Photo contest to highlight local food, sources, retailers


LACONIA — Frequent farm stand visitors, vegetable gardeners, wildcrafters and farm-to-table goers are invited to take part in the first-ever photo contest promoting local food, held as part of New Hampshire Eat Local month.

The Lakes Region Food Network is collaborating with the Belknap County Conservation District to celebrate local food during the month of August. Rather than just handing out fliers at local farmers markets to explain what New Hampshire Eat Local month is, the Lakes Region team said they wanted to do something that would engage the public, and thus the photo contest was born.

The photo contest is running until the end of August, with the winners of the contest chosen during the Lakes Region Food Network meeting in September. The contest is not limited to people or food in the Lakes Region; however, all photos submitted must be from somewhere within the state of New Hampshire. Wineries and breweries that produce local drinks are also eligible for the contest. The seven categories for photo submission include farmers markets, retail establishments, CSA shares, farm-to-table meals, farm stands, gardens or wildcrafting. Wildcrafting is finding wild sources of food, such as mushrooms or wild berries. Examples of edible weeds are dandelions, chickweed, lambs quarter and violet leaves.

"People can be as creative as they want with their photos," said Karen Barker of the Lakes Region Food Network. "They can brag about their gardens or take pictures at local farm stands, anything is an option as long as it highlights something produced within the state.

There will be one winner awarded to each category of photo submission, and winners will each receive a $25 gift certificate from a local store including Wayfarer Coffee Shop, Local Provisions, Local Eatery, Burrito Me and Laconia Village Bakery.

Photos for submissions can be sent to Lisa Morin of the Belknap Country Conservation District at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sent in the mail to 64 Court St., Laconia.

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Freshly picked blueberries at a local farm in New Hampshire were taken by Karen Barker as part of the New Hampshire Eat Local month food contest presently being conducted throughout the state during the month of August. (Courtesy photo)

Boat from Down Under draws attention at antique and classic boat show


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Peter Cavill of Brisbane, Australia and the Marguerite, a 27-foot Gold Cup racer that he built himself. 

(Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)



WOLFEBORO — Drawing a lot of attention at the 43rd annual Lake Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show held at the Wolfeboro Public Docks on July 30 was a 27-foot replica of a 1922 Gold Cup racer which was built in Australia and is currently making the rounds of classic boat shows in the United States.
The Marguerite is immediately recognizable due to the Australian flag that it flies and the unique unstained mahogany which attracts curious wooden boat enthusiasts wherever it goes says Peter Cavill, 59, of Brisbane, Australia, who built the boat in 2008 after he retired from the hospitality industry.
"I love boats and had built a few plywood boats myself. I thought it would be an interesting project that would take half a year. It actually took me two-and-a-half years,'' says Cavill, who says he enlisted some help in the form of supervision from experienced boat builders to to help guide him through the process.
"I had never seen a Gold Cup boat before but I liked the way they looked. The best part is I got the plans for free off the internet. I think there have been 10 of these boats built from those plans," says Cavill, who named it the Marguerite in honor of his mother, who died in February of 2015 but lived to see the boat completed.
"When people look at it, they can't believe the light color of the blond mahogany. They've never seen anything like it before. That's because they're used to seeing the dark-stained mahogany on American-made boats. But we like to celebrate the different styles of mahogany, and leaving it unstained but varnished creates a really different look," said Cavill.
Last winter he shipped the boat to the United States in a 40-foot container on a cargo ship and had it brought it to New Hampshire for some work, including replacing the motor with a 615-cubic-inch V-8 Big Block Chevy motor, which he says has greatly improved the boat's performance.
With the weather still cold in New Hampshir,e he and his wife, Helen, had the boat towed to the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival in Tavares, Florida, and since then they have taken the boat to number of antique and classic boat show, including Clayton, New York, and James River in Virginia.
"It's been a lot of fun going to these boat shows and seeing the reaction to the Marguerite," said Cavill.
The Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show, held in Wolfeboro for the first time this year, drew 58 entries, the largest number in four years, and featured classic wooden boats from earlier eras, including Chris Crafts, Garwoods, Hackercraft and Century.
The show was held at the public docks at Weirs Beach in Laconia for nearly 30 years, starting in 1974, and was moved to the Meredith town docks in 2003.
Among the wooden boats which were on display last weekend were two boats which were made right in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins, Regina, a 30-foot Laker owned by Howard Newton, a summer resident of Alton, and Keen Kutter, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro.
Newton said that Regina is one of only six known Lakers that were built in Wolfeboro and that it dates back to 1913. It is unique in that it has an oak rather than mahogany deck and is an original boat which is 99.9 percent unrestored.
The 36-foot long Keen Kutter was built around 1915 for Thomas Plant, who built Lucknow, now known as Castle in the Clouds at around the same time. It was the longest Laker ever built and reportedly was named for the shoe-cutting machinery developed by Plant.
Another boat on display was a 1921 Long Deck Launch built by the Ditchburn Company, which was located in Canada. The boat is now owned by Robert Brian Hennessy and Abigal Adams of Tuftonboro.
Adams said that they acquired the boat last year and that this year's boat show is the first time they have shown it.

