Honest and respected, strong but peaceful, kind and caring, Myron worked hard and gave unselfishly to make the lives of those around him better. He created the instrument whose task it would be to preserve some of Sand Pond's flavors, memories and heritage. As others enjoy the lake and add their brief moments, we of the mid-1900's hope that the dedication of this work to the man who began it
MYRON C. HARTFORD
Will become a cornerstone in the evolution of The Sand Pond History.
"A meeting was held at the George Taaffe cottage for the purpose of forming an Association." This excerpt from the secretary's report is dated September 3, 1960.
The Association meeting has always been the place for people to voice their concerns and work for results together. A few of the accomplishments are the building of the coffer dam, maps of Lake and cottages, number assignments for cottages (a copy being posted with the Mutual Aid and Fire Dept. in Marlow), no hunting and road signs, rubbish removal at the Public Landing, purchase of the dam and water rights, and continual testing of the water with the hope of maintaining high quality.
This history would not be complete without giving credit to those people that have freely given of their time and interest in Sand Pond and the Association for the benefit of us all.
Harold Kinson, Pres. 1960-62; Vice Pres. 1975-77
Elton Beard, Pres. 1962-67; Vice Pres. 1960-62
Ethel Mosher, Sec. 1960-62
Gustav Zeller, Treas. 1960-62
George Taaffe, Vice Pres. 1962-65
Ruth Beard, Sec. 1962-65
Willard Ballou, Treas. 1962-68
Jim Walker, Vice Pres. 1965-67
Thalia Rasmussen, Sec. 1965-67
Harold Beard, Pres. 1967-70
Myron Hartford, Pres. 1974-75; Vice Pres. 1967-70; Sec. 1970-74
Kay Sjogren, Sec. 1967-70
Theda Ballou, Treas. 1968-70
Clayton Guyette, Pres. 1970-74
Elwyn Beard, Vice Pres. 1970-72
Alma Goodnow, Treas. 1970-74
John Little, Vice Pres. 1972-74
Norman Rasmussen, Vice Pres. 1974-75
Norris Aldrich, Sec. 1974-75
Carol Stewart, Treas. 1974-75
Ted Aldrich, Pres. 1975-77
Regina Stewart, Treas. 1975-77
Betty Morse, Sec. 1975-77
Jaye Aldrich, Treas. 1976-77
History of Sand Pond Carl M. Allen
Sand Pond or Echo Lake Mildred Beard
Recollections of Bygone Years Ellis R. Spaulding
Recollections Frances 0. Briggs
Early and Recent Impress ions
of Sand Pond or Echo Lake Mildred Kinson
Remembrances Beulah Oliver
Special People Ted Aldrich
These are individual recollections which may not in all cases agree. It is not intended that this be a documented history.
Sand Pond Historical Committee
HISTORY OF SAND POND
Carl M. Allen
Sand Pond, one of the lakes which are the headwaters of the Ashuelot River, is located partly in Cheshire County and partly in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. The western side of the lake has sandy beaches with gentle slopes making them ideal for bathing. The eastern chore is rocky with ledges making the shoreline. The lake is primarily fed by springs and has always been exceptionally pure and clear.
Around 1850, and before, the lake held an abundance of suckers. These were caught in the spring (May) with nets. In later years the black bass reduced the sucker population and in the early 1900's few were caught, and then near the dam by spearing during spawning season. Bass fishing was the major sport for many years in the 20th century although there were also pickerel, perch, cunfish, horned pout and eels. Around the middle of this century the lake was drained, all fish poisoned, and restocked with brown or lake trout.
The island off the eastern shore was the nesting place for one or more pairs of loons. With the increase in summer cottages and human population, increased boating and motorboats, the looms left for more remote nesting sites. Recently, in the 1970's, they have been observed on the lake again.
One of the earliest, if not the very first, settlers in Marlow was Colonel Elijah Huntley. His home was on the southwest side of Huntley Mt. where the house was still standing in the early 1900's. The Huntley home was located on the old abandoned road leading from the Marlow road back of the mountain to the Ashuelot River.
Mr. Penuel Allen moved to Lempster in 1822 and settled in a house on the old road over Lempster Mt., now part of the trail going up the mountain. His son Stephen settled in Lempster in 1840, his home being just north of the former Wright summer home location. The present road was built in 1847 and the old road abandoned as there were no longer any residents on it.
On or about 1870 the Allen farm was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Abram Nichols. The farm extended to the lake shore and the present Allen camp land was purchased in 1885 by Dr. Carl A. Allen. Dr. Allen, then a resident of Acworth, was a son of Stephen Allen and a great-grandson of the original settler, Colonel Huntley. In the summer of 1871 he and a Mr. W. F. Beckwith of Acworth spent a week camping on a ledge on the eastern side of Echo Lake (as Sand Pond was then known). In 1884 he took his family and spent a week at what is now the Allen camp along with Mr. Fred and A. C. Stearns. Mr. A. C. Stearns' granddaughter is Mrs. Elton Beard.
They slept in round army tents and the place was named Camp Echo. A boat house and combined cook house with sleeping quarters were built in 1885 when the land was purchased. There was no road access to this camp excepting by driving through fields of the old farm, opening and closing gates to keep cattle in.
One of the early camps around the lake was known as the Perkins cottage. A narrow road led down to terminate here, from Pinson s corner, the cottage being located on the west shore. Another of the early camps was known as Father John's which is now the Hartford's camp. There was a road from the Huntley road leading to this cottage. It was several years later before a petition was granted and the state road built.
Another early camp was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hurd. This was located just south of Elton Beard's camp. This camp was later expanded and operated as a girls summer camp by Mr. and Mrs. Burger.
Mr. T. Linton Briggs was a business associate of W. S. Allen and came to the Allen camp first in 1910. About 10 years later his son Roland and Mrs. Briggs acquired their present camp.
In the 1860's the Sargent family sold their farm to Henry Allen, brother of Dr. Carl Allen. This farm comprised the area between Pinson's corner and Wright's. Some years later Henry moved to Lempster and Mr. Bassett bought the farm. He built the cottage named "Sign of the Two Spruces" and later sold this to Dr. Coon. Eventually Mr. Bassett sold the farm to Mr. Pinson.
