|Posted by lakeportcommunityassociation on October 15, 2012 at 12:35 AM|
The Lakeport Freighthouse Museum opens its doors to history.
At last, local Lakeport history has opened its doors! After fifteen years of devoted labor, the Lakeport Community Association (LCA) has put down the hammer and welcomed its many supporters and donors over those years to a preview Grand Opening of the Lakeport Freighthouse Museum on Monday, October 1, 6-8 p.m., Railroad Avenue, Lakeport, NH. And on Saturday, November 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they welcome the public to 15 Railroad Avenue to visit the museum.
The exhibits with items that many supporters have donated are ready – Annie Oehlschlaeger’s railroad collection, Bob Fortier’s vast memorabilia collection and scrapbooks, stately knitting machinery or unstately looking wooden water pipes, delicate Victorian clothing presented by the Richardson family, the treasured boxcar and more are all on display.
Claire Clark of Black Brook, who had promised to compose a song for this grand opening for the late LCA President and founder, Wanda Tibbetts, strummed her guitar and sang with Tina Hayward, Susan Dath and Jane Kneuer. Clark, who is nearly ready to publish her book on Black Brook History, also composed a song commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Great Lakeport Fire of 1903 for the association.
The Lakeport Community Association was founded March 4, 1997 as a Lakeport area group to address the issue of the Elm Street Bridge project and the loss of the B&M railroad station. LCA became incorporated as a non-profit in 1999. With their mission, “To preserve, yet improve the Lakeport Community”, they advanced to rehabilitating the Lakeport Freighthouse c. 1899 (the last remaining building of a once very busy railway center) as a museum to house exhibits of railroad and Lakeport memorabilia.
In the past fifteen years, the association and its members have raised funds, mostly through yard sales, and have followed all compliance codes while retaining the historic integrity in restoring and preserving the freighthouse. This meant providing handicap accessibility with the ramp and bathroom; repairing or replacing roof, floors, walls, windows, foundation, plumbing and lighting; adding insulation, walls and heat, the bathroom and kitchen/office room and painting the exterior.
Another dream was realized with the purchase of the boxcar. Much planning repaired and reset the sidetrack to house the boxcar along the ramp. It was painted and outfitted with doors, windows, lighting, shelves and ventilation. Today, if offers the unique experience of shopping at a yard sale in a boxcar in a freight yard!
All the while the Lakeport Community Association was fulfilling their dream, they were also very active advocates for the Lakeport community for sidewalks in the areas, strongly supporting their treasure of historic buildings – Goss Reading Room, United Baptist Church, Hathaway House, Odd Fellows Opera House and more, with clean-up days, award-winning Adopt-A-Spot plantings, maintaining Torrey Park and the chestnut tree, diligent with holiday decorations and lights in Lakeport Square, proud to wave flags along Lakeport Square and the Elm Street Bridge,– adopting families for Christmas, hosting entertainment programs, events, dinners, political forums and much, much more while always welcoming new growth and reuse of old buildings.
With a new Elm Street Bridge to guide all to the grand opening of the Lakeport Freighthouse Museum, the association welcomes fans to visit and hopes to receive even more donations relative to all things Lakeport and its history as a Boston & Maine railroad hub. The association is most grateful to so many for their help with donations, artifacts, in-kind services, advice and support from the community, our railroad friends, historians and appraisers. They welcome the community to visit the museum to view the memorabilia on display. They hope to enlighten student tours with the realities of local history. They hope to bring back fond memories to all visitors. They welcome continued support of donations and visits to the museum and boxcar. Call 524-7683, write P. O. Box 6015, Lakeport, NH or visit www.lakeportcommunityassociation.org for more information.