life in the Kearsarge area

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

Archive for Sunapee

Sunapee’s Beck Johnson Receives Great Kids Award

Kid Stuff magazine (part of Kearsarge Magazine LLC) is excited to announce its first GreatKids Award recipient: 16-year-old Beck Johnson! Johnson was nominated by several people and for a variety of reasons: personal talent, eco-awareness, family/peer support, mentorship and academic excellence.

Johnson, a Sunapee, N.H., resident, opened Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream in 2009. His business has grown into a mainstay of the Lake Sunapee/Kearsarge area. The ice cream is handmade and the business is solar powered.

“Unlike most generational businesses, it was the youngest of the family, Beck, who had the vision,” says his mother Susan Deane Johnson. “He took the initiative to train the rest of the family, including his siblings, mother and grandmother. Beck’s secret recipes, passed up from mother to grandmother, support local farmers, like blueberries from Bartlett’s Farm and strawberries from Peachblow Farm.”

“I am impressed with his passion for wanting to succeed and the positive impact he is having on the community by creating a good environment for families to go and have a good time all while eating ice cream!” says Mike Nangeroni of New England Solar Concepts. “It’s great that kids have the opportunity to see and feed farm animals, like goats, donkeys and puppies. They can play volleyball, Frisbee, soccer, dig in the sand, and climb in the play house. It’s a place to go and have some good old-fashioned fun!”

“Beck started out with an idea and built a business. In doing so, he has shown leadership, mentorship and what a lot of hard work does. Beck is a manager of his peers, which at a young age is very difficult. He shows by example and is not afraid of hard work,” says his grandmother Edwina Deane.

Johnson will receive the award in person at the Family FunFest at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, N.H., on Saturday, Sept. 24. (You can also buy some Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream!) If you know a kid doing great things, nominate them! Winners are profiled in each issue of Kid Stuff magazine; the next Great Kid will be announced November 1, 2016. Applications are available online at

More summer in NH


Still doodling around town with my camera/phone. Here’s a big ole tree in Sutton Mills.

Here’s a view of Sutton Mills. Just beyond the trees there’s an old dam that used to power the mills. I scared away a big heron (it scared me, too, so no photo this time).IMG_7359

FullSizeRenderThe dock photo is of Pleasant Lake from Elkins, NH. And the kayaking photo was taken on Lake Sunapee from the state park beach.IMG_7328






Make sure you get outside and enjoy all that summer has to offer!

Sunapee Wheels this Saturday

Antique cars are pieces of history, and art objects. Whether you are a fan of engineering (look at how engines have changed!) or a lover of design (consider the sleek, elegant lines of a 1940s Packard), people of all ages love to see vintage vehicles. And in June, the Sunapee Lions Club gathers enthusiasts from across New England at the annual Sunapee Wheels Antique & Collectible Motor Vehicle Show.

CarNutz2“It is the one of our major fund raising events,” says Jim Currier, chairman of the show and 30-year club member. “The Sunapee Lions usually raise between $6,000 and $8,000. This money is used to fund our many charitable causes.” Locally, the Sunapee Lions Club is well known for ensuring that no one goes without eye care because of costs. The club also donates to dogs for the blind, a horse riding program for disabled children, the Sunapee Food Pantry, college and technical school scholarships, and Student of the Quarter awards for deserving students in Sunapee elementary, middle and high school.

Anyone can enter a vehicle in the show for $20. “The show is popular with local people because it gives an opportunity for them to show their vehicles in a great setting. Anyone can show their vehicle, no matter what shape it is in, and the vehicles are judged by a group of enthusiasts but are not professional judges,” says Currier, who lives in Georges Mills. “There are car clubs that come to the show every year, and some use the event to hold their annual meeting.”

Anyone can attend the show, too; admission is $5. “The show is popular because, with every paid admission, people get a chairlift ride to the summit of Mount Sunapee,” says Currier. “But I like the show because it allows us to work together as Lions and make money for our causes.”

The 2016 Sunapee Wheels Antique & Collectible Motor Vehicle Show is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 (with a rain date for Sunday, June 26) from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury, N.H. Learn more at

Sanctuary Dairy Farm

IMG_7016    I grew up in New Hampshire, where it wasn’t uncommon to drive by a farm with mooing cows and the smell of manure. It’s less common today, but not impossible. In Sunapee, you can take the kids to Sanctuary Dairy Farm to see some farm animals, including goats and donkeys. (I’d suggest just looking, not touching, even though they do get nice and close in case you have a treat.)


Of course, there’s homemade ice cream (so-o-o-o good) and a play area with swings. But I love the views – sky, grass, field, orchard, stable, buildings. On a nice sunny day, you might take your favorite photo, ever. Learn more at


Sunapee Spinach Squares

Every summer Kearsarge Magazine has a dining guide. Some years I ask local restaurants for recipes, some years I ask businesses, some years neighbors and friends. This year, we went into the historical archives – church cookbooks, town offices and historical societies – and shared a few recipes. This one, Sunapee Spinach Squares, was super good. Pick up the summer 2016 issue of Kearsarge Magazine if you’re interested in reading a few more!