On the road to Marlow at the top of the bill beyond Huntley's corner was the Orison C. Huntley place. Mr. Huntley owned considerable lakefront property and the rapid development of Sand Pond came after he started selling lots for summer homes.
SAND POND OR ECHO LAKE
Mildred "Grammie" Beard
My first trip to Sand Pond was in the fall of 1911. Mr. Beard had injured his hand and was not able to work. Harry Lewis of Marlow had built a cottage on the west side near the Lake, so he and his wife Bess invited us up to their place for two weeks. We slept in a cabin in the woods and were awakened at 5 AM by the loons, which scared me half to death, but I got used to them. We could sit on the porch and look to the top of Silver Mt. We went out in the Lake to get our drinking water using a large milk can with a 100 foot rope. There has been some dispute over the depth of water in the Lake but that year it took the 100 foot rope to get the can to the bottom. It was between Bass Rock in a straight line to the Lewis cottage about middle way. It might have been a deep spring as there are many in the Lake. The only way to get to the camp was down the Duckie Brown road to a turn in the road, as the road went straight ahead to the Tinker cottage, later known as Silver Sight. The Lewis' two children, Ellen and Russell, drove the horse and buggy to school in Marlow. It would be getting dark early so my husband Herbert would take a lighted lantern to hang on the trees so they would know where to make the turn in the camp road. The next time we came up was the fall of 1914. The Tinkers invited us up for a Sunday dinner. We skip now from 1914 to 1931. We have been here every year since Harry and Bess Lewis sold their camp to John Currier (Father John). He used it for his choir boys. He in turn sold to the Hartfords.
SOUTH SIDE OF STATE ROAD
Beginning with the West Shore side. First the Hurd cottage sold to Mrs. Berger who ran a girls camp for many years called Trails End. She sold to Ernest Baldassero and wife. They tore down the old building and put up a nice cottage. They built another one but never finished it. The Baldasseros sold to Mr. Burroughs of Walpole. He sold one lot with the buildings to B. L. Stewart of Marlow. His son Doug and family lived there year round.
Next is the Spaulding cottage which must have been built in the late 20's. Ellis and family still come for vacations.
Elton Beard bought the Huntley lot, formerly the Perkins property, in 1958 and built his second cottage in 1959. He and his family come from Maine for the summer.
Around 1915 Maud Weeks and Herbert Flagg of Marlow bought from Huntley, formerly Perkins land. They moved the old band stand from Marlow onto it and made a cottage. They sold it to Dr. Barrett who spent many summers there. Young Dr. Barrett bought one of the portable houses and spent much time there. In 1960 the Barrett estate sold to Ellis Spaulding who in turn sold to Leslie and Elizabeth Morse. Their son, Dick Morse, has the big camp. Betty and Les have the smaller one, spending spring through fall at the Lake.
Janet Beard was left the lot (by will) on which she and her husband Richard built a cottage in 1947.
The Heald's trailer is on land bought from John Currier of Bellows Falls, Vermont. The Heald brothers reserved the other lot for themselves.
Next is the Briggs property. Frank Robb built the camp. I don't know the year but it was before the 1930's. He sold to the Averys who rented it to Mrs. Berger for the Trails End campers who came to eat three times a day, rain or shine. The Averys sold to Mr. and Mrs. Briggs in 1936. After Mr. Briggs died, Mrs. Briggs had a little camp built for her own use.
We bought our lot from 0. C. Huntley, October 2, 1933 by moonlight. It was very swampy but had a lovely beach. We had the beach and could make the land. We started building on July 4, 1934, and later added on a kitchen and dining room and also a two car garage and shed. With a lot of hard labor and a lot of help we have made it what you see today. August 7, 1940 we had our camp wired for electricity. We were the first to sign up when the REA wanted to start wiring around the Lake. The Stedmans were second and the Briggs were next. Now all of the cottages around the Lake have lights. They even put the wires under the water to get to the camps across the Lake.
The Goodnows bought their lot from 0. C. Huntley and built their cottage around 1934. It is now owned by Leslie and Alma Goodnow who come for the summer with their boys.
The next cottage was owned by a Mr. Davis from Saxtons River, Vermont and was built in the 1920 s. He sold it to the Stedmans from Holyoke, Massachusetts in the 1930's. They had it a number of years until Mr. Stedman died. Mrs. Stedman sold to Walter Westlund. He sold to Dr. Vera Congdon of Bellows Falls, Vermont in the 1960's. She sold to Mr. and Mrs. St. Cyr.
The Wrights own land between Allens and St. Cyrs. They use the boat house on the shore from time to time.
NORTH SIDE OF STATE ROAD
The first cottage was built and owned by Waldo and Jim Perkins in 1900.
In 1926 it was sold to Fred Strehle (Emnestine Blaisdell'S father).
After he died his widow married Walter Hall. They lived there many years.
After Mrs. Hall's death, Emnestine by will acquired the property.
Walter Clark bought from the Waldo Perkins estate land with the right-of-way to the pond. He built his cottage and sold part of his land to Mr. Coutu. They were the last two cottages built on our side of the Lake.
The next cottage was built by Mr. Craig of Marlow before 1910. After Mr. and Mrs. Craig died the cottage was left to their son, Dr. Will Craig of Walpole. He was killed in an accident, so after a few years his widow sold to Herbert Sanderson of Keene. It was soon sold to John Currier. Father Currier sold to the Heald brothers. They divided the upper land into two lots and sold to Mr. Neilson and Mr. Moore, keeping the lower lot for themselves.
The next camp belonged to Ralph Jacobs who deeded it to his son Bill and wife. They have a right-of-way to the Lake as do the other owners. The cottage was built in the late 1920's or early 1930's.
