Depot Road and Hampton Marsh

Walk

I parked at the end of Depot Road in Hampton Falls, and went for a dog walk north along the power lines/ old railroad bed this morning. Satellite view.

Staddle

This is a staddle, in Hampton Marsh, where farmers would pile salt hay to dry in days of yore.

What a thrill we got from those days in the marsh cutting, raking and polling in and stacking the hay. More.

Crossing1

Zeus says “C’mon.” There’s nothing between the ties and I opted not to cross this time, being alone in the middle of nowhere and all.

Crossing3

Rusty.

Crossing4

They have talked about making this a rails-to-trails path, or extending the Boston commuter rail, or laying down fancy new tracks to test maglev trains. It is currently used informally as a summer fishing spot and year-round dog walk. On the way back, we met a poodle and a wheaten terrier and their people.

Marsh1

Ice in the marsh. In the distance, looking east, the bridge over the inlet, between Hampton Beach and Seabrook Beach.

Dip

Cooling off. At 40 degrees it was quite the sizzler today.

Local Eagle

In today’s Hampton Union…

Eagle Scout blazes a new trail
By Amy Kane

RYE — Brian Harning joined North Hampton Boy Scout Troop 162 six years ago because he liked spending time outdoors. Now his work to make a piece of conservation land in Rye more accessible to the public has earned him the rank of Eagle Scout.

A Court of Honor was held for Harning, 18, in early January at St. Theresa’s Church in Rye, during winter break from his studies at Cornell University, to celebrate his achievement of the highest rank in Scouting. Only about 2 percent of young men in the history of the Boy Scouts have made it to Eagle.

Harning successfully passed the Eagle Scout Board of Review in late August, two days before leaving for college, and a month before turning 18. Scouts have until they are 18 years old to achieve Eagle Scout; at that time they are no longer boy members of the troop, but may return as adult leaders or assistants.

Harning joined Troop 162 in Grade 7 when his family moved from Tennessee to Rye. Rye did not yet have a troop of boys his age. He has fond memories of his years with the North Hampton troop.

Harning enjoyed outings like pulling a sled in the Klondike Derby in Raymond and sailing in the Florida Keys.

“I met a lot of cool people who became my friends,” said Harning. “I learned a lot about leadership and working with other people, an extremely useful life skill.”

Members of his troop and Rye Troop 181 helped Harning with the physical labor involved in his Eagle Scout project. They cleared brush, trimmed branches, and pulled stumps in Marden Woods on Washington Road, in Rye.

“A lot of trash had accumulated on the property. There were huge pieces of metal and we dug up part of an old plow,” said Harning.

A looping trail was cleared and lined with logs, and blazed to mark the path. Harning built a sign so passers-by know the land is open to the public.

“The town owns a lot of conservation land and we try to let townspeople know it’s there,” said Jeff Gardner, a member of the Rye Conservation Commission who reviewed and approved Harning’s proposed project.

“It worked out well,” said Gardner. “Now people can use it for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or just enjoying the open space.”

Harning, who graduated No. 3 in his class at Portsmouth High School, is studying in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell. His parents, Gene and Susan, and siblings David and Lisa, live in Rye.

Troop Leader Moe Vincent said Harning will be missed.

“Brian was always active in the troop,” said Vincent. “As a youth leader he was wonderful working with the younger boys.”

Harning served in every leadership position, rising through the ranks. He was senior patrol leader for a time, leading the whole troop, running weekly meetings, planning outings and activities.

Not everything Harning did was perfect, though. Vincent shared the story of one cookout when Harning used a little too much of a certain ingredient when he was cooking breakfast.

“He served us deep-fried pancakes,” Vincent said. “It took us several attempts to get the oil and grease out of the cook stove.”

Giant slide

Churchslide

Hampton Beach, NH

I liked the juxtaposition.

Sort of a chutes and ladders motif.

Pavilion

Salisbury Beach, MA

We need a Society for the Preservation of Nifty Old Signs, before it’s too late.

This morning I went to the library in Hampton to meet volunteers who help low-income seniors prepare their taxes. Photo and story for the Tuesday Hampton Union.

Then I took a seaside drive through winter-bleak Hampton Beach and Seabrook Beach, crossing south of the border to the land of Keno, and cruising Salisbury Beach.

If we had tumbleweeds in New England, they would have been rolling down the streets of these barrier island beach towns today.

—-> Photo album: Winter beach towns <—- <—-

Old map could be a treasure

Hammap1_3

Antique map goes home. North Hampton Public Library director Susan Grant deeds a one-of-a-kind map of Hampton, circa 1830, to members of the Hampton Historical Society Betty Moore, Elizabeth and Douglas Aykroyd.

1830s map of Hampton found in No. Hampton library
Historical society will try to restore document

By Amy Kane

NORTH HAMPTON — An antique map of Hampton mistakenly donated to the wrong town and discovered in a corner of the North Hampton Public Library may prove to be a treasure map for Hampton historians.

The map portrays the town as it was in approximately 1830. The Hampton Historical Society has maps from 1806 and 1841. Susan Grant, North Hampton library co-director, signed a Deed of Gift Friday morning and transferred ownership of the one-of-a-kind map to the Hampton Historical Society.

The words “North Hampton” appear prominently at the top (or north) of the map, which is probably what led to the donation error, said Grant.

Hammap2_2Grant, who recently assumed co-director duties at the library, discovered the map rolled in a tube when she was cleaning her office in December. Ruth Perkins, wife of Judge John Perkins of Hampton, had donated the map in 1988, a month before the previous director began work, and it had never been catalogued.

