It is official -- 2018 Ice-Out on Kezar Lake is today, April 25th. The determination is made by Lovell's resident expert, John Bacchiocchi.
The State of Maine's Bureau of Parks and Land uses the following to establish the date: "Ice Out" is defined for this webpage as when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other. There may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline in some areas, but when a person can traverse the entire waterbody without being stopped by ice floes we will consider the ice to be out.
To see the list of Ice-Out dates around the state, click here. For a list of ice-out dates in Maine from 2003-2017, click here. For a historical New England list, including Kezar Lake, that dates back to 1901, click here.
Tom Henderson, the Executive Director of the Greater Lovell Land Trust, passed away this week. His vision and legacy will survive well into the future.
Over the years, Tom and I had many discussions and not all about the woods and the watershed. Baseball, a passion of his, was a frequent topic. A number of years ago, Tom and I served as judges for a local chowder competition where I learned he had quite a cooking background. And on that day, I learned a bit more about chowders, what he thought about the mix of ingredients, even if we didn't agree on which one was the best tasting.
I often thought about how funny it was that his job was to preserve land while my job is to sell it. I would like to think that there was some mutual respect and many times he would refer people to me while I would not hesitate to ask him to take a look at a parcel to see if the Land Trust would have an interest in it.
We also had a number of conversations about the Land Trust's rustic camp on Whitney Pond in Stoneham. Tom was proud of the number of renters he was able to get for the rustic camp and we would often compare notes on the vacation rental business.
Lovell and the surrounding towns are in a better place because of Tom Henderson.
Thanks to Tom McLaughlin for an informative column on Rod Blood, Merton Blood and the Lovell Village Tree! Back in September's KezarLife posting A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.., there was quite a bit of feedback received and questions asked. It seems that everyone has an opinion on this intricate work of art.
Everyday I look out my office window and see the tree. Although the park is a good spot for the tree, I am still not certain that the current location is the best. Perhaps set back a bit further away from the Memorial, the Minuteman statue and the flag.
More than 60 people were in attendance at Lovell's Annual Town Meeting morning, a higher number than recent years. There were 87 articles voted on. As always, the first order of business was to nominate and elect Jonathan Bliss as the meeting's moderator. Robert Drew was reelected to a three-year term as Selectman. Several vacancies on the Planning Board, Budget Committee and School Board were quickly filled. Mr. Bliss opened the meeting acknowledging the recent retirement of Janice Arsenault as Lovell Tax Collector (after 29 years!) and introduced Laura Williams as her replacement.
A hearty round of applause was given when Mr. Bliss mentioned that this year's report was dedicated to Bruce "Hoss" Thurston, who was in attendance. Mr. Bill Doyle took a moment to make a heartfelt statement on Hoss and what he meant to him personally and to many others in the town. Later in the morning, guest District 70 Representative, Nathan J. Wadsworth, asked for, and was granted, permission to make a presentation. Mr. Wadsworth read a statement from the Maine Legislature praising Hoss. It was a very touching moment and a well-deserved honor!
Reflecting the hard work of the Selectmen and the Budget Committee, there was minimal discussion on the amount of monies to be budgeted. There was a request to permit a discussion of the Mill Pond Dam issue but that was voted down, 18-15. The Selectmen explained that they are in the process of approving a study to determine the scope and the cost of a dam replacement. A public meeting could then take place when that information is available; hopefully later this year.
The meeting was over in about two hours! Plenty of time left in the day to take care of chores.
The 2018 Kezar Realty calendars have arrived and they are now available for pick-up at our office and in stores all around town. Not in Lovell? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will be sure to send one (or two) in the mail.
Now I ask, what better way to dress up your fridge?
