To The Daily Sun,
We saw the letter from Michelle Monahan of Florida today (Saturday, Aug. 20) and thought we ought to answer it.
We own the house that Lafayette A. Gosselin and his wife Anne built in Meredith, beginning in about 1957.
While we never met "Laffy," we know he passed away in 1980, and his wife decided to sell the house and move to Florida to be close to their daughter. They also had a son. We never met Laffy, or his son, or his daughter, but we have a bunch of second-hand stories passed along to us by various neighbors who did know him. We bought their house on Winnipesaukee in September 1980.
Lafayette A. Gosselin, according to neighbors, was a "genius." He built things. He supposedly was a weather technician on top of Mount Washington. He built the house himself, with a little help from his friends. We speculate that he may have been 30 (days) on/30 off on the mountain, so he had time for projects. Neighbors said he built his own boat, a launch.
The original house was built in 1957 and expanded later by adding an enclosed front porch, an exterior concrete porch and patio, a well-head shed, and in 1971 when he retired, a breezeway and attached two-car garage.
He was also a ham radio operator. We found antennas in the attic and there was a 40-foot antenna tower in front that was removed just before we bought the house. There was a CB base station antenna so he could use CB radio on the lake. The TV had a giant rotor antenna.
He used the garage for his workshop, and after he retired he reportedly built grandfather clocks, which he sold at the house. We still have his router table and workbench, plus we have various old pieces of wood that may have been destined for future clocks. We vaguely recall seeing one or two of his clocks when we were originally shown the house. One of our New Hampshire neighbors might still have one.
Then there's my "twilight zone" moment — somehow I was destined to buy this house. Way back in the 1960s when I was in high school in Minnesota, stereo was the new big thing. I built my own from kits and my own designs, took them to science fairs, There was an article in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics about how to build a stereo cabinet for turntable, records, amplifier, etc. In the back of the mag you could send away to the author to get plans for his home-built stereo amplifier. I wrote away for the plans, in my memory it was L.A. Gosselin in New Hampshire, and included his address and ham radio call sign. I was about 15, and had just gotten my novice ham radio license. So, I built my own stereo cabinet, motivated by his article, for my parent's living room. When we moved into the New Hampshire house, Anne had left behind some stuff, including Laffy's cabinet, turntable, and amp. I recognized them after a month or so. I was absolutely shocked.
When my parents sold their Minnesota house, we brought my stereo cabinet to New Hampshire and had both of them. Thus I've always felt we have had his "permission" to modify and improve the house as we have done over the years.
I don't know if there are any family or friends who knew the Gosselins (who are) still around, but this might help with Michelle's quest.