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Pittsfield NH News

March 19, 2014

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



Equinox Celebration


Berakah is hosting an Equinox Celebration on Friday, March 21, 6:30 - 8 p.m. This is an opportunity for all to greet the coming of Spring in a meaningful and creative manner.    Participants will observe the glow of the sunset, learn about the lives of woods frogs, salamanders and woodcocks, enjoy the warmth of a fire and tea or hot chocolate.


Led by Denise Turcotte, csc  Free will offering. Call 435-7271 or email [email protected]  to register.



Pittsfield’s Greatest Estate: The Fairview Property

Part Ii: The Dwelling Houses And Owners After 1930

Submitted By Larry Berkson

Pittsfield Fariview_Road-96_Maplehurst_Long_Shot_.jpg

Maplehurst with the caretakers cottage on the left.


Pittsfield Winant,_John_&_wife_Constance_&_Ike_Eisenhower_G1.jpg

Ambassador John Winant and his wife Constance with General Dwight D. Eisenhower.


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John L. Keenan who owned the estate from 1937 until his death in 1944. His wife sold it in 1945 to the Franciscan Fathers.


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Sisters of Holy Cross probably taken shortly after the order purchased the estate in 1965.


The Winant Residence and Camp Winsunvale 

Maplehurst Farms remained in the White Family until May of 1930 when it was sold at auction to John W. Pearson acting on behalf of former governor John Winant. The deed, however, was never recorded in Governor Winant’s name. Rather, during the period of his claimed ownership, it was registered to Ray E. Williams, district manager of Woolworth Stores in Holbrook, Massachusetts. Presumably, Governor Winant either had some connection with Mr. Williams or he quietly leased the premises.


The house contained 12 rooms and 14 guest rooms in the ell. With the purchase came all of the house furnishings, farm equipment, and a “superintendent’s cottage,” the caretaker’s house a few hundred yards northwest on Fairview Road. The property contained approximately 115 acres of land and a well-stocked, 27 acre pond. It had tennis courts, bowling alleys, a recreation hall, and flower gardens, and was nicely landscaped. From the estate’s 3000 trees, over 10,000 bushels of apples were harvested which could be stored in modern cellars located on the property. Apples produced on the farm had won scores of first prizes at fairs throughout New England. Governor Winant called the property Winsunvale. 


He hired 1926 UNH graduate Richard Elwell to run the apple producing operation. Unproductive trees were removed and others planted. Modern equipment was purchased for efficiently grading, sizing, and packing apples. Beehives were installed to insure pollination. 


After the purchase, Governor Winant’s wife, who was president of the state YWCA, announced plans to hold a YWCA summer camp for 40 girls at the estate. The camp was also to be available to any girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who were sponsored by farm bureaus, the Grange and similar organizations. Activities would include handicraft, dramatics, swimming, lifesaving, and community recreation. The camp was to begin in July and run for five or six weeks.  Later in the summer, it was to be made available to local farm women as a rest camp at actual expenses. 


The project was successful that year and in August nearly 500 people from all over the state gathered to witness a program carried out by the 50 campers and their counsellors. A tennis competition was held followed by a variety of dances in the playhouse. At the water front there were archery and swimming demonstrations, and row boat races which were capped off by 18 girls forming the letter “W’ in the pond. Later a play was given by six girls in Indian costumes, and later yet, as a finale, the chorus sang a number of songs.


A similar camp was held in 1932 which was begun by the girls attending local churches. By this time a small infirmary had been established. Activities similar to the previous year were offered. Added was basket weaving which became very popular. 


The camp continued in 1933 and on July 4th it held a huge celebration, which began early in the morning with a parade of “horribles,” through the camp with girls shooting off fire crackers. This was followed by a patriotic assembly with a salute to the American flag and the singing of “America the Beautiful.” In the evening pantomimes of three Revolutionary War scenes were given by campers: the Redcoats battling the Revolutionists, the making of the peace between the British and Americans, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A poem was read entitled, “Washington,” followed by playing of the tune “Washington at Valley Forge.” In the late evening there was a display of fireworks.


In 1934 the camp opened as usual in June and in September held a second session with 25 unemployed girls as part of a federal project. The camp opened once again in July of 1935 with 27 campers enrolled for six weeks. For the first time Pittsfield girls were allowed privileges of the camp during the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at reasonable prices. 


In 1936 Camp Winsunvale operated for six weeks. The following year it opened for the last time. That year it was reported inaccurately in the local newspaper that Governor Winant had sold the property to Ray B. Williams. As noted earlier, it was Mr. Williams who actually owned the property and he sold it in March of 1937 to two New Hampshire speculators, Harris C. Rice and James B. Perry. They in turn sold it to steel magnate John E. Keenan the following September to be used as a retirement home.      


