Page 7 - JAN2022
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 January 2022
Page 7
cated, but getting married had its obstacles. Ruth’s father opposed the marriage,
and when Ruth approached her mother about that prospect, her mother let Ruth know that she thought Bert was “sort of dif- ferent.” Ruth then let it be known that his uniqueness was one of the things that attracted her to him. Finally, overcoming the parental reservations, Bert and Ruth were married on October 28th of 1947, four decades before they began working on the home in Alexan- dria. Bert’s life story will continue in the February issue of Newfound Lake Life.
That winding staircase is one of the most unusual features of the home. The stairs climb within a silo that is attached to the house. Bert wanted to save living space in the main structure, so he designed the silo to leave the living room and dining area with a feeling of spa- ciousness. Multiple large windows and the extension of wraparound decks add to the ambiance of open living. The house surrounds a central chimney that accommo- dates a wood stove on each of the two stories. The living room wood stove and the large exposed ceiling beams, which were lifted and se- cured by Bert and his friends, give the first floor a feeling of rustic strength and beauty.
Ruth was instrumental in find- ing the land on which they might build this, their retirement home. After living for decades in Water- town and Natick, Massachusetts, Bert, always an outdoorsman, wanted to move to be close to the New Hampshire mountains and the lakes. In the late 1970s, Ruth discovered an advertisement in the Boston Globe for land in Alexan- dria, NH. Two coincidences now prompted their purchase of the land. At that time, the land’s cur- rent owner lived close to them in Watertown and was readily acces- sible for sales talk. Also, Bert was familiar with the Alexandria hills as he had climbed Mount Cardigan on several occasions. The couple
had the modest down payment of $20.00 in hand, and the deal was secured. They completed the pur- chase of the 5-acre woodland plot with a transfer of $6,980 in 1975.
Later in the following decade, the house was constructed; Bert first built a small rustic cabin for their temporary housing. It had one room, a stove, and a loft for sleeping. During their work, Ruth discovered a source for their well. She came upon a damp spot near the cabin and began digging. Water soon came to the surface, and the Hirtles tapped into a well that serves Bert to this day. This was only one of the countless times
when Ruth proved to be Bert’s in- valuable teammate.
Bert had known Ruth since his youth. She was his good friend, Bob Erickson’s sister. Early on, in Junior High, Bert and Bob thought of Ruth as a “nuisance.” Then, Bert grew up, and by the time he returned from war duty, he was thinking very differently of Ruth. Ruth had grown to be a strikingly beautiful young woman, petite with classic blue eyes, blonde hair, and a face with an incomparable profile. She was a certified nurse, having trained at Boston’s Chil- dren’s Hospital. Bert conveyed his feelings of love, and she recipro-
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