By Diane Mitton
The Thompson-Ames Historical Society
weekly news release.
You may view previous news releases here...
7/5/07 - Gilford Village home of Milo Bacon preserved by niece
When the library was looking for a site on which to build their new home, the comment heard again and again was to try and keep it in the Village. But because of limited available space, this was proving to be difficult. When the Bacon's decided to sell the family property, it proved to be the perfect site. For Sandy Perry, niece of Milo Bacon, this presented a dilemma and an opportunity to fulfill a dream. Sandy and her husband Roger own the lot across the street which is rich in her family's history. Having her Uncle's house moved to this family lot unites two aspects of this history. She tells her story in a letter to her aunt and uncle:
Dear Aunt Min and Uncle Milo,
Old Home Day will come early for us this year. We have managed to secure the necessary approvals to move your home, You will not be going far. It will be placed across the street on the original homestead of our Munsey ancestors who set down their roots in Gilford Village seven generations ago - to me.
You've kept the house in good repair. Although, I have to tell you, I've taken some flack over your siding and porch windows. We will be making some changes to them. The old kitchen chimney you always wanted removed, Aunt Min, is gone, as it was taking up too much precious space. A new roof is planned before snow falls. We will be turning it back to a two-bedroom home as it was originally. Most work will have to wait until we are closer to retirement in the next year or two. Running a business doesn't allow us much free time and a round trip of five plus hours doesn't help.
No matter what we do to it, it will always be the house Aunt Bertha built and Uncle Milo's home. Written history of Gilford document that Herman and Bertha Olsen built the house in 1906. As you know, Herman Olsen w as the one-man Sheriff's Department for Gilford and kept his office in the dining room of this house. Where Herman served up justice, Aunt Minnie served up meals for her family. Herman was also an early superintendent of the Gunstock Ski area. Many of his ideas and designs were incorporated into the development of this site. Aunt Bertha was one of the three children born to Hannah Munsey Bacon. She grew up on the property we are moving her house to. And so, she comes home.
Like Herman, as Gilford's first full-time paid fire chief, Uncle Milo, you pretty much ran a one-man show as well. Aunt Minnie was made a volunteer fireman for safety reasons, just in case you got into trouble before other respondents arrived. I'm sure she wasn't disappointed when you successfully recruited a very young Alan Whitney and retired her.
A few years ago, I acquired the family genealogy. I have been sorting through seven generations of the Munsey-Bacon's and nine generations of Randlett-Wilkinsons, all early Gilford families. It was a couple of years later that we purchased the lot from Uncle Bill on Potter Hill Road which has been in the family for more than 190 years and which I still refer to as Grandpa's lot. When moving the house, we will have to set it to the east boundary so as not to disturb the maples Grandpa Wilkinson planted on the west boundary. All family land and childhood memories I couldn't bear to let go of. Then you departed and your homestead was acquired for the town for the new Gilford Library.
I'm left standing on our lot , looking at your house with all this family history. The modest little house has stood the test of time and been a landmark in the village for over a century. For me, this presented a moral dilemma. Do I allow it to be demolished or do I move it two hundred yards to our lot where we had planned to build anyway. Fate? Or is Divine intervention at play?
Moving day is July 10th. A testament that we can move forward and hold onto our history. It has been said. "A man who has no interest in his ancestors should not expect that his descendants will have any interest in him". How fortunate for us, that we are able to show this respect and love for our heritage and preserve another piece of history for the town.
This was a wonderful place to have spent my childhood. Roger and I are looking forward to returning and being closer to the families. We'll keep a couple of rockers on the porch, so you and Grandpa can chew the fat about the good old days.
With our love, Sandy and Roger
As of this date, the new foundation is in and the house is jacked up preparatory to being moved. Gilford's Thompson-Ames Historical Society is pleased to know that the home of Bertha Munsey Bacon is being preserved and will still be resting on Munsey property.
Check on Gilford's Thompson-Ames Historical Society www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.net
for further information regarding the moving of the Bacon house.