Mr. Beard bought the land between Jacobs and John Wright from O. C. Huntley, July 18, 1934. He divided the land into four lots. We leased one lot to Dr. Vera Congdon in 1950 for five years. She built her cottage but during the winter of 1953 the roof collapsed. As her lease was almost up, rather than try to rebuild, she gave us what was left. We rebuilt and rented it until Clay Guyette bought it around 1970. They are now year round residents.
The next lot went to Harold Beard. He built in the early 1950's. In
1970 Harold and Carolyn Beard with their family were the first to make
Sand Pond their year round home.
The next lot went to Elton Beard. He built the camp around 1940 while still in high school. Harold Beard bought from Elton in the late 1950's or early 1960's.
Elton and I still own a small lot with a well which we are keeping for present.
We gave Elwyn Beard a lot at the beginning of our driveway coming down to my cottage. He built a cottage around 1958. Elwyn died in 1973 but his wife Margaret lives there year round.
About 1948 Sidney Nims and Mr. Cams sold to Herbert Beard two tracts of land on the west side of the Lake and opened up shore lots. The Town of Lempster opened up a road for the cottage owners. The Town never accepted the road so each one had to help keep it passable. There have been about a dozen camps built. Some have been sold, there have been many changes. Mr. Beard gave the Town of Marlow land for a right-of-way to the Lake as there was no public landing. The Town turned it over to the State then for $1.00 sold it back to Marlow.
For a number of years we rented boats to fishermen. The State reclaimed the Pond but spoiled it for us ~4-o used to get nice bass, perch, and trout. We had our say but it didn't do any good. We tried but the State had the last word.
For a number of years Faulkner and Colony gave Mr. Beard the key to the gate at the dam so we had control of raising and closing the gate. They gave us cards to send them when it was necessary to lower the water and we mailed cards when the gate was closed. In that way it saved them from sending one of their men to do it.
Sand Pond or Echo Lake, as it is called on the State maps, has always been a friendly and peaceful community. We have had good times as well as sad ones, but we survive.
RECOLLECTIONS OF BYGONE YEARS
Ellis R. Spaulding
My family purchased the old Lyman Huntley farm in 1914 after Mr. Huntley's death. It consisted of three pieces of land; the farmhouse which Dr. Pierce now own., a woodlot in front of you as you make the sharp right hand turn toward the lake after the Marlow/Lempster town line, and a piece of land on Sand Pond.
I would guess that I have been coming to Marlow, Lempster, and Sand Pond for over sixty years. In the early days only a dirt road existed from Route 10 to the pond. It was prudent to wait until about the first of June before attempting a trip with an automobile since the road was dirt and not gravel. I can remember at least two occasions when the car sank to the hubcap on at least one wheel and this was in the days of a 36-inch wheel. The road from the Marlow/Lempster town line to the pond was little traveled and basically consisted of two ruts with grass growing in the middle.
A landmark in those days was the vacant little white schoolhouse with roof falling in that stood on the right side of the road going toward the pond, just beyond the present "Duckie Brown" road. The stone foundation of this schoolhouse is still visible today. I also recall my parents (and I presume I was with them) telling of driving our car down the road which went straight ahead where we now make a sharp left turn just prior to the town line on the way to Marlow. This road came out on Route 10 near the gravel banks before you reach the Lempster four corners.
When I was in High School I constructed a sailboat and, of course, needed a place to sail it. My parents agreed to build a camp at Sand Pond and in 1927-28 we erected the present camp. If my memory is correct, this was the tenth camp on the pond counting the various buildings at the Allen side as one camp and not including the Wright house up on the hill which was considered a summer hQme and not a camp by those of us on the pond.
The camps existing in 1927 beginning at the Allen group were: Allen, Stedman, Avery (now Briggs), two camps across the road, Dr. Barrett (now Morse), our camp under ccnstruction, Hurd cottage (now torn down and replaced by the Stewart and Burroughs camps), and then vacant land until you reached Father John's (now Hartford), an Episcopal minister from Bellows Falls. The last camp and the nearest to the dam on the west side of the pond was named Silver Sight and belonged to the Tinkers (now Kinson). (It is interesting to note that one Russell Tinker about 1829 deeded to Josiah Colony water rights at the outlet of Sand Pond.)
Our camp was erected basically by my father and myself on weekends. This necessitated a trip from Keene for each work session. During summer and fall there was no problem in reaching the camp site. In spring it was a different story and more than once we walked the last one to two miles carrying heavy tool boxes. Once the camp had a roof, windows, and the first floor partly floored over we were able to stay overnight and things progressed somewhat faster. There was no electricity and no telephones. Water was dipped from the pond, and kerosene was purchased in five or ten gallon lots for use in lanterns, lamps and a two burner stove. Ice was obtained from Orison Huntley (now the Stewart's farmhouse) who cut it from the pond in the winter.
For the first several years drinking water was a problem. There was a small spring by the state road which served until a dry spell came along. Then we had either to bring water from Keene or chance the pond water or in desperation use the spring in back of Silver Sight which was a ways up Huntley Mt. We mentioned this problem to Mr. Huntley (the ice man) one day after we had spent a goodly number of hours digging in various places trying to locate water. He laughed and said we had the best spring around on our own land. When he used to walk to school the kids all stopped to get a drink from it. He proceeded to give us directions on how to find it. At the next opportunity my father and I, equipped with six foot poles for probes, started looking for it. After a few trys one of the poles went right through some overgrown moss and into water a foot or so deep. At the same instant Out jumped three or four giant frogs. We quickly pulled the moss away and discovered a wooden oak frame. Here was the spring which had probably been unused for over fifty years. It now provides us with an unfailing supply of superb drinking water whether the season is wet or dry.
Many changes have come to Sand Pond in the last fifty years: tarred and graded roads passable all year; electricity permitting the use of refrigeration, stoves, lights, pumps, power tools, radios, etc.; and telephones providing communications in emergencies such as accidents, sickness or fire.
Our four children have enjoyed the pond and learned to swim in it. Many of their friends have enjoyed it including two foreign students from South America. Now our grandson is following in their steps. I can only hope all others will enjoy it as well and leave it unspoiled for future generations.
