From Nika Faulkner:
We are happy to invite you and other cousins you find who are not yet on this list to this next West Hill Dinner.
Please save Saturday July 18, 2020 for a summer, height of blueberry season day at Andorra, 30 Queen St., Stoddard, NH. We’ll aim to start our potluck feast, if the last West Hill Dinner is any marker, at 12:30 pm. More details way below.
The majority consensus was to have another dinner in two years and so it approaches. Speaking for myself I have to say that pace of picnicking surprised me as being the top choice!
Make no mistake I am very much on board for continuing our West Hill Dinners supporting existing friendships and fostering new ones, especially across generations and within the next generations of cousins.
I’m guessing that frequency is favoured because we second cousins a) are getting older and b) had the chance to get to know each other. Our parents; the first cousins, and their parents the original siblings, really enjoyed getting together. With a popular family place to gather, and the family respect of some of the best of traditional values (such as getting together, not littering – perhaps it was ?Hammer Lacey who was the small boy of that famous family story? Please share what you know!) we met pretty often growing up.
I’m very glad for the ways I feel close to many of my second cousins! Many of you have been a wonderful feature of my adult life. Sometimes I’ve gotten to know some of your kids.
What do you think accounts for cousins wanting a West Hill Dinner every two years? Our jovial natures and general attractive demeanors? Naturally?
Acknowledging Cousin Dafydd Jones
Issues of geniality and manners bring me to this apology. There are so many of us who pitched in that day (which included perpendicular hail balls and rain getting inside bedroom windows on the porch side of the Camp House!) – THANK YOU.
However I forgot the most important thank you I had in my heart the day we gathered. Today I want to heartily and lovingly acknowledge Dafydd Jones, “co-chair” of the 2018 event. His far-sightedness, discipline and early rising hour literally made much of the organizing and the event smooth sailing. Thank you Dafydd for making sure the save the date 2018 was out in a TIMELY fashion, for thinking through the tasks of the event, for keeping your own big personal list, and for showing up repeatedly and even independently to whatever the next chore was! Thank you for being flexible and even understanding about how I was showing up to my responsibilities!
What a relief you are on tap again in 2020.
Note to all: Please share the emails of missing cousins and willing members of the next generation!
If you would like to be part of this great “organizing committee” please let me know. I am particularly interested in finding someone who enjoys the computer and mailing lists; not my forté.
If you would like to come to the West Hill Dinner earlier and pitch in on the chores please let me know! We do appreciate a handful of willing and hardy souls getting everything ready in advance. There is room at the Camp House (or tenting) for volunteers for sure. If I don’t reply in a timely fashion to your email, if you could alert me by phone or text? I would greatly appreciate it. My phone number is below.
Please note there is also room at the Camp House for elders to overnight, and for more than one night If that helps our elders attend! This offer is very near and dear to my heart. I hope it may help some of us attend.
Thanks all on mighty President’s Day! What an evolving experiment our democracy is. May we continue to create the democracy in which we want to live.
m617 304 4156
h617 522 5887
Information for the future
Schedule and Opportunities
We’ll be ready to welcome you at the Camp House as early as 9:00 am. There will be opportunities to swim*, boat, hike*, mountain bike, walk around Cold Spring Pond (about 30 minutes)*, tour the wonderful Stoddard Historical Society (in town across from the church), climb up Pitcher Mountain and the Fire Tower to the 365 degree view (20 minute hike or so)!!, and certainly to pick the wild, highbush blueberries at Pitcher Mountain and the South Pasture, Hubbard Hill, or Jackson Hill. There may be Camp House or Farm tours offered, yet to be determined.
If you are in need of breakfast or a coffee the Mill Village General Store (603 446 7393) in the village center has a great breakfast sandwich (and lunch sandwiches).
Let’s gather for lunch at 12:30. There may be remarks and toasts offered; please bring yours along with photos and memorabilia to share. We’ll have a table on the porch for interesting family items. We may be able to offer a few minutes of film footage from West Hill dinners in the early 1950s!
arrive as early as 9:00 am
gather for lunch at 12:30
relax, play, converse, enjoy!
What to Bring
Please bring a dish to share. (For travelers Debbie and Dale at the Mill Village Store are able to cater items that may be appropriate to bring for our Hill Dinner: attractive wraps and sandwiches of various kinds, chicken and egg salad, quantities of diverse pies, other appetizers. 603 446 7393).
Please bring what you wish to drink. Water and herbal iced tea will be available.
Plates, silverware and cups will be provided as per Peter and Jeanne Jeffries usual!
Bring appropriate recreational gear: swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, sneakers or shoes to walk in, a blueberry picking pail or bucket or plastic milk jug cut open, possibly a bit of cash if somebody creates an up-to-date geneology** (see below) and you’d like a copy, or if the NH organic cashew ice cream “truck” is able to come.