Sunapee Spinach Squares                FullSizeRender49

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 tbsp. chopped onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 pan and melt in oven. Remove. Beat eggs well.  Blend in flour, milk, salt and baking powder. Add cheese, spinach and onion. Mix well. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Bake 35 minutes. Remove and cool 45 minutes. Cut into 1-inch squares. Freezes well.

This recipe comes from longtime resident Midge Cross, and is familiar around the Lake Sunapee region as a favorite intermission treat at Summer Music Associates concerts. It is published in Abbott Library’s A Taste of Sunapee Cookbook, a fundraiser cookbook that contains many well-loved local culinary contributions.

Art amidst Nature

AG15 Cover HIGH RES jls copyThe 2015-2015 Art & Gallery Guide will be distributed all summer, and mailed with Kearsarge Magazine fall. Here’s a profile of one local artist, Deborah Bacon, who captures on canvas the breathtaking beauty of the local landscape.


Light. It is one of the reasons Deborah Bacon loves to paint outdoors. The light illuminates her landscapes, adds expression to her portraits, and challenges her skills as an artist.

Painting at The Fells 2014  “Time does not stand still when I want to catch that brief moment when the rising or setting sun touches the edge of a mountain, lake or tree and causes a glow that takes my breath away,” the Sunapee, N.H., resident says. “It is the play of light, or lack thereof, that causes our breath to pause.”

Bacon’s love of the outdoors is apparent in her work; her painting style is quiet, calming, atmospheric realism. Her art — created using the rich color of oils — makes the viewer pause, linger, and remember. “The Lake Sunapee area affords much of the landscape beauty that some painters travel hundreds of miles to find, and it is right here in my own backyard,” she says. “I get a great deal of pleasure and joy when residents and visitors recognize a location I have painted and admire the area beauty that I strive to convey.”

evening-on-herrick-cove-lighthouseBacon has been interested in art since childhood, and her career path has always involved art in some way. “In my early 20s I worked in advertising and graphic design, creating business logos and creating ads for newspapers and magazines. When I was in my mid-20s, I started my own art services and sign painting business, which I ran for approximately 20 years. I specialized in decorating and embellishing fine antiques and painting elaborate picturesque signs as well as murals,” Bacon says. But when computers began to take over and “replace the finely tuned techniques of the hand and brush, I decided to change directions because, as an artist, the computer did not satisfy my desire and need to create.”

She came upon an article about Fran Weston Hoyt, an artist in New London, N.H., who trained under Frank Vincent Dumond, one of the most influential teacher-painters in 20th century America. She became one of Hoyt’s students, and that was the start of Bacon’s PleinAir (painting in the open air) painting journey.

“PleinAir includes the best of two worlds — my respect and love for nature along with the satisfaction of pursuing my destiny as a fine artist,” she says. “In an advanced and electronic world that keeps us spinning and moving daily, I find that painting outside brings back an inner peace and balance.”

You can see her work at the Sunapee Landing Trading Co. Art Gallery in Sunapee, N.H., or online at

— By Laura Jean Whitcomb

25 Things to Do This Summer

1 Find some good deals at town-wide yard sales   throne

2 Get involved with your hometown. Volunteer with the conservation commission, join the local gardening club or offer to help at Old Home Day

3 Wish you had saved your first car while ogling the oldies (but goodies) at the Sunapee Lions Annual Antique & Classic Car Show

4 Take a nostalgic tour of New London at The Ice House museum on Pleasant Street

5 Go to a play at the New London Barn

6 Love your lake by participating in a local fishing derby; it is great family time while saving the lake from prolific fish

7 Enjoy homemade ice cream at the Sanctuary Dairy Farm in Sunapee

8 Watch blacksmiths in action at the historical smithy in Bradford

Sunapee Memorial Garden  9 Stop and smell the flowers in Sunapee Harbor, thanks to the Sunapee Gardeners

10 Pack a picnic and head to the nearest town bandstand for a free summer concert

11 Rent a paddle boat on Eastman Lake in Grantham

12 Eat fresh! Visit a farm stand and purchase dinner — local meat for the grill, fresh veggies, and baked goods like bread or dessert.

13 Or join a CSA. Every week you’ll pick up a box of food in season.

14 Or plant a few of your own vegetables at home. Every year, we enjoy about 20 tomatoes from our five porch plants.

15 Plan a local vacation: choose a Kearsarge/Lake Sunapee inn, campsite or cottage and stay for a weekend.

16 Find a lakeside viewing spot and watch the fireworks

17 Go antiquing — start with the antique show in New London and then travel to shops in Sunapee and Georges Mills

18 Bring a hammer and a pail, and explore the tunnels of Ruggles Mine in Grafton

19 Catch up with old friends at your high school (or summer camp) reunion

20 Make some new friends; stop by a local senior center or church supper and say hello to a stranger

21 Watch the races at the Claremont Speedway on Saturday evenings

22 Support the local arts and visit artists with a studio open to the public

Elkins marsh23 Go for a hike. You can find trails at

24 If hiking isn’t for you, get out and walk 10 minutes a day. Soon you’ll be walking 15 minutes, 20 minutes — and ready for a hike

25 Pick and freeze some berries. You’ll be glad to see them in your freezer once summer is over