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Lost River time capsule buried on October 13



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Three-year old Keyara Blake helps cover a time capsule in a brief ceremony Saturday, October 13, 2012, at Lost River Gorge in No. Woodstock, where her mother Natasha Jenness works. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
October 17, 2012
NORTH WOODSTOCK -- In a sunny ceremony at Lost River Gorge Saturday morning, October 13, state and local officials were joined by visitors to the Kinsman Notch site to witness a time capsule burial commemorating 100 years of preservation of the unique site. The natural wonder located just off Route 112 in No. Woodstock, draws thousands of visitors each year.

Lost River Manager Deborah Williams welcomed the gathered dignitaries, including Executive Councilor Raymond Burton and State Senator Jeanie Forrester, who had each brought a memento for the time capsule which will be opened in 50 years. Among other officials were State Representatives Greg Sorg, R-Easton and Lester Bradley, R-Thornton and Suzanne Kibler-Hacker, representing the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The Forest Society has its roots in the preservation of Lost River Gorge in 1912.

Williams welcomed the visitors with the words of the first president of The Forest Society, Phillip W. Ayres, who described Lost River at that time as "a place out of this world just as God and the Angels left it."

Williams added, "Each year the staff at Lost River take pride and enjoyment in hosting visitors from all over the world who come to experience this amazing place of beauty and wonder. Along with the fun we have, every staff person, past and present, takes on the responsibility of becoming a land steward or caretaker of Lost River."

Councilor Burton added a copy of the New Hampshire Constitution, signed by all the dignitaries present, to the time capsule, and Senator Forrester included a copy of an official Senate Resolution commemorating the occasion. Each one present took turns at the shovel to cover the capsule which will be capped with a commemorative granite plaque.

At the conclusion of the adults' shoveling duties to officially bury the bright blue capsule tube, Keyara Blake, the daughter of Lost River staff member Natasha Jenness, proudly lifted the large shovel with a little assist, and dropped several loads of soil on the capsule. The youngster, who will soon turn three years old, was likely the only one present that will be able to witness the unearthing of the capsule in 50 years.

The capsule installation was the last in a series of events held over the past summer season marking the acquisition of the Gorge as a preservation site. Lost River was discovered in 1852 by two brothers who were fishing in the river. The site soon became popular with visitors. In order to preserve the natural attraction, in 1912 the Forest Society bought the standing timber on the 157 acres for $7,000 from its owner, Publishers Paper Company, in exchange for ownership of the land so the Gorge could be preserved as a natural site.

As part of the 100th year celebration, a group of former Lost River staff held a reunion at the Gorge in August and recalled their experiences hosting the thousands of visitors who come to the area each summer. They acknowledged the camaraderie that grew among staff, and shared the many adventures and misadventures of living through the summer in the surroundings of a beautiful, remote natural wonder. Many said their time at the Gorge was a life-altering experience that shaped their future careers.

The Lost River Gorge closes for the winter on Sunday, October 21. For more information visit www.lostrivergorge.com; email at info@lostrivergorge.com. Look for Lost River Gorge on Facebook. Information about the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests can be found at www.forestsociety.org.

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