Page 4 - MARCH2022
P. 4

 Page 4 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM March 2022 Community
The Gypsy of Newfound Lake and the Man of Honor
Part One of Two
By: William nieman
There are two artifacts that reveal the history of the Bris- tol recreational park that bears the name Cummings Beach. The park and these artifacts are located on the West Shore of Newfound Lake, across from the community of cottages his- torically known as Bungalow Village. One of the artifacts is a well-crafted, small granite mon- ument to the Bristol Selectman most responsible for creating the park, Gaylord Cummings. He is our Man of Honor. One has to do a little sleuthing to find the other artifact.
Further north from Gaylord’s monument, closer to the water, is the remnant of a concrete wall. It was built by one Russell Mattice, who ran a boat livery and a store from that location during the De- pression Era. Unlike the plaque on Selectman Cummings’s me- morial, there is no formal ac- knowledgment to the man who brought years of vacation enjoy- ment to visitors and residents of Newfound Lake with his West Shore “entertainment center” and lake excursions. Perhaps this story will serve to acknowledge Russell Mattice’s work, those
contributions made to New- found’s history by our “gypsy.”
During the summers of the 1950s, my family would vaca- tion at a cottage located near Mattice’s Store. Uncle Olan and Aunt Millie Rand leased the store during the post-WWII years until the late 1950s. The store rested above the concrete wall mentioned earlier. I visited my aunt and uncle almost every day. In time, the livery grew to include several outboards. The most impressive boat in the fleet was pushed by a 30 horsepower Evinrude with muscle enough to pull a waterskier. Olan was proud of his growing enterprise, especially the “ski boat,” which earned $6.00 an hour. During the mid-century decade, the store had been updated with devices especially appealing to a 12-year- old boy. A colorful Wurlitzer jukebox played 78 rpm records from its place of prominence near the front door. A Shuffle Alley bowling machine and a Williams “Dreamy” pinball ma- chine were added to complete a mini-arcade’s seduction. The Newfound Region Chamber of Commerce’s annual brochures, as early as 1950, carried an ad underscoring the store’s appeal
to fun-loving vacationers as an “amusement center.” I do re- call the store as a place of joy, of laughter. After hours, Olan and Millie scuffed the linoleum overlaid floor as they danced the jitterbug to the jukebox. At other times, they were joined by young- sters, pre-teens, and teenagers, who fed countless nickels to the pulsing Wurlitzer to hear the ad- vent of rock and roll, played by Bill Haley and the Comets.
One day, just as I lost another
nickel against the pinball ma- chine, I heard a loud tapping noise coming from a grey shed next to the store. I rushed down the porch’s outside stairs lead- ing to the front of the building. The shed’s sliding doors, always closed in the past, had been opened. With sunlight stream- ing in the wide space granted by the fully open doors, I would see clearly a venerable lake launch being worked on to ride the lake’s waves as it had in the 1930s. Ap- parently, it was being readied again to fulfill the promise of its given name, which appeared close to the bow, “Gipsy.”*
The Gipsy was an impressive launch about 26 feet in length. The fantail stern and decked bow were made of maple, which gleamed with a generous coat of spar varnish. The gunwale shone with the same veneer. The draught planking was a bright white, and as I approached the shed, I could see the outline of a man kneeling next to the port side strakes.
The tapping noise, I would discover, was coming from the work being performed on the launch by the man I had seen. He was dressed in overalls. I got up the courage to enter the shed
Amy Nelson
(603) 409-7391
Life & Est
er Law
Directives (Proxies), Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts, Life-Estate Deeds
Assisting Families with
Edward H. Adamsky, Esq.
Aging and Disability issues since 1992.
Assisting Families with
Life & Estate Planning: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Aging and Disability issues since 1992.
Life & Estate Planning: Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care
Elder Law (Long Term Care Planning): Medicaid Planning,
Directives (Proxies), Trusts
Elder Law (Long Term Care Planning): Medicaid Planning, Irrevocable Special Needs and Disability Law: Special Needs Trusts,
Trusts, Life-Estate Deeds
Supplemental Needs Trusts, First and Third-party Trusts
Special Needs and Disability Law: Special Needs Trusts, Supplemental Needs Estate Settlement and Trust Management: Probate
Trusts, First and Third-party Trusts
Estate Settlement and Trust Management: Probate
Offices in Tyngsboro, Mass.
Offices in Tyngsboro, Mass.
and Ashland, NH
and Ashland, NH
2 Central Street, Bristol, NH 03222 (603) 744-6172 |
Women’s Clothing
Nancy Spears

   2   3   4   5   6