New Hampshire Missing Places: Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry

Circa 1947 photograph of the entrance to Lone Star Ranch, Reeds Ferry NH. Courtesy of Don Levesque. Used with permission.

What: Lone Star Ranch was a rustic, outdoor summer-autumn entertainment venue located in Reeds Ferry (Merrimack) New Hampshire. [When the weather got colder they would hold indoor “barn dances.” ] It focused on Country & Western, and Hillbilly music, comedy and related events.  In addition at various times during its existence, picnic tables, horse back riding, concessions, and games were offered. When the weather was wet or cold there was a ranch house (barn) that was used.

Lone Star Ranch existed from 1938-1983–a span of over 45 years. The entertainers booked for these shows were a mix of local, national, and international renown. Continue reading

New Hampshire Missing Places: The Whittier Pine of Center Harbor

Photograph of the Whittier Pine on Sunset Hill, Center Harbor, NH. Granite State Monthly magazine, v.30. 1901: Jan.-June. HathiTrust

It had been called the Whittier Pine.  The famed poet John Greenleaf Whittier had his own personal name for this great tree–Wood Giant.  It was located on land near the Sturtevant Farm on Route 25B/Dane Road, Center Harbor NH.

[Editor’s note: in my original posting of this story, in error I combined this tree’s history with that of the Sturtevant Pine, that is entirely a different tree; see comments by Karen Ponton and my thanks to her for the correction.]

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New Hampshire Missing Places: Carrie F. Wright Hospital of Newport

Postcard of Carrie F. Wright Hospital. Notice the antique car in the driveway.

It is astounding how quickly major landmarks appear and disappear. The Carrie F. Wright Hospital of Newport, New Hampshire was only open for 44 years yet it played a vital role in its community.

According to a medical directory of the time, the Carrie F. Wright Hospital was established in 1908 as a public hospital. In 1919 it had 20 beds.   The closing date  is 25 January 1952 when the newspaper reported that the patients in the Carrie F. Wright Hospital were moved to the “new” hospital on Summer Street. Continue reading

New Hampshire Missing Places: Umbagog House of Errol

Old postcard showing the main street in Errol New Hampshire. The Umbagog House is the flat-roofed building on the left side of the road.

The Umbagog House of Errol, Coös County, New Hampshire is not to be confused with any hotel or inn of a similar name located in the state of Maine.  Lake Umbagog straddles the border of both states and Oxford County, Maine contains much of this vast body of water.  Reportedly the name Umbagog (pronounced um-BAY-gog) is an Abenaki word for shallow water.

According to the book, “History of Coös County, New Hampshire,” by George Drew Merrill, “The UMBAGOG HOUSE, opened in December 1886, is one-half mile from Errol Dam, one mile from Aker’s pond, and on the highway to Colebrook, “twenty miles away.” At this point has been made quite a settlement, as it is the base of supplies for the upper country and the place of departure for Magalloway river and Parmachenee lake, and the depot of the “Errol Dam Company.”
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New Hampshire Missing Places: Riverside Inn of Hooksett

Photograph from old postcard depicting the
Ayer House that sat on the site of the later
built Riverside Inn.

Riverside Inn, the focus of this story, was not the first public lodging to be famous in Hooksett. Before the American Revolution travel to this part of New Hampshire was often accomplished by boat. The boatmen and passengers would stop at inns and taverns in the area that were built near the water, with the sale of liquors being popular.  The River Road (now called Riverside Drive) that ran alongside the Merrimack River became part of the prominent Merrimack Valley Road system, an early main route between Manchester, Concord and the White Mountains. Continue reading