After researching the map’s origins and possible historic value, and with permission of the library trustees as well as North Hampton Historical Society, Grant donated the map to the Hampton Historical Society. Three members were on hand to accept the gift — executive director Betty Moore and board members Douglas and Elizabeth Aykroyd.

“It’s a very exciting find to have a unique map like this,” said Elizabeth Aykroyd. “It helps fill in the picture.”

The society intends to apply for a “Moose Plate” conservation grant through the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources to fund restoration of the linen-cloth-backed paper map, which is ragged at the edges, brittle, damaged by water stains, and has a hole in one portion.

“Even with that chunk out of it, there is so much we can glean,” said Moore.

The map is not dated, but a Portsmouth conservator determined the paper to be from the 1820s. North Hampton archivist Peter Parker told Grant the writing style suggested the 1830s. The Nudd Salt Works is featured, so the map cannot be older than 1827, the year the salt works was constructed, said Aykroyd.

Hammap3_3Moore said she thought the map might have been commissioned for the town’s 1830 census. Each house that existed then is drawn on the map, oriented in its true direction, and labeled in small script with the owner’s name. Hampton River and Marsh are marked in blue and pale green, and the beach is yellow.

Churches and public buildings are shown, as well as multiple brick-colored schoolhouses that would have been within walking distance of students in each part of town.

Several familiar features have different names on the map. What local historians know as the Grist Mill is labeled “Clapboard Mill.” What is now Winnacunnet Road, and was known to have been called Beach Road, is labeled “Sandy Lane.”

“This is like a slice of history nobody knew existed,” said Moore.

If it can be successfully restored, the map will be displayed at Tuck Museum, in Hampton. Moore estimated the cost of restoration to be roughly $1,500. In the meantime, Moore said the historical society may ask Gerry Miller of AntiqueMapsNH.com to scan the map so copies would be available for the public to view.

Winterfest North Hampton

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Audrey Canfield chases a kite at the Sagamore Golf Club during North’s Hampton’s Winterfest on Saturday

In the Hampton Union today…

Winterfest Success
Townsfolk enjoy inaugural event

By Amy Kane

NORTH HAMPTON — It was the first year for Winterfest and temperatures were appropriately wintry. But bright sunshine and a breeze proved perfect for kite flying.

People also bundled up for horse-drawn wagon rides, a game of snow horseshoes during the day and a blazing bonfire at Dearborn Park in the evening.

There were plenty of reasons to come in from the cold, too, including a pancake breakfast, magician and raptor shows at Old Town Hall, library crafts for kids, an art show, music and tours of historic Centennial Hall, and a chili tasting next door at the United Church of Christ.

Joe’s Meat Shoppe won the Great Chili Bowl, which will be engraved and displayed at the store until next year’s contest. Judges were selectmen Don Gould and Craig Salomon, Adriana Salomon, Recreation Director Diane Wheeler and Jim Wheeler.

“All of the chilis were excellent. It was a very hard choice,” said Adriana Salomon.

Joe’s employees Renee Schumacher and Paula Donohoe brought three types of chili to be sampled: chicken, vegetarian and beef. Sean Correll of Bella Rose offered up a classic chili with red beans.

Jim Booth shared a steaming pot of TGI Friday’s white chicken chili with Asian influence. Michael Tully, president of the North Hampton Firefighters Union, brought his “firehouse” chili.

Winter_ride_3“It’s a sweet chili with a kick at the end,” he told inquisitive tasters. “We make chili at the station sometimes, starting it in a crockpot in the morning and letting it cook all day.”

When the beef chili from Joe’s was judged best, Schumacher and Donohoe expressed their happiness, and then sent a cell phone photo to Joe Kutt, on vacation in Florida.

The secret to success?

“Sirloin steak tips, slow cooked in the oven, shredded and added to the chili instead of ground beef,” Schumacher said. She credited Jennifer LeClare, Joe’s daughter and now the proprietor, with creating the chili.

There were other Winterfest winners as well.

Kearney Dewing won a people’s choice cookie contest with her grandmother’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies with the special addition of oats and a little extra vanilla.

North Hampton School students in Grades 1-8 submitted winter-themed artwork to be judged by local artists. Winners were on display in Centennial Hall.

Top finishers were Nathan Kotzen in the first- and second-grade category, Zack Parrot for third- and fourth-grades, Kat Tharp for fifth- and sixth-graders, and Francesca Bolton for seventh- and eighth-graders.

“It’s a great way to get people out to see what our kids can do,” said Sharon Hart, the Recreation Commission member who handed out awards.

Winterfest_breakfastThe Recreation Commission, led by Wheeler, organized Winterfest.

“Everybody’s been excited about it,” she said. “It’s been a good turnout.”

Greta Lincoln, 6, enjoyed many of the Winterfest activities with her family. She was chosen from the audience to assist one of the magic acts performed by Peter Boie, “Magician for Non-Believers.” She was able to make fuzzy balls multiply from one to two to three as she clutched them in her hands.

“I don’t know how I did it,” she said.

It was not a typical day, she agreed. There was so much to do.

“Usually on Saturdays I just stay home and watch the Cartoon Network,” Greta said.

North Hampton School students got in on the act with a “Dessert Theater” in the evening. The school jazz band performed, followed by a play called “Rocky of the Rainforest,” acted by seventh-grade drama students. The school cafeteria was decorated with a jungle theme and students pushed carts of desserts from table to table.

Winterfest wrapped up with the Avalanche Bash, a dance at the Ashworth By the Sea. Local bands Folsom’s Court and Indelible Groove livened up the party.