Frances O. Briggs
I first came to the Lake in 1915. Prof. Thomas Roland Briggs and I were married on August 24th of that year. Had I known then that two of the world's worst disasters the massacre of St. Bartholomew and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvious had also happened on August 24th, I might have postponed it to the 25th. The Allens had known my husband for some time and kindly invited us to spend our honeymoon at their camp.
My husband told me something of its history, but I can give it only second hand. Carl Allen would be the one to give you a more accurate account. He is now the last one left of the original family. I understood the original Allen family home was near the camp. The founder was a physician of Holyoke, Massachusetts but he remembered the beauty of the Lake and in 1884, I think, built Lakefold and the common dining porch by the kitchen. The family soon grew so large, platforms were built and tents erected on them to accomodate the overflow. But the family and their friends had the whole lake to themselves mostly. Some Holyoke families, like the Tillys, built cottages on land leased to them but the Allens never sold their holdings. The original family consisted of the old Doctor and four children by his first wife. They were an Allen who left early to settle in Ca1ifornia and rarely came back then Dr. Fred, Walter, and Sophie. His first wife died and he married one of the Sterns family of Acworth. They had two sons, Carl and Lee. Ask Carl about the second generation of Allens.
As for native population. about the camp, there was none except for Orison Huntley who lived in the house at the end of the paved road. The county line runs through there. Of course, it was just a dirt road then and the Lempster end of it still is. We like it that way as it discourages too much city traffic. Orison was general factotum for the camp; he closed it after Labor Day. He also furnished ice from his ice house and milk from his cows. He had a helper named "Bert." His wife had been blind for years, however, she did all the housework and even baked cakes; she could tell by the click of the bubbles when it was done.
My husband and I lived very largely off the land. The Allens departed as usual on or about Labor Day and we were alone on the lake until about the middle of September when we had to be back in Ithaca for the opening of Cornell University. My husband was an assistant professor of physical and electro chemistry there and was starting a career in the teaching profession. At the time he was 28 and I was 24. There were plenty of staples at the camp such as flour and sugar left over and we caught fish from the lake. We also had eggs but no meat. Berries abounded, blueberries, and we found a patch of cultivated blackberries on the back side of Huntley Mt. so we had plenty for pies. One day we developed a hunger for meat so we went walking up the road to see if any farmer up there had any chickens to call. No chickens but we found an old lady who had a hen determined to "set." She said we could have it so she
chopped off its head and we walked off with our prize. I boiled it for three days before we could eat it. About the time the last Allenssome of the boys were about to leave, they decided to walk into Marlow where Fiske Perkins had the postoffice and general store. Also the only telephone for miles around. We asked them to bring out a dozen cans of Campbell's soup. They got back that night with one dozen cans of Campbell's soup every can, vegetable beef. I have never had the courage to look another can of vegetable soup in the face!
When it was time for us to leave camp we hoped the taximan in Keene, whom we had hired to drive us in, would not forget his promise to drive into camp and take us out. We had hired a largish open-air two seater. It had a canvas top which looked as if no one had ever bothered to put it up. It was the world's first "fresh-air" taxi. Amos, of the famous Amos and Andy show, would have loved it. I had on a large-brimmed tan felt hat which kept threatening to blow off into the Ashuelot River so I did not have time to admire the rustic scenery but, on several occasions our wild driver went so near the edge of that rustic dirt and gravel road that wound around above the river I held my breath and just hoped. When we arrived at the end of the State road by the "Pinson" corner of the camp road we found it blocked off, a prank of the boys at the camp, to make us walk in. They had not foreseen, however, that brides in 1915 traveled with a big trunk. Our driver, at a loss to know how to get a trunk to camp, drove up Wright's road and dumped us and the trunk at the head of the small track that led down to the Coon Cottage. So the tables were turned and the joke was on the boys who had to lug the trunk down the hill into the camp.
Naturally, our taxi driver did forget to come and get us, and the nearest telephone was six miles away in Marlow. There was only shanks mare for transport so Roland and I walked to Marlow to telephone and then started back. By the time we got to Gee hill I was ready to sit awhile but a farmer came along with a cart and offered me a ride up the hill but poor Roland had to walk. The taximan came out, true to his promise, and we left for Ithaca, New York.
EARLY AND RECENT IMPRESSIONS OF SAND POND OR ECHO LAKE
Mildred L. Kinson
It may seem a little strange to say that my earliest impression of Sand Pond has remained unchanged through the years. The first time I saw Sand Pond was fifty-two or fifty-three years ago. Mr. Allen invited the Marlow Methodist Sunday School children to an all-day picnic. I stood on the shore in front of the main cottage and thoughtthis is the most beautiful lake in the world.
Mr. Allen gave us the use of the bathing facilities and the use of the tree houses. As I remember, there were three tree houses. The whole day was heavenly. I hope Mr. Allen realized just what that picnic meant to some of us kids.
Mother Langdon used to drive up to Sand Pond occasionally during the summer to swim. One trip up was particularly memorable. Mr. and Mrs. Lucian Tinker owned Silver Sight cottage which was at the base of Huntley Mt. and had been built by Lucien D. Webster and his father. At that time the only way to get to Silver Sight was by boat or in over the Duckie Brown road and turn on the wagon road close to the foot of Huntley Mt. on the east side. There was a swamp which had to be crossed so no car could make it through. However, old "Dobbin" with the buggy made it. The swamp road ended right at the back door of the cottage. The tremendously tall and large pine trees were so numerous and giant sized that one could only glimpse the lake between the trees. It was indeed a spectacular sight. Those trees stood until the hurricane of September 21, 1938 toppled most of them. The fallen trees had to stay where they fell for a few years.
