the Black Fly Open, sponsored by the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce
  15. Change the snow tires on your car. Vacuum out all the sand and salt, and take a spin through a car wash, too
  16. Bring your children (or grandchildren) to a town-sponsored Easter egg hunt
  17. Find your sandals at the back of the closet and schedule a pedicure
  18. Help a local snowmobile club maintain the trails used by skiers, hikers, horseback riders and ATV enthusiasts
  19. Check the propane tank on the grill. You don’t want the first outdoor steak of the season well done on one side and raw on the other
  20. Grab your friends and attend the first annual Zing into Spring! event in New London in on March 31
  21. Donate all the books you read this winter to your local library. They can add the books to their collection or sell them at used book sales
  22. Now that the roads are clear, go for a drive. Tour a town in the Kearsarge area to see what’s new
  23. Listen to beautiful music by the Kearsarge Chorale in early May
  24. Be creative with marshmallow peeps at the annual Library Arts Center contest
  25. Sign up for a moonlight ski (or snowshoe) with one of the area’s rec departments

See New Hampshire from skis

Cross country skiing is one of the benefits of living in the Granite State. If there’s not a groomed trail nearby, you can always take a few spins in a neighboring field. You can ski before work; sometimes you can even ski to work. According to Ski New Hampshire, 147,259 people visited a ski area to cross country ski in 2013-14, and many more skied in their yards, at local parks, and on rail trails. Here are a few places you can’t miss.

GRANTHAM
Eastman Cross Country sees up to 6,000 skier visits a season, depending on how much of the white stuff falls. There are some challenging trails, so the center offers private or group lessons on weekends, and weekly clinics for season pass holders. It also offers a restaurant, skating pond and sledding hill. “You can get whatever you are looking for,” says Leslie Moses, activities director. “You can stay close to the lodge with trails on the golf course, or ski further out for a feeling of being out in the woods. You can work out for 45 minutes, or pack a lunch and ski all day.”
http://eastmannh.org/ski/

NEWBURY
The Fells is a popular site for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. “Cross country skiers who enjoy breaking their own trails through woodlands and meadows can ski at The Fells seven days a week from dawn to dusk,” says Darlene Marshall, The Fell’s education director. As part of the Fells’ Trail-Walk Series, a guided cross country skiing tour is held in February, participants ski around the main house, with a nice view of Mount Sunapee, then follow guides through the gardens and woodland trails. The trails are ungroomed, but there are existing tracks from people who have already skied on the grounds.
http://www.thefells.org

NEW LONDON
Pine Hill Ski Club, established in 2005, maintains 13 miles of cross country trails in New London, Wilmot and North Sutton. There’s parking, a porta-potty, a first aid/information shelter, and Robb’s Hut open on Saturdays, but “it’s not a full blown resort,” says member John Schlosser. “We are giving people groomed and skiable trails. Because skiers have used these trails since 1976, you don’t need much snow to get going early in the ski season.”
http://www.pinehillskiclub.com

SUNAPEE
Dexter’s Inn in Sunapee offers 20 kilometers of groomed trails for cross country skiing and 10 additional kilometers of ungroomed backcountry trails for back country skiing and snowshoeing. Owner John Augustine describes it as “classic old fashioned skiing. You can meander through woods and fields. The trails are not on a golf course or lake, so there are no super highways to ski. Some are flat, some are hilly.” Although you feel like you’re out in the wild, don’t be fooled. Norsk pays quite a bit of attention to the Dexter’s Inn Trails; they are groomed daily to provide a variety of terrain for novices, intermediates and advanced skiers.
http://www.dextersnh.com

KEARSARGE AREA
The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition knows that hiking trails also make good cross country trails. “SKRG has 75 miles of trails,” says Andy Hager, a New London resident. “Not all of it is suitable for cross country skiing in the winter, but there are no restrictions and it’s free.”
http://www.srkg.com

Fun with history

Winter Kearsarge Magazine is going to press. It will be off my desk today, and printed next week. We haven’t run a funny history article since 2008…do you remember? It was based on the old Spy magazine “year in review.” The authors would take a funny item from the news, and make it even funnier with a title. So KM tried it with history items, true or tall tales. Here are a few oldies from 2008, and look for some new goodies in 2014.

Too cold to cry

Early log cabins near what is now the Newbury/Sutton line were very cold in winter. An open fireplace against one outside wall sucked all the heat from the far side of the room right up the chimney. Cold air was drawn in from outside through log walls. In 1780, William Gunnison and his reluctant wife moved into their cabin from the milder climate in Kittery, Maine. It was so cold the first night that Mrs. Gunnison’s hair froze to her pillow. We can understand why she might have shed a tear or two, but chances are she didn’t try again till spring.

Sorry to go on — I just really liked the hat

The Merrimack Journal in December 1874 records the following notice. “One of the most base and disgraceful acts ever committed in this orderly and decorous village was transacted at the [recent] Concert. Some vile person, unworthy of the name man or boy, had the impertinence, audacity and unqualified meanness to trample, spit tobacco juice upon and entirely annihilate Rev. Mr. Moody’s hat. Such conduct is not tolerated in this community, and the miscreant is sure to have the condemnation and reproach of the good people heaped upon him as soon as his name is found out, which if he has any shame could surely be done by the tingling of the cheek and his calling loudly for the rocks and mountains to fall upon him and hide him from the face of an indignant people.”

Better than a fat pig over a low pole

Hobos of the old days were not just men seeking a free ride. They were expected to perform for their supper and a spot in your barn — either with labor or with any skill they might possess. A free spirit named Jaquish is a good example. He came to Andover once a year, most often with a pig and a heifer in tow. His menu of services and their cost was as follows:

  1. Jumping heifer over a pole: 5¢
  2. Jumping pig over a lower pole: 2¢
  3. Praying for you or a loved one: 5¢
  4. Preaching: 15¢

Jaquish, apparently, was a worthwhile preacher. That is to say, his preaching had worth relative to that of a pig jumping over a low pole. The townspeople got used to — and even looked forward to — Jaquish’s arrival. He ambled through town in springtime for 20 years until 1845, when he didn’t.