The John Keenan Estate

John Keenan had worked for the mammoth Tata Iron and Steel Company in Jamshedpur, India for 25 years, the last eight of which he was the general manager. With his move to Pittsfield he brought one of the finest collections of Bibles in the world. In retirement he spent much of his time completing a very interesting autobiography. He referred to his pond as Maplehurst Lake but the local folks never accepted the change. 


At the outset of World War II Mr. Keenan agreed to a confidential mission in China for the O.S.S. Branch of the State Department, forerunner of the CIA. Tragically, he was shot on the “Bermuda Road” and died in an Army hospital in Kenming, China, on January 5, 1944.


The Catholic Orders

Mrs. Keenan’s family sold the property to Franciscan Fathers of Maine the year after her husband’s death. It became a retreat for aging priests. In 1960 the Order of Friars Minor purchased the property. 


About 1961-62 the caretaker’s house was sold to Edward Murphy and moved down onto Catamount Road. According to Dennis Murphy, Ed’s son, it was moved on a flatbed truck which got stuck in the mud part way down the hill after a heavy rain. The house sat on the truck several weeks before the ground dried enough so that it could be moved to its foundation beside the road below. 


In 1965 Mont St. Joseph Corporation (aka Sisters of Holy Cross) purchased the property as a house of administration for Notre Dame College in Manchester, seven high schools, and 27 grammar schools. 


In 1992 Berakah, meaning “Blessing,” a holistic renewal program for the religious, moved to Pittsfield. Today the Monastery, as it has become known in local parlance, serves as a retreat for the conduct of various religious programs and can accommodate up to 20 people.



Mid-Year Awards At Pittsfield Middle High School


Pittsfield Middle High School celebrated the close of the first semester with a mid-year Academic Awards Ceremony to recognize students for academic achievements and community contributions.  Students in grades 7-12 were recognized for making the Honor Roll.  Students earning Honors maintained a 3.0 in all competencies across all courses and students earning High Honors maintained a 3.5.  


The Student Council announced that sophomore Lily Plummer had been selected as the Student of the Month for January and seventh-grader Colby Wolfe was awarded Student of the Month for February.  Lily is a member of the Site Council, Student Council, and is the student body representative on the School Board.  Colby is a two-sport athlete and an Honor Roll student.  The Student Council also announced that Max Tuttle was the recipient of the Bryce Paradise Community Award which is given annually to a senior representing the pillars of pride, respect, community, and safety.  Max is a member of the National Honor Society, the co-chair of the Site Council, and the senior class president.  


7th Grade Honor Roll

Honors: Charles Chapman, Autumn Colon-Pagan, Mitchell Guest, David Howard, Alexa Kauppila, Connor Manteau, Morgan Morasse, Richard Pantis, Thomas Shaver, and Daniel Ward.


High Honors: Kaylee Brooks, Joeanna Emerson, Colton Gaudette, Jacob Marcotte, Jessica Rainville and Colby Wolfe.


8th Grade Honor Roll

Honors: Derek Boudreau, Casey Clark, Jack Farr, Emma Farwell, Cailey Marston, Robert Quirk, Kathleen Rollins, Emlee Sanuth, Matthew St. George, Emily Thompson, Jack Tobin and Jaden Vincent. 


High Honors: Hannah Conway, Mackenzie Desilets, Weston LeMay, Danielle McNulty, Amber Patten, Kegan Vincent and Tucker Wolfe.


9th Grade Honor Roll

Honors: Gabriel Anthony, Samantha Nevins, and Frederik Pantis. 

High Honors: Savannah Godin, Isack Soto, Jordyn Pinto.


10th Grade Honor Roll

Honors: Lily Plummer. 


High Honors: Chase Gaudette, Kyle Hamel, and Jesse Slater.

11th Grade Honor Roll


Honors: Gabrielle Bartlett, Colby Clark, Jessica Farwell and Madison Johnson. 


High Honors: Star Chagnon, Morgan Corliss, Ryan Marquis, Jessica Massey and Kayla Vanslette.


12th Grade Honor Roll

Honors: Sarah Adams. 


High Honors: Emma-Jean Fisher, Stefani Gauthier, Katrina Haynes and Maxwell Tuttle.



