Memories of Laconia shared with students at Elm Street Writing Night

LACONIA — Memories of Laconia as it was in the 1960s,70s and 80s were shared with students at Elm Street Elementary School's Family Writing Night on Wednesday.
The event was held in conjunction with a $50,000 Community Planning Grant which the city received last year to prepare overlay zoning districts for mixed-use development and multi-family housing in the downtown and at The Weirs.
As part of that process meetings are being held around the city in which participants are invited to give their input and last night was an opportunity for long-time citizens of Laconia to describe their recollections of the past and their favorite places in Laconia.
Former Laconia Mayor Karl Reitz said that one of his favorite places was the historic home on Parade Road where he and his family made their home for over 20 years.
He said that the home was one of those listed on the Meredith Parade Historic Trail booklet which Gary Apfel created as an Eagle Scout Project in the 1980s.
Ginny Garver French, a 1966 graduate of Laconia High School, said that she remembers a bustling downtown Laconia and trips to the Laconia Library as part of her growing up in the city, where her parents operated a driver education school.
Robert McCallum said that The Weirs was a very active and popular area when he was young and that he would like to see it regain some of its former luster as a destination for local people as well as tourists.
Elm Street School Principal Kevin Michaud said that students will be able to write stories that they heard directly from those whom spoke at the meeting.
City Planner Shauna Sanders said that the information which is being gathered will be incorporated in the plan for the overlay districts, which will incorporate guidelines and standards for architectural design, building placement, streetscapes, pedestrian walkways, traffic flow, parking space, common areas and financing options.


Ginny Garver French writes about her memories of growing up in Laconia in the 1960s as Leah McCallum, 6, draws pictures at Family Writing Night at Elm Street Elementary School.  (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)