Harold Kinson and I were married in May 1942. Three months later the cottage was sold to settle the Estate of Addie G. Tinker. My husband and I attended the auction in hopes that we might be able to bid high enough to get the cottage. Our finances were very limited so we had agreed on our limit before the auction. We bid our agreed price and then made three more $5.00 bids. We were positive the other person bidding would not stop raising our bid. When he shook his head""we were stunned and could not believe the cottage was to be ours. We immediately became enthusiastic Sand Pondites. In 2½ years we missed only two weekends. It was war time so in suitable time and weather we rode bikes from Keene to Sand Pond. In hot weather it took 5½ hours to come up but we whizzed back in 1½ hours. In winter we walked the swamp road and when the snow was deep enough we had a snowshoe trail from The Lilacs on the East Road to the swamp road. All our supplies and repair parts were brought in by pack baskets or on toboggan.
The present day cottage owners on the West Shore Road probably would not believe what follows. Our cousins from Rhode Island came to spend a weekend with us two or three weeks after we purchased Silver Sight. They had two little girls in the family. Thick brush and tree growth came to within six feet of the cottage on two sides. Shortly after dark we heard a wildcat yell just outside the big front yard. Harold and Earl looked at each other and said, "That cat is too close. Let's load the guns and go after him." It was useless, however, because of the thick growth. For a number of years I never dared to leave either Philip or David outside unattended.
The wild animals were not our biggest problem though. The first repair job we undertook was to set up the outhouse which had been nearly demolished by the hurricane. We succeeded in getting it upright. There was a door frame but no wood to make the door "private." So we tacked cardboard cartons on the door frame. We felt quite secure - but not for long. As soon as darkness came, large and small porcupines attacked the door. Almost as fast as we replaced the cardboard they arrived to eat it all off. For about two years Harold nearly paid all the taxes on the property with porcupine noses.
Gradually our section began to change. Myron and Evelyn Hartford bought Father John's Boys Camp and became summer residents. We were delighted with such good neighbors and friends. William and Lillian Bomely bought a lot down on the first projecting flat rocks toward the dam. They stayed with us while building their cottage.
We sold Silver Sight August, 1948 to Russ and Rita Stone. However, we saved a narrow strip bordering the lake and built a small cottage on the shore.
In 1949, West Shore Road was bulldozed down as far as Bomely's cottage.
This road made Marlow's right-of-way available for use. Later, the
State put in the present boat landing.
Mr. Dustin of Alstead bought the Faulkner & Colony lot bordering on Silver Sight land. Later he sold his lot to Elwin Hastings of Gilsum.
Russ and Rita Stone built three small cottages on their land south of Silver Sight with the idea of renting to overnight guests thinking it would make their eldest daughter contented for the summers. They later sold the three cottages to Mr. Schmidt and to Mr. Swain who in turn sold to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Karl. They purchased the empty lot adjoining to the south from Mr. Hastings.
Attorney Cain sold a lot to Alden Bailey who built two cottages - one on the shore - one on the hillside. The shore cottage was purchased by Carl Muse who then sold to Cecil and Sylvia Rockwell. The upper cottage was purchased by Charles and Kathleen Sjogren.
The cottage now owned by Willard and Joan Ballou was built by George and Frances Flint.
Russ and Rita Stone sold Silver Sight to George and Ruth Taaffe and daughter Dorothy Kazanas. Silver Sight was sold again in 1976 to Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Bardell.
Norman and Thalia Rasmussen purchased land at the base of Huntley Mt. They built a beautiful cottage for their family, then built one to sell which was purchased by John Nute.
The cottage south of Rasmussens was built by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Dyson.
Early in the history of the West Shore Road development, Walter Nichols of Marlow built a cottage on the shore very close to the Marlow town line. His daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Masher, built a small cottage to the south. Later, Walter Nichols sold his cottage to the Edson family.
Mr. Herbert Beard had charge of selling cottage lots on the shore for several years. One by one new cottages were built, sold, and resold until now there are 46 cottages at the lake.
Across the lake from the West Shore Road, Thomas Hannifen sold a large lot to Mr. Rhodes. He in turn sold lots to four other families. Mr. and Mrs. E. Hall built north of the Rhodes cottage. Then Mr. Neil Swift built north of the Halls. The next two cottages to be built were the John Latham family and the James Nelson family. It is no small task to build cottages when everything has to be transported by boat or raft or whatever means is available with the season of the year. It was most interesting watching the process and remembering how it was with us also before the road was put through. It is very nice to look across the lake and see their lights reflected across the water and blending with lights on our side of the lake as though they were carrying friendly greetings back and forth.
It seemed only a short time before all available cottage lots on the West Shore Road were bought and cottages built one after another.
Mr. and Mrs. Norris Aldrich built a retirement home. They do not occupy it all year as yet, preferring a warmer climate f or the winters.
In June 1968, we started the Kinson Retirement Home. We had the cellar bulldozed and started cement foundation f or an all-season home. We moved into our unfinished home November 1969.
The little cottage we previously occupied was torn down but not forgotten f or it holds many happy memories. We moved into our new retirement home permanently October 29, 1974 after selling our home in Keene. Now we are proud and happy to say Sand Pond or Echo Lake is our home. I believe we are the first ones on the West Shore Road to retire and live all year at the Lake.
In 1946 Myron and Evelyn Hartford with her mother and father, Carl and Beaulah Oliver, enjoyed their first view of Sand Pond while riding along the road by the John Wright home, which has now been dismantled. Leaving the car by the road side they walked down through a field toward the pond to get a better sight. All agreed that it was a beautiful place to build a camp.
In describing Sand Pond, this is the way it appeared to us. Old records showed "Echo Lake" as the original name for Sand Pond, as it is now called, which we feel is much too ordinary a name for such a beautiful and picturesque lake. It is possibly a mile and a half long and three quarters of a mile wide and surrounded by a variety of trees, mostly spruce. The shore line is quite rocky except at the north end which has a sandy beach. The south end is where the dam is located. The lake bottom is sandy and rocky except for a few muddy places and is spring fed. The water is exceptionally clear and clean. A short distance to the southwest rises Huntley Mt. while at the north is Silver Mt. tapering away to the northeast in low hills. In the lake a short distance from the northeast side is a small island. There are a few trees on it and a large boulder. It is enjoyed as a picnic spot and a diving place from the boulder into about twenty-five feet of water. There used to be very good fishing of a variety of fish such as trout, pickerel, perch, suckers, smallmouth bass, and many little sunfish. A few years ago the State made a boat landing on the vest shore and reclaimed the lake, stocking it occasionally with small trout. That is how it remains today.
