Granite State Ambassador Volunteer
Recommendations & Tidbits

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  • 28 Jun 2017 11:07 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSA Sue Greenbaum

    It was predicted to rain….a lot, on the day our lunch bunch was scheduled to sail on Lake Sunapee. Never ones to allow Mother Nature to have the last word, the “2 Sues” rolled up their sleeves (and pants) the evening before, busily performing sun dances. And how it worked!

    The day was warm AND sunny when 41 GSAs/guests sailed out of Sunapee Harbor on the MV Kearsarge Restaurant Ship. Apparently our emails asking everyone to be on time was taken to heart. We actually departed 5 minutes early with everyone on board and accounted for. Good job guys, it was much appreciated, and we thank you!

    The MV Kearsarge is a replica of the steamers that once ferried vacationers around the lake  during the Grand Hotel era. Our Captain, Kara Obey, did a fantastic job navigating and bringing to our attention various  points of interest during our 1.5 hour excursion. The MV Kearsarge has two decks. Some of us loved the upper deck, for the opportunity to go outside, and some of us loved the lower deck, with its proximity to the buffet, bar, and bathrooms.  

    Speaking of the buffet, the food was superb.  Everyone we spoke to loved it, from salad to dessert. Many GSAs made a special point of mentioning to us how delicious everything was. The Social Committee can personally vouch for the Sangrias, too! We had 2 wonderful servers, Sam and Lynn, one for each deck along with a mate, Michael who was in the background assisting them. Sam and Lynn were enthusiastic, efficient, very attentive, and they never stopped smiling. Our server overheard us discussing the spiced apple slices offered with the salad bar. When she heard that some at our table had wished they had sampled it, she went back downstairs and brought us up a dish of them. They disappeared in seconds. Yum!

    But all good things have to come to an end, and before we knew it, we were pulling back in to dock. As we were leaving the ship and thanking the crew for a great time, they suggested we might want to come back in the fall sometime and experience the beautiful foliage. Sounds good to us! We may well look into doing that another year.

    Photo album:

  • 28 Jun 2017 8:24 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    by GSAs Jimmy & Karen Jordan
    Photos by: GSA Doug Moorhead & GSA Connie Loken

    Well, I haven’t ever written a blog, but I have written many Jordan family Christmas letters!  So here goes.

    Jimmy and I were chosen to be a part of this year’s White Mountain Fam Tour as it is called!  We weren’t sure we’d make it to the “final four”, but our luck held out and we were on our way to Polar Caves Park to meet the bus on Monday, June 19, 2017.  A hearty group of GSAs, AAA advisors from around New England, Chamber of Commerce folks, state DRED people, and people from industry showed up for four days of learning opportunities (as well as fun).

    We’ve toured other caves before, but these were glacial caves (not limestone or salt).  Some you had to crawl or squeeze through, others twisted through the earth and cooled us off.  A great way to start our adventure!  Family-friendly and a great day trip. (Make sure to bring your bug spray!)

    Then it was off to Alpine Adventures in Lincoln.  No, didn’t try anything here; although some rode down the tube slide and flew through the air.  A few of us tried the climbing ropes and free fall, but this body said no thanks to that.  Great fun for those who like a dare.   They are open year-round and even have snow shoeing.

    Off to the Flume Gorge.  There were choices of a long hike, short hike, or just enjoying the area around the museum/shop.  We went on the long hike up to the top of the Gorge.  It’s uphill, so a challenge for some.  Absolutely beautiful!!  This was one of my favorites as I like science and history.

    We next rode the Tramway to the top of Cannon Mountain.  Great view, new improvements at Cannon.  How about a bike ride to the Flume next time?  Then you can shuttle back to Cannon.  Of course, you can plan on skiing in the winter, too. 

    Our next stop was the Omni Mount Washington Resort.  I had passed by this hotel once before, but this was our own private tour of the hotel (with all its deep dark secrets), dinner and a room.  The hotel is a classic turn of the century structure. I think I needed to be wearing a hat and gloves to fit in.  Dinner was four courses in a luxurious dining room. 

    And that was just day 1!!  Day 2 (after a breakfast buffet to die for) we headed to Santa’s Village in Jefferson.  This was one of our favorite places.  It is family run and very much family friendly.  Even though we were caught in a downpour (it never rains in New Hampshire J), we were able to go around the whole park and soak it all in.

    Then to the Mt. Washington Auto Road.  Terrifying to drive up, so we were glad that there was a professional behind the wheel.  (This was Ron’s least favorite part of the trip!)  We recommend taking the tour.  Dawson was a wealth of information as well as keeping us on the road.  Froze at the summit.  Then down the other side of the mountain on the Cog Railway.  We have taken the Cog before and recommend it to all train enthusiasts. 

