Lakes Region Profiles — High-kicking around the campfire

By Mary O'Neill

Sales Associate at Roche Realty Group


In 1919, a jovial group of eight men gathered and decided upon a camping trip to begin in Albany, New York and then into New Hampshire. When the unlikely group set off, few probably imagined that among the party were three titans of American industry: Thomas Alva Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone; and a celebrated naturalist, John Burroughs.

By the year 1919, Thomas Edison was already one of the most famous men in America and had acquired over 1,000 patents. He also owned the Detroit Edison Company, which had employed a young Henry Ford. Now 56, Ford had transformed the world of transport by pioneering the automobile assembly line, which made cars affordable. Harvey Firestone had been one of the first to develop non-skid, low-pressure and truck tires. His was among the largest companies in the US and he supplied most of the tires for Ford's cars. Though 82 at the time the party set out, John Burroughs was still enthusiastically seeking out wildlife for study and observation. He was a seasoned camper, having done so on many occasions with company such as Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir (Rogers, It Happened in New Hampshire).

New Hampshire's roads in 1919 were but rough narrow paths and old Native American trails meandering through the woods and running from town to town. On these bumpy roads proceeded one of the most intriguing camping parades of the automobile age. The group consisted of an Edison Simplex, two Packard sedans, a Cadillac truck for gear, and a specially designed Ford truck serving as traveling kitchen, complete with Henry Ford's personal chef, Thomas Sato. Edison had made sure the kitchen truck included a generator, providing power for the cook and for lights in the tents as well. And what did these celebrated personages do for entertainment around the campsite? New England Historical Society records relate that Edison prompted campfire discussions about current events, politics, and philosophy; Ford initiated competitions in high-kicking, wood chopping, berry picking, and rifle shooting; and Burroughs taught bird calls and organized nature walks. Of course, historical pictures of these outings show the activities being carried out in gentlemen's attire – three piece suits and neck ties (

On August 10, the group left their campsite in the Green Mountains and crossed into the northern region of New Hampshire. They passed through Crawford Notch and Conway before traveling west across the northern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee and then south through the Weirs and on to Tilton with the intent of setting up camp. Somewhere along the way, the Cadillac truck containing the tents and gear became separated from the group. By the time it caught up it was too late to set up camp, and so the party checked into the best hotel in Tilton, the Ideal Hotel (Rogers). Though the history could not be verified, pictures of the Ideal Hotel suggest it may have been the predecessor to the Tilton Inn, which still operates on Main Street.

The story has it that after dinner, the men settled on the building's wide porch to take in the evening breeze. The presence of famous men in the small town drew a crowd and also supplied the local Salvation Army with an unexpected opening to collect donations. Those gathered asked the men to say a few words. As Burroughs and Ford addressed the crowd, members of the Salvation Army weaved among them with their tambourines in hand. Suddenly Edison jumped off the porch, snatched a tambourine, and began to move through the crowd, encouraging people to donate. It seems his enthusiasm was irresistible and resulted in a substantial collection for the Salvation Army that night (Rogers).

The next day, the merry party motored on to Webster Lake before heading south towards Keene. After a brief stop at the Cheshire House, acclaimed for its fine dining, they continued south towards Springfield, Massachusetts. And thus the camping party passed through New Hampshire without actually having set up camp in the Granite State.

Even though Edison, Ford, and the others never actually pitched their tents on New Hampshire soil on this particular trip, over the years hundreds of thousands have enjoyed the activity in New Hampshire's long history of recreational camping. The Lakes Region continues to be one of the most popular camping spots. There are many from which to choose. Gunstock Mountain has 270 campsites on 140 acres and one of the longest zip line canopy tours in the United States ( The majestic Kona Wildlife Preserve surrounds Bear's Pine Wood Campground, located in Moultonborough ( Wolfeboro Campground is in the midst of "the Oldest Summer Resort in America" ( Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campground in Ashland has many special events, such as the upcoming Chocolate Lovers Week ( Hackmatack, Pine Hollow, and Paugus Bay Campgrounds are within the dynamic Weirs Beach area. These are just a few. For more information on these and other campgrounds, visit

While camping in the Lakes Region, there is plenty to do. After finishing your philosophy discussion, bird calling, and high-kicking competition around the campfire, you can enjoy everything from a game of miniature golf to world-class musical entertainment. And rest easy. On your camping adventure you need not be concerned if you become separated from your chow wagon. The Lakes Region continues to provide a vast array of fine dining that would even satisfy Edison, Ford, and the others on that famous trip back in 1919.

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Mary O'Neill is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, and can be reached at 603-366-6306.

Camping at SoulFest

  Camping under the stars at this year's SoulFest at Gunstock Mountain. Photo courtesy of Paul Rogers Photography.

