To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to you about a concern that I feel many Lakes Region residents have, and it is the concern about the deteriorating condition of the Hathaway House in Lakeport. With the recent window and asbestos removal, the situation appears to be even grimmer than first thought. It makes many of us wonder if it is a precursor to the owner applying for a demolition permit. Yet, this house has an interesting history and is a structure that should be preserved. Its fascinating history began with the first owner, Samuel Clement Clark, who was a distinguished local lawyer. He served as a member of the state Legislature and also assistant clerk to the House of Representatives. He envisioned running for governor, however, this was never executed.
The c.1870 house is thought to be one of the oldest structures in eastern Lakeport. Since the time it was built, the Hathaway House has not only been the home of distinguished individuals but also many local businesses. After staying in the family for some time after Samuel's death, the house became a place of business, beginning with Constance and Richard St. Clair's "Hathaway House" clothing store. Other businesses that have called the Hathaway House their home include Florence Cummins Real Estate Inc., and most recently, Star Gaze Spa and Pool.
In recent years, the Hathaway House has fallen into disrepair, is currently on the real estate market, and its future is uncertain. I recently got involved with Laconia's Heritage Commission, and from discussions with its members, I have learned the importance of this structure. I think it has a lot of potential, and should it continue to deteriorate or be demolished, it would be a great loss to the Lakes Region. It is one of the structures that defines Laconia, and still has the potential to contribute to Laconia's local economy as it has in the past.
Nevertheless, there is a way for concerned Laconia residents to take action. The Heritage Commission has created a petition and is seeking signatures from Laconia residents who are concerned about the future of this property. The purpose of the petition is to request "immediate and definitive action to preserve the Hathaway/Clark house" from the Laconia City Council and also to "urge Cafua Management of Dunkin' Donuts, owners of the Hathaway House, to live up to its original agreements concerning this property." By showing how many people in the city care about "The Pink Lady," the petition has the potential to bring about change.