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Pelham~Windham News

Pelham~Windham News Volume 8 Number 48 June 24, 2011 16 Pages Pelham High School Graduates Class of 2011 by Marc Ayotte

Anticipation, excitement, and disbelief were emotions that filled the PHS gymnasium on Friday evening, June 17, as the graduating class of 2011 gathered together one last time before the procession to the outdoor graduation ceremonies. There was nervous energy filling the ‘Snake Pit’ as the seniors mingled, laughed, and reflected on the four years they had spent with one another—with a common thread that this may be the last time they were all together in the same place at the same time. The classmates, attired in their caps and gowns of white and blue, for the ladies and men, respectively, displayed the varying personalities making up this highly accomplished senior class. In vogue was the custom-designed ‘grad cap,’ of which there were many creative and colorful representations. Under threatening skies, the graduates, led by school officials and class marshals Katherine McArthur and Carleen DelGreco, finally made the walk from the gym to the outside area customarily designated for Pelham High graduations. The PHS band, under PHS music teacher and band director Joe Mundy, played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance Military March, No.1” as parents and friends eagerly watched, enjoyed, and snapped photos of future memories. The ceremony began with a presentation of the flag by the Pelham VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Color guard. The evening’s guard was Fran Walsh, World War II veteran and grandfather of Joshua and Kelsi Lynde (graduating senior twins). Other members of the presentation were Mickey Bemish, grandmother of Abby Blais, and Rita and Mark McCabe, parents of Abby Blais. The proceedings continued with an address from PHS principal Dorothy Mohr as she addressed the seniors’ accomplishments throughout their high school careers. “Tonight’s graduates have armed themselves with the ability to think critically, solve perplexing problems, engage meaningfully in the world around

With diplomas in hand, the PHS class of 2011 celebrates four years of hard work

Salutatorian Emily Morris and Valedictorian Benjamin Bradbury-Koster await the PHS graduation processional

them, and approach challenges with confidence, whether in their academic or co-curricular lives,” she said. Included in her address was specific

Jesse Vaiknoras, with monkey in hand, walks with Casey Szmyt during the PHS graduation recessional

Officially graduated, Kelsi Lynde celebrates

Shawn Robidoux receives a scholarship from the Knights of Columbus.

Frank Sullivan, Shawn’s grandfather and a member Knight, made the presentation

academic mention and recognition of the nearly 50 seniors who had earned 10 college credits while attending the classrooms of Pelham High. In

The Seavey Stone

addition, Principal Mohr sited the many Python athletes who achieved statewide recognition and awards for their various accomplishments, from

the lacrosse field to the hardwood floor. Before yielding the podium, Principal Mohr conveyed to the audience a few more noteworthy items: “The Class of 2011 contributed a total of 10,253 hours of service to the community. Over 82 percent of you have made a commitment to continue your education this fall in schools and colleges, both in the United States and abroad. Stephen Irwin, who is not able to be with us tonight, has accepted the challenge of his next phase of life. He is with the United States Marines at Paris Island.” The first address given to fellow students was from class Salutatorian Emily Morris. After opening up with recollections of a possible transfer out of Pelham High following her freshman year due such elements as portable classrooms and crowded hallways, Morris then turned to all the positive attributes she ended up experiencing in the ensuing three years. She spoke of the camaraderie that develops from being in a small school. Morris continued with praise for the faculty: “You don’t see the time and dedication that the teachers put into their jobs, or the way they care about their students as people. You don’t see the way we learn to make the best of what we have.” The salutatorian in four short years realized that the little, every-day things along the way are what make the big picture so nice to look at the end, as evidenced when she recalled, “After four years, I see all of these things. I see the way two people with seemingly nothing in common stop to talk to one another in the hallways. I hear the enthusiasm in the way Dr. Holden chants, ‘When I say AP, you say bio!’” In closing, Morris thanked all those who helped along the way and left the audience with one final thought: “Tomorrow, we start a new chapter of our lives and look forward to the future. But tonight is about celebrating the last page of this one. Let’s enjoy it together.” A casually attired class essayist, Ethan Ely, next addressed his peers. Ely’s underlying message was to

