Wolfeboro Year in Review, Part II


by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News

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Keith Garrett sent us this composite photo of the fireworks at First Night Wolfeboro celebrating the end of a very busy 2012 and the start of 2013. (Courtesy photo by Keith Garrett) (click for larger version)
January 10, 2013
WOLFEBORO — Last week we reviewed the politics, issues and hard news events of 2012 in Wolfeboro. This week we look back at all that happened with the town's businesses, organizations and people last year.

The year 2012 was a very active year for Wolfeboro businesses.

Perhaps the most significant development was the sale of Hunter's IGA in April. The "Home Town Proud" local grocer was acquired by Shop 'n Save, a company focused on smaller community grocery stores, and the name of the store is now Hunter's Shop 'n Save. All of the store's long-term employees were retained and many prices were lowered.

We reported the openings of several new retail businesses during the year.

Keith Garrett's Wolfeboro Computer Solutions opened in Clarke Plaza, just off the lobby of the Wolfeboro Falls Post Office on March 19, with Garrett assisted by Rob Pare.

In June Jacqueline Pettit opened her Impeccables Consignment Clothing store at the corner of Depot and Glendon Streets and Barbara Bradley Rutz opened Azure Gallery on South Main Street.

Husband and wife team Liz Rice and Steven Lopez opened La Boca Bakery on July 5 in the Mill Street Meat Market building.

In November Lydia's Café opened Lydia's Meeting Place in an expanded version of the space formerly occupied by Cornish Hill Pottery, and Carol Holyoake's Café Olé opened in Lydia's former space. Both eateries feature locally-grown food (the "Olé" stands for Organic Local Edibles).

Some businesses merged or changed owners. In February Straw Cellar Fudge took over Railroad Avenue neighbor Wolfe City Pizza and in December Crêpes Ooh La La! was sold to Seven Suns Coffee & Tea (which will continue to offer crepes as well as coffee and tea in the same location on Depot Square).

In December Wolfeboro Bay Care & Rehabilitation became Wolfeboro Bay Center, following the acquisition of SunBridge by Genesis HealthCare.

Railroad Avenue proved to be a popular place for relocation in 2012. Hampshire Pewter moved its retail store there on June 5 from Mill Street and Stellaloona Bakery followed with Gatherings by Stellaloona, adding sidelines to its bakery offerings, on June 21.

Lake Motel began the process of transforming itself into Lake Hotel in April by replacing half of it single-story motel units with a two-story wing where all rooms have views of Crescent Lake.

Some businesses closed during the year. In February Gogi Millner closed the retail store for Cornish Hill Pottery on North Main Street but continues to have an online presence (www.etsy.com/shop/CornishHillPottery). The League of NH Craftsmen closed its retail store at Durgin Stables in February but by May former manager Sarah Copplestone had opened Artisan's Corner in the same space offering a wider range of crafts.

On April 5 Dr. Joseph P. Coppola opened a private clinic at 71 North Main Street but the practice was closed by year-end.

Several long-time businesses celebrated major milestones in 2012.

In May Parson's Furniture celebrated its 25th anniversary and The Wolfeboro Inn celebrated 200 years of offering hospitality in the same location. Molly the Trolley celebrated her 25th summer of offering tours and Linda's Flowers and Gifts celebrated a 10th anniversary in August.

A group of stores on North Main, Mill and Bay Streets got together to make a joint holiday marketing effort, beginning in November. The effort features contests, prizes and much publicity.

Huggins Hospital

Huggins Hospital began the year with the news that it is ranked in the Top 100 of American rural hospitals. The year 2012 was also a certification year for the hospital, its Adult Care Program and the Assisted Living facility at Sugar Hill Retirement Community: all three passed state and federal inspections with flying colors.

On July 1 Michael P. Connelly was named Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, succeeding Interim CEO Les MacLeod. MacLeod had been President of Huggins for many years and was brought back as Interim CEO following the resignation of Dave Tower on June 3, 2011. Connelly was hired in July 2011 as Interim Chief Financial Officer and was moved into the position of Chief Operating Officer prior to his selection as permanent CEO. Jeremy Roberge, CPA, also joined Huggins as Chief Financial Officer in July.

