052617 RUN Belknap Mill Matters - Keeping up with fashion and flair (32+pics).

By ALLISON AMBROSE

We are grateful to the community for coming out to support the Belknap Mill's second annual Fashion & Flair professional fashion show on Sunday, May 21, where local celebrities showcased fashions from Tanger Outlets. A wide array of styles were featured from classic Levi's jeans to Banana Republic's business attire, and exquisite women's fashions from Christopher and Banks to comfort modern-wear from the Gap and trendy new teen clothing from Rue21.

Our guests and participants were also fortunate enough to experience a special viewing of antique dresses graciously provided by the Laconia Historical Society. Eight dresses from the 19th century and early 20th century were exhibited on the first and third floor of the Mill; the featured dresses were in excellent condition for their age, several of which were wedding gowns. The oldest dress in the collection dates back to 1848, which was the earliest dress exhibited at the Fashion & Flair event.

The Belknap Mill stands for the significance of community showcasing the connections between yesterday and today. As seen with clothing manufacturers, the Mill has been able to respond to the changes through its nearly 200 years of history – from the of weaving socks to education and arts programming along with serving as a vibrant community center and historic museum. The Belknap Mill is also about relationships ... we never would have known about these antique dresses had it not been for a casual, yet wonderful and engaging conversation with Angela Stone – a dear friend of the Belknap Mill.

If you missed the event but you would like to view the dresses, please contact us! Our hope is to partner with the Laconia Historical Society in the near future to feature a full exhibit of these gorgeous antique gowns.

#belknapmill #wherecommunityhappens

Allison Ambrose is an attorney at Wescott Law in Laconia and is the president of the Board of Directors of the Belknap Mill Society.

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The Belknap Mill's Fashion and Flair show May 21 compared and contrasted fashions through the years. These are several antique gowns from the late 1800s and early 1900s. (Courtesy Carey Hough)

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Carmen Lorentz models a modern dress from the Tanger Outlet Store - Christopher and Banks. (Courtesy Carey Hough)

Everett Weeks

A lifetime of farming

Everett Weeks, 80, still planting corn in Belmont

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL

LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — Everett Weeks Jr. will be planting corn, as usual, this Memorial Day, but this year is special. He will turn 80 on Sunday, and it will be the 70th anniversary of growing produce on the family farm.

“I’m the last of the Mohicans,” Weeks said.

A local farmer whom everyone recognizes when he goes to the store downtown, Weeks lives in the same home where was born on May 28, 1937. He was the ninth child of Lena Weeks, who brought eight children from a previous marriage with her when she married Everett Weeks Sr.

“Now I’m the oldest one on Depot Street,” Weeks said.

“This road has changed a lot,” he added, recalling that he used to play football in the street. Today, 8,000 vehicles a day pass by the Weeks Farm complex, which includes the farmhouse residence and several outbuildings used for equipment, cordwood, and vegetables.

His grandfather was in the lumber business and, with Everett Sr., built a sawmill on the 220-acre property in 1921. The two-story structure also served as a barn for pigs and hay storage until it burned down, at a $57,000 loss, three years ago. Weeks said that, if not for the metal roof, the fire would likely have spread to other buildings on the property.

“I’m probably not going to be able to rebuild it,” he said.

Against his grandfather’s wishes, Everett Sr. chose farming over lumber and decided to make a living with the sale of crops and eggs. “Farming is an awful discouraging prospect,” Weeks said, explaining that it is dependent upon the weather and a lot of hard work.

The Weeks Farm started growing corn in 1947, using one pound of seeds. “In the olden days, we planted with a horse,” Weeks said.

“My father was a horse man, and I was a tractor boy,” he said, explaining that, although a horse once injured his father, it was the tractor that scared Everett Sr. He finally agreed to make the change and sold all of his cattle for $2,800 so he could purchase a tractor.

Since 1947, the Weeks family has planted corn every Memorial Day — “although it all hinges on the weather.” Today, instead of one pound of seed, Weeks plants 35 pounds of corn on three acres.

“Most anybody likes sweet corn,” he said.

Two other vegetables that are top sellers for him are tomatoes and pumpkins, with zucchini also being popular.

Now operating the farm with a part-time assistant, Weeks also keeps 200 chickens and sells the eggs to stores and restaurants, as well as to those stopping by the farm.

The sale of hay also has been a big part of the operation, averaging 20 tons a year.

“Fifty years ago, they introduced the baler,” Weeks said, “but we used to hire it done. We couldn’t pay $18,000 for a bailer. We finally bought one 20 years ago, and we’re on our second one now.”

Farming equipment is expensive, and Weeks said he has $100,000 worth of hay equipment now. He has three tractors: an International Super C, a New Holland 45 hp model, and a Kubota 58 hp tractor.

In addition to the crops he raises, Weeks purchases apples for cider-making. He has a small, antique cider press outfitted with an electric motor that allows him to produce limited quantities of cider.

“I can buy apples cheaper than growing my own,” he said, adding that he gets an average of two gallons of cider from a bushel of apples.