Pittsfield Norval.jpg

“You’re so lucky to have him.” Veda, played by Megan Rohrbacher of Rochester and Raynelle, played by Nella Hobson of Chichester, commiserate with one another over one losing her husband and the other one’s husband hanging in there. Norval is played by Johnathan Babon of Dover. Dearly Departed is at The Scenic Theatre, Home of The Pittsfield Players on 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield, NH . Tickets, $12, are available by calling (603) 435-8852, or via the Pittsfield Players website or at the door the nights of the shows, March 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM.


Pittsfield JR & Raynelle.jpg

Mama Ray doesn’t quite believe her son, Junior’s nonsense either, come see what happens next when Junior, played by Greg Parker and Raynelle (aka Mama Ray) played by Nella Hobson, appear in this Month’s production,  Dearly Departed at The Scenic Theatre, Home of The Pittsfield Players on 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield, NH . Tickets, $12, are available by calling (603) 435-8852, or via the Pittsfield Players website or at the door the nights of the shows, March 21 and 22 at 7:30 PM.



What’s Up at PYW?

Submitted by:  Paula Martel

Pittsfield Youth Workshop Volunteer of the Year 2013


The staff and Board of Directors at PYW would like to give a big thanks to the 2013 Volunteer of the Year - Dawn Hamel! Dawn has been volunteering at PYW for the past three years. In that time, as Treasurer of PYW, she has selflessly given her time to bettering our organization. With her help and experience, PYW has become more financially stable, and has become more proficient at managing our resources. The role of Treasurer is not always the most exciting, but it is indeed one of the most important positions on our Board of Directors, and Dawn has done an outstanding job! 


Dawn has always been available when called upon to help with fundraising, community events, and her delicious baked goods are always a plus! The amount of time and energy she has given to PYW is amazing, and we truly appreciate everything she has done for the youth in town. 


Without help from volunteers like Dawn, PYW would not be able to offer such a wide variety of experiences to the youth of Pittsfield. We are proud to have Dawn as a volunteer at PYW, and we hope to provide the youth of Pittsfield with more positive role models like this year’s Volunteer of the Year! 


Congratulations and Thanks Dawn!



Pittsfield Fire MOM Karen Brown


Next up in Pittsfield Fire Department’s “Meet Our Members” series is Paramedic Karen Brown.  Karen joined the department as a Per Diem member in 2006 and was hired as a full-time staff member six months later.


Q: How did you happen to choose a career in EMS? What is your background in Fire and EMS?


A: I’ve always been interested in the medical field and after starting my family I began to look into furthering my education and finding a job in a profession I felt was rewarding and fulfilling. I started out in EMS by taking a Basic EMT class in 1999 and this was such a great experience that I decided to find a job as an EMT. I started out working for private ambulance companies where I was able to learn from some of the best EMS providers. 


In 2003, I bought a home in Hillsboro and joined the fire department there. I was inspired by some of my friends there to take a Firefighter Level 1 class which was a quite a challenge and something I had always dreamed of doing. My accomplishments as a firefighter helped me to build the confidence I needed to enter into a paramedic program in 2006. Around the same time I was hired full-time at the Pittsfield Fire Department. I went on to receive my Paramedic License in 2009 and have been happily working for both Departments as a Paramedic ever since. 


Q: What was the best training you participated in? 


A: While working here at PFD I had the opportunity to take a class offered in southern Massachusetts.  This was a two-day training in Advanced Airway Techniques. The course was taught by paramedics who had years of experience working in busy city areas. I was able to get a better understanding of surgical airway procedures while practicing hands-on techniques, as well as performing many other types of airways, such as intubation tubes to help people breath when they are physically unable on their own. This class was very helpful to me as a paramedic.


Q: What other EMS/Fire opportunities are you/ have you been involved with?


I have also had many other part-time employment opportunities in EMS over the years. One of the jobs I loved most has been teaching an EMT-Basic class at Pinkerton Academy in Derry. I was one of the instructors who assisted in teaching the Senior high school students all they needed to know to become fully capable EMTs. I am a State Examiner and am currently helping out at the New England Emergency Medical Services Institute at Advanced Level or with ALS practical exams for new EMTs and paramedics who are finished taking classes and need to complete skills performance evaluations.  I work as a paramedic at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon whenever I can.  


I have just recently become involved in volunteer work that has much to do with my interest in helping people and in my experience as a female firefighter. I found that, due to the low number of women in the fire service, there are very few places women can find support for the specific job-related issues that affect them, either negatively or positively.  I have started taking the steps to form a nonprofit organization that has come from the success of a Facebook page I created which now has over 2,000 members internationally. In March, we will have our first gathering of women from all over the country and I look forward to meeting and discussing the future plans for the organization. The group will be meeting in Delray Beach, Florida to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Firefighter Parade which has now become one of the largest representations of firefighters in the country. I will proudly represent the Pittsfield Fire Department as I march with my Sister and Brother Firefighters. 