    Then it was off to Attitash Mountain Resort.  Unfortunately the weather was threatening, so we were unable to partake of any of the activities.  They were in the midst of some renovations, but were given a great overview.  We checked into the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel and had a great dinner there and a buffet breakfast.

    Day 3 we start with a relaxing trip on the Conway Scenic Railroad to North Conway.  Breath taking scenery along the way.  A good time to unwind.  Then it was off to Cranmore Mountain Resort. We were able to get on the coasters and even ventured on a zip line.  This is a seated zip line, perfect for young and the old J. 

    The bus took us to StoryLand in Glen.  They have activities for preschoolers through preteens.  And a new roller coaster that several of us hopped on.  We enjoyed a musical show and box lunch on the bus.

    Wildcat Mountain was the next stop.  Their claim to fame is their elevation.  They are able to have the longest ski season (by 50+ days).  Skiing is the name of the game at Wildcat. 

    After Wildcat we traveled the awe inspiring Kancamagus Highway (a must for all NH guests) to Whale’s Tale in Lincoln.  This water park has it all!!  From kiddie pools to wave pools to water slides to a lazy river and the new simulated surfing/body boarding venue.  A true state of the art.

    The day ended with our stay at Woodward’s Resort in Lincoln.  The resort is New England family-friendly, full of charm.  Reception and dinner…full service breakfast. (Great pancakes!)

    Last day…day 4  we started at Lost River Gorge…Wow!  You must do the whole hike to get the full effect.  The guides were courteous and knowledgeable.  They were the highlight of this adventure.  Knowledge is king.  (They even have lantern tours.  How cool is that?)

    Next we traveled to Clark’s Trading Post.  We had a personal guided tour by a member of the Clark family.  Third generation NH business is a must for all NH guests.  We watched an acrobatic show as well as the classic bear acts.  They are braver than we are.  (And the Russian girl must be made of rubber to turn her shoulders inside out!)

    A lazy, quiet ride on the Hobo Railroad came next.  Scenic views of the Saco River and even yummy desserts were provided.

    Our last stop was Loom Mountain.  This resort has it all.  Skiing, adventure activities, hiking trails, bikes, and even a place for a wedding at the summit.  (We counted places for about 180 guests.)

    After Loon Mountain, we were back on the bus for our return to Polar Caves Park and our cars for our trip home. 

    To all who made this unforgettable trip possible, thank you.


    Karen and Jimmy Jordan

  • 23 Jun 2017 5:32 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    The NH Boat Museum was a real treat. What an incredible collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and boats. The museum has a focus on the boating heritage and life on the lakes and rivers of NH. They have rotating exhibits, outreach programs, events, publications and hands-on activities.

    I was particularly impressed by the programs they run from lectures, to workshops, to full boat building classes for families.  The hold numerous boat shows/events throughout the year including a sailing regatta, model yachts, and even a vintage boat race event. I suggest visiting their website to look at their full calendar.

    The NH Boat Museum operates a 28 foot, mahogany triple cock-pit 'woodie' which is a replica of a 1928 Hacker-Craft for guided tours of Wolfeboro Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee. It's a 45 minute excursion you won't soon forget!

    The Toy Boat exhibit is fantastic. You could spend an hour just looking at them! Thank you Fred Clausen for sharing your collection with us.


    A drive-by for many years, the Wright Museum is one of those sites that I have passed by often and wonder about the exhibits but never took the time to stop and actually do a tour.   However, it was offered as a Granite State Ambassador tour and I always like learning what the State of NH has to offer for visitors.

    Sometimes you go on a tour and wonder…will it be boring, uninteresting, too long etc.   Honestly, what this State has for treasures always amazes me.  The tour was remarkable and so interesting for all ages.  The idea of the museum is to recognize the side of the war not revealed in many stories.  What was happening in the United States during this war?  We have seen battle maps, equipment, news film clips etc. but what were American efforts stateside?  The Wright Museum captures that side of the war effort in so many aspects and interesting displays and films.  And, yes, it does have tanks, jeeps, and armed vehicles but so much more.  Not at all boring, uninteresting, or long…not at all!

     Please take the time to stop and enter this wonderful museum…how lucky are we to step back in history and see what it would have been like to live through this war.  Can you imagine biking because gas was rationed, homemakers stepping up to build airplanes, or no TV?   A time that should not be forgotten.   A very special museum.

    Charlene Courtemanche
    GSA, Seacoast Greyhound Class of 2002


    Thursday, June 8 a group of GSA's participated in a tour of the Wright Museum and the NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro, NH.

    The Wright Museum has evolving exhibits, as well as permanent exhibits depicting life during the WWII era of 1939 to 45.  Locating the museum is easy, on Center Street about a mile off Main Street, Wolfeboro, NH.  A 'can't-miss' because of the Tank appearing to be breaking through the side of the building.  Plenty of parking, hours 10 - 4.  Mobility challenged accessibility.