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Keeping a competitive edge on the course


With the rising temperatures and the high humidity, being outside can take a toll on your body. Any outdoor activity can become dangerous with this type of weather. It is smart to use caution when being outside for a long period of time, especially if you must golf during these hot spells. It is extremely important to drink plenty of fluids and hydrate your body prior to going out for a round. If you simply begin to drink water during your round, you may already be dehydrated.
According to the Titleist Performance Institute, golfers hit 12 percent shorter and 93 percent less accurately when mildly dehydrated. Although these numbers may not sound that severe, hitting a club 12 percent shorter would cause me to possibly hit well short of the green, or even into a hazard, when I know I should hit the green with no problem. When your body is hydrated, you're able to focus more while you're playing.
TPI suggests that in order for your body to get every nutrient vital to your survival on the golf course, one should look to have "Superfood Nutrition." The idea of Superfood Nutrition is to eat fewer calories while increasing nutrient density, minimizing sugar intake and high glycemic response foods, increasing antioxidants, and getting the right fats. Foods with high sugar and caffeine will not support your body's needs during an 18-hole round of golf. Often, your body will crash and you will hit a wall in your game. You begin to lose focus, and begin to make mistakes on the course.
If you look at the PGA and LPGA Tour players, they are constantly eating healthy on the course. Players even bring their own Tupperware containers onto the course with the meals they prepare for each round. I try to eat at a minimum every three holes, which can be as little as a handful of almonds or even a banana. Many athletes think that exercise will override their deficiencies in their diet, and sports supplements can replace the need to eat quality food. It is important to keep your body nourished, otherwise your performance will become suboptimal.

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July Winni waterfront report - a great month


July was a great month on Winnipesaukee with 20 waterfront homes changing hands at an average price point of $892,012. There were seven sales over the million-dollar mark but no sales over $2 million. That brings the total number of sales on the lake this year to 91 at an average price of $983,335 and total sales volume of $89.5 million.

The entry level sale was at 368 Rattlesnake Island in Alton. This 1970s vintage two-bedroom camp has been updated with pine paneling, a new living area and a new three-bedroom septic system. That's a pretty big deal. A large 12' x 36' deck provides the requisite entertaining and sunbathing space. The 0.79 acre lot is level with 100 feet of frontage and a dock and is located on the south side of the island so it is out of the prevailing winds. As an added bonus there is a 26' x 40' outbuilding that was used to construct a boat in. This property was listed for $348,500 and was only on the market two days before being put under agreement at $335,000. This property is currently assessed at $294,600.

The median price point sale of the month award goes to the property at 21 Silver Cascade Way also in Alton. That kind of sounds like a dish washing detergent tagline, doesn't it? This property actually consisted of a charming two-bay boathouse with living space above and a two-car detached garage. The living space included a kitchen, bath and large living room on the main level and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs. Pretty cool, I think! The 2.5 acre lot has room for constructing a house and has 475 feet of frontage. This property was originally brought on the market in November of 2013 at $1,495,000 but was relisted in April of 2016 at $850,000. It went under agreement in just two days for $815,000. I suspect there was a buyer in waiting or someone recognized a super deal! This property is assessed at $728,100.

The Michael Phelps Highest Price Gold Medal goes to the property at 73 Spindle Point in Meredith. This property was really all about the land and frontage, although there was a cute 1,801-square-foot, three-bedroom house built in 1951 with a fieldstone fireplace and a bunkhouse out on the point. But it is the amazing 1.87-acre waterfront lot with 407 feet of shorefront with gorgeous southwest exposure and expansive views that drove the sale. There is an additional 1.32-acre back lot that was also included. This property was originally listed at $1.65 million and sold for $1.6 million after 310 days on the market. The current tax assessment stands at $943,300. I would expect to see a few new houses out there in the coming year or so...

The only sale on Lake Winnisqaum in July was at 43 Dutile Shore Road in Belmont. This 1958 vintage, four-bedroom, two-bath home has 2,664 square feet of updated living space and a detached two-car garage. It sits on a 0.39 acre lot with 153 feet of frontage. This property was listed a $549,000 and sold for $543,000 after 79 days on the market. It is currently assessed at $487,600.


