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Feb. 15 "Share Fair' will focus on local history

LACONIA — For those who think that history is just about dates and dry facts, a group of local residents is organizing an event for next month that's meant to show how tangible items, such as mementos, help to make history come alive.
The Belknap Mill and Laconia Historical and Museum Society are organizing a Share Fair for local individuals and businesses to come and display artifacts and documents related to their history.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, with a snow date of Feb. 22.
Judith Buswell and Alida Millham, two of the organizers of the half-day event, hope the fair will spur people to become more active in making their family or business history known as well as encouraging people to treasure the tangible things that form part of their heritage.
Others involved in planning for the fair include Barbara Zeckhausen, Warren Clement, Mary Rivers and Historical and Museum Society Executive Director Brenda Kean.
People associated with several current and former businesses and institutions have indicated they plan to participate, including O'Shea's department store, Laconia Shoe Co., Taylor Community, Guild Mills, and Wilkinson-Beane, Buswell said.
Buswell said the idea of the Share Fair was an outgrowth of another type of history project last year in which the she and her daughter, Tamara McGonagle, performed a staged reading based on the journals of the great-grandmother of Buswell's husband, David Stamps.
Buswell and Millham are hoping more people will register for the Share Fair between now and Feb. 15. Those interested in having individual or family exhibits are asked to call Buswell at 524-6580, while potential business exhibitors are asked to call Clement at 520-7650.
Clement will serve as moderator and facilitator of the fair which will get under way at 8 a.m. From 9 to 10 a.m. people will have a chance to browse through the various displays and talk one-on-one with the exhibitors. Then each participant will be given the opportunity to speak for five minutes to explain the significance of the items they brought. After a short break there will time from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for discussion, questions, and propose ideas for possible future related events.
Also, there will be a display on ways to safely preserve papers and photographs and other historically significant items, as well as an exhibit on genealogy. However, Buswell pointed out that no items will be sold at the fair, nor will any items be appraised.
"We hope this event helps people to see that genealogy is not just getting dates, but about telling stories," said Buswell, who plans to exhibit a number of items, including a gold-top walking stick that belonged to David N. Camp, her husband's great-great-grandfather.
Among the items that Millham plans to exhibit are a dress that belonged to her great-grandmother and a photo showing her father, Fred Isham, as a child standing in a cornfield in upstate New York with his sister Edna, and their father, Fred.

Some of the family mementos and other historical items at the Share Fair planned for Feb. 15 in Laconia include the family tree Judith Buswell, one of the event organizers, a told tip walking stick that once belonged to the great-great grandfather of Buswell's husband, David Stamps, a glass slipper which someone in mother's family received as a souvenir of a Boston performance of "Cinderella" in 1888, and a photograph of Alida Millham's father, aunt and grandfather. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 02:24

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House votes to add $2 to boat fee to fight milfoil; local GOP repsvote 'no'

CONCORD — The Belknap County representatives divided along party lines when the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted yesterday to increase the boat registration fee by $2 and apply the proceeds to control of milfoil and other exotic, invasive aquatic weeds.

Originally House Bill 292 would have required all out-of-state boaters to purchase a decal and applied the receipts to aquatic weed control. However, the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee learned that for the program to break even would require the sale of 35,000 decals at $10 apiece while the best estimate of the number of vessels registered in other states but plying New Hampshire waters fell between 9,000 and 10,000.

The committee, with the support of the Marine Patrol, Department of Environmental Services and New Hampshire Marine Trades Association, amended the bill to increase the boat registration fee by $2, from $7.50 to $9.50 and the share of the revenue earmarked for controlling exotic aquatic plants from $3 to $5.

Supporters of the bill noted that in the last 20 years the number of infested water bodies in the state has risen from four to 80 while funding for matching grants to local lake associations and municipalities to treat and control aquatic weeds has grown at a much slower pace.

The amended bill carried the House by a vote of 164 to 127. Since the bill would raise revenue, it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, which will make its recommendation and return it to the full House for a final vote.

Among the 18 members of the Belknap County delegation 13 — four Democrats and nine Republicans — were present and voting. All the Democrats — Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton, David Huot of Laconia and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted in favor while Beth Arsenault of Laconia was absent. All the Republicans — Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Don Flanders and Frank Tilton of Laconia, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, Stephen Holmes of Alton and Michael Sylvia of Belmont — voted against, while Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier of Alton, Charlkes Fink of Belmont and Bob Luther of Laconia were absent.