He recently led a tour of the farm for Belmont High School students and the cider press was a popular stop for them.

The farm also sells honey produced by Tim Hayes on the Weeks property.

“I used to have pigs, and once had 35 heifers,” Weeks said.

Weeks does not like to talk about his contributions to the community, but he did say he gives 15 dozen eggs per week to the food pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Weeks served in the U.S. Army’s 34th Artillery in Munich, Germany, in 1960, as a truck driver. He was part of the team assembling and transporting the “Honest John” rocket, the first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile in the U.S. arsenal.

His military duty put him in harm’s way only once, he said. Another soldier accidentally dropped a hand grenade next to him. A sergeant swooped in and grabbed the grenade and tossed it safely away.

Weeks recalled making a trip to Italy with a friend during military leave, visiting the Sistine Chapel. “I could never have afforded to do that on my own,” he said.

After two years overseas, he returned to the United States and spent another two years with the 368th Engineers of Laconia.

Weeks and his sister, Leonie Kolinski, served as grand marshals of Belmont’s 2009 Old Home Day celebration, and, last year, the town put on a surprise 79th birthday party for him.

He loves to discuss Belmont history and any discussion with him is likely to drift to historic sites and changes to the town over the years. He has an extensive collection of old photographs, including one of the first train to pull into the Belmont depot on Aug. 17, 1889. He points out his home, visible in the background of the old photograph.

The house is part of Belmont’s Factory Village District, and Linda Frawley, chairman of the Belmont Heritage Commission, said, “Weeks Farm and land holdings are a significant part of Belmont community heritage, through generations of Weeks family ownership.”

“I’d like to live as long as my father, next year,” Weeks said about turning 80. Everett Sr., like many others in the Weeks family, died at age 81.

His many friends in Belmont would say they’d like him to stick around much longer than that.

Photos

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Everett Weeks checks his tractor in preparation for the haying season at the Weeks Farm in Belmont. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Everett Weeks is preparing for the haying season at the Weeks Farm in Belmont. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Everett Weeks prepares to box up fresh eggs at his Belmont farm. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)

 

Aavid Thermalloy sold to Boyd

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Mat Savage, who has worked for Aavid Thermalloy for eight months, nickel-plates components by dunking them into a series of chemical solutions. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

Laconia tech company employs 150 locally

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — An international high technology company headquartered in Laconia has been purchased by a California corporation, but no major workforce changes are expected.
David Wall, chief financial officer for Aavid Thermalloy, said Wednesday the terms of its acquisition by Boyd Corporation, of Modesto, have not been released. Both companies are privately held.
Aavid employs 2,400 people, including 150 in Laconia. Its products are used to dissipate heat in computers, telecommunications equipment and a wide range of products.
It bills itself as “the oldest and largest design, engineering and manufacturing corporation focused on thermal management solutions in the world.”
Wall said strong research and development and design centers throughout the world are two important facets of the company. Aavid becomes a subsidiary of Boyd.
“The two companies are very complementary to each other,” he said. “It’s a win, win for both companies.”
No reductions in force are expected.
“The owners will dictate how we go,” he said. “They bought us for strengths in our products and people, so we don’t see anything changing. There continues to be growth.”
The company began as Aavid Engineering in 1964 on Arch Street in Laconia, which at that time was called Cook Court. It now operates out of a 180,000-square-foot facility at 1 Aavid Circle.
In 2014, on the company’s 50th anniversary, Arthur Karageorges, Aavid project manager, said it had grown from shipping $1 million a month in products in 1984 to shipping $1 million in products per day.
Aavid has manufacturing and engineering facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.
Locally, the company has worked with the Huot Regional Technical Education Center and Lakes Region Community College to foster opportunities for young people to work in advanced manufracturing.
“We are extremely excited to be coming together with Aavid, a true market leader in thermal management solutions,” Boyd Corporation President and CEO Mitch Aiello said.
“The integration of technology into today’s products is increasing at incredible rates across both traditional and non-traditional applications like network solutions, telematics, commercial lighting and avionics. Effective heat management continues to be critical to design innovation. Aavid has developed a powerful combination of technical talent and market brand-equity, both of which we plan to maintain and rely upon as we move the combined business forward and help fortify Boyd’s foundational commitment to solving customers’ energy management challenges.”
Phil Arvid Johnson, a digital equipment engineer, founded the company in his garage on Arch Street.
Karageorges said Johnson came up with the name Aavid based on his middle name but changed the “R” to an “A” to make sure Aavid would be first in the telephone book directory.
Kenny St. Jacques, who once owned and operated the Boulevard Drive-In restaurant joined Aavid in the early 1970s, working in operations, while Johnson worked in sales.
The company once had a warehouse where Hector’s Fine Food and Spirits is now located in the downtown area.

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Joseph Nicolato, vice president and general manager for the North American operations of Aavid Thermalloy, examines a rack of recently manufactured heat transfer units. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

 

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