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March 2010

Winter Issue


about daily life aboard one of these great ships and narrated officers barking commands to sailors setting sails to change course while being violently buffeted by wind and thrashed by white topped waves crashing against the creaking wood hull as they braved the waters off Cape Horn. Jack, in his raspy voice, sang some of the salty old sea shanties learned from men of varying nationalities. Ron Lyon recorded some of this narration and song and, I believe, they are filed in the Library of Congress. The mill ruin at the outlet of Granite Lake was still dominated by the 100 foot brick chimney which stood as a silent monument to the several owners and many workers who had produced a variety

Volume 27, No.1

REMINDERS ! Nelson School District Meeting is on Friday, March 5,7:00 pm Polls - voting is combined with Town Meeting voting on Tuesday.

n the shore of beautiful Granite Lake in downtown Munsonville, Nelson Town declared the radio commercial for Meeting Lakeview Restaurant on the east shore of the lake, around the early 1970’s. Tuesday, March 9, The restaurant and cabins had been in 7:00 pm existence for many years, but new owners Polls open 11:00 noon were raising the standards of the restaurant to 7:00 p.m. and advertising to grow the patronage. Joe and Maxine Dobson managed the Granite Lake Country Store in 1959, and of goods and products for years using Maxine was the post-mistress. The Route 9 Granite Lake waters as its power source. by-pass had been rumored for ten years An iron water wheel still lay on its side and the lake road not plowed all the way below the dam at the lake outlet. Bricked around the lake during winter since there underground waterways, even today, lay were few if any year-round residents on the under the site which probably gravel road. The fed water turbines to drive the Chapel-By-The-Lake had a mill machinery. It was a sort-of cupola but no pointed landmark of Munsonville, as spire with a cross on top. well as, a monument. Square in One of our first visitors, cross section, tapering smaller after we moved into the “Old as it rose to 100 feet tall with Fisher Place” in September of panels and a rim near the top to 1959 was a crusty old gent lend some style. An estimated named Jack Sherrard. He 40,000 red bricks used in its stopped by to warn us about construction in about 1880, corrupt politicians and to tell were probably produced mostly us tha t w hen w inter in one or more brick yards approached all the summer folk within the town of Nelson. left the town to the squirrels Many of these bricks were cast and the natives. with the name “Keene” in a Jack claimed to be the last recess in one face of the brick living sailor to have crewed on and became collectors’ items. a square rigger sailing around Lakeview Lunch, Munsonville, NH, on the east side of Granite Lake. (continued on page 9) the Horn and he probably was. He related first person stories Picture from a postcard from late 1920s or early 1930. Car is a 1927 Buick.


ROTARY SCHOLARSHIP he Town would like to remind students about the scholarship fund that has been established by a Nelson member of the Rotary Club of Keene exclusively for residents of Nelson, New Hampshire, who wish to further their education. The criteria are: • You must be a Nelson resident for at least one year. • You must be planning to attend a co llege, tech n ical scho o l o r continuing education class • You must be a resident of Nelson in good standing. • You do have to be a high school graduate; however, consideration will be given to those who may not have graduated. but, are n ow 'non-traditional' students wanting to improve their lives and opportunities through education.

T JANE KIRK Service to the Town of Nelson December 1997 – January 2010 ost townspeople know her as the Chair of the Board of Selectmen, to which she has devoted twelve years of service. First appointed to fill a Board vacancy in December 1997, she became Chair in 2000 and attended over five hundred Board meetings before her resignation in January 2010. The Town has seen numerous physical improvements during Jane’s years on the Board, most recently the Safety Building and the Salt Barn, and her encyclopedic knowledge and organization skills will be sorely missed by her fellow Board members. Perhaps most of all, her concern for the well-being of the Town and its residents has shaped her tenure, and her kindnesses to town employees are legendary. We wish her well in her retirement from what has truly been a “second career”, though she’ll doubtless remain busy – with her family, her philanthropic activities and her many friends.


T h a n k y o u , Ja n e , fo r e v e ry th in g .

“We’re lost but we’re making good time.” - Yogi Berra


An application is available by request by phoning the Rotary Club Secretary, Peter B rnger, at 35 8-3038, at or by writing to Mr. Brnger 354 Marlboro Street Keene, NH 03431


he Library is partnering with nhsaves, a collaboration of New Hampshire’s electric utilities, and the NH State Library to educate our patrons about their electricity use. Nhsaves has donated two Cut the Carbon kits to the Nelson Library. Each kit includes a Kill A Watt meter along with instruction sheet, energy tips brochure, and a bookmark. Each kit can be checked out at no charge for four weeks, just like any book or movie you check out from the Nelson Library. To use, simply plug the Kill A Watt meter into a wall outlet and plug an electric applian ce (i.e., com puter, television, refrigerator) into the meter. Each kit comes with a worksheet you can use to calculate the energy costs associated with running each of your electric appliances.


