Understanding Bobcats in NH

by on January 31, 2015 in Hikes and Nature, Home Page

The Library in Nelson Presents

Understanding Bobcats in New Hampshire

Saturday, February 7th , 2015 at 11am

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Fish and Wildlife Stewards are volunteers trained to present public presentations aimed at increasing public awareness of the federal Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration programs and the important Fish and Game projects they fund.The presentation includes information about the natural history of the animal, research takingplace, how the information learned will affect management for that species, and background onthe Wildlife Restoration Program that has made the work possible.

For more information call 847-3214 or email the library@townofnelson.com

Nelson School Pancake Breakfast

by on January 15, 2015 in Educational, Home Page

Nelson School Pancake Breakfast – K/R class January 17, 2015

Time Start:8:00am

Time End:11:00am

Location:Nelson School

Cost of Admission:$5.00 a plate

Description:Menu includes pancakes (gluten free available), sausage, fruit, coffee, tea, and juice. ( We regret to share that we will no longer be offering home fries as part of our breakfast as our volunteer who has made and donated these in the past has moved. We will now be offering fresh fruit in its place.)

Please come and kick off the New Year with a delicious breakfast served by Nelson School’s Kindergarten/Readiness students. We hope to see you there!

More info:Cindy Benner

More info phone/email:cbenner@sau29.org

Comments to web master:Thank you!


Swap Day

by on January 15, 2015 in Home Page, Library


The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library in Nelson


Swap Day


January 24th, 2015

at 11 am

Too good to throw away, but you’ll never use it?

Maybe your neighbor will take it!


No money changes hands. All items are free.

Items must be (relatively) clean & smaller than your barn.

Unclaimed items must be removed by 1 pm on Swap Day.

For more information call 847-3214 or email the library@townofnelson.com


MFS presents the Rodney Miller Trio

by on January 14, 2015 in Calendar, Home Page

The Monadnock Folklore Society



with David Surrette & Gordon Peery


Friday, February 20 – 8:00 PM

$15/$12(senior, youth, or in advance)

The concert features Rodney Miller on fiddle, David Surette on guitar, mandolin and bouzouki, and Gordon Peery on piano.

Individually these musicians enjoy decades-long reputations as some of the finest contra dance musicians in the country. Their concert in Nelson is a rare opportunity to hear them playing in this trio configuration, and in a concert setting.

Rodney Miller has been at the forefront of traditional New England fiddling since the mid 1970’s. He was one of the first musicians to issue a recording of fiddle tunes. As early as 1983, he was designated a “Master Fiddler” in 1983 by the National Endowment for the Arts. He is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of New England style fiddling, a uniquely American blend of French Canadian and Celtic influences. Over the past 35 years, he has toured the U.S., British Isles, Australia and Denmark, performed and taught at hundreds of music and dance festivals, and recorded over ten fiddle albums.

In 1999, Rodney represented the state of New Hampshire, playing traditional fiddle music at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. He has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” performed live with the Twyla Tharp Modern Dance Company, performed at the Lincoln Center in New York, and was recorded on the album Songs and Sounds of the Sea for the National Geographic Society.

In March, 2014 Rodney Miller was appointment by NH Gov. Hassan and the Executive Council as the new Artist Laureate of NH.

David Surette is widely regarded as one of New England’s finest guitarists,  His solo albums “Back Roads” and “Trip to Kemper” have helped to establish him as a top player and arranger of Celtic fingerstyle guitar, yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity. He is equally at home on the mandolin and bouzouki, and is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England’s contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician and sideman. He has performed throughout the country at festivals, concerts, coffeehouses and contra dances, and in 1999 toured in Brittany, France. In addition to performing and recording, Surette maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School.

Gordon Peery began playing piano for contra dances in the late 1970’s, mentored by Bob McQuillen, and influenced by the Cape Breton styling of fiddler Harvey Tolman. However his style quickly evolved to express influence from rock and roll and later, jazz, while style firmly rooted with the solid rhythmic requirements demanded of traditional contra dance pianists.  His playing has been variously described as “Barrelhouse Irish”, and having the dramatic qualities of a film score.

From 1985 – 95 Gordon played and toured extensively with the celebrated band, Fresh Fish, which included fiddler Kerry Elkin. In addition to a recording with that band, Gordon has contributed to many recordings, including several from fiddler Skip Gorman.


