Original site of Founders' Monument on Odiorne Point was a mass of brush just a few weeks ago...
iT STARTS TO TAKE SHAPE...
Roger Philbrick deployed his backhoe to clear the area with hand-tool help from Tom Pearson and Gary Bashline of Parks & Recreation.
Certain members of the Seacoast community are intent on returning the Founders' Monument to its rightful place overlooking the ocean at Odiorne Point, and they are close to succeeding. With sleeves rolled up, they have succeeded in restoring the original location and an area around it, with the hope of being able to remount the monument on its base within the next several days.
Once set in place, visitors will be able to make their way along established paths to a location overlooking the ocean just north of the Seacoast Science Center. The monument, erected in 1899, commemorates the settlers who in 1623 founded the first New Hampshire community.
The U.S. Air Force decided to move the monument to the other side of Route 1A in 1955 fearing erosion might topple it into the sea. But no sign of erosion exists after 50 years, so Rye resident Tom Pearson and the New Hampshire wing of the Colonial Dames headed by Barbara Engelbach decided the time is ripe for bringing the monument home.
It takes more than a wave of a wand. Hours of site preparation have been put in by volunteers. Buried in the brush was the monument's original granite-block footing, measuring about three feet by five feet. It extends at least 15 inches into the ground.
Roger Philbrick, whose ancestors were among the first settlers, wasn't content to play the lead role in clearing the area for public viewing. He also rebuilt a stone wall that originally flanked the monument (see photo below).
After making sure the foundation has a stable platform, the monument will be moved by Seacoast Memorials. Lisa Alexandropoulos is working on that phase. The Colonial Dames organization is hoping to arrange an appropriate ceremony as early as sometime in June.
BRING IT ON!...
Photos by Tom Pearson
Laureate laurels for Liz...
Elizabeth Knies, whose poems have appeared in Rye Reflections, follows Mimi White as the new Portsmouth Poet Laureate. She was installed on April 16, apres le deluge, at the Portsmouth City Council meeting. Knies taught ESL, writing, critical thinking and literature in New Hampshire, Maine, Japan, Missouri and Colorado and has also worked as a reviewer and an editor. A long-time resident of the seacoast, she moved from Kingston to Portsmouth last September. Since 1974 she has participated in the Skimmilk Farm Writing Workshop, commemorated in Ken Browne's recently released documentary, "Mondays at Skimmilk Farm: 30 Years of Writers at Work," which will be shown at the Portsmouth Public Library on June 12, with members of the workshop on hand to speak with the audience. Over the next two years, Liz will work with the board of the poet laureate program to develop a poetry project for the community.
On Reflection, it's catching...
Kudos also to Harold Moldoff of Rye Beach, who handles the Consumer Alert column for Rye Reflections
. He was one of two (along with Barney Share of Portsmouth) to be cited by the state Attorney General's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau for volunteer activities, assisting victims of fraud, identity theft and the like for the past 15 years.
ON YOUR RADAR SCREEN?...
Photo by Judy Palm
Lost in the shuffle of the storm and cleanup is a sketch that appears on the fence in front of the landmark house at Rye Ledge that recently was torn down. Sometimes referred to as the "Radar House", the original building was used by the military as an observation tower during World War II, but radar reportedly was not used there. The sketch would indicate that the new structure will look very much like the old one. Stay tuned.
Then there are the other screens...
While Washington is contending with allegations of destroyed email messages at the White House, the N.H. House is grappling with a right-to-know bill that addresses the subject of email. The bill would make email a public record if sent by government officials or workers, but it doesn't seem to address when, where or how email should be disclosed nor what the penalty would be for violators.
Meanwhile, the town of Rye has no policy regarding email, based on a discussion of the issue at a recent Selectmen's meeting at which Joseph Mills revealed that it wouldn't affect him, because he doesn't send email and receives printouts of all email sent to the Selectmen.
Forget the flea markets, try the fly market...
Hampton Airfield in North Hampton is having its annual Fly Market on Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20. Admission is free.
Vintage and new airplanes will be shown, and aviation-related products will be on sale, with proceeds going to the Experimental Aircraft Association's scholarship fund, which also will receive money from a raffle.
The Vintage Aircraft Association will be serving breakfast and lunch both days. Meanwhile, experienced pilots will be on hand to answer questions at the facility whose entrance is on Lafayette Road (Route One).
Just a trickle of interest...
The state Insurance Department reports that very few in New Hampshire have obtained flood insurance in the past year, despite last Spring's floods that impacted 5200 homes, destroying 25 and badly damaging 235 others. Need information? Go to floodsmart.gov
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