(Note that may help you plan: I like to pick bbs in long pants and a long-sleeved shirt for the prickers, branches, or ticks that one might wade into, and a broadbrimmed hat which limits the blackflies and bugs flying around my head. I also like to have my bb pail slung through my belt or a string around my waist as that leaves both my hands free to pick and eat).
Address and Directions
Andorra (the place James and Mary Faulkner bought in 1936 to have a foothold in the woods close to family in Keene and Peterborough) is located on Rt. 123 between Rts. 9 and 10 north of Keene and Peterborough, south of Concord and Newport.
The address of the Camp House is 30 Queen St., Stoddard, NH 03464. DO NOT trust Google Maps if it leads you onto Queen St. BEFORE you enter our driveway.
From the East you will be on Rt. 9:
If traveling south from Concord or Hillsborough on Rt. 9 you will take a perpendicular right onto rt. 123 heading due west. If traveling north on Rt. 9 from Keene or Hancock and Peterborough you will see a dedicated left turn lane for the perpendicular lefthand turn onto Rt. 123 heading due west:
Drive into and through the village of Stoddard starting uphill past the church. At the top of the hill you’ll pass Pitcher Mountain Farm and Scotch Highland cattle on your right and Butterfield tucked away to your left. As you begin to go downhill you’ll see the parking lot for Pitcher Mountain hikes and blueberries on your right. You may notice a dirt road with a chain across it on the right after you’ve gone down the hill a ways. A bit farther on you’ll discern a pond and a pull-out on the right: Cold Spring Pond. The driveway is a dirt road just after the pond. There is a green street sign that says Queen St. Note that there is a second entrance to the driveway just after the pullout. It is directly opposite the Old Mill and the Tractor Shed, anchored by a huge, green metal mailbox with the numbers 30, 60, 75, 155 on it.
The driveway to the Camp House is the very hard right through the two massive stone pillars, continuing parallel to the side of the pond for about 1/4 mile. The 3-story Old Mill and Tractor Shed will be across RT. 123 on the left. (Note the most left uphill dirt road at the 5-way intersection of the dirt roads at the entrance. This far left road will lead to extra parking on a field by the Cottage.)
From the West you will be on Rt. 10:
If traveling south on Rt. 10 you drive through the scenic village of Marlow (three white spires and two ponds). Look for the perpendicular left uphill onto Rt. 123 heading east. If traveling north you will have passed through Gilsum (speedtrap). A few miles north of Gilsum on a very flat open stretch keep an eye out for the perpendicular right onto Rt. 123 heading east. If you reach the village of Marlow you’ve gone too far, turn around and look to your left for Rt. 123.
The driveway to the Camp House will be 2.3 miles up Rt. 123 and on your left. Continue straight through the two massive stone pillars. There is a huge green metal mailbox with numbers 30, 60, 75, 155 on it at the driveway entrance. The 3-story Old Mill and Tractor Shed will be on the right. (The most left uphill dirt road at the 5-way intersection of the dirt roads at the entrance will lead to extra parking on a field by the Cottage).
Parking will be at the Old Mill and Tractor Shed opposite the driveway across Rt. 123. You will be able to drive to the Camp to drop off elders, food, and necessities, and/or there will be a shuttle available.
If needed there will be additional parking going uphill on the most lefthand dirt road of the driveway entrance. This is Queen St. (parallel to Rt. 123). Pass by the brown and white houses and continue to a field at the Cottage that will be available for parking.
The Camp House and pond are about a 7 minute walk down either on the driveways or there is a path across the small field that is on the pondside of the barn then angling down through the woods.
Phone Number at the Camp House
603 446 3462 please let ring as there is no answering machine. Dafydd and/or I will be in residence during the week before our gathering. Feel free to call early in the morning or at mealtimes, we want to respond and support you getting what you need for our reunion as best we can!
Verizon works better than AT&T at the Camp House for mobile phones but neither works very well.
There are many more offerings in the area than I realized! I understand some cousins have booked rooms in Keene already. If there is more we can do to help make it possible for you to come please contact Nica to discuss needs and solutions. We really do hope to support family in gathering
The lovely Hancock Inn is the closest in Hancock, NH. It is New Hampshire’s oldest inn.
603 525 3318
The Stonewall Farm B&B (603 478 1947) is in Hillsborough.
The Jack Daniels Motor Inn (603 924 7458) in Peterborough is also close.
Here is a list from the Keene Chamber of Commerce:
The *, **
* and ** denote volunteer opportunities. If you’d like to lifeguard, be a parking attendant for a while, shuttle people from the parking areas, lead a hike around the pond or to the Fire Tower, chauffeur a blueberry expedition, or offer something wonderful please let us know.
If you would like to update the incredible geneology chart that Walter Jeffries brought to our last reunion at Andorra in 1988 (Tim and Sue Hayward brought us together to commemorate the anniversary of Emily Morison and Charles Faulkner), that would be a boon! Walter’s version is an oft-used reference: beloved, sturdy, with many pencilled and penned in updates. It will gracefully and gratefully retire, I’m sure, if it had the chance.