Ethan Tolman History Talk

by on January 14, 2015 in Home Page

The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library in Nelson


Ethan Tolman


January 17th, 2015 at 11 am

Ethan Tolman is a Nelson, NH resident . He will speak and lead a discussion of reasons why Nelson has through the years been a magnet for so many notable people. He will share a few memories of some of them and the roll they have played in Nelson’s growth.

For more information call 847-3214 or email the library@townofnelson.com


Game time at the Library

by on December 29, 2014 in Home Page, Library


2015 Games

at the Nelson Library Saturday

 11am January 10th and February 14th until 1pm

Everyone is invited. Refreshments and beverages will be available or bring your own to share. Even in bad weather, a good group has turned for Games at the Library. We’ve played Scrabble, Bananagrams, Dominoes, Mexican Train Dominoes, Trumpet, and assorted other games. A good time was had by all. We encourage you to join us at the new time ( you may come for all or part of this time). Bring your own game or use assorted other games that will be available. Let’s make use of the Library as a space for Nelsonites to gather during the winter. We hope to see you there!

2014 Celebrate Nelson

by on December 18, 2014 in Home Page, Life in Nelson, Promote


 To see a slide show from this event Click Here.

The Nelson Town Hall and the Old Library were bustling with activity Saturday, November 22, 2014. “Celebrate Nelson” encompassed displays of about 40 musicians, artists, craftspeople, writers, bakers, and producers of maple syrup, and honey, hand-spun yarn, lavender sachets and more, all from our multi-talented community. Performing musicians, providing a lively background of music throughout the day, were:  Alouette Iselin. Linda Singer, Harvey Tolman, Gordon Perry and Max Nunnemaker, and Richard Popovic and the Shape Note Singers.
Centered around Nelson’s upcoming 250th anniversary in 2017, the production of our second historical 2015 calendar, featuring landscapes and residents long gone by, sold over 100 copies, with many calendars still available as unique holiday gifts. Live music performed by Nelson musicians filled the town hall, along with 17 CDs displayed for sale that featured the music of 8 Nelson musicians, as well as fine paintings, woodworking and fiber crafts extraordinaire, delicious local food products, books and publications all created in Nelson for admiration and/or sale.
But as important, the event wasn’t only about selling (although that was nice), it was about community, sharing, and amazing each other with the ingenuity, richness, and pure beauty of what we quietly make and create in our individual homes, studios, and lives. This first “Celebrate Nelson,” event clearly begins a lively annual tradition of community sharing and participation in Nelson’s uniqueness. Congratulations to us all, and thank you to the hard-working Nelson committee members who made this utterly joyful event possible.

written by Karen Tolman and Deb Navas

The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library receives gift of “Public Libraries Toolkit” of legal resources.

by on November 7, 2014 in Home Page, Library

The  Law Librarians of New England’s Service Committee chose the Olivia Rodham Memorial Library in Nelson for the mini-collection of  legal books,  “Public Libraries Toolkit” of legal resources. Here is a list of the books that will be available to take out of the library.  These books will arrive on December 20th.

Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce

Every Dog’s Legal Guide

The Legal Answer Book for Families

101 Law Forms for Personal Use

Black’s Law Dictionary

Plan Your Estate

The New Hampshire Divorce Handbook

NH Practice and Procedure Handbook

A Practical Guide to Divorce in NH

New Hampshire Landlord and Tenant Law Annotated

New Hampshire Special Education Law Manual

The Bluebook


Celebrate Nelson


Nelson from on high: one of the pictures included in the 2015 calendar.

The Nelson History Roundtable is hosting a “Celebrate Nelson” event at Town Hall on Saturday, Nov. 22, 10 AM – 2 PM.

Last year our Calendar Sale event evolved into the unveiling of the Marie Spaeth painting in the Library and sale of: books by Bruce White, Teri Upton, Renn Tolman’s collection of Newt’s music, and Karen Tolman’s DVD “From the Tolman Pond Archives” . This event, which was well attended and appreciated, inspired this year’s expanded calendar sale plan.

