August Rock-N-Roll in Chocorua
As autumn begins and we look back on notable events of the summer, we wanted to make special note of the CLA seminar outing that happened the on August 14 – the “Rock-N-Roll” tour of cellar holes and stone walls. Jim Bowditch dutifully led the tour – he was accompanied by an enthusiastic team of explorers that included Bob Seston, Susan Kuhnhardt, Peter Lewis, David Little, Lydia Smith, Ken Smith, Anne Marie Biernacki-Smith, Ellen Moot, Amey Moot, Kem Stewart , and Harriet Hofheinz. The first stop was at an enigmatic site off route 16 on the Brown lot, which was obviously a small-scale quarry or worksite. The a combination of a cellar hole with the quarry site led to much animated discussion You could clearly see the wing wedges used for splitting the rock – see them in the picture here in a line toward the right side of the rock, still in place in this majestic glacial erratic. Permission from the CLCF to investigate the site further has been granted.
The next stop was the Nickerson Mill on Scott Road, purchased by CP Bowditch in 1912 and torn down by him to prevent pollution of the lake. A great deal of the impressive stonework remains, as well as a part of the water wheel assembly still visible in the river.
The next stop was across the lake, just above the junction of Chocorua Lake Road and Philbrick Neighborhood road, the cellar hole for an old school house. Beyond this was the Engleman house and barn further along Fowlers Mill Road.. This formerly grand estate is now gone, but a good deal of the house foundations and rock garden wall and well remain. Across the road is the most impressive cellar hole, in the area, which was for a huge barn edged with massive granite slabs and a fascinating series of stone walls likely to have to have enclosed livestock.
The next stop was along Philbrick neighborhood road – where our intrepid adventurers bypassed three cellar holes – one on a hill behind the Cannon house, another at one end of the Loring property on Loring road, and the cellar hole adjacent to the Loring house that is now being used as a sunken rock garden – to investigate the last site at the end of Runnells Lane.
The first irregular hole was just off Philbrick Neighborhood Road, the second was just up Runnels Lane, and the third was an interest complex of cellar hole and radiating stone walls. We know no details about this site. There are certainly more cellar holes and stone walls to be explored in the area – comment here and let us know your favorite, or tell us about one we missed!
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