life in the Kearsarge area

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Archive for Upper Valley

So much to do at Family FunFest on Saturday, Sept. 24

Family FunFest Logo WN16 jlsKid Stuff magazine, part of Kearsarge Magazine LLC, is hosting its first event on Saturday, September 24: Family FunFest. Come join us (between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) for all sorts of fun. All we ask is that you bring a donation of toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo) or $5/car so we can help the homeless this winter! Here’s what is in store; more being added daily! Watch our website for details!


Yoga hourly with Crescent Moon Yoga

12 noon: Magician Andrew Pinard will put on a show!


White River Toyota – get a look at the new models

Skyline Designs – coloring contest

Eastern Propane – touch a truck

Stern Center – free art project

Purple Crayon Production – free craft project

Clear Choice MD – giveaways and hand washing demos

Fit Kids Childcare – bubble making

Northern Lights Gymnastics – jumping and handstand demos

Kid Stuff magazine – free face painting


Vertical Dreams – Climbing walls, free!

Upper Valley Bounce House – free with adult supervision!

Lightning Soccer – Soccer competitions/prizes, promotional giveaways

LL Bean – Outdoor equipment demos

Dance Arts Academy – All day demos and instruction

Bluewave Taekwondo – paddle kicking and board breaking demo

Catch a Glimpse Photography – free photo booth for kids of all ages

Alice Peck Day- health testing and giveaways

Upper Valley Food Coop – recycled art activity and free food samples

Upper Valley Humane Society

Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network – games and giveaways

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital – wellness check ins and giveaways


Nantucket Jewels & Accessories

Usborne books

Z’s Toys and Gifts

Pixiestix Handcrafts

Lula Roe clothing and leggings

Silly Bee handcrafted items for kids

Platinum Puzzles

Huggable Snugglies – build your own stuffed animal!

Dragon West herb blend/dip mixes, paper earrings, trellis yarn necklaces, bracelets, paper barrettes

Lego, Angry Bird, Shopkins necklaces – all $5


Somerset Grill

Phnom Penh

Sanctuary Farm Ice Cream

Advernuts fresh roasted peanuts

King Arthur Flour treats

Marshall Hill Farm cookies and jams

KJ’s Café sandwiches and salads


Eastman Lake

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My parents moved to Grantham, N.H., in 1986, so, technically, I did, too. I left for college, then grad school, then came back to buy my own home in Grantham in 1997 (and later a different one in 2002). It’s a nice halfway point between the Upper Valley (Lebanon/Hanover) and Concord. There’s a lot to do – you can golf, cross country ski, hike, swim and rent paddle boats, canoes and these new big wheeled things. And when you leave the traffic and steaming asphalt of the larger towns to see the views of the rolling hills and lake, it feels like you’ve escaped, you’ve gone on vacation, but really you’ve just come home.

Family FunFest scheduled for September!

Low Res Family FunFest Logo WN16 jlsSaturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Whaleback, 160 Whaleback Mountain Road, Enfield, N.H.

(exit 16 off I-89, easily seen from interstate!)

Family FunFest is Kid Stuff magazine’s annual family event. It’s about families and fun, education and entertainment, local businesses and nonprofits, games and goodies — a day of memory making right here in your Upper Valley community.

Although Family FunFest is a kid-centered festival, adults have plenty of reasons to love FunFest, too. Parents will learn about camp opportunities, meet Upper Valley tutors and educators, find deals on clothing, learn about birthday party places, and get information from local nonprofit organizations. Door prizes — appealing to the whole family— will be given away during the event. Planned activities include storytelling, obstacle course, pony rides, face paintings, arts and crafts projects, and more!

If you’d like to sponsor or be a vendor at this fun new event, please call the Kid Stuff magazine home base at (603) 863-7048.

Nile Project New England Tour

Here in the Upper Valley, the dominant feature of our landscape is the Connecticut River. We cross it, we play on it, we farm lands made rich by it—and sometimes we are flooded by it. This same presence is true for communities up and down the river, from the Canadian border to the Long Island Sound.

The folks at the Hop got super-excited a few years ago when they heard about The Nile Project, bringing together musicians from the dozen or so Nile Basic countries to promote cultural exchange and bring awareness of the critical region-wide issues of water use and river stewardship.

The Hop’s immediate thought was: let’s help bring this project to the Connecticut River region and work with other New England arts presenters – plus environmental groups, educators and more – to develop exciting local programming that promote our own river stewardship and cultural exchange.

This spring it all comes to fruition!