Artists, authors, musicians and craftspeople are invited to display and sell their goods. Live background music would be welcome and we’d be pleased to have musicians play and sell CDs, or leave CDs to be sold. If you’d like to help “Celebrate Nelson”, please contact Rick Church at 603- 847-3206, or Tom Murray at 603-827-3839, or tommurray@mindspring.com

We hope this event will be a precursor to a larger and longer celebration of Nelson’s 250th anniversary in 2017.

Haying at Tolman Pond

Editors Note: Renn Tolman, son of Newton F. Tolman, grew up in Nelson, and passed away in Homer, Alaska on July 5, 2014  t the age of 80. Betsy Street recently found a few essays written by Renn when he was a student at UNH, in the late 1950s. This one is very slightly edited and transcribed by Karen Tolman.

Haying in Nelson

the old Model A Ford truck with Bobby Curtis and Foster Sisson “making the load” and Pop (Wayland Tolman) looking out the window. Pop was Renn and Barry’s grandfather.

When I was a boy, my grandfather kept three or four cows.  He had just enough hay fields to provide enough hay to last them through the winter, although if the hay crop were particularly poor, perhaps he might have to buy an extra ton or two to tide them through until the cows could be put out to pasture in the spring.

Exactly how many acres his fields totaled is uncertain because they were scattered, irregular fields of a New Hampshire hill farm, but ten was the number he would quote if anyone asked him. Of course this acreage was figured without taking into account the combined areas of the rocks that stuck up in the fields. It is a worn-out joke that New Hampshire fields grow rocks as well as hay.

The only field that you could mow with the assurance that the mowing machine wouldn’t tip over and that was relatively rock-free was the Intervale, a ten-acre field of which my grandfather owned half. The Intervale, however, presented a different problem. It was as flat as a pond and tended to degenerate into a swamp on a wet year. Continue Reading »

Great Meadow Paddle

On Saturday, July 19, the Nelson Trail Committee led a paddle through the Great Meadow from Nubanusit to Harrisville Pond.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was perfect. Wildflowers were in bloom.  An American Bittern was spotted in the swamp and blue herons were on the wing.  Bull frogs croaked and small fish swam underneath. It was a glorious afternoon for the 22 people who joined the adventure. [submitted by Linda Cates]

Library Book Sale

by on July 15, 2014 in Home Page, Library

 People may bring their gently used books to the Library for the Book sale that will be held at the Library Lower Level on Old Home Day (Saturday August 16) . The sorting crew will begin their work on Monday, July 14th. The Friends of the Library are excited that the new space is available for this important fundraising event that benefits the Library programming, computers, and many other aspects of  library work. No encyclopedias or textbooks, please.


Nelson Cleanup Day

by on July 15, 2014 in Civic Opportunity, Home Page

The Nelson Conservation Commission announces the Nelson Clean Up Day, on August 9th.  Participants can stop by the Nelson Common in front of the library to sign up for a section of road in town, and pick up bags and gloves. Members of the Commission will be available from 8:30 to 10:30 am to help participants choose a section of road for trash pick up. Water will be available to fill water bottles and there will be some delicious treats to fuel Nelson’s fine trash cleanup crew.   Questions: call or email Kathy Schillemat at 847-9785 or kschillemat@yahoo.com.

Nelson Summer Forums 2014

by on June 19, 2014 in Home Page, Lecture Presentation, Library

The Olivia Rodham Memorial Library announces the 10th season of the Library summer forums,   Each Thursday night forum begins at 6:45 with entertainment by local musicians, followed at 7:00 by the main presentation. At 8:00 punch and cookies and conversation follow. The forums are free and open to the public. This year the Forums will take place in the Nelson Congregational Church (just across the road) due to the renovations at the Town Hall.

The opening forum on July 10 r is a talk by Ethan Tolman on July 10 highlighting a Nelson newsletter circulated during World War II. The newsletter, published by Ethan’s parents, served to inform service people of events in their hometowns of Nelson, Harrisville, and Dublin. Of special interest are excerpts of letters service people sent to the newsletter. Music by Max Nunnemaker and Gordon Peery will be appropriate to the WWII era.

The next forum, on July 17, takes us to Zimbabwe with Rhodesian native, (and now Harrisville General Store chef) Phil Gargan, as an avocation away from his executive job with the Tanganda Tea Company. Phil was a professional river guide on the Zambezi River for 17 years and brings us visuals and tales of a world most of us will never experience. Where else would you have access to 800 species of birds? Music with African roots by Paul Klemperer.

