Home of the Sanbornton Historical Society
Restored 100-Year-Old Snowroller Unveiled by Historical Society
By ROGER AMSDEN Union Leader Correspondent
Restored 100-Year-Old Snowroller Unveiled by Historical Society By ROGER AMSDEN Union Leader Correspondent
SANBORNTON _ It was the hottest day of the summer with the thermometer reaching into the high 90s for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of a farmers porch project at the Sanbornton Farmers Market.
But a cooler note was added to the ceremony with the unveiling of a recently restored town treasure, a large snowroller which may date back as far as 1906 and which was used to pack down the snow on Sanborntons roads to make them passable during the winter months.
The town treasure was nearly lost to time, having lost the pole to which teams of horses which pulled it were hooked up to, as well as many wooden rollers which had rotted away as the heavy roller sank deeper into the earth over the years while it languished in a makeshift shelter at the Andrews farm until Edna Hansen and Ralph Sellars persuaded the Sanbornton Historical Society to take it on as a restoration project four years ago.
Sellars, a retired engineer, spent an untold number of hours over the last four years to restore the snowroller, carefully removing the old wood and rusted metal parts which had held the 12-foot wide, six-foot high roller together, replacing the ancient wood with red oak planks and building a new seat atop the roller.
Miriam ``Mim Kent, says that she can still remember watching the snow roller in operation during the 1920s, running to the sitting room window of her Pound Road home when her father, Carl Hanson, alerted her that it was coming up the road.
``There were five or six men riding in the seat on top, to give it enough weight to pack the snow, and they used four teams of horses to pull it because it was so heavy, said Kent, the wife of former WBZ radio and television meteorologist Don Kent. The Kents have made their home in Sanbornton for over 20 years, ever since he retired from broadcasting as the most well-known weatherman in New England.
Society member Edna Hansen, who pushed to have the society save the old snowroller, said the ride down the steep hills in town must have been quite an adventure for those in the seat a top the structure.
The seat on the restored roller is painted a light blue, exactly as Kent recalls it from her childhood.
The roller is stored in the Currier House, a former school bus garage owned by the historical society across from Lane Tavern, which the society also owns and has restored, in Sanbornton Square.
The Currier House is also the site of the weekly Sanbornton Farmers Market, which was started in 2001 through the efforts of Charlie Burke and Jack Potter, vice president and president, respectively, of the New Hampshire Farmers Market Association.
Governor John Lynch and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the farmers porch which was added at the rear of the Currier House.
The historical society and the local farmers market group raised $3.000 for the porch, which was built by Alan Lefebvre & Company. ---30---