    Air conditioned building with docents/staff more than willing to assist, explain and guide visitors.  Beginning with an 8-minute movie, exiting into a large exhibit area depicting life 75+ years ago.  A life-size of a 'then' decorated living room; kitchen; candy store front with goodies from that era; a gas station; dental office and multiple displays from 'sweet heart jewelry', pictures, rationing coupons, etc.  So much more than expect.

    On to the 'time tunnel' Each year depicting what was important to that year (39 - '45); movies/cars/music and statistic of income/ costs of cars, homes, groceries, etc... audio devices available.   Fun to see the yearly statistics change.

    Then onto a large area with multiple restored military vehicles and an open gallery displaying uniforms, women in the service, history, medals and much more. Definitely a must see if you have 2 hours or 8 hours.

    Margaret Minnon
    GSA, Comfort Inn Concord Class of 2011


    I was very impressed with both museums. I had been at the wright museum years ago on a rainy vacation day. My father had fought in WWII, but it was surprising to see how much interest the kids in my family had in seeing how people lived during the road. My mother was a small girl during the war and as we walked through the museum, her grandchildren were so interested in stories she was telling them because they could look specific items in the cases. What an asset this museum is to New Hampshire.

    I have never been to the boat museum. The boats they displayed were so impressive. After going to the museum, you just want to take a ride on the Mille B. It was very good to include the toy boat collection. Another museum I can see all ages enjoying. I'm looking forward to seeing their new building.

    -Christine Stacey
    GSA, Manchester Boston Regional Airport Class of 2015


    "Big Dreams, Little Boats"  Exhibit of GSA Board Member Fred Clausen's amazing toy boat collection at the NH Boat Museum.

    I thought the Wright Museum was wonderful. I went to the museum about ten years ago and the tour brought back the memories of how well it was back then. It offers a difference twist over other wartime museums, I think the home-front aspect, offers the opportunity to get different family members involve. I knew what to expect, but the tour reminds me to push tourism in the Wolfeboro area more than I am doing now.

    The Boat Museum was nice, the two luxury boats were very interesting, but I felt that the museum was a bit too small. From what I could see, they have more boats, but did not have enough display area. If they do build a new Museum, and able to display more of their inventory, I believe that it could become a much more substantial destination. I surly plan to visit this museum again after the building opens in a few years.

    I think these two museums, along with the Mount Washington, really make this area a desirable travel destination.

    Phil Lefebvre
    GSA, Manchester Boston Regional Airport Class of 2015

    Click here to look at our photo album of the trip.

    For more information including their event calendars:

    Wright Museum of WW II
    77 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03896
    Special events and exhibits:

    New Hampshire Boat Museum
    399 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03896
    Events, lectures, antique boat auction,  programs:

  • 09 Jun 2017 6:15 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)
    by GSA Tim Adams, Southern NH University Class of 2014

    I expect that I’m not alone in the enjoyment of people watching when manning an Information Booth. It can be both fun, and interesting to say the least. Case in point… So, it was another typical, quiet evening shift (6-9pm) at the airport. I’d had a few people stop by and ask the same questions everybody has heard like ‘where are the car rentals?’ and ‘where is the bathroom?’, but other than that it was quiet. Suddenly a young woman comes running out of the ladies room, yelling for her friend who, it turned out was in the men’s room. It seems they had called for the boarding of their flight and she was afraid, as she had a right to be, that ‘they’ would be late and miss it.

    She stopped beside the booth and waited for him to appear. Well, he comes sauntering out and she starts moving quickly around the booth heading toward the North end of the terminal, asking me as she passed, ‘Are the gates this way?’ I should point out at this time that both people were dragging small suitcases that I assumed were carry-on for their trip. I directed them up the escalator to the Security check point, knowing that, since it wasn’t 6am with lots of people heading out, they just might have a chance to catch their plane. Five minutes later she’s running down the stairs yelling ‘Mom’! She turns toward the far end of the airport and runs up to a woman walking this way. They speak for a moment and she turns and runs back for the stairs, yelling to her friend that ‘they’re in your pocket’ and ‘you had them all the time’.

    Okay I thought, now they might just not make that flight. Fifteen minutes later she back and stops by the Info Booth and asks me where there is an ATM. I directed her to the one nearby and she rushed over to it. A few minutes later I saw her slowly walking out of the airport. Well, clearly ‘they’ weren’t going to miss ‘their’ flight and it would appear that he did catch his flight, but it sure made for an interesting forty five minutes or so for me as I watch it all play out.

    Chalk it up to yet another fun evening at the airport. For those of you that haven’t visited the airport recently, new furniture has been placed next to Starbucks and it looks great! There are some real comfortable looking ‘S’ benches as well as chairs and a couple of tables against the windows. The tables will be popular with the person looking to charge a phone as there are both A/C outlets and USB ports on the top to serve most peoples’ needs.