*March 23-27, 2015         BU & World Music-Crash Arts

*March 28 – March 31   Flynn Center & UVM Lane

*March 31-April 3            Middlebury College

*April 7                                UMass Amherst

April 8-11                            Wesleyan

April 12-13                          Portland Ovations

April 14-18                          Hopkins Center

Here are some of the things happening at the Hop:

  • Two performances April 17, one in the evening and one a special family matinee (it’s school vacation week)
  • Spotlight discussions with the artists following both performances;
  • A downloadable community family study guide for upper-grade students, with background on music and instruments, environmental sustainability, water rights/control, and watersheds
  • In collaboration with the Upper Valley Land Trust and the Montshire Museum of Science,  “Watersheds!,” a learning camp involving regional and Dartmouth faculty experts, with hands-on discovery projects in the CT River watershed, culminating with the family matinee at the Hop, and the study guide
  • A Saturday-morning free “HopStop” (ages 3-9, designed to be children’s very first introduction to the arts) by Nile Project artists on April 18
  • A public panel discussion, “Who Owns the Water: Water Control Along the Nile and the Connecticut,” involving Dartmouth Environmental Science, Geography and Geology faculty
  • A GIS-mapping projects to for Dartmouth geography students that contrasts and compares environmental aspects of the Nile and the Connecticut, shared broadly via Nile Project website
  • A River Musicians Exchange uniting Nile musicians with local acoustic musicians, to share firsthand music-making in an intimate setting
  • A “River Pen Pals” program digitally linking local and Nile middle school youth
  • A small Hood Museum exhibit of contemporary photography of water environments demonstrating both water’s ability to draw people together, and the effects of human-made water disasters

Learn more at or

Pop-Up Learning in Bethel, Vt.

Last year, a one-of-a-kind university popped up in central Vermont. During March, “Bethel University” (BU) hosted free mini-courses in the Town Hall, the school, the library, and in homes and businesses all over town. Anyone could become a “professor” and teach a course on any topic under the sun, and anyone could take courses for free.

Bethel University will pop-up again this March. Registration will open in early February and Bethel University will run from March 1 to 31. Like last year, the program will conclude with a community-wide “graduation” celebration on March 29 with food and fun, plus a new showcase of the courses featuring photos, art and “TED-style” talks.

Two exciting new additions will be offered this year. People can also propose “meet ups” – or informal gatherings for people interested in a certain topic or hobby – without having to commit to teaching a course. And for those who do want to teach, organizers will offer two workshops and a manual to help people design great courses. Professors do not need to have college degrees or years of experience – just a genuine interest in sharing their knowledge and skills. Businesses and organizations are invited to propose courses related to their offerings and use BU as a way to connect with the public and gain exposure.

Last year, 21 professors offered courses ranging from Zumba to vermicomposting, quilt making to wine tasting. The courses drew 134 registrations from 11 towns, with significant benefits for both the participants and for the Town of Bethel. The project supported 11 local businesses, brought new people to town, and highlighted Bethel’s assets and the talents of residents. More than 75% of participants said in a survey that they learned new skills and information and 95% of professors said they felt more connected to the community.

Bethel University is organized by the Bethel Revitalization Initiative, a group of Bethel citizens working to make Bethel a more vibrant, connected and livable community. A core group of volunteers came together to start Bethel University last winter, after hearing a great deal of enthusiasm for the idea. Numerous local organizations offer free space and support for the program, including the Town of Bethel, Bethel Elementary School and Whitcomb High, the Bethel Village Sandwich Shop, the Bethel Public Library, and the Christ Episcopal Church.

Learn more at


Discover Thetford’s History

Just released: Thetford is a pictorial history authored by Thetford, Vt., resident Susanna H. French. It has over 200 images depicting scenes of days gone by.2290THETcvr.indd

Soon after Thetford was chartered in 1761, settlers from southern New England arrived and began transforming the forestland into a community. They took advantage of both the Connecticut River and the Ompompanoosuc River to forge a lively and self-sustaining collection of mill villages within the town. The railroad arrived in 1848, enabling three depot villages to blossom. Thetford Hill, with neither mills nor transportation, became home to the renowned Thetford Academy, the first coeducational secondary school in Vermont. Thetford’s mill-based commerce ebbed significantly by 1900, but tourism became a prevalent industry, with city dwellers flocking to summer retreats such as Camp Hanoum and the Lake Fairlee camps. Despite fires, floods, and hurricanes, as well as the construction of the Union Village Dam in 1950 and Interstate 91 in 1971, Thetford has retained its resilient spirit and looks much as it did a century ago.

Highlights of Thetford include:

  • Thetford Academy is Vermont’s first—and oldest—coeducational secondary school. The first woman in America ever to earn a college degree was a Thetford Academy graduate.
  • Philanthropist George Peabody, who founded the company that would become J.P. Morgan, spent time in Thetford as a child. He later founded Thetford’s Peabody Library.
  • Thetford had two stops on the Underground Railroad: one in Thetford Center and one in Post Mills.

Thetford is available at area bookstores for $21.99.

History in Haverhill


New to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places: the Union House Tavern (circa 1767) on the Dartmouth College Highway in Haverhill, N.H. The Union House served as a tavern and stagecoach stop for most of the 19th century. Associated with the early settlement of Haverhill, the property was also a farm for much of its history.

Anyone wishing to nominate a property to the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places must research the history of the nominated property and document it fully on an individual inventory form from the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources. For more information, visit