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N.H. Boat Museum buys lot on Wolfeboro's Back Bay, plans to build permanent home there

WOLFEBORO — Founded in 1991, the New Hampshire Boat Museum has seen many changes in its two decades of existence. First located in Meredith, the museum spent some time in Weirs Beach, then found a more permanent home in Wolfeboro, located in a building that was initially constructed as the dance hall for the Allen A Resort. This fall, the museum announced its biggest news since that move, and potentially the beginning of the greatest chapter yet in its history: the purchase of a 4-acre parcel of land on Lake Winnipesaukee's Back Bay, which the organization hopes to soon use to construct a new, waterfront museum.
The property, at 57 Bay Street in Wolfeboro, was sold for $1.25 million. Executive director Lisa Simpson Lutts said the purchase was made possible by an anonymous supporter. She added that the organization hopes to construct and occupy a museum on the property within four years.
As Simpson Lutts explained, the real estate acquisition is the first step toward addressing a problem for the organization, one discovered through a recent effort to see how the museum was viewed from the outside. "We went out to our constituents, members in the community, we did interviews," she said. "Overwhelmingly, we heard we needed to be right on the water. This Back Bay property was just perfect for us."
Securing the waterfront property is a significant first step toward an ultimate goal of a Lake Winnipesaukee presence. Simpson Lutts wasn't able to discuss how much the organization will need to raise to construct a new museum on the property, as plans have yet to be developed for the structure. However, she said the intention is for the building to feature a gallery for a permanent exhibit, a space for a changing exhibit, a museum store, an education room and a function space which will be available for rent for private functions. And, of course, docks to display some of the museum's many historic boats, as well as to allow the boating public to visit the museum.
"We expect that the building is not only going to transform us, as a museum, it is also going to transform Wolfeboro," said Simpson Lutts.
With the change in venue, she said the museum will adopt an expanded mission. Currently, the museum tells the story of freshwater boating beginning in the 19th Century. Simpson Lutts said the scope of history held by the museum should reach further back, to explore the boating traditions and technologies of North Americans prior to settlement by European colonists. To that point, she noted that next year's exhibit will feature canoeing, to coincide with the 40th running of the Annual Smith River Canoe Race.
She would also like the museum's relevance to expand geographically.
"We're thought of as a Wolfeboro, Lakes Region entity," she said, although the museum's goal is to curate the history of freshwater activities throughout the state. "We're telling the story of all of New Hampshire, not just Wolfeboro, not just Winnipesaukee. There are not many boat museums like us in the country."
Once the new structure is ready for the museum, Simpson Lutts said she expects the organization to retain its current building and real estate to use for storage and as a sheltered site for its many programs, such as its popular boat building classes. Other programs the museum is known for include the Alton Bay Boat Show, the Vintage Boat Regatta, various lectures, a community sailing program on Lake Wentworth, educational youth programs, the "Back Bay Skippers" model sailboat program, and a shared sailboat program coordinated in conjunction with the Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department.

Lisa Simpson Lutts, executive director of the New Hampshire Boat Museum, walks land on Lake Winnipesaukee's Back Bay where her organization hopes to soon build a new, waterfront museum. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2013 01:10

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Name tells you right where to find new 405 Pub & Grill on Union Ave. in Laconia