After deciding Sand Pond was where they wanted to buy some land, Myron and Evelyn went to the Marlow Post Office to inquire if they knew of anyone having some land to sell at Sand Pond. Myron was told that Mr. Lucien Webster owned land there so Myron went to see him but Mr. Webster did not wish to sell any land at that time. A year later Myron contacted him again and he was then ready to sell. Myron went to the lake with Mr. Webster and succeeded in buying some land with one hundred feet of frontage just to the north of Harold and Mildred Kinson's place called Silver Sight.
One day while Myron and Evelyn were working around their campsite a gentleman came and introduced himself as Harold Kinson. He inquired if they had a dog as he had heard one barking across the lake over on the ledges. On looking over there, Myron could see his little dog Peter. Mr. Kinson, who was affluent enough to own a motorboat, offered to take Myron over and rescue the dog. Needless to say, Peter was quite happy to see Myron. He had lost track of him and had swam about a half mile to the wrong shore in his search.
Myron and Evelyn were now anxious to start building a camp. They bought a small twelve foot rowboat which they kept tied up at the north end of the lake. Everything must be rowed over from there to the camp as no road had been established on the west side of the lake at that time. Myron, with his brother-in-law Ken Oliver and some of his hired help, transported by truck all of the lumber and material needed to build the camp, also the furnishings, from Nashua to the north end of Sand Pond making several trips. It was then taken in the little rowboat about half a mile to the camp site taking many trips. In a short time they built a one room camp. We spent every weekend possible there.
One Sunday in 1947, an elderly gentleman came to the camp. He introduced himself as Father John Currier. He said he had rowed over to inspect his camp which was on the north side of our camp. He had found a broken window and wished to borrow a hammer to replace it. Myron went along with him thinking he might be of assistance. Father John, who was an Episcopal minister, told Myron he had operated a boys camp there previous to World War II. He said that he was unable to go there any longer and was going to advertise it for sale in the Brattleboro paper the next day. Myron inquired the price and said he would like to buy it as it adjoined his property. Myron immediately asked him if he would accept one hundred dollars as a down payment until a deed could be made out although it was on Sunday. Father John said he would gladly accept it on Sunday or on any other day. Myron came back to camp and told Evelyn he had just bought the Father John camp. Evelyn's reply was, "With what!"
Having admired that place ever since building next door, they were glad to acquire it. They really needed more room in order to entertain their relatives and friends and had planned to build a larger camp later on. We all went over to inspect the camp finding it needed much cleaning and restoring, but had great possibilities. Myron went home and mortgaged his farm in order to pay for it. Every spare minute away from his business was spent there. They furnished the camp and lived there instead of the little camp which was used often as extra sleeping quarters and they let relatives and friends use it. Around 1948 a road was built running parallel to the west shore and directly in back of the camp which eliminated bringing supplies in by boat. Later on electricity and telephone service was available to the camps.
In 1951, when Carl Oliver retired from his bus business, he and Beulah spent each summer at the camp. Their granddaughter Jaye Hartford, who was then eight years old, stayed at camp with them. Brad and Ted Aldrich, ages eight and ten respectively, whose parents owned the next camp spent many happy hours swimming and playing at our camp. As time went on other children joined in the fun at camp daytime and evenings. They would gather around the dining room table and play games. Carl always played with them and enjoyed it as much as the children. We had a rule that they must leave for their own camps by ten o'clock but it was usually another half hour before things got squared away. The boys used to go with Carl to the Ashuelot River getting hellgrammites for bait. Carl and Beulah's favorite pastime was taking their boat out on the lake and fishing for bass. The summer of 1963 Carl was unable to go to the lake because of illness. He passed away two years later.
After retiring from his business and farm in 1965, Myron and Evelyn with her mother spent from May until October at Sand Pond. He had always kept hens and now missed having his own fresh eggs so he bought about twenty-five hens and built a place for them out back of the camp. Soon neighboring campers wished to buy eggs and that took care of the surplus. Myron made a garden and grew vegetables for the table; any extra Evelyn and Myron canned and preserved to take home for winter. Another pastime Myron enjoyed was to pack a lunch and take the children blueberrying on Silver Mt. One summer he brought his saddle horse Nellie to camp and went on early morning rides. The children wanted to ride her so Myron set aside an hour each afternoon for them to come over and ride Nellie under his supervision. Myron, meantime, restored the camp from bottom to top and had nearly finished it in 1974.
Evelyn enjoyed cooking doughnuts, cakes, cookies, and fudge. After sampling some of these, campers wanted her to sell them which she did for several years until it became too time-consuming after her two granddaughters, Holly and Jennifer, and also her nephew Jerry Allen, came to spend their summers at the camp.
In 1972, Ted Aldrich returned to his parents camp and about that same time Jaye returned home. They had not seen each other in ten years. Meeting at Sand Pond, they renewed old friendships and decided to marry. Needless to say, both families were pleased.
Myron and Evelyn belonged to the Sand Pond Association. He was very interested in promoting and preserving the care of the lake. In 1974, when he became President, he suggested appointing a committee to contact members who would like to write their past experiences living at the lake, as a history to be passed on to the future generations.
In April 1975, Evelyn and Myron after spending the winter in Florida, returned to their home in Nashua. Two weeks later Myron suddenly died with a heart attack. That summer Evelyn decided she could no longer cope with care of the property at the lake. She thought the best place for her and her mother was at home in Nashua. Since both enjoyed swimming she had a pool installed. Ted and Jaye are now taking over the responsibility of the lake property and enjoy spending as much time as possible there as Myron would have wished.
The summers from 1947 through 1973 spent at Sand Pond with work, play, and the companionship of relatives and friends leaves us with many fond memories.
In the twenty-five years between 1945 and 1970 I "grew up" at Sand Pond. As much as I love the peaceful setting and have a fascination for building and land genealogy, much of my enjoyment of the Lake centered around people.