P​lease feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 8/10/16. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

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Finding the crash site of the B-18

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By Gordon DuBois

On Jan. 15, 1942, a little over a month after Pearl Harbor, The Littleton Courier ran this headline: "Two Killed, Five Injured in Bomber Crash On Mt. Moosilauke. Last Night, Explosions Heard in Lincoln, North Woodstock." The article went on to read: "Two men were killed and five narrowly missed death when a bomber, described at a Douglass B-18 crashed on Mt. Moosilauke, between North Woodstock and Warren last night. It was reported that the big plane was loaded with four bombs, three of which exploded to shake the country side for miles around. Working feverously all night a crew of more than 50 volunteer searchers, including experienced woodsmen rounded up by the Parker Young Company at Lincoln, U.S. Forest Service Rangers and members of the State Police, made this morning a dramatic rescue of five of the seven man crew and rushed them to the Lincoln Hospital." The B-18 bomber crash site on Mt. Waternomee, a sub-peak on the east side of Mt. Moosilauke is just one of several plane catastrophes in the White Mountains that I have learned about over the past year. There are three other well publicized plane crashes that have occurred in the White Mountains since 1950.

In 1968, a Northeast Airlines Fairchild Hiller FH – 227C, with 39 passengers and a crew of three aboard – pilot, co-pilot and a stewardess – crashed into the north side of Moose Mountain on its approach to the Lebanon airport in foggy conditions. Seven people were fatally injured, while many more suffered severe injuries. The rescue effort was hampered by darkness, the remote location of the crash site as well as rain and freezing temperatures. On Nov. 30, 1954, another Northeast Airlines flight struck the southern slope of Mt. Success on its approach to the Berlin airport. The plane, a Douglass DC-3, had left the Laconia airport with three passengers and four crew members on board. (Who remembers regular commercial flights from Laconia?) The plane was flying in snow squalls, with limited visibility, attempting to make an instrument landing when it ran head long into the mountain. Everyone on board survived the crash, but two crew members succumbed to injuries following the crash. The remaining survivors were not rescued until Dec. 2 due to weather conditions and the remoteness of the crash site.

Another noteworthy tragedy occurred on Feb. 21, 1959, when Drs. Ralph Miller and Robert Quinn, Dartmouth Medical School professors and doctors at Mary Hitchcock Hospital, died when their single-engine Piper Comanche went down in the Pemigewasset Wilderness, northeast of Lincoln. They were on their way back to Hanover from making medical calls, when their carburetor iced up in severe winter weather. It wasn't until May 5, that their wreckage was spotted from the air, after a massive search involving hundreds of volunteers. The two men survived the crash, managed to build a fire to keep warm in the sub-freezing temperatures and even fashioned primitive show shoes in an attempt to hike out of the wilderness in deep snow. However, they died of exposure about eight days after the crash. The crash site is now marked with a memorial erected by Dartmouth Faculty, students and friends.

Two weeks ago, I planned the day hike into the B-18 crash site on Mt. Waternomee. The site can be accessed off Walker Brook Road, near the junction of routes 118 and 122 in Woodstock. This unofficial but well trodden path is fairly easy to follow, but offers a steep climb as you near the crash site. On this exploratory mission I was accompanied by hiking partners, Ken and Karen Robichaud, Steve Zimmer and our dogs Skipper and Reuben. As we progressed up the trail, about 2 miles, we began to spot large chunks of metal scattered about the forest floor. As we continued our investigation further into the crash site, we encountered the remains of the wings and propeller engines, along with parts of the fuselage. In the midst of the wreckage we found a memorial marker which read, "Honoring the World War II U.S. Army Air Crew Who Crashed in a B-18 Bomber on Mt. Waternomee in Woodstock, N.H., January 14, 1942". There is also a memorial plaque to Fletcher Craig who survived the crash and went on to fly a P-47 Thunderbolt in the European campaign. Throughout the area we found the remains of the bomber that was blown apart when the three 300-pound bombs exploded, ignited by leaking aviation fuel. As we sat contemplating the tragedy of the crash, we wondered about the circumstances surrounding the crash. How did it occur, why, who survived and how were they rescued?

These questions led me to the Mountain Wanderer Book Store in Lincoln to see if Steve Smith, the owner, could provide some answers. I was shown a small book titled "The Night the Bomber Crashed," by Floyd W. Ramsey. This account of the crash provided all the answers. The B-18 was a small bomber that was quickly put into service with the outbreak of World Warr II. It was used primarily for reconnaissance. The plane took off from Westover Field in Massachusetts on an anti-submarine patrol, almost reaching the coast of Newfoundland. On the return flight, the weather turned foul. Blinding snow and fierce winds drove the plane well off course.

1st Lt. Anthony Benvenuto, pilot, was unaware that the plane was flying almost 300 miles inland, believing he was over the ocean, when in fact he was headed toward the high peaks of the White Mountains. Compounding the problem was the fact the crew was trained to fly B-24s, a much larger bomber and subsequently they didn't have the necessary navigational skills to compute the drift factor caused by the storm off the New Jersey coast. When seeing lights on the ground, the crew assumed they were over Providence, Rhode Island, when in fact they were eyeing the lights of Concord, New Hampshire. As the pilot dropped to 3,000 feet to prevent ice build-up on the engines, with the crew finding the plane more difficult handle and, not even knowing their location, they smashed into the mountain.