LACONIA — Dave Henrick and Yvette Imhof made their entree into the restaurant industry about two years ago, moving into a vacated doughnut shop on upper Union Avenue and opening Lakeside Famous Roast Beef. On a strip of road heavily settled with pizza, burger and sub shops, Lakeside made itself known among casual diners and lunch-on-the-run types as the place to go for a satisfying, comforting bite and personable service. This week, Imhof and Henrick are lifting the curtain on their second act, the 405 Pub & Grill, located about a mile and a half down Union Avenue (#405) from Lakeside.
Like Lakeside, the 405 Pub & Grill is taking residence in a building that has sat vacant for several years. And, like at their first restaurant, the food at the 405 will bear the trademarks that Imhof and Henrick pride themselves on: a from-scratch menu where every dish is created using top-quality ingredients. Henrick's personal recipe for marinara will again be employed, as will Imhof's Alfredo sauce and clam chowder. However, for the 405, they've brought in a new expert member of the team, James Bennett, whose credentials include a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and decades of experience.
The 405 opened earlier this week with a limited menu, the full range of dishes will be available by the weekend. "We do scratch only, everything from scratch," pledged Bennett. "We're all about New American and pub fare, great dishes using local ingredients and fresh seafood."
With a bar area featuring several large-screen televisions, the menu offers wings, nachos and onion rings for those interested in watching a ball game. Yet, there's also two dining rooms, and for patrons more at home at one of those tables, there will be steak tips, pasta dishes, seafood and, on Fridays and Saturdays, prime rib available in either 14 or 22 ounce cuts. Bridging the gap between those ends of the spectrum are burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. In addition to the regular menu, Bennett plans to concoct changing specials that highlight the best of what the season has to offer.
As much effort that has gone into the menu, an equal amount went into the interior design of the restaurant. Henrick and Imhof spent many late nights at the 405, working after closing the Lakeside, to help give the space a complete, top-to-bottom modernization. Much of the labor was provided by their hands, though they also engaged the services of Bruce Stone of Daily Wood Concepts for the finer details. "We had to gut it," said Henrick, though he took care to salvage a few elements from previous inhabitants of the space, such as mirrored glass, a two-way service door, a brass rail on the bar..
With the success of Lakeside, Imhof and Henrick could have chosen to relax while the pizza and roast beef profits accumulated. However, that's just not their style.
"I always thought that Laconia would be a great place to have a great local pub and grill, that had a nice, comfortable feel to it," said Henrick. "We chose to take on this project and reinvest in the community." At the 405, he said, "You'll have great comfort food here along with great service."
The 405 Pub & Grill is open for lunch and dinner, every day of the year.


Yvette Imhof and Dave Henrick opened the 405 Pub & Grill this week on Union Avenue in Laconia. It's the second restaurant the couple has opened in a previously vacant building in the city. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 03:52

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Belmont widow receives husband's Korean War medals

BELMONT — When Betty's Brown uncle passed away in September, she thought a cedar shadow box commemorating his military service would help ease the pain felt by her grieving aunt Grace Brooks.

With his burial flag in hand, Brown called her aunt and asked for her uncle's service medals, but her aunt didn't know where they were. She said all she could find was one old medal.

Undeterred, Brown said she called the one person she knew could help her get Robert J. Brooks Sr.'s medals — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

"She's the best person," said Brown of Ossipee. "She knows how to get things done."

Brown's thoughtful gift and her efforts lead to a special visit yesterday from Shea-Porter, who came to Belmont Town Hall to present Grace Brooks with the three medals earned by Robert J. Brooks Sr. while serving with the U.S. Army in the Korean War.

During his service, Brooks earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Medal. He also earned three battle stars during his year of active duty.

Brooks returned from Korea and went to work at the Laconia Shoe Company — where he met Grace — his bride for 56 years.

"We dated for five years," said Grace Brooks, who said her favorite memory of her husband was his fishing trips when he went in search of "Walter" — the big fish who always managed to get away.

She said her late husband was a quiet but funny man who was a licensed CB operator who especially loved being outdoors.

Shea Porter, who serves on the Armed Services Committee and is the daughter of a WWII veteran, said she was in Belmont to thank Grace, her husband and all of the veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

She said South Korea's prosperity today can in part be credited to the sacrifices and military service of people like Grace's late husband.

In return, Grace made Shea-Porter a loaf of her home-made banana bread — one of her late husband's favorite things to eat.


CAPTION (Carol Shea Porter) Services medals were presented yesterday to the widow of Robert J. Brooks Sr. in conference room of the Belmont Town Hall yesterday. Form left to right are Susan Cutler (Brooks's daughter), Grace Brooks, Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, and Congressional Aid Olga Clough. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 03:25

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Woman accused of cutting man & smashing his car window

LACONIA — City police arrested a Court Street woman yesterday morning for allegedly cutting a man with a steak knife and using a rock to smash his car window.

Police said Myranda Clifton, 29, of 240 Court St. was charged with one count of second-degree assault and one count of criminal mischief.

Clifton was held on initially held on $2,000 cash bail and was able to post it yesterday afternoon.

Police said the male victim sustained a minor cut on one of his arms and his car window was smashed.





Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 03:14

Hits: 401

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