  • 06 Jun 2017 9:33 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

    2017 Yearbook:
    2017 AMBIEs Awards Luncheon Photo Library


    Manchester, NH - New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors (GSA’s) are volunteers, industry professionals, and residents of New Hampshire who have been trained and certified as “NH information specialists.” You can find them ‘welcoming the world to NH’ at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, statewide visitor centers, special events, chambers, and many other locations throughout the state. Here in our 21st year, NHGSA can proudly say that we have certified 1,638 Granite State Ambassador volunteers and industry members through 75 classes. In just the past year, 300 GSA volunteers served over 18,000 hours and assisted over 100,000 guests in-state, and when you include the 17 days they spend promoting New Hampshire in the Division of Travel and Tourism Development’s New Hampshire Building Information Booth at The Big E in West Springfield, MA, that number soars to over a million!

    On June 1, 2017, the NH Granite State Ambassadors held its prestigious AMBIEs Awards Luncheon at UNH Manchester where we take time to recognize our dedicated volunteers and industry partners. This year's recipients are Moe Demers for the 2017 GSA of the Year Award; Dan Memos for the Judi Window, It's Always Sunny in NH Award; Diane LaBelle for the Hospitality From the Heart Award; and Maureen Walsh for the GSA Service Award.

    The GSA of the Year Award is given to a GSA extraordinaire for providing excellent service to the community and dedication to the GSA mission. Moe Demers is a regular volunteer for the Secure-Side Walk About program at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, at special events, and the NH State Welcome Centers. He has a real passion for NH and takes time to meet our state's travelers on a personal level and shares their stories with other GSA volunteers through writing blogs for our newsletter. Moe has volunteered over 1500 hours since he was GSA certified in the Comfort Inn Airport Class of 2011.

    The Judi Window, It's Always Sunny in NH Award is given to a GSA that embodies one of our co-founder's sunny, positive spirit. Dan Memos' good humor, passion, and welcoming demeanor make him the perfect choice. Dan has volunteered over 620 hours at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and special events and is part of the NH Division of Travel and Tourism Class of 2009. He and his wife spend every Christmas day volunteering at the airport's information booth to make sure our state's guests feel welcome and have everything they need.

    The Hospitality from the Heart Award goes to the GSA volunteer who spends endless hours trying to go unnoticed and give generous contributions to other GSAs from their warm heart. Diane LaBelle has volunteered over 920 hours and was part of the Red River Theatre Class of 2013. Diane's warm, caring, and competent demeanor is perfect for her time spend volunteering at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, the Capitol Region Visitor Center, and the NH State House Visitor Center. She is always willing to help with whatever comes up, no matter what, or who is in front of her.

    The GSA Service Award is given to a GSA who volunteers with enthusiasm, and continuously strives to learn more about NH through GSA special events, tours, and specialized trainings. Maureen Walsh was part of the GSA McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center Class of 2014 and has volunteered over 950 hours mostly at special events, the NH State House Visitor Center, and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. She is extremely knowledgeable about NH and is always ready to share all she knows with anyone she meets with a welcoming, and understanding smile.

    Also honored at the AMBIEs Awards Luncheon were the White Mountains Attractions Association for their strong support of our GSA volunteer educational programs, and the NH State House Visitor Center's Tour Program which provides training and support for our GSA volunteers to share their love of NH history.

    The final peer merit awards went to Tim Adams, Blogger Award; Jim Byrd, Rookie Award; and Mary Lenz, GSA Emeritus.

    Thank you to our AMBIEs Awards Luncheon and Prize Sponsors – UNH Manchester, Fratello’s, NH Mountain Inn, Common Man Inn Plymouth & Claremont, RiverWalk Resort at Loon, Silver Fox Inn at Waterville Valley, Experience Squam Boat Tours, Alpine Adventures, Whale’s Tale Water Park, Candia Springs Adventure Park, Millie B Vintage Boat Rides on Winnipesaukee.

    The New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors add value to state agencies, local businesses, and individuals through a training and service support network that sustains and enhances the New Hampshire experience. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, NHGSA serves hundreds of travel and tourism related businesses with the support of our Key Partners, NH Division of Travel and Tourism and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. Find out more about NHGSA, Inc. at

    Merit Award Winners: Rookie - Jim Byrd & Blogger - Tim Adams 

    White Mountain National Forest Certification - Margaret Minnon, Irene & Bob Mullen, Burt & Sharon Lohnes (not pictured)

    NHGSA Key Partners

    Vicki Cimino, Director of NH Division of Travel and Tourism
    Tom Malafronte, Deputy Director of the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

    KUDOS recipients

    Top Annual Hours Awards - Art & Mary Lizie (320), Maureen Walsh (372), Tim Adams (432), Paul Lacourse (522 - not pictured)