Karen Hersey, a Nelson native who spends more time in Abu Dhabi than here, will share with us on July 24 the where, what, who and why in her talk “Abu Dhabi Inside Out”. Learn what sheikdoms and the Arab Emirates have to do with each other, the growth in 40 years from desert to skyscrapers, and the void of culture created by such meteoric change. Karen is a bright observer and will add to our global k nowledge and awareness of Abu Dhabi’s role in the Middle East, and why it is important for us to understand.  Music from Apple Hill.

And on July 31, Allison and Hunt Smith will wrap up the forum presentations with their inimitable musical entertainment. Their love of music, of each other and of connecting with the audience shows through when they perform. One never knows exactly what instruments and songs to expect, but one can be sure to have a good old time! Musical introduction will be by Samuel, Sarah and Rachel Foucher of Harrisville, young musicians who play music with the Smiths.



by on June 17, 2014 in Home Page, Town Clerk

Just to let you know that I am now in the process of submitting the warrant for Nelson unlicensed dogs to the governing body. This warrant is the formal process for obtaining the Selectboard’s approval to issue forfeiture fines to dog owners who have not relicensed their dogs. This fine is $25 which does not include the licensing fee or the late penalty. This is definitely not something that I look forward to doing. I am required to by state law. I’m hoping that this notice will remind dog owners to license their dogs, either by mail (please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope) or in person. This licensing program is to ensure that all dogs are receiving rabies vaccination to protect public health. The licensing program provides funding to the state Department of Agriculture to run their veterinary diagnostic lab. The state also uses a portion to fund the animal population control program, which provides funding for spaying and neutering services.

Another good reason to license your dog is for identification purposes. If your dog is lost, the dog tag will help to return your pet to its rightful home. Please take the time to license your dog. Contact our office at 847-9043 or by emailing townclerk@townofnelsotown.com if you no longer have your pet.

Julia Lennon

Dancing Forever in the Nelson Town Hall

This article was published on 1990,  in Leisure Weekly, a Keene-based entertainment newspaper that has long since ceased publication. Many things have changed since then,  but some will remain the same, even with the new renovations  ~ Gordon Peery (author). 

Not too long ago a piano tuner submitted a bill for work done on the piano in the Nelson Town Hall. With his invoice he included the following comment:

“Because of the age of this piano and long abandoned construction practices, it is impossible to give this piano a highly accurate tuning. It has numerous false beats, inharmonicity, and heavy wear. Surprisingly, the overall tone is superior and the action is still fast and responsive. I suspect the piano is favored by those who play on it.”

Over the past decade I have come to know that piano well, playing for contradances that occur regularly in the Nelson Town Hall. I have always enjoyed playing it, though from its condition it seemed like I shouldn’t.

The remarks of the piano tuner helped me to understand why I enjoyed playing it. Then it occurred to me that what was said about the piano was also a perfect description of the hall itself.

The old timber frame building doesn’t pretend to be anything fancy. The light fixtures, the windows, the architectural lines, all clearly address function over aesthetics. But the building, in its simplicity, harbors an elegance, or perhaps rather, a neutrality that facilitates the elegance of song and dance within.

Go to the Nelson Town Hall on any Monday night of the year and you’ll find anywhere from a handful to several dozen dancers moving forward and back, up and down, intertwining, moving through the graceful figures of a contradance. Though the Monday night dance is just about 10 years old, the contradance tradition in Nelson goes back long enough so that no one really knows when it began. Continue Reading »

Olivia Rodham Library Announces Summer Reading Program

by on May 26, 2014 in For Kids, Home Page, Library

Fizz, Boom , READ!

All programs are on Wednesdays at 4pm, except Mad Science will be Wednesday August 13th at 6:30pm.

July 9th Sara Cornog and the Fizzy Rocket

rocketThe Fizzy Rocket will use a 35mm film canister for a body, an antacid tablet for fizz and different liquid fuels to see which work best. (water, vinegar, lime juice or lemon juice.) Build your rocket and then Fly Your Fizzy Rocket !





July 16th with Val Van Meier, How to Make a Mini Flyable Hot Air Balloon with Candles

balloonHave you ever wanted to make your own hot air balloon and watch it gracefully float away into the night sky? It’s easier than you might think!