Loudon Center Freewill Baptist Church


Caregiver’s Support group meets every 2nd and 4th Monday’s at 6 pm at the church. Call Rev. Overall for more information at 603-875-5822.


Bible study every other Saturday at 8 am. Potluck breakfast. Call for dates/location. Rev. Overall 603-875-5822.


Please note that there will be no potluck supper in April due to the normal date falling on Easter weekend.


Please join us for a Good Friday service at the church on Friday, April 18, 2014. Watch for the time coming soon.


Please join us and spread the word about our Community Resource Fair on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10 am-2 pm. There will be an activities table for the kids. There will be lunch items available for a nominal fee. Come find out what resources are available for the citizens of Loudon and all the surrounding towns.


Please join us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. All are welcome to join us as we worship the Lord!


[email protected]



Don’t Miss Your Last Chance To See Dearly Departed

At The Scenic Theatre In Pittsfield

Pittsfield Players.jpg

Since you won’t be seeing Dick Colman’s face much as Daddy Bud - we thought we’d give you a preview...Dick plays Bud and Nella Hobson plays his wife, Raynelle in The Pittsfield Players production of Dearly Departed - This is your last weekend to enjoy it.


All your friends are talking about what a great time they had at The Scenic Theatre last weekend and you don’t want to be left out of the circle - you don’t have to! Get your tickets now and see for yourself that, yes, Ross Morse of The Suncook Valley Sun and Pittsfield Listens also carved out a little time to do some pretty funny comedic acting as Ray-Bud. That your favorite attorney from Alton, Cyndi Dame plays a pretty convincing knocked-up Nadine. Mike Towle, usually associated with Asplundh now knows how to do selfies at  Daddy Bud’s funeral and Dick Colman, old man and TNT master has a pretty convincing role as a dead guy.


Dearly Departed, directed by Meggin Dail and Jay Sydow is at The Scenic Theatre, Home of The Pittsfield Players on 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield, NH . Tickets, $12, are available by calling (603) 435-8852, or via the Pittsfield Players website or at the door the nights of the shows, March 21, and 22 at 7:30 PM.



Community Connection Thursday March 20th

On Learning Studios


Join us for the Pittsfield Listens Community Connection on Thursday March 20th, where community will join together to learn more about Learning Studios and their successes/challenges at the Pittsfield Middle High School. A teacher, community member and two students who are involved in a Learning Studios will share their experiences, followed by small group discussions to hear community questions and feedback. 


Learning Studios are project-based learning environments in which pairs or groups of teachers and students from different content areas work together to develop and implement semester-long or yearlong project investigations. These can also include collaborative partnerships between classroom teachers and local professionals. This year subjects have included: Green Thumbs Greenhouse; Preparing for a Successful College & Career Experience; The What Ifs in History; and How Eastern Philosophy help us attain a more balanced, tranquil life. 


This event is intended for anyone in the community who is interested to:


• Enjoy community, food and a night of learning;

• Share about your involvement/connection in a Learning Studio;

• Explore ways community members can further connect to support Learning Studios;

• Learn about the ongoing redesign to Student Centered Learning at PMHS.


No previous involvement or experience necessary! Dinner is provided. Childcare available upon request. RSVP requested to help plan for food. For more information or to RSVP, contact Molly with Pittsfield Listens at email: [email protected] or call 312-6980.


The Community Connection Series is a monthly meeting hosted by Pittsfield Listens. Focuses have included open meetings, educational sessions, community dialogues, guest speakers, and trainings.  To learn more, visit



Pittsfield Meet The Candidates Night

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On Monday March 3rd, 2014 Pittsfield Listens, in collaboration with The Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce, held Pittsfield’s Meet the Candidates Night. In total, five candidates running for various positions were in attendance (Gerard Leduc, Arthur “Art” Morse, Ross Morse, James Conrad Allard, and Michael “Mike” Wolfe). Seven candidates were unable to attend (James Theodore, Cindy Houle, William Tahnk, Cedric Dustin III, John “Pat” Heffernan, Elizabeth A. Hast and Roberta J. Maxfield). Pittsfield Listens provided volunteer facilitators who supported small group discussions at four separate tables.


This year, the Pittsfield Listens Youth Organizing & Action Committee (Y.O.A.C.) hosted a youth table reserved for teenagers of Pittsfield. Approximately 40 members of the community attended. 