    5 Year Pins & 10 Year Pins

     50 Hour Awards & 100 Hour Awards

    250 Hour Awards & 500 Hour Awards

    1000 Hour Awards & 2000-8000 Hour Awards

  • 02 Jun 2017 11:13 AM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)
    by GSA Jyl Dittbenner, Cathedral of the Pines Class of 2014

    It was a quiet morning in the Manchester Information Center (MIC).  My sister Lyn Gelinas and I, Cathedral of the Pines class of 2014, enjoy volunteering in this center because this is our home, we are lifelong residents of the Queen City.  We sit inside the quiet center and patiently await the visitors.  Occasionally someone needs information about bus schedules or a restaurant recommendation.  On the morning of May 20th we expected a quiet shift like usual.  Instead, we were treated to a beautiful (sunny) visit with Chip and Jane from Phippsburg, Maine.  They are members of the American Bell Association and wanted to plan a visit for their group (of about 120 bell collectors).

    They brought with them the symbol of the group, a bell once used by Ulysses S. Grant - to call workers and family to dinner.  Jane regaled us with stories about the bell and how it was used.  We posed for a photo with the bell at their request.

    Ulysses S. Grant is the face of the fifty dollar bill.  Originally named Hiram, he found his name incorrectly listed as his middle name Ulysses upon entering West Point.  Never really a fan of his initials H.U.G., Grant went with it becoming U.S. Grant, a more patriotic moniker.

    We assisted Chip and Jane with various ideas of things to do and places to see throughout our state.  They were considering lodging at the Radisson and asked about the Cog Railway, Antique Alley, Keene and Peterborough area, and the proximity of the seacoast.  We shared with them many of the local highlights like the Currier Museum of Art, the Palace Theatre, SNHU Arena, and the NH Fisher Cats. It was a wonderful conversation and sharing of ideas.  We look forward to their group’s visit sometime in the future.

  • 19 May 2017 1:32 PM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    Castle in the Clouds and The Loon Center Tour

    by Tim Adams, GSA Southern NH University Class of 2014

    The weather wasn’t looking good when I started out on my trip North to join in on the Castle in the Clouds tour. While it wasn’t raining real hard, it was raining enough, and the roads were wet enough, that I had to keep the wipers on for the majority of the drive. A few times I did turn them to intermittent mode but those times didn’t seem to last very long.

    When I arrived at the designated parking lot, at least I hoped I was at the correct one, I sat in the car for a few minutes debating if I should start the day carrying an umbrella or just wearing my GSA ball cap. I finally opted for the ball cap and, as I was exiting my car several other GSA members drove in, helping me confirm I was in the right place, or that we were all lost! The sky also started clearing which was nice to see.

    We walked over to the Carriage house, passing a gift shop on the way and joined several other GSA members that had arrived earlier.

    In short order, we were greeted by Brenda and then she introduced us to Chuck who gave us a bit of history of the Castle in the Clouds.

    Now, having grown up in New Hampshire, I’ve heard people talk of this ‘Castle in the Clouds’ off and on for years but the closest I had ever come to seeing it was while passing through some of the surrounding grounds on a snowmobile in the dead of winter! Not the time I want to take a look around at the scenery since I was doing the driving and I was riding with several other people on their own sleds.

    I did not know the Castle was built between 1912 and 1914 for an estimated cost of one million dollars. While that amount might not sound like much today, back in the early 1900’s it was quite a tidy sum. Even more impressive was the fact that it was a retirement home for the owner, Tom G. Plant and, at one time this ‘estate’ (for the lack of a better term) owned all the land from the Castle to the lake and 2 1/2 miles of lake front property! This little piece of property was over 6,000 acres!

    The actual building took, as I mentioned, around 2 years to complete and around 1,000 workers to build! While this might sound strange to you, you must remember most of the transportation for building supplies was still being done with the horse and wagon! Carting the material up the mountain wasn’t an easy task, especially when you consider what we have for tools and equipment to use today.

    After the talk, we adjourned to a shuttle and a ride up to the Castle itself.

    We were greeted with construction vehicles along the way as there is some very serious roof repairs underway. Over the years, several repair projects have been undertaken. The entire goal of this work is to maintain the building as close to the original as possible. This is done by using pictures that exist from shortly after it was built.

    The building wasn’t quite what I expected but still a huge place for a couple to reside in. The main sitting room had a fantastic view of the lake.

    From the old wood burning stove in the kitchen at one end of the building to the, now impossible to get, circular shower, the first floor of the building was very impressive. Most impressive I think was the small hidden room!

    Now, when I was much younger I had always wanted to live in a house with a secret room or something similar but I would have wanted something just a bit bigger then this room. Built into the back corner of the main parlor, the room had a chair, a small book shelf and a window. It is believed the former owner would use this room to ‘escape’ from (annoying?) guests from time to time so he could relax and read a book in quiet. My thought was that it also made a great ‘punishment’ room for an unruly child. Put them in, close the door and I expect they would quiet down quickly.

