Adult grandchildren of Fish & Game C.O. Gary Waterhouse of Lancaster — Kaitlin and Thomas Waterhouse — placed a wreath near the memorial plaque that was rededicated on Saturday at Boundary Pond in Pittsburg. Their father, Rep. Kevin Waterhouse of Windham, was only 14 years old when his father died of a heart attack on Sept. 8, 1968, in the line of duty. Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
October 09, 2013PITTSBURG — A plaque mounted on a flat-topped boulder that marks the spot where Fish & Game C.O. Gary Waterhouse of Lancaster died in the line of duty on Sept. 8, 1968, was rededicated on Saturday afternoon on top of the newly rebuilt dam at Boundary Pond not far from the borders of both Quebec and Maine.
The large boulder was excavated during the dam reconstruction project over the summer of 2012 and placed near the dam structure.
Before becoming a C.O., Waterhouse, a Nashua native, had served from 1957 to 1963 as a New Hampshire State Trooper in North Conway and Windham. Known as "The Jolly Green Giant," Waterhouse was 6 feet, seven inches tall.
On the day of his death at age 36, Waterhouse and C.O. Carl Carlson hiked into the then-very-remote Boundary Pond from Chartierville, Quebec, to investigate a report of illegal fishing. On their walk in, Waterhouse complained of heartburn when he reached the top of the ridgeline overlooking the high-elevation pond. When he reached the dam, he collapsed from a heart attack.
Carlson administered mouth-to-mouth CPR for 20 minutes to no avail and then literally ran to his cruiser that was parked in about a mile away in Chartiersville. He then used the nearest telephone to call for help.
Two paramedics from the 54th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease Air Force Base were flown north in a C-130 and parachuted into the site, but were unable to revive Waterhouse.
Other COs arrived, and they carried the conservation officer's body to Canada and then drove it to New Hampshire.
His wife, Ann, his two sons, Gary and Kevin, and his brother, Thomas, a New Hampshire State Trooper, all survived him.
Kevin Waterhouse, who was 14 when his father died, graduated from high school in Connecticut where he moved with his family after his mother remarried. "After college, I moved back to Keene, returning to New Hampshire, which I've always knew was my home."
Now a Republican state representative from Windham (Rockingham District 7) in his seventh term, Rep. Kevin Waterhouse was on hand on Saturday with his wife, Kristin, and their two adult children: 21-year-old Kaitlin, and 18-year-old Thomas.
They placed a wreath at the base of the boulder that holds the memorial plaque.
Their mother, tears in her eyes, pointed out at the ceremony's conclusion, "This is a very fitting way for them to understand who the grandfather they never knew was."
Colonel Martin "Marty" Garabedian, who serves as Chief of Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division, and Major Kevin Jordan of Groveton, explained that in preparing for the re-dedication they had been surprised to discover that now-retired C.O. Carlson's heroic effort to save his fellow officer's life had never been officially recognized.
The ceremony included his receiving a Crystal Award from both Garabedian and Jordan. He was not forewarned that he would be spotlighted and was surprised at the honor.
Gary Waterhouse, a retired Manchester, Conn., police officer was not able to be on hand. Pittsburg Police Chief Richard Lapoint and former state Rep. Eric Stohl of Columbia, a retired District One F & G chief, plus F & G Director Glen Normandeau were all on hand.
The reconstruction of the Boundary Pond Dam in the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Working Forest was completed in 2012, paid for through a capital appropriation to Fish and Game. The state Department of Environmental Services' Dam Bureau coordinated its construction, which also included the installation of a toilet near the parking lot and a fifth-of-a-mile-long access road off Boundary Pond Road. A 36-inch-wide opening on one side of the access-road gate allows for passage or a rugged off-road wheelchair. The state Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) is the property easement holder and manages public access and recreation on the property.