The evening started with candidate introductions, followed by small group dialogues where facilitators asked community members- including candidates- to introduce themselves and talk a little about their experiences living in Pittsfield. The groups then brainstormed priorities for Pittsfield. To read the summary of the important issues identified by community members, go to


After the small group dialogue, community members were given several opportunities to ask questions directly to the candidates. Small groups met each candidate for about 10-15 minutes, where they were able to answer questions and provide comments in a more intimate setting. “Everyone had a chance to speak,” shared one participant “We were made to feel comfortable to get to know the candidates, each other, and to share different opinions about priorities for Pittsfield.” 


Participant feedback forms were distributed at the close of the event. Of the 30 participants who completed the feedback forms, 28 people said they agree or strongly agree that “they became better informed about the issues,” “learned new things from group members” and that they “would attend next year’s Meet the Candidates Night.” 


A special thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s Meet the Candidates Night a great success! To name a few: the members of the community who attended; the candidates running for various positions who joined: Gerard Leduc, Art Morse, Ross Morse, James Allard and Mike Wolfe; the facilitators of small group discussions: Kathy Bleckmann, Louie Houle, Paula Martel and Zach Powers; Members of the Pittsfield Listens Youth Organizing & Action Committee (Y.O.A.C.) for hosting the first ever youth table reserved for teenagers of Pittsfield; PMHS for sharing the space; and members of the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce and Pittsfield Listens for hosting! 


For questions on the Summary of Notes or for more information about Pittsfield Listens, contact us! Email: [email protected] Phone: 312-6980 Pittsfield Candidates Night 2014 Summary of Notes.pdf





Dear Pittsfield Voters,

Thank you for approving the six zoning amendments that the planning board proposed for the town meeting ballot.  The board worked very hard to make the zoning ordinance serve the townspeople better by being clear, by conforming to state law, by empowering voters with an elected zoning board, and by eliminating downtown parking regulations that no one can possibly meet.


Thank you to the all the candidates for stepping up to serve our town, and congratulations to the winners.


Finally, thank you to the numerous people who stopped outside the town hall to ask questions about the zoning amendments or simply to chat.  Your interest and support made the long day pass more quickly and, as always, were much appreciated.


Jim Pritchard



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Brad Sterl and Doug Troy, owner and manager of Rustic Crust recently met with EDC to discuss future plans. EDC seeking tax relief for their company. Others in attendance: Senator John Reagan, Select Chair Larry Konopka, Helen Schiff and Steve Smith SVRDC and Selectman Al Douglas.




Leonard L. “Sonny” Gould


Leonard L. “Sonny” Gould, age 80, of 231 Lake Huron Drive, Mulberry, FL died March 11th, 2014 at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.


Born in Colebrook, NH on Feb 27th, 1934 he was the son of Leonard and Ethel (Eastman) Gould.


After serving two years in the US Army in Germany, Sonny became a partner with his father-in-law on their dairy farm. He won several awards during his 20 years as a successful farmer, including a cow who set an all time state record for milk production in a single year. In 1978, Sonny and his wife Jean built a new Agway store in Gilford, NH which they operated together until selling the business to their partner and son in 1986. Then, in semi-retirement, he launched yet another successful business which became one of the larger landscaping companies in central NH. Upon his full retirement, Sonny and his wife Bettie enjoyed living in the warm weather of Florida. Known for his hard work in any endeavor, in his heart he was always a dairy farmer first.


Sonny was active in his community, serving many organizations including the Congregational Church, FFA, Grange, Jaycees, 4H, town planning and school boards, PTA, and NH state agriculture boards.


Mr Gould was predeceased in life by his first wife of 37 years, Jean (Corbett) Gould; his sister, Alice (Gould) Crawford; and three greatgrand children.


Family members include his wife of 20 years, Bettie (Farnham) Gould of Mulberry; a daughter, Dawn (Gould) Brooks and her husband Ronald of Gilmanton IW; a son, Jeffrey C. Gould and his wife Tracey of Mulberry; a stepdaughter Tracy Remington of Concord; a stepson, Richard Anthony and his wife Erica of Pittsfield; six grandchildren and six step grandchildren; three greatgrandchildren and two step greatgrandchildren; nieces and nephews.


Services: Calling hours are Friday March 28th from 57 pm at Jenkins Newman Funeral Home, Colebrook. The funeral is Saturday March 29th at 1pm at the Monadnock Congregational Church, Colebrook. Burial will be in Colebrook Cemetery at a later date.


Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.








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