Completed applications should be submitted no later than Ju ly 1, 2010 to the Marlboro Street address.



ant to keep up-to-date with town happenings? Visit the Town of Nelson website. It has great information including a town calendar, news stories, town office hours, and other town information. The home page of the website is: There is now a section for the Grapevine, too. So if you want to see the Grapevine in c o lo r check it out at: l-life/the-grapevine

elson is one of twelve New H a m p s h ir e t o w n s w h e r e registered voters have filed a warrant article by petition for a vote on the town’s Spring warrant: “Shall N ew H a m p s h ire’ s C o n g re s s io n al Delegation be instructed to pursue a new and independent investigation to address thoroughly all of the evidence and unanswered questions related to the events of September 11, 2001?” Information regarding this article may be found at


M ARCH 2010



HOTEL NELSON REVISITED POTLUCK & SING-A-LONG By Karen Tolman t certainly was an eventful evening, Friday, January 29, 2010 — a potluck supper followed by singing songs from the 1997 Hotel Nelson production. As well prepared as we were for our 6:30 pm event — the musicians, the singers, the PowerPoint master with our Library’s new projector, the potluck organizers, the Moving in Step sponsors — we were not well prepared for the call we received at 5:00 pm. “There’s no heat in the Town Hall!” “Brr,” I said in response to the news. “Yikes,” I then added, just to expand my vocabulary a bit! We were scheduled to meet in the Town Hall at 5:30 pm to set up the tables, to spread wonderful India Print tablecloths on them to liven up the place a bit, and to otherwise get ready. Tom Buttrick, who had called me, suggested that I call the Church. “Betsy Street,” he said. “She’ll know if the Church might be available.” “Betsy,” I said, “what’re you doing?”


She dropped the spoon that was stirring up her potluck, made a few phone calls, secured the Church for our use and then hurried down the hill from her house to turn up the heat. Meanwhile, back at the pond, I frantically began telephoning others. Snippets of conversation are still rattling around in my head, the recurring theme of which was “What time is it now?” Miraculously, pulled together by all hands, the festivities began. At 6:30, the food arrived, carried in by many braving the cold. It was cozy and crowded and warm inside the Fellowship Hall. When the food was gone, the songs began. Hunt Smith made a stunning appearance in the guise of Lord Horatio Nelson, singing the song written by Gordon in 1997:

“My name’s Horatio Nelson and I sailed the open sea I’ve joined the royal navy to serve my counter-y I found my fame and fortune, and immortality, I hope that someday somewhere there’s a town named after me.” And then we sang it again — the entire song projected onto the wall — all together. We followed with two songs by Kathy Schillemat: Sing Halleluia and The Ballad of the Road Agent, which she proclaimed isn’t a ballad at all. She was right. We sang the chorus (“Yes, I had that lovely job one year…” — actual words from Hope’s 1997 interview with Leonard Frazier) to a calypso beat, strummed out by Hunt on the guitar and percussed by others on a variety of gourds and things that Tom Murray had collected from his travels. Heather Bower led us through Hotel Nelson, a song written by Nelson’s late Josephine Creamer Dutton Murdough (see note) and set to music by Heather: Chorus: “Up the hill, and there you are! Hotel Nelson swings into view. Drive ‘round the Common, the door’s always open! Come set a spell — or two, And spin your yarns, There are many that’ll do.

Life is not a journey to the grave with intentions of arriving safely in a pretty well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming ... WOW! What a ride!


M ARCH 2010

N o te : Josephine Creamer (m1: Dutton) (m2: Murdough) was born into a large family who lived off Center Pond Road. In her Nelson retirement years, she was an active member of the Nelson Artists’ Coop, where she not only contributed valuable time, but watercolor paintings and many crafted items. She possessed an artistic talent inherited from her father, Ham Creamer, who carved wonderful sculptures from wood. (continued on page 6)

WE PASS THE HAT nlike public radio and television fund-raisers, we don’t have a toll-free number for you to call or a nifty premium to offer, nor do we have corporate sponsorship; but we do need your financial support. The Grapevine- 2 is supported solely by donations from you, our readers. Our only costs are paper, printing, labels, and postage. If you enjoy receiving the Grapevine, please use the enclosed envelope to send a contribution to:


Grapevine- 2 830 Nelson Road Nelson, NH 03457 Thank you in advance for your generosity.



6:30 a.m., followed by a pancake breakfast at 7:00 a.m. The family Easter Worship will be held at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome.