    The Hidden Room door is clearly visible in the picture.

    The second floor had several bathrooms, 2 or 3 more circular showers, several tubs and the master suite. A sitting room, changing room, bed room and bath room took up much of the western side of the building. With the lake to the west, I can just imagine the fantastic sunsets anybody that lived there must have seen.

    There was also a maid’s room on this floor while male servants had rooms in the basement.

    Two other interesting items we saw was the intercom that had been installed when the building was built and the fire suppression system that was also built into the mansion.

    Much of the interior Castle walls were covered in wallpaper. Several, while not original, were of the same color and pattern of the original. It seems that when a wall has needed to be recovered, extreme care is taken while removing the old paper to try and find out what the original paper underneath might have looked like so that they can digitally recreate it and re- paper in the original color and design. Quite a nice way to use modern technology to help keep history alive.

    After the tour, several of us walked back down the hill to our starting place while the rest of the group jumped onto the trolley for a ride back. Lunch was then served and we were again given a short talk about the mansion and the property.

    We then returned to our cars for a short drive down to the Loon Center, also located in Moultonborough. The Loon Center, while only 20 years old, has a history that goes back 40+ years in helping restore and preserve the natural habitat for the Common Loon here in New Hampshire.

    At the Loon Center, we heard a talk on the Common Loon, found on many of the lakes and ponds here in New Hampshire. Forty years ago, there were less than 100 breeding pairs of Loons in New Hampshire. They survey 350 lakes in New Hampshire and all of them have at least one nesting pair on it. Quite an improvement even if it is slow. Work like this doesn’t happen overnight.

    If you kayak, you might have seen some of the nesting platforms that this organization places in many of the lakes and ponds of New Hampshire. The primary reason for this is if a nesting couple builds a nest on shore, predatory animals may find it and make it unsafe to raise the young. By adding the nesting platform, even if it’s in the same area as the original nest, it’s out on the water and a bit off shore and covered so eagles would have a harder time seeing the young.

    The young don't spend much time on the nest after they hatch, opting instead for the water where the adults will pass them fish for their meals. At the beginning, the young need to learn how to turn the fish 90 degrees so it can swallow it. Not an easy task and the video we saw showed a young loon dropping its meal several times before getting it right.

    As they grow they learn how to catch their own meal and so become less dependent on their parents.

    Loons are a very solitude nesting bird, keeping other nesting pairs at quite a distance but, as their young reach that point where they are able to feed themselves, the adults seek out others and so you’re apt to see more than just a pair at a time.

    They migrate, as do many other birds, but their journey is a lot shorter than some as they merely head for the coast and the ocean where they will spend the winter. Some Loons even go north rather than south for the winter. They just need the opened water for a supply of food to survive.

    Behind the Loon Center there are several hiking trails and so after the talk and movie, as well as a visit to the gift shop, I took a walk out around their Loon Nesting trail. The trails, as was to be expected after all the rain, were extremely wet and I had to wander off the trail in several places to avoid the puddles. While I was told by a couple of people I met along the way that there were a pair of Loons around the nesting box, I didn’t see them. It was a good way to end the day however.

    For more pictures, CLICK HERE


    A view of the lake out the main floor window.


  • 11 May 2017 5:37 PM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    The following article was published in the Concord Monitor on August 25, 2012.

    With the summer months approaching, and the Kiosk scheduled to open over Memorial Day Weekend, we thought it would be fun to share. Dwight reported that in one 3-hour shift from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Kiosk in front of the State House he remembers clearly having visitors from Lisbon, Portugal, Ukraine, and Burundi, Africa!


    BLOG: The Kiosk in Front of the State House – A Window to the World

    By: (Rev.) Dwight S. Haynes, GSA -  Discover Wild NH Class of 2008

         The little kiosk in front of the State House is not only a place with maps and brochures provided by the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, but a window to the world, providing volunteers like me a wonderful opportunity to meet local people plus tourists from across the country and around the world.

         Some requests are easy like for maps & brochures, bus schedules, nearest grocery store, nearest campground, literature on Concord for someone moving here, a list of places to dine, a list of things to see and do in this area, directions for City Hall, Library, Police station, the D.M.V., Hospital, nearest Food Pantry, NH Audubon, St. Paul’s School, NH Museum, Planetarium & Discovery Center, Dem. & Rep. Headquarters, Sweepstakes Headquarters, hiking & biking trails, antique shops, a candy shop, and “Where is the State House?”  I kid you not!

        People registering a business have to come to the office of the Secretary of State. Some assume it will look like an office building!  Actually, to register a business they have to go across the street to the Corporate Div. at 25 Capitol St.  One person asked if the big building behind me was a Town Hall.  No, Concord is the State Capital.  She said, “I thought Montpelier was the Capital.”  Time to get out a New England map!