Take "Brownie," a hefty gentleman who bought himself a twelve foot plywood boat with a five horsepower Elgin (big in those days) and discovered that he and motor were a bit much for the back end of such a small craft. Being an intelligent man he adjusted the tilt of the motor so that when running it would not only propel the boat but lift the rear end to a proper level. Excitedly anticipating his first cruise he jumped into his boat, seated himself at the stern, started his engine, cleared the lines, turned his Elgin around (reverse in those days), gave it a "little" gas, and backed boat, motor and self to the bottom of Sand Pond. Surprise and momentum carried him, still sitting, shoulder deep before he reacted, and when he stood up the boat disappeared entirely and he slowly sank with it.
In his infinite wisdom Brownie decided that it was the motor's fault, and the following year he came equipped with a motor which had a real reverse! After a repeat performance he sold his boat to my brother for a dollar.
Among mid-1940's sights I recall Myron Hartford about 200 feet off shore, seated in the middle of a procession led by pots, pans, and a cast iron cook stove, and followed by a pile of brick, lumber, and furniture. He had picked a glass-calm day, and though he appeared to be waist deep in the lake he was actually in a boat with water forming a meniscus at the gunnels. He was taking great care to make only horizontal motions. Process was slow, but as in everything Myron did, he succeeded in the end.
Walt Nichols could be heard shattering weekend peace with his ten horsepower Mercury attached to the back end of a rowboat. Walt could also be seen seated at the front end of that rowboat (so it would plane) batting his motor with an oar to make it go in the right direction. From the top of Silver he looked like a water bug on his multi-cornered journey.
From what I heard, Harold Kinson provided the antithesis to Walt's jagged journey as he returned from a pouting session at Long Pond one evening. By the time he left the Long Pond path cove for his row home across Sand Pond a bit of fog had settled in. Having an innate and acute sense of direction he bravely and gracefully headed for open water. Artfully he guided his craft past Bass Rock and the Island without so much as an inkling of their whereabouts. Onward he paddled into the dense black and wee hours of the morning and by 4 AM he began to wonder why he had not made it home. Perseverance had its reward and eventually he found land. Glad to arrive anywhere, he still expected Silver Site like shore but upon closer surveillance discovered something more akin to the Rock of Gibraltar &. he had taken four hours to reach a destination 1000 feet from his launch site, and then after all of his labors an Elephant loomed out of the blackness (or was it a Bull Dog?). To the best of my knowledge he doesn't drink. I wonder if he used to and that night cured him.
Harold didn't have to have a foggy night to provide entertainment. Somewhere in Asia there are allied troops who are convinced that Americans are the toughest beings alive. Why a young Yank named Kinson showed them a picture of his father standing in a bathing suit in several feet of snow next to the hole cut in the ice where he had just taken a dip. They never heard about the day that same tough American patriarch took a mad naked dash out of a steaming sauna into subzero weather, and dove into a snowbank ... which proved to be a boulder with a light covering of snow.
Harold and Millie are a timeless couple still offering warmth and cheer year round at their home on the West Shore.
Speaking of things flying through the air, I must have been about five when I recall a very nice old lady arriving at "Trails End next to Spauldings where our family was staying. Having run the girls camp for years she was understandably concerned about strangers on or near her land. When she discovered that a couple of "sportsmen" had pitched a tent on her lawn she stopped being a nice lady and started to throw things. The tent wound up in a spruce tree, and after she had kicked and cursed the sleeping bags along the beach she hurled these into the lake. And when they didn't sink she threw stones at them until they did. I don't recall hearing any glass break (it was her beach), but I distinctly recall the tones the iron pans let out as they bounced off into the rocky brush. They sounded like the Spaulding's bell my folks used to ring to call me home from fishing those first two years when we rented at Sand Pond.
Sooner or later your experiences at Sand Pond will expand to include thunder and lightning. I know of one camp which was hit with such a bolt that every bit of copper wire in it was vaporized, leaving a fine reddish gold dust over everything left in the camp. But the most amazing incident to me involved a woman alone, caring for her children (and as always a few extras from the neighbors) when the electricity went out. She had just climbed onto a kitchen stool placed in the middle of the living room to reach and light the big Aladdin lamp, lighted a match when Thor entered the kitchen, blew a two foot chunk of 2x4 out of the wall and welded four pot covers together. Her audience heard her say "WELL!" and we watched with dizzy eyes and bedazzled eardrums as my mother calmly finished lighting the lamp.
Fire is a frightening threat to remote areas like ours, but to the best of my knowledge Sand Pond has never lost a camp. The above mentioned sauna did become a bit overheated and melt the phone lines before the Fire Department could be summoned. And it (the sauna) didn't even have a cellar hole for the department to save when they did arrive, so the boys got their truck stuck and mustered their highway department to retrieve the fire engine and to keep things from getting dull.
Perhaps one of the reasons we have been so lucky is because of men like George Flint. I remember a beautiful midsummer Sunday afternoon when he gathered a group of potential arsonists aged five to fourteen about him, brought out some of his forest fire fighting equipment and told us to watch. Instead of lighting some spectacular conflagration and demonstrating the power of his shiny equipment he flicked a cigarette butt into the ditch beside the road. Big deal! Dullsville for a group of spunk-filled kids! But the conditions were right, and he started talking about that innocent incident and how it could lead to trouble. He described the smells, the tastes, and the sounds of fighting forest fires. We saw a whisp of smoke from the dying butt. He had us convinced that we could see singed hair and the scars of his once charred skin; we could almost feel the sweat on the brows and the tired eyes of the men who worked for days without rest trying to stop brush from burning out of control. And then we realized that the white butt-smoke had stopped, but... dry leaves and twigs were flaming in the ditch! We didn't really believe it could happen, but it had, and we watched as a black circle widened around the cylindrical ash. George had brought us all to the point where in that one square foot of burning we could see whole forests being painfully devastated by fire, with armies of tired men struggling to save our verdent surroundings from complete annihilation. He taught a profound and powerful lesson in those few minutes.
