"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Masonian Proprietors and the Alvord Pharmacy

The Town just ended a bid process to sell various town owned properties, one of which is the land under 4 Whittier Highway, just past the Center Harbor town line on the lake side. The signage indicates it is a storefront for Lake Winnipesaukee Home Theater. There are also two residential rental units upstairs. A good example of a mixed use property.
The building is owned by PAD Realty Corp. of NH, but the real story is a previous owner, John Alvord who years ago, operated a pharmacy in that building. In 1979, he sought to buy the land as well, for $10,000, but was denied by Town Meeting as the land contains a range way used many years ago by town residents to access Lake Winnipesaukee. A motion to table the article passed 94 to 80. This is from the 1979 Town Meeting:

My curiosity was piqued. I was really interested to find what "law" Edith Banfield read that made the sale of the land illegal. We may never know as it did not make it into the record.  I Googled State Papers Vol.27, Range Ways.  I saved the volume and scrolled all the way to page 520 to find the story of how Moultonborough was laid out. The problem is trying to decipher the words and meaning as well as the locations in reference to today's map of our town. There are 20 pages of information as to how this was accomplished. The following is an excerpt from the first page. If you have the time and inclination, it makes for some fascinating and interesting reading.
For more on range ways, the NH Municipal Association has this interesting article.

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