Ch ap e l-b y -th e -Lake orship services are at 10:00 a.m. with Bible Study following the Worship service. K nitting club m eets Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. til Noon. For more information and to confirm meeting dates, call 446-7857 or 8473231. Maundy Thursday will be a joint venture with the Nelson Congregational Church this year. There will be a soup and bread supper at 6:00 p.m. at the Nelson Church followed by a Tenebrae Service at 7:00 p.m.. We invite all our parishioners to share in this event with our brothers and sisters of the Nelson Church.

W from Hope Lothrop Ne ls o n Co n g re g atio n al Ch u rc h uring February Vacation youth and chaperones from Nelson, Harrisville, and Keene went to California on a Mission Trip. Upon their return they shared their experiences of the trip during worship on Sunday, February 28. Ash Wednesday was February 17 and was hosted at the Chesham Church. Annual Meeting will follow worship on March 10. There will be and election of officers and committee members for the coming year; and there will be agenda items for discussion and possible votes. All church members and church friends are urged to attend; however, only members may vote. Adult Education Classes are being held on Wednesday evenings through March. Discussion is centered on videos by Dominic Crossan & Marcus Borg’s “First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God”. All are welcome to meet at Bert Wingerson’s home at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays for these classes. On Saturday, March 20, there will be a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner. We will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Come wearing your green and enjoy a great meal and warm camaraderie. Tickets are $8 and are on sale now. Contact Joy Birdsey-Smith for more info. Holy Week will be celebrated with a Palm Sunday Service on March 28; Maundy Thursday on April 1 with a soup and bread supper. This will be a joint service with members from The Chapel-By-The-Lake at the Nelson Church. The supper will be at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Tenebrae service at 7:00 p.m. Good Friday, April 2, will be an observance of prayer and reflection. The church will be open during the day. Easter Sunday, April 4, we will hold a Sunrise Service on the church steps at



emphasis on supporting and stimulating an interest in and appreciation for reading and learning, leisure along with recreational needs will be recognized. The Library serves as a center to help people of all ages continue their education and add to their knowledge and understanding of the world, its arts, sciences, religions and its people and their histories. The library will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee at its book group meeting in March of 2010. This program is sponsored by the NH Big Read, in association with The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library which celebrates and promotes reading, books, literacy and the literary heritage of New Hampshire, and highlights the role that reading and libraries play in enriching the lives of the people of the Granite State. For more information call the library at 847- 3214 or email

RETRIEVING ME FROM WINTER (A tribute to the power of dogdom, in the name of Jackson, our rescued black lab) by Karen Tolman

LIBRARY NEWS from Kris Finnegan he Olivia Rodham Memorial Library in the town of Nelson, with a population of 670 residents, has become a kind of town center. It provides educational activities for children, an informal gathering place for book clubs and discussions, as well as a wealth of books for all of its users and a wi fi internet connection. The Library is dedicated to providing materials and services to help Nelson residents obtain information meeting their educational, cultural professional and recreational needs. As librarian Kris Finnegan says, “If we don’t have it, we can get it in a few days.” Special emphasis is in two areas: an


MARCH 2010

Brown eyes tugging at mine of blue — beseeching Pink tongue wagging ‘neath a yellow tennis ball — teasing Collared in purple yet trusting my lead — believing Quiet by the hearth as I in my chair — healing In stark contrast to winter’s cold snow — retrieving me



STRINGS PROGRAM RAISES $650 OF ITS $1,500 GOAL he Nelson Elementary School and Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music have combined their love of music and teaching for the benefit of our youth. Creating a program called Nelson Elementary School Strings. The seed that started this endeavor was a dream to see Nelson youth learn stringed instruments, not only the usual classical pieces, but the music of our local heritage which is still played here in Nelson. How exciting it must be to learn a piece of music, and then go to the Nelson Town Hall and hear it played by seasoned musicians watching as dancers laugh, stomp and move to the beat! By the time you have received this month’s Grapevine, Nelson’s school children will have experienced an Apple Hill concert at the school. The Apple Hill String Quartet will have performed at the School on March 2 nd . The program was called “A young person’s concert, Travels with the Apple Hill String Quartet through music history”. And this is just the beginning! There will be an informational family night scheduled later in the school year as well as other concerts. It is our desire to establish a program similar to the school band. The school currently owns band instruments, but no strings. By purchasing and receiving donated instruments, it will make learning affordable for children’s families. Stringed instruments are “sized” and children aged 6-11


typically use ½ - ¾ sizes. This being the first year of the program, our goal is to have instruments available that fit the students. In subsequent years we will need to add larger instruments as the children grow. A goal of $1,500 will purchase five student violins complete with a case, rosin and bow. Decent student violins start at $300 and up. Fund raising has just started and we’ve already reached 30% of our goal! We have enough money to purchase two violins, but we need financial assistance from the community to reach our goal with three more violins. Keene schools have started a strings program which will guarantee our students the option to continue their musical passion once they graduate to middle school and beyond. The story “Stone Soup” highlights donations small and large add up; please send what you can and “contribute to the pot”. Donations of $10, $20 and $25 will make a difference. Please make checks payable to: Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music Donations can be sent to: Nelson Strings Program c/o Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music P.O. Box 217, Sullivan, New Hampshire 03445