        Someone from Maine asked where the bridge is between Concord & Lexington, and Walden Pond?  Someone from Germany asked; “Where is the Minute Man?”  She, too, thought she was in Concord, MA.  Oh dear!  Time again for a New England map.

            Someone from Ossipee had locked the key in her car and was looking for a locksmith.  Someone else had run out of gas and needed a gas can.  Some requests are challenging like: the nearest pay phone (not many left, one in Eagle Sq.), a wi-fi station nearby for checking e-mail (library, some coffee shops), Korean food, the difference between Capital & Capitol, What’s the Chamber of Commerce?

        Also, “Where does the Merrimack River begin?” (Franklin, actually Lafayette & Cannon Mtn. via the Pemigewasset River), “Has anybody really important come from your State House?”  (Yes, Daniel Webster, Franklin Pierce, John Hale, etc), and “How come NH is the only state with neither a broad-based sales or income tax?” 

        A woman from CT wanted to see the John Stark statue (on the lawn).  She is one of his descendants, a few generations removed.  The Delaware Sec. of State was looking for NH’s Bill Gardner!  A student from Russia said, “Clothes, Walmart?”  A woman from Paraguay was looking for children's clothing.  Someone else wanted NH T-shirts & souvenirs.

        Many are visiting all 50 State Capitols.  For two this was # 49!  Many are surprised that our State House is open inside to visitors.  One young couple was “glad to get out of the mountains.” Why?  “It was scary; we feel safer here.” Another young couple from Springfield, MA come to NH as often as they can, saying, “We’d love to live here.” 

        NH is the 2nd most forested state in the nation.  A man from Iowa said that on some of the highways the trees block the view!  I suggested that this is to entice people to climb our mountains and get a magnificent, panoramic view, especially compared to the molehills in Iowa.  I get questions about places to stay and things to see and do in the Lakes Region, the Mountains, and the coast.  While serving churches I had to be a little discreet in telling people where to go.  Here, they thank me!

        One day, 25 Jr. High students from China arrived to visit the State House.  Another day, a large group of well-dressed men from Korea came to do business at the State House. An attractive, young Japanese woman, who is a fashion executive in Montreal, is impressed with Concord’s Pay-as-You-Throw recycling program.  She has traveled the world – 75 nations so far – and feels travel is the best investment in life.  She took my picture and said: “We are all one.”

        Every Monday a.m. during foliage season 1 or 2 buses with people from around the world stop here for 20 minutes to let them walk around, get coffee, take pictures.  Starting in NYC, Boston, & the Cape, they’re heading to Loon Mtn., Montpelier & Stow VT, Montreal & Toronto, & back to NYC.  One woman from Denmark said: “Oh, just like the book says: “Your leaves go from green to red!”  I said, “Wait til you see a swamp maple next to a white birch”.  Like a teen-ager seeing snow for the first time, she said, “What’s a swamp maple?”

        The number of people who come to the kiosk varies.  In my 3-hour shift last Monday I had 24. The few who take turns at the kiosk here, like people at the Airport and other Visitor Centers, are called Granite State Ambassadors!  I see this as an opportunity to exercise the spiritual discipline of hospitality, which is rooted in the Old Testament Book of Ruth with its emphasis on hospitality to the foreigner and in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount with its command to welcome the stranger.

        This is my 5th year at this.  My wife, Maryellen, is in her 3rd year.  Her experiences are somewhat similar.  One day, she was talking with a woman and discovered that she now lives in West Concord in the same house that we lived in back in the 80’s!  The Chamber could use several more volunteers.  I found the 2 days of training led by people from all over the state to be fascinating and very helpful. 

        Occasionally, I get stumped by someone’s question. I just call the Chamber Office and the encyclopedic Carolyn O’Brien rescues me!  The newly-located Chamber of Commerce Office is at 49 So. Main St. in the new Smile building.  This Office is a good source of lots of helpful information. 

        Often, my parting comment to people leaving the Kiosk is: “Travel while you can.  Remember St. Augustine said: ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page’.”








  • 22 Apr 2017 9:16 AM | Claire Moorhead (Administrator)

    Tour: Lincoln, NH

    04/13/17 by: Michelle Gittleson


    On Wednesday April 12th, the Granite State Ambassadors had a fun filled day of multiple tours in Lincoln, NH. We started out at Jean’s Playhouse and later made the short walk to the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain, where we had lunch at La Vista Restaurant, enjoyed a wine tasting at Seven Birches Winery, and had the chance to see the fabulous accommodations and amenities at the RiverWalk Resort.


