To The Daily Sun,
When Chuck Thorndike, Jim Wallace, and I embarked upon the three-year journey to historically preserve Indian Island off Scenic Park in Meredith, we needed the help of many, many people. A vote at Town Meeting gave us the go-ahead and we were determined not to ask taxpayers for money to fund any part of the bronze replacement statue of Chief Chocorua or the rebuilding of the island itself.
We had numerous fund-raisers and generous donations to pay for the statue, but the island, with its crumbling stone wall, was eroding into the lake, held together by old cribwork beams from a past building. Had it not been for the vision, research, and hours of labor donated by Dean Mason and the crew on his barge and his other equipment, the island itself would never have been reconstructed to show the beautiful, creative, and sound display of stone, built to withstand future years of ice, waves, floods, and droughts.
The chief's statue is actually firmly attached to one of the biggest and most beautiful pieces of granite that I have ever seen, hand chosen and donated by Dean from his stone collection.
When I asked if that granite, because of its beauty, size, and value, could be left visible, Dean replied that it had to be buried because it had a square, flat look, and was not as natural in appearance as the island demanded. So, even though that gorgeous stone is under the ground with other magnificent, hand picked boulders on top of it for the chief to stand upon, Dean selflessly gave them all for the authenticity of the restoration. The amazing stone wall circling the island is phenomenal above and beneath the water, creating an elegance that is a testament to Dean Mason's love of Meredith. His thoughtful, generous hard work has resulted in a successful project, truly historic in everlasting beauty.
Rest in peace, Dean, and thank you again. Your many legacies will be enjoyed for generations to come.
- Category: Letters
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