Personally I suspect that Bill Bomely (Senior) might have had something to do with George's topic for that day. It seems that Billy (Junior), my brother Brad, and I had spent a fair share of the night playing pitch in Billy's log cabin when we decided to liven things up a bit. Being enterprising lads we hauled out a canoe and prepared it for launch, and then attaching a cherry bomb to a lit cigarette we carefully laid our little surprise under father Bill's bedroom window and took to the water. Perhaps 1000 feet off shore we turned and waited. And things did get lively!
The bang triggered lights inside the camp, then yard lights. The door flew open and a streak of very angry pajamas made a beeline for the log cabin yelling "Billeeeee!". No Billy.
The human explosion swept over us and we regained our senses enough to put part two of the plan into effect. Paddling toward shore we feigned bewilderment and concern that everything was OK. Being that far off shore we simply couldn't have had anything to do with it, and a very tired bewildered father trapsed back to his gunpowder smoke filled room to try in vain for a bit more rest before dealing with whatever his son and friends had in store for him next day. I am profoundly thankful that our prank did not start a fire, and still amazed after seeing George's demonstration that it did not. A next day remark about the incident and how tragic it could have been was brought home without any accusations when it was pointed out that whoever pulled that stupid stunt must not have known that the Bomelys stored gasoline for their boat under the camp. It took me 20 years before I could face Bill with admission and an apology for being involved.
Until his last days at the lake Bill was cheerfully involved with kids, fishing, waterskiing, and telling stories. I am grateful for the patience he had and have begun to discover recently how much he liked people. Coincidentally I am now doing the came job he did for over 30 years with some of the same people.
Few young men grow up without an encounter with their "fair" counterparts. I was at one time or another a secret admirer of Judy Allen until she served Dick Beard a glass of detergent claiming it was lime Kool-Aid.
About that same time Brad and I found an enormous snapping turtle, Joseph, big enough so it would not fit flat in the bottom of the washtub we carted it around in, and being somewhat enamoured of Diane and Doreen Edson we took our prize to show them. Ugh! How awful!
So much for the heap big hunter act. Dismayed because we got no "oohs," "aahs" or "how braves," we retreated to the confines of parental territory to meditate. First it was decided (not by us) that Joseph would not be a welcome addition to Sand Pond, so he was delivered to a swamp about eight miles away and was last seen knocking down trees and bushes as he turtledozed sunsetward. Then an idea fruitioned. A brief hunt located a large gray-brown flat rock, and soon an opportune moment arrived. Two charming young ladies were in swimming when the brave hunters returned (not too close) by boat with a familiar looking washtub perched on the bow. A suggestion was made (and you know how voices carry across the water). You wouldn't ... but we did! Our one splash was very small compared with what followed as Diane and Doreen left Sand Pond like a couple of 100 horsepower chips
Just south of the Aldrich lair lived a beautiful young lady named Jaye. Her comic book collection defied counting, and was measured in feet. She had a piano which she could play beautifully but it never behaved very well for me. And her grandmother and mother were the best cooks in the world (as later residents came to find out when "Evie's Doughnuts," an invitation to lakeside purchases of her art, appeared on their porch). We could always tell when Jaye and her family arrived from the sound of the screen door slamming as they made trips to unload. ... pies and cookies tomorrow!
I remember happily sauntering up to their door one fresh morning, not having been permitted to bother them the night before when we heard them arrive. I knocked on the screen door and was greeted by a basso profundo "WOOF" from about a thirteen foot tall Great Dane named Sandy. All of my romantic inclinations, all the mouth watering thoughts, and my comic book mania suddenly took a back seat to self-preservation.
About five years later I had a chance to get even, and glided by boat to a boulder in front of the camp about 6:00 a.m. on a July 4th morning. Jaye's mother appeared on the porch (about eight feet above the boulder) too late to stop the match from lighting the fuse. She gave a very brief speech about no firecrackers when it went off with a pffittt. Whereupon she offered that that wasn't really all that bad. But her last statement was punctuated with a Harold Kinson Cannon -like explosion, perhaps ten feet above her head when the launched repeater bomb reached its apogee.
It is possible that this incident may have had something to do with the fact that I didn't marry her daughter until twenty years later!
Jaye and her two daughters Holly and Jenny are a continuing source of love and happiness for me, but there is one member of her family whose presence will always be felt, her grandfather Carl Oliver. I adopted him and he didn't seem to mind. He was the most uncanny cribbage player I have ever met, and not only trounced me at cards he patiently taught many of us younguns how to play Fish, War, Pitch, I Doubt It, Canasta, Gin... by the time I became a senior in high school I began to understand some of the tricks and short cuts he had showed me in arithmetic when I was nine and ten. As much as any man, he (and my father) launched my career in mathematics.
Certainly Brad remembers the day he yelled "Catch," and tossed him a live hellgrammite. Those critters are about 99% pinchers, and Brad reacted after he caught it by becoming 100% lively until he yelled and shook the thing off.
I never touch a stick of wood to split without recalling the gentle fall of his perfectly placed and tilted axe, popping seasoned maple and beech and oak, which I tried in vain to emulate by bludgeoning the stubby piece of completely unsplittable ironwood he had found to "teach" me with.
I still split wood with more vengeance than art.
He not only spent hours teaching us little things like respect for hellgrammite, but he filled us to the brim with stories from the good old days. One night he drove home a haywagon load of celebrants who had had a bit to drink. Apparently one gentleman named Emery fell off and in the dark a buddy followed to look for him. Emery had rolled into the ditch, but his seeker conducted his search on hands and knees on that same line over which the oxen had passed. Encountering some warm disjointed objects in the dark he wailed "Emery's busted!" Grammie 0. shot Grampa a disapproving look and we'd laugh and he would go on with another yarn.
There was one area in which Carl Oliver reigned supreme. He caught fish!!! They are all gone now, but before the state poisoned all the bass, the one that got away from Carl had to back up into our cove in order to turn around. He had hooked him once!
Pulled in nine feet before he got to his eyes.
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