In August the Board of Directors of Huggins and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital signed a Collaboration Proposal that will include a series of separate agreements in selected clinical disciplines at the two hospitals.

There were changes in the medical staff at two of Huggins' family practices. Dr. Robert Mathes left Winnipesaukee Family Medicine in October to spend a year in New Zealand and Dr. Jeffrey Dassel was announced as his temporary replacement in December.

In December Dr. Vlasta Zdrnja of Internal Medicine of Wolfeboro announced her relocation to the Midwest. Dr. Marie Rodriguez was announced as her temporary replacement in January 2013.

Community organizations

The Libby Museum celebrated its 100th anniversary as Wolfeboro's Natural History museum with a series of events, including a major presence in the July 4th parade, a Family Day on July 28 and a Gala celebration at the Wolfeboro Inn on Aug. 12. A quilt contest was also held in conjunction with the Gala and Artist Peter Ferber produced a commemorative poster that was auctioned and prints of it are available for sale.

The Wolfeboro Corinthian Yacht Club celebrated its 30th anniversary on June 23.

The Hospice Home and Garden Tour gave its 25th tour on July 11th, raising $31,284 for hospice care at Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice.

The Village Players introduced Glamour in Mud Season events in March as part of the group's publicity for its production of "Hay Fever" on April 13-15.

For a third year there was a French and Indian War Encampment on the weekend of July 12-14. This year the encampment was held at Clark Park on the grounds of the Wolfeboro Historical Society, which held its first Family Day on July 13.

Wolfeboro Community Television won a national award for producing the video "O Lord" by Tina Maxfield. The Ladies of the Lake Quilters Guild won a Sprit of New Hampshire award.

The First Christian Church celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2012.

The First Congregational Church announced a major renovation of its church building in April.

The Friends of Abenaki donated more than $250,000 in snowmaking and grooming equipment to the town in August.

The Lake Wentworth Association presented its Watershed Study on July 11.

The Kingswood Youth Center held its third Chili Challenge fundraiser on Aug. 18.

The Wolfeboro Area Recreation Association held its fifth NickFest on Aug. 19.

The 14th Annual Festival of Trees was held Dec. 6-16 at the Wright Museum. This year's beneficiaries were the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project and Granite State Adaptive.

People

In January the Police Commission announced that Josephine Amatucci had filed her third suit against the Police Department for incidents that occurred in 2002, based on what she felt was new evidence. Carroll County Superior Court Justice Steven Houran dismissed the suit on April 2.

Also in January Sandy McBeth retired from Maxfield Real Estate after 23 years of service.

On Jan. 31 Norman Stevens stepped down as Director of the Wright Museum. Since then Board member John Warner has been serving as Acting Director.

On Feb. 2 Dr. Richard J. Neal, DMD, was named Wolfeboro Citizen of the Year by the Wolfeboro Lions Club.

Allan Bailey was named Operations Manager for the New Hampshire Boat Museum's Millie B boat ride in February.

The Marauders Team I won the Wolfeboro Area Children's Center's Trivia Contest on Feb. 15.

Henry Maxfield Sr. published the first volume of his autobiography, "Detours I," as an ebook on April 1.

Lisa Simpson Lutts was named Executive Director of the New Hampshire Boat Museum on May 10.

Selectman and Historian Dave Bowers was presented with the General James Wolfe Award for outstanding service to the community on June 7. On June 21 Bowers and his wife Christine presented the Wolfeboro Public Library with their extensive postcard collection.

All Saints' Church Pastor Randy Dales retired at the end of June after 34 years of service.

In July Wolfeboro attorney and Circuit Court Justice Robert Varney published his first mystery novel, "Do Unto Others," and held a book signing at The Country Bookseller on July 28.

