Posts filed under ‘People & History’
Just a reminder that Kent Schneider is look for material for the William James memoral event in Chocorua this coming August: photos, letters, whatever that cover the period 1890 to 1910. If you have anything or know someone who does, please contact Kent or Jim Bowditch.
William James, the famous psychologist and the father of the philosophical school of pragmatism, died in Chocorua in 1910, his ashes buried somewhere on the property here (now owned by Joan and Tom Peters). For the centenary of his death, James Societies around the U.S. and the world are planning to hold memorial events. The Chocorua Community Association, spearheaded by Kent Schneider, is working with Professor Paul Croce, the president of the U.S. James Society, to organize a two-day symposium in August 2010 that will focus on James’ life here from the time he bought the Adam Lepper farm and 90 acres of land in 1887.
An ad hoc committee of Kent Schneider, Tom Peters and Jim Bowditch will be meeting with Professor Croce early this September to discuss what events, displays, etc. would be appropriate. If anyone has information, anecdotal or otherwise, about James’ life in Chocorua, we would appreciate hearing from you.
For more informationc all (603) 323-7956, or email jrbowditch at yahoo dot com.
The other day, Theo and I went to supper at a friends’ house and met Rob Emlen, the art curator of Brown University, and his wife, a fund raiser at Brown. The conversation turned to summer, and Rob mentioned that he used to visit his aunt’s house in New Hampshire.
It was Chocorua, and the aunt was Aunt Mary.
“Aunt Mary got married to Harry Scott in 1906. In those days the house had no electricity. Aunt Mary saw no need for it, and they used kerosene lanterns.
“One time, soon after they first arrived, Mary and Harry decided to take a walk around the field and woods. It began to get dark, and they got turned around, not sure of the way back. There were no lights in the house, you wouldn’t leave a kerosene lantern burning in the daylight when they left for their walk.
“Pretty soon it was close to pitch black in the woods.
“They didn’t worry, they had heard that if you to walk down hill eventually you would come to something you could recognize. They came to a wet bog. They went around the bog, now thoroughly turned around, but no longer going down hill. They wondered if they could be lost forever.
“But eventually they came to a clearing.
“Suddenly they saw bright lights on the tops of the trees, then lower down on the trees, then noise, then a truck coming at them. They stepped out of the clearing, and the truck rolled by.
“ ‘We must be on Route 16,’ they realized (Route 16 was then a narrow dirt road).
“But to go right or left? They went left, and soon they found their driveway, and were home again.”
“When was this,” I asked. “I don’t know, it might have been a little after 1906, or maybe 1920.”
I went home after supper thinking about Aunt Mary and the old Hammond farm.
by Toby Page
Ellen Moot: A Profile by Jim Bowditch (Written 4-8-07)
Ellen has been a stalwart of the Association and its sister organization, the Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF), ever since they were created in 1968. She attended the first CLA Directors meeting as Board Secretary, serving until about 1980, and then again from 2000-2005 as Editor of the CLA Newsletter. When the issue arose as to whether motorboats should be banned from Chocorua the Lake, she was one of those who drove up to Concord to attend the 1970 legislative hearing in the House on the proposal. As you may know, the Committee was persuaded and strongly supported the ban, which became law the next year. In the early 1900s, she was also involved in creating materials to persuade the NH Legislature to squash a later move to allow an exemption from the ban for boats with electric motors.
Aside from giving the Board the benefit of her thoughtful opinions and wise counsel, she also was very involved with Lydia and Alan Smith in gathering material for Chocorua Recalled through some dozen interviews with the older “flatlanders,” including Molly Balch, Art Baldwin, Polly and Sam Bowditch, Ellen Epplesheimer, Kate Hadden, Isabelle Lloyd, Sylvia (Sidda) Newsom, Theo and Toby Page, Peg Pennypacker, Bob Ward, Steve Weld Sr., and Cornelia Wheeler. Most of the interviews were taped, Ellen doing the time-consuming but interesting work of transcribing them. The first printing of 200 copies came out in 1996, sold like hot cakes, so there was a second printing, still available at the Other Store in Tamworth.
In 2000, she took over from Lydia as the editor of the CLA Newsletter, a job she describes as being mostly fun and often challenging, with a tad of hassle thrown in. Happily, her son, Alex did the formatting. Generally, people were very cooperative about providing reports, material or news articles. In the summer of 2005, she handed the editorial reins over to capable Emilie Smith.
But perhaps her most important contribution to the Basin and environs was her co-leadership with Theo Page in spearheading the Fund for Chocorua Lake (FCL), inaugurated in 1999 to raise money to buy land or easements on property that directly affected the quality of the Lake and the integrity of the Basin area. Among other things, the Brown Lot across Rt 16 from the Sandy Beach was coming up for sale, and others north along the Chocorua River would soon, hopefully, come on the market. At a meeting in the Wheeler house in Cambridge, a goal was set at raising $500,000 within three years. The fund-raising campaign began with an announcement in the Newsletter, followed by letters to all on the mailing list. In addition, Ellen and Theo recruited people to talk to likely supporters during the summer. It says a great deal about her dedication and skills — and the concern of others for protecting this unique resource — that in less than six months the goal had been reached in cash and pledges. By early January 2000, the fund held just over $576,000; by the annual meeting in the summer of 2001, it was just over $590,000, with pledges of some $31,000. When the books were closed in the spring of 2004, some 197 individuals or families had contributed — truly remarkable, since there are less than half that number who live or have summer homes in the Basin. Only four small pledges are still outstanding.
The Fund has been put to good use: the Brown Lot was purchased and covenanted, as was 2900 feet of river frontage in Albany, as well as conservation easements on Chocorua River upstream from the Lake and on the property just across Route 16 from the old Inn Annex (known to some as the Candy House). Money had also been spent on erosion control on the east shore of the Lake (the “berms & swales”) and the removal of dead or dying trees in the Grove by the bridge and on the “Island” along old Route 16.
For all of Ellen’s tireless, dedicated work, we thank her.