The second part of this story concerns the amazing rescue effort launched within a half hour after the plane disappeared into the wilderness. In the towns of Lincoln and Woodstock residents heard the crash and the exploding bombs. They immediately began the search and rescue effort. Area citizens, Forest Service Rangers, state Fish and Game personnel, even woodsmen from the Parker Young Company joined together to reach the site and rescue five crewmen who amazingly survived the crash. Sherman Adams, an employee of the Parker Young Company, later governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff for President Dwight Eisenhower assisted in the rescue efforts. The survivors were brought down the mountain in a blinding snow storm and rushed to local hospitals. The bodies of the two crewmen killed in the crash were brought down the mountain by Army personnel who arrived at the scene the following day.

After spending time at the site and reflecting on the tragedy that occurred here, we began our trek back down the mountain. It was a sobering experience, knowing that two men had died here. The wreckage is a memorial to the victims of the crash who gave their lives in defense of their country. The U.S. Forest Service has posted a notice that pieces of the wreckage are not to be removed. It states, "Under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906 the historical remnants in the vicinity of this notice are fragile and irreplaceable." This isolated spot on the side of Mt. Waternomee serves as a memorial not only to the men who died here, but to all service personnel who put their lives on the line every day.

This is a moderately difficult hike of 4 miles round trip, climbing steeply as you near the crash site. The trail is well marked and maintained. It would provide a wonderful opportunity to share the story of the B-18 with children. There is also an impressive waterfall just off the trail that can be accessed quite easily. It serves as a nice place to cool off on a hot day and contemplate the experience of visiting the B-18 crash site.


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Froma Harrop - Obamacare under President Hillary

We may be getting ahead of ourselves assuming that Hillary Clinton will be next president, but let's proceed on that (comforting) notion. Few are better prepared to preserve and improve upon the Affordable Care Act than Clinton, who's long immersed herself in health care policy.

Obamacare is complicated — built that way to get past an army of vested interests and a hard wall of Republican opposition. But though it has things that need fixing, all in all, the program has been a success.

Obamacare has brought coverage to some 20 million more Americans. It's made individual insurance cheaper than it was in 2010, according to Health Affairs. Average premiums are down. (The premiums going up would have risen more without the law.) And surprise, Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion less over five years than earlier estimated, a recent Urban Institute study reports.

One undeniable frustration has been the high cost of coverage for many in the marketplace. Now some of those "found" trillions could go to raising subsidies, making coverage more affordable.

Clinton proposes a "buy in" option to Medicare for Americans 55 to 65. One must currently be 65 or older to automatically qualify for Medicare. Clinton would pay for this Medicare expansion through a higher investment surtax for upper-income people.

Lowering the Medicare age is a fine idea on several counts. Medicare has been good at controlling the cost of health care, and the beneficiaries love it. Since older people tend to use more health care than younger groups, moving them into Medicare takes some pressure off the insurers in Obamacare. At the same time, bringing younger old people into Medicare strengthens the Medicare risk pool.

Bernie Sanders promoted "Medicare for All" in his presidential run, and the idea is solid. Clinton's gradual approach, "Medicare for More," with better-planned funding, tops it for political palatability.

Assessing Donald Trump's health care plan takes no time at all. Trump says he'd repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something terrific."

The Republican House replacement plan, released by Speaker Paul Ryan in June, offers more specifics. To its credit, the proposal recognizes the need for a strong government hand in guaranteeing access to health care — even as it opens the window for more privatization, which adds complexity.

Gone would be the mandate requiring everyone to obtain health coverage. To discourage people from seeking coverage only after they've become sick, the proposal lets insurers charge what they may to those who hadn't been buying insurance. The average Joe understands the risks of not maintaining coverage and of getting seriously ill. Right?

Unlike Obamacare, the House Republican plan sets no national standards for minimum coverage: Ordinary people will read, study and compare insurance policies. Perhaps.

The Republican plan takes away from older Americans. It would not lower but raise the Medicare age to 67. This would unfortunately make the Medicare risk pool older and sicker. The proposal would also let private insurers charge a lot more than they do now to those not quite old enough for Medicare. Last but hardly least, it would move Medicare toward a voucher system.

The most serious flaw in the Republican plan is what's missing: a price. If you're not going to say how much it's going to cost, why not throw in free facials on fur-lined couches?

Notably few Republicans these days call for repealing Obamacare without a replacement. A fully fleshed-out alternative would be most appreciated.

Clinton remains intent on keeping and making it better. Happily, the likelihood of her being in charge is rising. Health care mechanics is Clinton's specialty, and that's more good news for Obamacare.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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