Holiday Season Begins

Rileee DeLuca, Mia DeVito and Olivia DeVito had a great time.

Salem fire trucks thrilled the children.

Rudy circulated the crowds.

SHS Band showed their stuff in Sunday’s parade.

Verizon car showed its stuff.

The Salem Community Patriot in its first Holiday Parade. On the truck is your community relations representative, Andrea Dannewitz, and daughter Savannah.

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Grand Old Lady to Get Facelift

by Jay Hobson

Recent photo of Salem Depot train station.

The Grand Old Lady of Salem Depot—the train station that gave the depot its name—is in need of some tender loving care.

Once upon a time, as far back as 1867, conductors glancing at pocket watches amid billows of smoke and steam shouted “All aboard!” as our ancestors of not that long ago boarded B&M railroad cars that would bring them to destinations of labor or recreation.

Since that time the station was purchased for four thousand dollars in the early 50s by attorney James Sayer who used the station as his law office and then sold it to the town in 1996.

Spearheaded by Dianne Paquette, the facility is getting renovated to reflect its former incarnation as a bustling train station.

“It won’t be a perfect restoration.  Bathrooms will be up to Americans with Disabilities codes and other updates like central air conditioning will be installed,” Paquette said.

According to Paquette, the original building was painted brown and pictures of the period show a grain elevator behind it on Route 28 where the Johnny’s Shell station once stood.

The train station, one of four along the rail line in Salem, is the last one still standing.

The face of the depot has changed over the years.  The tracks have been paved over, Gelts Market and Peever’s drug store are gone and the Salem Co-Op Bank now occupies their spaces.  The old Rockingham Hotel across the street is long gone and the streets are full of cars that the former users of the train would marvel at.

“Inside is a mess, but it’s not as bad as I expected,” Paquette said.

Abatement has begun with the removal of the floors due to the presence of asbestos and the attachment that was put on by attorney Sayer when he used the space as his reception area will be removed.

“The old cobblestone platform where people stood to wait for their trains is still there.  The addition was put over it so it’s still visible under the floor,” Paquette said.

What the station will need in the near future is a group of volunteers that help in the restoration process.  If you can help call Dianne Paquette at 603 898-2192.

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Hedgehog Park and Canobie Lake Boat Launch Receive Much Needed Message Boards

by Andrea Ganley-Dannewitz

Craig Martland, 14, pictured here with one of his Eagle Scout projects, a message board at Hedgehog Park.

If you have not visited Hedgehog Park lately, the next time you do, you will notice something is a little different.  Standing proudly close to the town beach is an informational message board.  One seems to have popped up over at the Canobie Lake boat launch as well.  Now what kind of special person found it in their heart to make these small but very important additions to both popular publicly accessible spots?  It would be none other than fourteen – year- old Craig Martland and his fellow scouts from Boy Scout Troop 267.  As part of his Eagle Scout project Craig and his fellow scouts raised money to build the signs from donations earned at the car wash they held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars on North Broadway (a Troop 267 sponsor).  Craig also raffled off a quilt made by his grandmother, Eileen Buckley.

Troop 267 built the signs over a two - week period with help of Scouts and adult volunteers.  Pressure treated wood and hardware were purchased from Cyr Lumber at a discounted price.  The Town of Salem’s Public Works Department drilled the holes and provided the gravel to secure the signs.  The Scouts finished it off with a touch of landscaping using loam and bark mulch donated by Freshwater Farms.  They planted bulbs for the spring, and flowering bushes with kale to finalize the landscaping.  What a beautiful job Craig has done!

The message boards will be used by the Town of Salem’s Recreation Department to provide the visitors of these two widely used public fun spots with information about current water conditions, maps of the areas, and instructions on how to prevent Milfoil and other invasive species of aquatic plants, along with the rules and regulations of both these town resources.

Throughout the entire process of organizing, raising funds, and building the message boards, Craig Martland was responsible for the entire project.  He met with town officials, coordinated the fundraising activities, and supervised the construction of both signs.  Although most would think that after all this has been done the project would be complete, it is far from complete for Craig.  He now has to document and account for all monies and time spent on the project, and produce a report that outlines the details of his project, the hurdles that had to be overcome and present all this to the Eagle Board for acceptance.

Craig Martland’s mother Ann added that less than 5% of the boys who join the scouts actually achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.  Only about 1.7 million have achieved this rank since it was established in 1912.  Although Craig is not there yet, he is well on his way to achieving what few in Scouting actually do.  How proud of a family they are to have such a bright young boy.  Craig Martland has been involved in Scouts since he was 9 years old.  Now at 14 and a high school student he is still as devoted to it now as he was then, if not more.

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