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 01:38

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More than just your everyday bob house

LACONIA — Huot Regional Technical Education Center students spent Wednesday building a custom bob house which will be raffled off at next weekend's Great Rotary Fishing Derby in Meredith.
They are working with the Lakes Region Builders & Remodelers Association on the project, which is now in its third year, and are donating the bob house to event.
LRBRA member builder Larry Greeley of Tradesman Builders Corp and Huot instructor Matt Towle are directing the students and this Friday the newly-completed bob house will be displayed in front of the high school in the bed of a brand new Chevy Silverado pickup, courtesy of Cantin Chevrolet.
Designed to fit into the back of a pickup truck, the bob house is made with materials donated by Boulia-Gorrell Lumber with the windows from Ashland Lumber Company and the door from Middleton Building Supply.
''It's worth at least $2,000 and built a lot more sturdy than most home-built bob houses,'' says Greeley, who says that it has stability as well as light weight and rides on skis which makes it easy to maneuver across the ice.
Among those students working on the project are Tyler Nutter, 17, a senior from Franklin who says that it has been a fun project and who wants to work in the construction field after he graduates from high school. He has his sights set high and is planning on attending a school where he'll learn to operate cranes.
Also working on the bob house is John Reistrom of Belmont, a senior who spent last summer working with a construction firm and who already has jobs lined up for next summer.
Brandon Martin of Laconia, who graduated from Laconia High School last June and is currently working at Gunstock Mountain Resort, returned to the Huot Center for a day to help out with the project.
He said that his construction training paid off for him and that he was working with a builder two days after he graduated from high school.
Greeley said the project involving the students was started by the LRBRA in an effort to get more young people interested in the building trades.
''We need more young workers who learn the business the right way. With some basic math and business skills they'll find that they can make a good living right out of high school and expand on that with a year or two of technical college.''

Brandon Martin and Tyler Nutter work on a custom-designed bob house in a building trades class at the Huot Center in Laconia. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 01:33

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Annual Robbie Mills 8-Ball Tourney attracts players from all over Northern NE

LACONIA — Mike Baron of Baron's Billiards and the Cafe Deja Vu Pub Mania Team are teaming up for the 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament which will be held Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Funky Monkey in downtown Laconia.
The tournament, which was started seven years ago by Baron as a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, will also benefit the WLNH Children's Auction this year.
Last year he got some help from Tony Felch and John Rich, who run the Tuesday night pool league in Laconia and who showed up and saw him running the event virtually single-handedly and decided to pitch in. They are members of the Deja Vu Pub Mania Team, which has been the top fundraising team in the WLNH Children's Auction for the last two years and collected over $20,000 in December.
''We thought that one super event would be more successful,'' says Baron, who says that last year there were 62 players in the tournament and that this year's goal is to have 100 players show up for the event.
The tournament gets underway with registration at 10 a.m. and those who pre-register before Saturday will receive a free commemorative T-shirt donated by Body Covers. Play gets underway at 11 a.m. and with a dozen pool tables available as many as 128 players can be accommodated.
''This has become a prestige tournament for players. Some come all the way up from the Seacoast and over from Maine and Vermont to take part. We raised $3,000 last year and are think that working together we can bring in a lot more to help the kids,'' said Baron.
He said that he has been putting on tournaments for the Boys and Girls Club ever since the organization was known as the Laconia Teen Center and and believes strongly that the Boys and Girls Club is needed to provide a safe haven ''for the kids who have been falling through the cracks. It really does take a whole village to raise a child.''
Baron says that he knows how important having a special place is, citing the example of his own father, who spent time in seven foster homes after losing his father when he was only two years old.
Brenda Ferland, owner of Deja Vu, says that she's pleased to have such a dedicated group of workers on her Pub Mania team and excited to be joining with Baron to help run the tournament.
Felch, the team captain, said he remembers Robbie Mills and saw him the day he was murdered for his bicycle near the Messer Street bridge.
''I couldn't believe that happened in Laconia,'' says Felch, who says that he greatly admires the way Wendy Mills has worked to honor her son's memory.
The event will feature cash prizes, raffles and a live auction which will include a season's Inner Circle Pass at Meadowbrook.
There will be lunch available courtesy of Sal's Pizza and Shaw's and Hannafords with trophies provided by Engraving Awards and Gifts.
For more info or to pre-register contact: Tony Felch 998-1418 or Boys & Girls Club 527-0198


CAPTION: poolbaron
Getting ready for the 7th Annual Robbie Mills Memorial 8 Ball Tournament which will be held Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Funky Money in downtown Laconia are Mike Baron of Baron's Billiards, and Brenda Ferland, John Rich and Tony Felch of the Deja Vu Pub Mania Team. Proceeds from the event will go to the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region and WLNH Children's Auction. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 02:53

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