In my list of local places to Christmas shop, I inadvertently omitted a new business in town. Please be sure to check out Ann Williams' handmade crafts at ONCE IN A BLUE MOON. Ann specializes in Knitwear and Accessories as well as Decorative Arts. Her studio is located 1298 Main Street in Lovell at the corner of Dragonfly Road. It is best to call ahead for hours. Phone number is 207-925-1124 and her email is email@example.com
Here we are, in the middle of December, and I am sure that you still have lots of presents to buy. And then you start planning a quick trip to North Conway or to South Portland. Sometimes we overlook all of the wonderful merchants, artists and non-profits that we have living in and around Lovell. Here are some ideas:
* Lots to choose from at the HARVEST GOLD GALLERY in Center Lovell. Custom designed earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and more. Inside their large gallery is a wide variety of American-made art work (much of it local) that will brighten every home. Bill and Lynda can be reached at 207-925-6502.Visit their website here.
* You need to check out the great things that Brent Legere is creating at the LOVELL BOX COMPANY. Wonderful, one-of-a kind boxes and creates made from pine grown on the family land. Perfect for wine, beer, storage, produce, etc. Brent would be happy to make something from your own specs. Check out his Facebook page here or call him at 207-432-2900.
* How about taking that old couch with the ragged threads to HEIRLOOMUP for updated upholstery? Visit Martha Livingston's new shop at 222 Main Street in the Village. She can help you with design and fabric choices and then do a fantastic job of bringing your favorite furniture back to life. And Martha can help spruce up your ripped boat seats. Call her at 207-595-1539.
* HILLTOP HANDSPUN, located in North Lovell, Maine, is owned and operated by fiber artist and designer, Lucy Rogers. Lucy enjoys creating and selling hand made yarn to hand knitters and fiber and roving to hand spinners and felters. The yarn and spinning fibers are made from alpaca, mohair, wool and angora fleeces that she hand selects from Maine and New England fiber farms. Many of her designer yarns are hand spun and a number are spun at a local mini-mill often on a fleece by fleece basis. Beautiful colors in the yarns, which are inspired by the local mountain environment, come to life during the hand dyeing process in Lucy’s kitchen. Here is a link to Lucy’s webpage where you will find yarn and kits for sale.
* LOVELL HARDWARE, located at 411 Main Street is up and running! Great selection of lumber, paint, nuts and bolts, mulch, pellets, pet and horse feed, propane and much more. Call 925-9053 for hours.
* HOMESTEAD SCOOP. Beth Armington’s store sells much more than ice cream, coffee, hot dogs and stew! She also has two floors of local artisans’ work ranging from small crafts, iron pieces and quilts. A great spot for unique gifts at affordable prices. And don't forget that Homestead is an authorized United Parcel Service drop-off location. Stop in and visit. 207-925-9005.
* PIETREE ORCHARD. Located on the top Waterford Road in Sweden, this Orchard is a great place to shop for local produce, baked goods, flowers, jams and pizza. The ‘Pick-Your-Own’ season is over but there is lots to choose from in the store. Visit PietreeOrchards.com for more detailed information. 207-647-9419.
* KARL'S AUTO REPAIR, located at 118 Cushman Pond Road in Lovell. Get rid of that winter grime inside and out for your special person's car with an auto detailing package from Karl. Call for more details at 207-928-3132 or visit their Facebook page here.
* How about some great handmade jewelry, bags, t-shirts, in addition to some honey and maple syrup? All from Justin and Jenn's 'off the grid' FLY AWAY FARM, a family operation in Stow. Visit their website here. Give them a call at 207-466-7352.
* How about a Gift Certificate to some local eating establishments?
1)Rosie’s Lovell Village Store. Stop in or call Rosie at 207-925-1255.
2)The Center Lovell Market. Open on a year-round basis for great food, coffee, a bottle of wine and gasoline! Great pizzas! 925-3090-1051.
3)The Stow Corner Store. Original menu, great portions, a warm environment and a local institution! Check out their Facebook page here for updates on specials or call 207-697-2255. Don't miss the award-winning chili and seafood chowder!
4)The Wicked Good Store. Be sure to try out some great food at the new store in town! 207-925-9087 is their number and they are located at 360 Main Street. Visit their Facebook page here.
