Delights Elders

Harpist 11 year old Crystal Napoli entertains at the Ingrahm Senior Center.

Arlington Reservoir Gets Facelift

by Jay Hobson and Katelyn Haggerty

The Arlington Reservoir has been a summer cooling off spot for generations of Salem residents and is getting a much needed “facelift,” according to Town of Salem Director of Engineering Bob Puff.

“The project began in the fall 2006 and should be wrapped up by this fall.  The old girl is getting a facelift that should fix the problems, and then we’ll implement a routine inspection program,” Director of Engineering Puff said.

The project, with a price tag of $1.5 million, is an effort to prevent and repair minor cracking and seepage problems at the 84 year-old dam.  In 1983, the pond was drained in order to repair the aging dam, but after inspections by engineers, it was deemed possible to make the repairs without draining the reservoir.

Though referred to as Arlington Pond by Salem residents, the real name is Arlington Reservoir.  According to the popular historical book Images of America, Salem, NH, Volume I, by Katherine Khalife and Douglas W. Seed, submerged at the bottom of Arlington Pond are the ruins of John W. Wheeler’s textile mill.  A mill site since before 1750, the property was purchased by Wheeler in 1860.  Wheeler had manufactured flannels and blankets in 1881.  After suffering two fires and two rebuilds, another fire prior to 1909 finally destroyed the business once and for all. 

In 1920, the powerful Arlington Mills of Lawrence bought the remains of Wheeler’s Mill, along with 350 acres in North Salem.  The grand plan was to dam the Spicket River and create a billion-gallon reservoir.  Successful completion of the project would assure a steady flow of water to keep Arlington’s downstream looms producing year-round.

Along with Wheeler’s Mill and the old North Main Street, some 50 homes, an electric generating plant, and thousands of trees fell victim to the huge Arlington Reservoir project. 

Not since Lawrence’s Great Stone Dam was built in 1845 had the area seen an engineering project of this magnitude.  The huge Arlington Dam rose 48 feet from the Spicket River’s bed.  A 550-foot concrete-cored dike was built some distance to its east, and a smaller, earthen dike was built to the west.  Trees cut from the reservoir site yielded over a million feet of lumber – some of which was used as framing for the concrete work. 

Construction of the Arlington Dam and reservoir took most of three years to complete.  It was finally filled in the spring of 1923, turning what was once a large part of North Salem into an underwater ghost town.  The dam immediately became a popular spot for picnics and sightseeing. 

We would like to thank Katherine Khalife and Douglas W. Seed for the use of their historical books on Salem and all of the information they so graciously provided. 

The Wheeler Mill waiting for demolition; the ruins of which are now submerged in Arlington Pond.

The old timber dam that held back the Spicket River to form Wheeler’s mill pond.

The 735-foot dam. Unlike today, this 1925 view shows no surrounding trees or vegetation.

Arlington Pond. None of the original houses or structures are visible from the surface.

The 84 year old dam will be repaired by Salem engineers and finished in the fall of 2007. Minor cracking and seeping problems are to blame for the much-needed “facelift”.

Fire Inspector Vehicle Stolen During Weekend Theft

by Andrea Ganley – Dannewitz

  The fire department is thinking twice before leaving keys in department vehicles after having a theft occur at the station on Main Street, sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.  Stolen was a 2002 Ford Taurus from the rear lot of the fire station.  The vehicle is usually seen being driven around town by fire inspector Tim Muse.

The theft actually went unnoticed until a call came in from Hampton Police just before 9 a.m. Sunday, stating that they had recovered the vehicle.  Police said they found the car parked near La Bec Rouge Restaurant and Aloha Ice Cream.  The only obvious damage to the vehicle was smashed windows on the driver and passenger sides.  It appears someone may have attempted to remove a strobe light from the rear of the car as well.

The department generally has not had a problem with thefts in the past, but what made this theft easy was that the keys were in the vehicle.  Keys usually are left in the fire department command vehicles so first responders can quickly respond to emergency calls.  The white Ford Taurus is normally used for routine code enforcement and fire safety checks around town.  The vehicle also does serve the department as a backup command vehicle.  Unfortunately, the practice of leaving the keys in the vehicles is becoming a thing of the past.

Salem Community Patriot

Area News Group is excited to announce our new name for the Salem Edition.  The new name for your hometown paper is the Salem Community Patriot and has been approved by the State of New Hampshire.  The winners of the contest to name the paper are Holly O’Rourke and Ed Brooks.  Both winners will receive a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice.  We chose two winners because there were so many great entries to choose from.  After choosing the new name, we realized there were two entries that were very similar.  Holly O’Rourke entered Salem Patriot and Ed Brooks entered Community Patriot.  Combining the two names gave us one great name.  We will fondly be known as The Patriot.

We are very pleased and excited about the feedback we have been receiving from the community.  We are so glad to be welcomed by the community and proud to fill the need of a hometown newspaper for Salem.  Tommy Gates and Ron Penczak are both proud to be bringing their stories to Salem once again.

Our Salem office is up and running in full swing.  Feel free to call us at 603-681-0510 or stop by the office to say hello at 68 Stiles Road suite 5 on the south side of the building.  The office hours in Salem are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Our office in Hudson is always available to serve the community.  The phone number to Area News Group in Hudson is 603-880-1516.

The Hudson address is 43 Lowell Road, Suite 203A Hudson, New Hampshire 03051.

Visit us on the web at  If you have anything to submit to the paper you can do so at  Thank you to all our readers for your support and feedback during our first eight weeks in print.  We truly do appreciate it.

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