Historic New Hampton Grange Hall turned into pile of scrap wood


NEW HAMPTON — The 191-year-old Grange Hall has been reduced to a big pile of scrap wood.

Town officials said workers knocked down the building without incident on Wednesday and Thursday, a week after the Board of Selectmen approved a demolition permit.

The New Hampton Community Church, which owned the building, plans to replace it with a parking lot.

On July 25, voters rejected a proposal to acquire the unused building and move it two miles to a position alongside the 228-year-old New Hampton Town House.

Pastor Scott Mitchell said the high cost of rehabilitating the building convinced the church, which acquired the Grange Hall in 1995, that it would be best to demolish it. He said the church “desperately needs parking.”

The church also owns the 217-year-old Dana Meeting House, where services are held once a year in conjunction with Old Home Days.

The Grange Hall comprised 3,600 square feet in two-and-a-half stories.

A town proposal to save the building was backed by people who saw it as an important part of New Hampton's history and that it could have a new life as a community multi-purpose building.

Opponents said it was unlikely the building would get much use after the move, and they objected to initial and ongoing costs.

The Grange Hall had stood in three different locations. It was first built and used as a chapel next to the Town House, then was used for classrooms for the Institute in the Village and then it was brought to its last location on Main Street, where it was used for about 85 years as a Grange Hall.

New Hampton Grange just before destruction 2017

The New Hampton Grange Hall before it was torn down this week. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)

09 01 New Hampton Grange razed

The historic New Hampton Grange Hall was demolished on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 30-31. Town residents did not support an effort to save the unused building. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 879

Special vote Tuesday in Grafton County

Three candidates vie for state representative post


BRISTOL — Republican Vincent Paul Migliore, Democrat Joshua Adjutant and Libertarian John J. Babiarz are on the ballot Tuesday in a special election for state representative in Grafton County District 9.

The seat was vacated by Rep. Jeffrey Shackett, R-Bridgewater. Thirty days after he was sworn in for a new term, Shackett said he had to step down because of work commitments.

The district takes in Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol and Grafton.

Migliore serves on the Newfound Area School Board and the Bristol Economic Development Committee. He has expressed opposition to the Northern Pass hydroelectric transmission project and has called for lowering state taxes as a way to foster growth that he says would lower property taxes.

Adjutant also opposes the Northern Pass. Adjutant, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, advocates an increase in the minimum wage, more money for after-school programs and supports solar energy. He also supports New Hampshire's expanded Medicaid program.

Babiarz, chief of the Grafton volunteer fire department, is a former Libertarian candidate for governor. He said he favors small government, less taxation, less regulation, school choice and judicial reform.

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 852

Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta returns Sept. 13-16

08 25 BOAT regatta


WOLFEBORO — The speedboats that once ripped through the lakes between the 1920s and 1970s will once again take to the waters, as they make their debut during the 10th biennial Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regatta that will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13 through Saturday, Sept. 16. The event will be held in Wolfeboro Bay just off the town docks.

The 2017 Vintage Race Boat Regatta is expected to draw in thousands of spectators who will be able to view the races from both the land and shore. Each year people come from all over the eastern part of the United States to participate in and watch the event, according to the Lisa Simpson Lutts, Exective Director of the New Hampshire Boat Museum. This race is assocated with the APBA Vintage Circuit. 

“We have people from Canada, Florida and even Mississippi come to take part in this biannual event,” said Simpson Lutts. “There are usually about a thousand people who come each of the race days who watch the 30 to 40 speedboats in the water.”

The regatta brings in different boats each year from all different historical time periods. The earliest boat that takes to the races includes a wooden-made 1920s Gold Cup Racer. These boats are typically the ones seen at museums, yet for this event they once again take to the waters under the direction of experienced drivers. The latest models that are registered to participate include 1960s and 1970s Grand Prix hydro-planes.

The boats are split into various groups based upon the class of their boat, and take to the lake to complete a one-mile oval course throughout Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16. Spectators who wish to watch the heats compete can view from the shore for free or can view from the lake on the Winnipesaukee Bell. The Wolfeboro Inn sponsors the boat viewings, which last for one-hour out on the lake and cost $12. While on the Winnipesaukee Bell people are invited to order a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that the cruise offers.

Additionally, those looking of the opportunity to have the full speedboat experience can take part in the charity rides that benefit the New Hampshire Boat Museum. Before each heat begins people can pay to ride on one of the high-speed boats, however, due to the popularity of this event prospective riders are encourage to sign up early during the day. The cost of the speedboat rides varies depending on the quality and speed of the boat.

The weekend wraps up on Saturday at 6 p.m. with an awards ceremony dinner. The dinner is open to the public and is $35 per person. All people who want to attend the dinner are asked to make reservations ahead of time by calling 569-4554, as tickets are expected to sell out fast.

“The event is great and it really is the volunteers who are able to keep it going,” said Simpson Lutts. “We have a passionate group of nearly 200 volunteers who run the entire weekend.”

For more information about the regatta or for a full schedule of events visit www.nhbm.org/vintage-race-boat-regatta

08 25 BOAT Dave and Jay

08 25 BOAT Skiffs 1

08 25 BOAT HotToTrot

Scenes from previous Wolfeboro Vintage Race Boat Regattas. (Courtesy NH Boat Museum)

  • Category: Local News
  • Hits: 737