Thank you, Lenny Matczynski, Director Apple Hill (847-3371) Valerie Van Meier, Director, Monadnock Folklore Society (847-9931) Sheila Vara, Nelson Elementary School Teaching Prinicpal (847-3408)

THANKS, FROM JANE KIRK hat a lovely party I enjoyed in honor of my completing twelve years as a Nelson Selectman. Thank you all who came out on the beautiful Saturday afternoon, February 13. Rick Church did a fine job as master of ceremonies. Gordon Peery and his jazz trio, provided the perfect background music. The delicious finger foods furnished by a number



of people were both bountiful and delicious. Joan Bosely and Linda Boyle worked very hard to coordinate the reception. I requested, rather than provide me with a gift, that donations be made to Haiti relief through NH West Chapter, American Red Cross. Executive Janet K. Warren was present to receive the contributions that totaled more than $1300. I will always cherish the book in which everyone was asked to sign. Again, let me say that that it has been a deep privilege and honor to render public service as a Nelson selectman. MARCH 2010

Th an k y o u fo r y o u r s u p p o rt! Jan e S. Kirk PAGE 5

Hotel Revisited


(continued from page 3) Allison Aldrich next led us through two songs about food: My Mother’s Cooking (Does anyone know who wrote this?) and The Lemon Pie Song, written by the late Cora Alice Tolman (see note), and which tonight was dedicated to Max Nunnemaker, who just so happened to bring a lemon pie to share! The song was set to the music of a familiar hymn, so an automatic “Amen” (to lemon pie) concluded the song. N o te : Cora Alice Tolman, came to Nelson as a schoolteacher, and taught in the Old Brick Schoolhouse. She was a noted member of the WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union), met and married Robert Tolman, and lived in the house that is now Bert Wingerson’s home. We ended the evening singing the familiar Hills of Nelson, written and composed by Gordon Peery, and also played by him on the keyboard. Being tightly seated in the vestry made for wonderful sound. Several singers from the original production were scattered throughout the audience, so their knowledge of the songs helped tremendously. I even caught a few unlikely people singing along — swept away by the music — off-guard and possibly off-key! But they didn’t care — they were enjoying the evening. I’ve since accused one of them of singing. “I saw you,” I said. “Oh, no, you didn’t,” he jokingly denied my accusation! Thank you all — and a very special thank you to the Nelson Congregational Church community for coming to our rescue on this bitterly cold January evening. And, stay tuned for more: On Saturday, March 27, we will incorporate the songs that we learned Friday, January 29th, with more original songs and many of the stories (and perhaps even some new ones!) from the original 1997 production of Hotel Nelson, into another evening out at The Hotel Nelson. Contact me at 8273226 or Kathy at 847-9785 if you’d like to help. And log on to for more information. Dew knot trussed yore spell chequer two fined awl yore mistakes. - Brendan Hills


Saturday, March 20, 2009 (snow date: April 4) 9 a.m. to 12 noon Nelson Town Hall Dogs, cats, ferrets, & rabbits. $10.00 per animal. Pets must be on leashes or in carriers. Town Clerks from Nelson, Sullivan & Stoddard will be available to do dog registrations. Bring your current Rabies Certificate. All communities welcome! Nelson: A reminder that all dogs must be licensed annually by May 1. A certificate showing an up-to-date rabies shot must be presented to the Town Clerk at the time of licensing. Also, since 1995, Nelson has had a dog control law that basically requires all dogs to be under the control of the owner and not wandering about getting into mischief.

PARENT YOUTH MEDIATION AVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS OF NELSON ometimes holidays and vacations are not as peaceful as you had hoped. If your family spends these times fighting instead of enjoying each other, mediation may be helpful to you. Cheshire Mediation in Keene provides free parent/youth mediation services to all families in Cheshire County. Call Kate Kerman at 357-9673 for more information, or visit us online at


MARCH 2010


Nelson Grapevine March 2010  

Community Newsletter for Nelson, NH

Nelson Grapevine March 2010  

Community Newsletter for Nelson, NH