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Gilmanton NH News

December 14, 2016

The Suncook Valley Sun News Archive is Maintained by Modern Concepts. We are NOT affliated in any way with the Suncook Valley Sun Newspaper.


Kelley Corner School Preservation Project Receives LCHIP Grant

Gilmanton LCHIP announcement photo.jpg

Lower Gilmanton Community Club members Sue Leclerc, Paula Gilman, Carolyn Baldwin, and Lori Baldwin accepted the LCHIP grant for renovation of the Kelley Corner School from Governor Maggie Hassan and members of the LCHIP Board.

Photo credit: Perry Smith


Governor Maggie Hassan and Senate President Chuck Morse joined together to congratulate LCHIP’s most recent grant recipients on their hard work and successful efforts toward protecting the special places that define New Hampshire.  Governor Hassan observed that “The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is critical to protecting our natural, historical and cultural resources, and I am proud that we restored funding for LCHIP in 2013 and maintained that commitment in our current bipartisan budget. For every dollar invested by LCHIP, we see a significant return on investment through the economic activity generated by those conservation efforts. This year’s grants will support important projects across the state that will preserve our natural beauty and protect our rich history and vibrant culture.”


The Lower Gilmanton Community Club, with the Gilmanton School District, is receiving a $17,250 award in support of its efforts to preserve and renovate the Kelley Corner School in Lower Gilmanton.  The Kelley Corner School was the first school authorized by the Town in 1778. It is one of two surviving public buildings in Lower Gilmanton, the first village settled in the Town. (The other is the First Baptist Church on Route 107, just north of the junction with Stage Road.).  The Lower Gilmanton Community Club has leased the building from the School District since the late 1940s after schools in the Town were consolidated and it was no longer used as a school. Since then it has been used as a meeting place and for neighborhood events such as the Harvest Supper and educational visits by school classes.


The Kelley Corner School project is one of thirty-five awarded funding in LCHIP’s fifteenth grant round supporting projects ranging from Northumberland in the North County to Nashua in the south and from Portsmouth in the east to Claremont in the west. The three and a half million dollars awarded by LCHIP are being matched by nearly $20,000,000 in funds from other sources. 


Grant decisions are made by the 18-member LCHIP Board of Directors, following a rigorous months-long application and review process.   “The LCHIP Board of Directors is always pleased to help with saving New Hampshire’s historic landmarks and landscapes” observed LCHIP Board Chairman Doug Cole of DS Cole Growers in Loudon.  He continued: “It is great to see historic buildings rehabilitated to their original glory and contributing to the local economy again.  Plus, since we all like to eat, protecting farmland is a good investment.”  


About New Hampshire’s Land and Community Heritage Investment Program


The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority that provides matching grants to New Hampshire communities and non-profits to protect and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural and historic resources. Its legislatively mandated mission is to ensure the perpetual contribution of these resources to the economy, environment, and the quality of life in New Hampshire.  Since its inception in 2000, the program has provided 372 grants which have helped to protect nearly 200 historic structures and sites and to conserve more than 278,000 acres of land for food production, water quality, ecological values, timber management and recreation including hunting and fishing. Grants have been awarded in all parts of the state and in 149 of New Hampshire’s communities. Thirty-nine million dollars of state money have leveraged more than $244 million in funds from other sources.  LCHIP grants are supported by fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state.  


For more information about LCHIP, visit or call (603)-224-4113.




Wendy Elizabeth “Svarna” Wilkens

Gilmanton Wilkens_Wendy (1).jpg

GILMANTON - Wendy Elizabeth “Svarna” Wilkens died peacefully at her Gilmanton home on August 22, 2016 with her family around her. 


Daughter of William B. Wilkens and Laurose (Schulze-Berge) Wilkens MacFadyen, she was born December 9, 1942 in New York, New York.  She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, William B. Wilkens Jr. and is survived by two sisters, Joanne Wilkens and Phyllis Weston of Gilmanton, a brother John Wilkens and numerous nieces and nephews.


Wendy graduated from Laconia High School and Sweet Briar College, spending her junior year in Madrid, Spain. After college she served in the Peace Corps in Thailand for two years where she taught English and developed an interest in Eastern religions and philosophy.


Upon returning home, she earned a Master’s Degree from Boston University and subsequently taught English as a Second Language at Harvard Summer School and the University of San Francisco. Wendy was a founding director of the English Center for International Women at Mills College in Oakland, California where she taught English for several years.


Wendy’s interest moved from education to psychology when she discovered the work of the pioneer hypnotherapist and psychiatrist Milton Erickson.  She traveled to Arizona to study with Dr. Erickson and was certified to practice alchemical hypnotherapy, which she later integrated into her doctoral studies in psychology.


Wendy’s interest in Eastern philosophy developed into a deep spiritual practice that inspired her family and friends.  Seeking to understand the relationship of Eastern philosophy to human psychology, she accompanied Zen Master Seung Sahn on a walking pilgrimage to Buddhist sites in India, and spent time with the philosopher Rajneesh Osho at his International Meditation Center in Pune, India.  She subsequently earned a PhD in counseling psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies integrating her knowledge of Eastern practices into her own clinical therapy work. Wendy was a licensed clinical psychologist maintaining private practices in both Gilmanton, New Hampshire and Carmel, California. 


Wendy lived courageously and independently at her much loved home in Gilmanton in spite of progressive ALS, and enjoyed the beautiful views and wildlife that surrounded her. Memorial donations may be made to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, PO Box 173, Holderness, NH 03245.       


A memorial service was held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the Gilmanton Community Church. 


Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements.  For more information and to view an online memorial go to






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