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Peter Cavill of Brisbane, Australia and the Marguerite, a 27-foot Gold Cup racer that he built himself. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

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The 43rd annual Lake Winnipesaukee Antique and Classic Boat Show drew 58 entries and hundreds of spectators to the Wolfeboro Public Docks. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Abigal Adams of Tuftonboro in her 1921 Ditchburn Long Deck Launch. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Two boats which were in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins, Keen Kutter, left, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro, and Regina, a 30-foot Laker owned by Howard Newton, a summer resident of Alton. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
Keen Kutter, left, a 36-foot Laker owned by Richard Hapgood of Tuftonboro, was built in Wolfeboro at Goodhue and Hawkins. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

The steering wheel and front panel of the Keen Kutter. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Serendipity of the search - It's antiquing season in the Lakes Region


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Four Corners Brick House in Gilmanton features 10,000 square feet of space and more than 20 vendors. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)



When an item is new, it commands a relatively high price. As time goes on, the value of that item falls, and falls, until it is deemed worthless and discarded. However, some items escape that fate, and something interesting happens – it becomes so old that the market sees it differently, and its value starts to rise again. Anticipating this upward valuation, and seeking out these items while they can still be had at bargain prices, are the antiquers. And the Lakes Region is known as a great place to look for good finds – and many of which won't be found through a website.

At the The Carriage Barn on 249 S. Main Street in Laconia, Glenice Fitzbag is still selling items her father squirreled away decades ago, filling a massive, 19th century barn with things that other people didn't want and he was happy to store until they were wanted again.

Ernest Pelletier, Glenice's father, bought the home and barn at 249 S. Main St. in 1945, after returning from World War II to continue the family moving business. The barn was originally constructed in the 1800s to store horses and carriages belonging to people visiting Laconia. When Pelletier bought it, he saw it as a huge, four-story space he could fill with the things people didn't want to take with them when they hired him to help them move.

"Anything anybody didn't want, he brought it back here and stored it. That's how this got started," Fitzbag said. When he wasn't operating his moving business, she said, her father's hobby was going to yard sales – and the things he bought joined the rest of his collection in the barn.

"He had this place filled. He preferred to go buy the stuff (rather) than to sell it," said Fitzbag.

A retired nurse, Fitzbag has been running Carriage Barn Antiques and Collectibles for 23 years, and she still has boxes of her father's inventory she has yet to unpack. Running her store over the middle two floors of the barn, she has rooms dedicated to publications, used clothing, furniture, NASCAR collectibles, bottles and old hardware.

While some antique dealers have joined the online marketplace, Fitzbag prefers the old-fashioned way of doing business: hanging the "Open" sign by the barn doors and letting people lose themselves inside.

"They love coming through the barn. It's old, 1880s, they find things that they weren't even looking for," said Fitzbag. "We have a little bit of everything – and if we don't, we can probably find it in the barn."

At the intersection of Routes 140 and 107 in Gilmanton is another antique shop known for its building. The Four Corners Brick House is a sprawling antique store in a renovated 10,000-square-foot circa 1810 house.

Anne Bartlett, one of the owners of the Four Corners Brick House, said the store, now in its eighth season, features at least 20 dealers. Like Fitzbag, Bartlett doesn't bother with trying to sell items through Ebay or other websites.

"There's no need, people want to come and see it, touch it, look at it," she said. One thing that sets the Four Corners Brick House apart from other stores, in Bartlett's mind, is the wide selection of antique furniture.

The antique market, said Bartlett, seems to go in cycles. The prices of furniture spiked about a quarter-century ago, she said, but have since become more reasonable. With antique prices competitive to what would be charged at a conventional furniture store, she argued that now is a good time to buy.

"This is all New England-made furniture, it's held up for 100 years," she said. "It's going to hold up for another hundred."

That's something that her middle-aged and older customers know. Bartlett's challenge is convincing the younger generation. She suspects that many younger adults only consider furniture from big-box retailers, with low price points but even lower build standards.

"Ultimately, that product isn't going to last," she said.

In Plymouth, a store has found success in offering college students an alternative to new. Boomerang Used Furniture & Funky Stuff, at 5 Main St., isn't necessarily an antique store, though some of its inventory would qualify for the distinction. Instead, Boomerang is a cooperative consignment shop with ownership shared by 17 dealers, who take turns operating the store.

Tish Hill, one of the owners, said Boomerang is now in its 7th year, and business, she said, "has been phenomenal."

Boomerang will post photos of its new items on its Facebook page, and Hill said she will check Ebay to see that their prices are fair, but thinks that the brick-and-mortar experience is one of the shop's factors for success.

"We offer something completely different," to online competitors, she said. "Owner operated, small store, personal service – used items, I think they have more character," she said, and so does Boomerang, with a near-constant flow of new items arriving.

Shoppers have responded, with everyone from college students looking to adorn their apartment, to dealers from other parts of the state or country filling up a box truck.

Not too long ago, Hill said, the idea of looking for bargains at resale shops was something that was only done by those who had no other option. That's not the case today, she said. Perhaps driven by environmental reasons, young shoppers who could afford a new item will proudly declare the deal that they got on their used things.

"It's definitely accepted. It's bragging rights, really," said Hill.

There are dozens of stores in the Lakes Region to look for your brag-worthy bargain. For a map and listing, see page 27.