5)AJ’s Everything Store at 409 Maine Street in Stoneham. A small convenience store upfront and a nice restaurant out back. Great food at great prices! 207-928-2454.
6)THE CENTER LOVELL INN. The Inn offers 10 large comfortable guestrooms each appointed with family antiques and sitting areas for relaxing and reading. A full country breakfast is served piping hot each morning. Enjoy gourmet dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the evening. The forty-seat dining room offers a crackling fire on cold winter nights. In the summer, enjoy breakfast and dinner on the screened-in wrap-around porch. In the evening enjoy the sunset over the White Mountains. Visit the website here!
6)THE OLD SACO INN. Pete and Sandi welcome you to their pub, restaurant and inn on the banks of the Old Saco River. Good food and cocktails in a friendly setting. Great access to the snowmobile trails as well! Old Saco Inn.
7)‘Best Beer Bar in America‘, EBENEZER’s PUB During winter, it is an easy snowmobile ride to their front door. The Pub’s phone number is 207-925-3200.
Still can’t figure out what to give to someone who has everything? How about a gift in their name to some of our local organizations? The Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library, Lovell Historical Society, Brick Church for the Performing Arts, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Kezar Lake Watershed Association, Lovell’s United Church of Christ or Lovell Friends Helping Friends (winter fuel assistance for the needy)!
Please let me know of any additions to this list.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!
Western Maine is blessed to have so many skilled craft people living and working here and that they earn enough to make a living. Some of these crafts are not your everyday type of jobs. As many know, whenever I see a 'Fox & Sons' sign on the road, I like to pull over and be a 'sidewalk supervisor'. To see just a handful of people work at lifting a building off of its foundation and moving it to a temporary spot (usually for the construction of a new foundation) is just fascinating. Here's an example of a current job:
It was also an eye-opener to learn that a number of buildings around town were once in a different spot. So, it was not uncommon for a barn, a house or a section of a home to be moved across the field, across the street or across town. And often without the assistance of mechanical equipment. Just using strength, brains and animals. Which leads me to the Old Fox Barn on Slab City Road. After the passing of Fred Fox, the barn and farmhouse were slated for demolition. I am not certain of the exact sequence which resulted in the saving of the barn but along came J. Scott Campbell, owner of the Maine Mountain Post & Beam in Fryeburg, to purchase the building from the family. Along the way, he connected with a local resident looking to build a new residence. Over the years, I have seen some of Scott's work around the area. He just built a beautiful barn in my neighborhood but this is a special project and it brings new life to a structure that for a time was going to be torn down. Here are a few pictures of the frame before it was dismantled and a few pictures of it resurrected at its new location. In some of the pictures, you can see the simple system that is used to mark each piece.
Can't wait until the transformation of the old Fox Barn is complete. Until then, here are some photos.
Lovell's Minuteman sits in a prominent spot in the middle of the Village park, right next to the flagpole. Eric Gulbrandsen and Lynn Hurd do a wonderful job every year maintaining the flower bed right in front of him. For the most part, he sees people coming and going into the library, kids running and laughing on the playground and hears the sound of the tennis balls going back and forth over the nets. As 'they' say, a pretty good gig!
Until today, when dump trucks suddenly arrived and left a pile of crushed gravel and a second pile of rocks. Not long after that, a tree arrived strapped into the bucket of a tractor. What the heck was happening? As you can see from the pictures below, a foundation was created by the town crew of Larry Fox, Steve Fox and Scott Gardiner. The tree was lifted onto the top of the pile and the rocks were put into place to hold everything together.
How, and why, the tree is in the park is an interesting story to be told at another time. Right now, our Minuteman has asked me to solicit everyone's opinion of the tree. Even though he carries a rifle, he is a friendly guy but is still wondering about the new addition. Through my office window, I am looking at it right now and I am sure that over time, I will get used to it. So, next time you are in the Village, take a walk around the tree and let us know what you think.
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