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tombarnes

Mountain View House (Grand) in Whitefield, NH

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I ran across this article in yesterday's Boston Globe...

The Mountain View House

Has anyone got a clue about what this will amount to? I'd hate to see this classic resort destroyed by over-commercialization. They have already tampered with the name...Still, the hotel was rescued from almost certain destruction, so one has to be thankful that it exists at all.

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Back in, I want to say 1995, when Charles Carrol owned the derelict Mountain View house and only operated the golf course, my father was hired as the greenskeeper for just two seasons. He worked hard and actually restored a few of the diseased greens. I was 15 and lived in Fryeburg Maine with my mother, but that summer I moved up to whitefield and stayed with my Father and was hired by the Club Pro to be the "Clubhouse Boy", assisting golfers with their clubs, cleaning the golf carts, cleaning the clubhouse, raking the sandtraps, etc.

I had the opportunity to go in the hotel with my dad (we went in via the fire escape and picked a lock on a second floor balcony because Mr. Carrol never gave my dad a key to the building) and I was absolutely mesmerized by what I saw. There was wallpaper peeling off the hallway and stairwell walls like a banana, chunks of ceiling plaster all over the floors, mattresses and broken furinture everywhere. We even found a couple of rooms where people had broken in over the years and set up a little place to sleep. Up in the attic, past the servant rooms were rows and rows of mattresses (can you say fire hazard!) and boxes of old brochures for the resort in its heyday.

It was quite something to see the place after it had been closed and shuttered for 15 years and it really piqued my interest in preservation and was one of the things that lead to my getting my degree in historic preservation and entering the field.

As I understand it, Ken Craffey bought the place from Charles Carrol and restored it, but in doing so violated several laws regarding disposal of toxic materials, etc. He ended up selling the hotel at a loss to the new owners? I do remember that Craffey had planned to expand the golf course to 18 holes and build homes and condos outside of the course in order to fund the restoration of the hotel. Economically it makes sense, and isnt all that different from what you see at Bretton Woods, but their does seem to be a lot of over-commercialization in this new plan... Perhaps the resort in its current state is just not a big enough draw considering that Whitefield does not have a lot to offer.

I havent been past the hotel since it was finished, since I've been in RI since 1999, but I would love a chance to get in there and poke around again.

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