    Jean’s Playhouse

     Our lovely host Sharon Paquette, the Producing Artistic Director at Jean’s Playhouse, started by bringing us into the the theater, which has 260 seats and is very spacious IMG_8222.jpgand comfortable. We then explored the lobby area while she gave us a brief history of the theater, and enlightened us on some of the upcoming shows. The season begins on June 29th, 2017 and you can see their full list of productions here. In addition to these main stage shows, they also have a traveling Children’s Theater called IMPACT, which features specially written plays geared towards younger audiences. Their actors range in age from 18 on up, and Jean’s is passionate about hiring New Hampshire talent. They have partnered with many local restaurants offering “Dinner And A Show” discounts that would make for a great night out! GSA’s are also fortunate as Jean’s offers a special PERK for GSAs of half price tickets. Visit the Perks page on the GSA website HERE for details.  There are concessions and even a full bar offering playfully themed drinks to match some of the shows! They allow you to bring your refreshments into the theater as well! They have some wonderful acts coming up this season, so don’t miss out! Located about one hour north of Concord, Jean’s Playhouse would love to see even more visitors from southern NH. You can also subscribe to their email list at the bottom of their homepage.

     RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain

    La Vista Italian Cuisine

    and Seven Birches Winery

    Our next stop was La Vista Italian Cuisine, the restaurant located right inside the RiverWalk Resort. We were greeted with warm hospitality from the manager, Doug Smith, and his staff. We had the chance to sample some of their creative pizzas made in their 650 degree brick oven, some salads and specialty dipping bread as well. No one left hungry, and everyone said it was delicious!  The ingredients were fresh, and the dough is made from scratch in house and was absolutely delicious. ½ price pizza is on Wednesday nights so go check them out! To learn more about their restaurant or see their menu, click here!


      Seven Birches Winery is also a must see and is the perfect activity to do if you’re visiting Lincoln. They started in 2010 by partnering with Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill, NH which is now one of their main sources for the apples, blueberries and other fruit they use in their wines. They offer $10 tastings that last between half an hour to forty five minutes which provides a nice opportunity to taste the delicious blends. Their Winery Tour is also an option, where you can learn the history of the winery and see the passion the winemakers press into every bottle. Their wine is sold at this Lincoln location and is also available at a few local shops in town.

    Turn your wine tastings into a summer adventure by making Seven Birches Winery one of your many stops by following New Hampshire’s  wine, cheese and chocolate trail or the NH Wineries passport program. Whether you are up for a play at Jean’s Playhouse or just catching dinner with friends, stopping at Seven Birches is one of the classiest attractions around and will definitely add to your Lincoln experience.


    To wrap up the afternoon Brian Willette - Sales Manager, and Renee Blood - General Manager of the RiverWalk Resort at Loon took us on a tour of this elegant new lodging property. Accommodations range in size and include studio units, one bedroom and two bedroom units. There is even an Executive Suite, a Presidential riverwalk tub.JPGSuite and a Penthouse! Each unit is fully and very comfortably furnished, features a full kitchen and other creature comforts like whirlpool soaking tubs and fireplaces.

     Balconies off the units offer amazing views of the nearby mountain and ski slopes or the village of Lincoln. While the resort does function like a hotel - many of the units are privately owned, and there are still some units available for purchase! The first two floors even allow pets!.

    Some of the amenities include a lovely spa, full gym, ice skating rink, campfire pits riverwalk pool.JPGand an outdoor heated pool, that you enter from indoors!  Oh - and the resort is very family friendly and has a good size game room sure to entertain. There is even on on-site adventure concierge, ready to
    help you plan a day hike, snowshoe adventure, a kayaking trip or more, as there is SO much to see and do in this region.

    There are two more future phases planned for the resort with many exciting additions, including room for the Winery to grow and even a 300 seat convention center.

    The Granite State Ambassadors thank all of our gracious hosts again for providing a full day of fun and learning. We won’t soon forget all that these attractions have to offer.  

    In case you missed it, last week's newsletter featured a number of comments from the GSAs who attended the tour. Here are a couple more…

    “What a delightful experience the GSAs had in Lincoln. The combination of the theater, lunch, the hotel and the winery was fabulous! Each stop was unique and fascinating.  It was also very well orchestrated. One takeaway that immediately jumps into my mind was the lunch. We were told we would have a pizza lunch. That just really didn’t describe the gourmet lunch they laid out for us. The Caesar salad was delightful. And the array of pizza’s with a variety of interesting toppings, cut small so we could try a lot, was really delicious. I love the thin and crispy crust.  I look forward to returning. They are only open at dinner and brunch on Sundays but they said they might expand to lunch in the future.”   - Sue G.

    “The size of the suites and the layout of the new RiverWalk Resort was impressive. You could tell they paid a lot of attention to detail when planning and building it. Large storage areas for unit owners makes it easy to take advantage of all seasons in the white mountains. The resort's location is key - views, amenities and everything the white mountains has to offer, right outside your door!    C. M. Class of 2016













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