GILFORD — A New Jersey teenager who has hiked in the Belknap Mountain range ever since he was a young child has proposed that a small pond in the Robert Tilton Town Forest be named Moulton Pond.
Soren Denlinger, 15, of Asbury, New Jersey, a sophomore at Voorhees High School where he earned high honors last spring, says ''I've hiked by it many times and thought the pond deserved a name.''
After finding trail maps which said that that the stream which flows from the 6/10th of an acre pond is Moulton Brook, Denlinger wrote to the United States Board on Geographic Names proposing the name of Moulton Pond, which he said is linked to the Moulton family, long-time residents of the area.
The request for naming the pond in honor of the Moulton family recently came before the Belknap County Commissioners, who were told that Gilford selectmen have already reviewed the request and took no position on it but were not opposed.
Commissioner Ed Philpot said that he would like to hear from a long-time hiker and member of the Gilford Conservation Commission, Chuck Coons, before the commission took any action.
Denlinger's request noted that the unnamed pond is located 9/10th of a mile southwest of Round Pond and that Dave Roberts, who created a trail map of the Belknap Mountain range because it ran beside Moulton Road near Manning Lake.
Nanci Mitchell, a past chairman of the Gilmanton Conservation Commission, who along with her husband owns land near the small pond, said that she and her husband have called it Christmas Pond because they discovered it about 10 years ago on Christmas Day, but had no objection to seeing it named Moulton Pond.
Denlinger's application notes that the Moulton family has a long history in the area and cites the history of Col. John Hale Moulton (1795-1885) of Center Harbor, who was a Belknap County Commissioner from 1858 through 1861.
The grandson of General John Moulton, for whom the town of Moultonborough was named, John Hale Moulton was a merchant, hotel and mill owner and operated a freight boat on Lake Winnipesaukee and a Center Harbor selectman from 1819 until 1868, town treasurer from 1824 until 1881 and even served as a deputy sheriff for five years. He also served in the Legislature from 1847 and 1848, and again from 1852 to 1856.
Moulton received his education from teacher Dudley Leavitt, who is credited with starting a widely popular almanac, and ran a saw, grist and shingle mill and used the freight boat he owned to transport lumber around Lake Winnipesaukee. He also owned what was known as Moulton's Hotel in Center Harbor from 1848 until his death in 1885.