July 23rd , Puppeteer Gary Robinson

Meet Gary’s puppet friends and join in the fun. You will be part of the experience of creating a puppet extravaganza, with great fizzes and booms.

July 30th- A Bubbly Bot Bash! with Jacqueline Roland

robotsThis week we’ll be turning the library into our very own bubble lab!  Join us as we blow huge table bubbles and experiment to see which solution makes the biggest bubbles. In addition to all the bubble-blowing fun, we’ll be reading an exciting science story and creating juice box robots!

August 6th with Nature Man, Al Stoops

This year Al is returning with clues to an exciting treasure hunt. Come discover what you can find in the nooks and crannies of Nelson.

scienceAugust 13th, the BIG SHOW, Mad Science at 6:30 pm

The land of Fire and Ice is filled with dazzling demonstrations using fire,

bubbling potions, and carbon dioxide gas frozen to 109°F below zero.

This science show will stimulate a child’s mind and spark their imaginations as they

experience exciting, educational, high-energy science magic! Come and see just how HOT & COOL.


Funding for the Kids, Books, and the Arts event is provided by the Jack and Dorothy Bryne Foundation, CHILIS, Cogswell Benevolent Trust, and is supported in part by a grant from the NH State Council on The Arts as well as funds administered by the NH State Library and provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

Please contact the library in advance for the need for a sign language interpreter.


The library will have prizes for Summer Readers. Come get books from your library!


Nelson Memorial Day Celebration

by on May 21, 2014 in Community Gathering, Home Page
Reverend Millard Hardy at 85 years old, Memorial Day 1935

Reverend Millard Hardy at 85 years old, Memorial Day 1935

The annual Memorial Day Observance begins at 11:30 on this Sunday, the 25th, with the Town Band playing on the Nelson Common. There is a procession around the Common and up to the Cemetery for a short memorial service, and placing of flowers at the graves of veterans, 137 in all. Flowers are also placed at the various monuments in town. All are welcome to participate.

Finding the Benjamin Sawyer Cellar Hole

The Benjamin Sawyer Cellar Hole

The author pays his respects to the Sawyer family

A snowy morning in February found Dave Birchenough and me crammed into the cab of a grapple skidder rumbling through the woods of the northeast corner of Nelson. There was a logging job underway on the old Sawyer Farm. We were able to drive my ageing truck up the old town road (abandoned since 1860) to the landing near the farm.  The skidder was using its grapple to stack logs on the landing.  Another machine was feeding a huge chipper.


“Are you the owners?” Chuck Rose yelled over his diesel. “No we’re amateur historians.” I answered. “You’ve come to the right place”, he said, “There are lots of old stone walls and old roads in these woods.”


“Have you found a cellar hole over there?”, I said, pointing to the south and the side of Rollstone Mountain.


“Yes”, he said, “Get in and I’ll take you up there.”


Following skidder roads and straddling stumps and boulders, the machine clawed its way uphill to a table of relatively flat land between Holt Hill and Rollstone Mountain. We got off beside the 30 x 40’ foundation – the original home of Benjamin Sawyer, his wife, Tabitha, and their fourteen children. The land sloped away to the north with beautiful views through the thinned, leafless woods.  A beautiful place and an exciting discovery.  The site was covered in several feet of snow.

Continue Reading »

Party Time

by on May 13, 2014 in Home Page, Voting

The Supervisors of the Checklist would like to remind everyone that the deadline for

changing your party affiliation for the September Primary is June 3. You can change

your party affiliation either with the Town Clerk during her regular hours or with

the Supervisors of the Checklist during one of our meetings. We will be meeting on

June 3 at 7:00 PM.


If you are registered as “undeclared” you may take either a Republican or a

Democratic ballot on Primary Day and directly after you have voted, you may

come see the Supervisors to change back to undeclared. If you don’t see us, you

will be registered in the party that you chose for your ballot. If you are registered

for a particular party before primary day you may only take that party’s ballot on

Primary Day.


If you have forgotten what party you are registered with there is an up-to-date voter

checklist in the bookcase in the Nelson Town Offices.

If you have any other questions about this, call Betsey Church, Carol Newcombe, or

Hope Lothrop.