Martha Krause retired after 14 years of service as assistant to Town Clerk Pat Waterman on Aug. 10.

Brian Benson, son of Jim and Sue Benson, finally found a new kidney donor in his brother, Jimmy. Several fundraisers were held during the year to help Benson with his medical costs.

Hank Why retired as Chairman of the New Hampshire Boat Museum after 14 years on the board on Sept. 27.

Wolfeboro Police Sgt. Chris Keaton was honored ay the Police Commission on Nov. 18 for his 21 years of service to the department.

Police Lt. Dean Rondeau was invited to attend the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., in January 2013.

Obituaries

During 2012 we published obituaries of 38 people with significant Wolfeboro connections. Among those were the following individuals. Those marked with an asterisk will be recognized in the 2012 Wolfeboro Town Report.

*Geoffrey "Jeff" Adjutant, 59, died suddenly on Feb. 12. A Wolfeboro native who worked for the parks and recreation, highway and water and sewer departments. A Vietnam veteran, he was active in the American Legion and Marine Corps League.

*John Bridges, 79, died Aug. 15. Son of New Hampshire Governor and Senator Styles Bridges, he was a State Representative, Executive Councilor, Safety Director for the Marine Patrol, a Wolfeboro Police Commissioner, a Milfoil Committee member and member of many state boards. He founded Island Real Estate and cofounded Bridges Hallmark with his wife Barbara.

Barbara H. Elkington, 76, died on June 4. A long-time resident who worked at Huggins and various Wolfeboro businesses, including secretary of Community Bank. She was also active in the Caregivers of Wolfeboro, the First Congregational Church and other organizations.

Richard "Dick" Jones, 84, died on June 9. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church, a Conservation Commission member, a Lakes Lay Monitor, a committee member of the New Hampshire Lakes Association, and a Resident Trustee on the Taylor Community Board of Trustees.

*Donald Morgan, Sr., 81, died on Oct. 17. He grew up in Wolfeboro and after 22 years in the U.S. Army he returned and worked for Ossipee Oil, Cliffords Doughnuts, Pfleuger Landscaping, the Wolfeboro Police Department and the Baker-Gagne Funeral Home. He was an active veteran and volunteered in many community activities, including the July 4 Parade, Children's Fund and Bensons' Thanksgiving Dinner. He was also Santa for many years.

*John M. O'Connell, 87, died Sept. 21. A WWII Navy veteran with a career in art and advertising, he purchased Northeast Marina in Wolfeboro in 1972 and transformed it into the Wolfeboro Corinthian Yacht Club in 1982. He was President of the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce, active on the Governor Wentworth Arts Council and an ardent supporter of the Libby Museum.

*Allen Stevens, 73, died on July 25. He came to Wolfeboro in 1940 to the family resort on Point Breeze on Lake Wentworth. After a career in food services he returned in 1972 and managed Point Breeze Condominiums. He was President of the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce, served on the ZBA for 11 years and planning board for four years. He was Vice President and President of the Lake Wentworth Association, actively involved in the Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race, and managed the Crescent Lake dam. He was also tree warden.

*Arthur L. White Sr., 67, died Jan. 5. He moved to Wolfeboro in 1975 and worked at Huggins and the former Shell Station but he is best remembered for his nearly 24 years at the Solid Waste and Recycling Transfer Station, from which he retired in 2007.

Improvements

The major project of 2012 was the Downtown Streets Project which involved upgrading the water and sewer lines and reconstructing School, Glendon, Lehner and Depot Streets, Depot Square at the Railroad Station and Central and Railroad Avenues.

Sidewalks were also upgraded on Main Street and the section in front of Hunter's Shop 'n Save also involved reconfiguring entrances and exits and constructing planting beds.

Phase I of the Harriman Hill Workforce Housing Project was completed, and as of year end only one of the 24 units was not rented. Financing has been secured for Phase II, with another 24 units, and construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013.

Carroll County Transit's Blue Loon regular bus service to West Ossipee, Conway and Laconia began in 2012.

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