continued to page 9- PHS Graduation Police

Dispatch Job


by Barbara O’Brien It wasn’t something that Windham Police Chief

Gerald Lewis really wanted to do, but considering the tough economic times facing municipalities these days, he did suggest to selectmen that the second daytime dispatch position could be eliminated, at least for the time being. “We have sporadically discussed eliminating certain positions,” Lewis told selectmen, during their June 13 board meeting. “And the 9 to 5 dispatch position is at the top of the list.”

What brought the issue to the forefront was the recent resignation of police dispatcher Matthew Sheehan. “I don’t want to hire someone to replace Matthew, then have to let that person go a few months later,” Lewis said, referring to possible cuts that might occur during budget preparation season this coming fall “I’d rather just eliminate the position, now,” he told selectmen. In recent years, there have been two daytime

Woody, Tim Zelonis, and Crane Operator

submitted by William T. Hayes The Seavey Family emigrated from England

to Portsmouth, NH in the 1640s. Branches of the family spread westward, with one branch settling in Windham and the other in Pelham. The first evidence of a Seavey in Pelham can be found in the records of the first Congregational Church. On December 25, 1753, Christmas Day, Andrew Seavey married Mary Lemmon. Pelham was incorporated in 1746. The Church was founded in 1751. The Windham and Pelham branches of

the Seavey Family labored in the lumber business. The Pelham Seaveys built a sawmill on Gumpas Brook near Gumpas Hill Road. Gumpas Pond was created by John Butler and his sons. They built two dams. The water passed over the first dam to power a saw and gristmill and then poured over a second dam, located near the first, to power a second sawmill.

About 2,000 feet further downstream, the

same water powered Seavey’s Mill. Another 1,000 feet further south, the same water

powered Hillman’s Cider Mill. Finally, the water passed under Mammoth Road, just south of its intersection with Marsh Road, to power Hillman’s Sawmill and Wagon factory. The water supply was limited. The Seavey and Hillman Mills could only operate on the days that the Butlers released water from Gumpas Pond.

By the end of August, there wasn’t enough

water to operate any of the mills. The Seaveys and Hillmans used the idle time wisely. The Hillmans built large horse drawn freight wagons and the Seaveys were wheelwrights. As wheelwrights, they made all sorts of wagon wheels for both freight and passenger wagons. Horse drawn wagons provided the primary means to move freight and people in Pelham until the mid 1920s. Wagon wheels were made with a wood hub and spokes and an outer wood ring that formed a circle. The pieces were held together by a steel ring built by a blacksmith. The ring was made with a diameter slightly smaller than the wood parts. The ring was then heated bright red, which expanded its

diameter. It was quickly placed over the wood outer circle and doused with water to prevent the burning of the wood ring and the wood work bench. The steel ring contracted and held all of the pieces together. Heat and water raised havoc with the wood

work bench. The benches had to be rebuilt or replaced often. The Seaveys addressed this problem by having a quarryman carve a huge one of a kind stone. It had a diameter of nearly eight feet and had a hole in the middle for the hub. The finished face tapered downward towards the hole to accommodate the slope of the wood spokes. No amount of heat or water could damage the Seavey Stone, which weighs about three tons. With the advent of the automobile and gasoline powered truck, the wheelwrights went out of business. Seavey’s Saw Mill was operated by a Coleman for a short time and eventually collapsed to the ground. The only evidence of a once thriving business was a few foundation rocks and the great Seavey Stone.

continued to page 8- Seavey Stone

dispatchers, one of whom works 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the other from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When asked by Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia, what the impact of the proposed job elimination would be on the police department, Lewis responded, “It’s not critical, but it is a valuable position.” Lewis said the department does make do with just one daytime dispatcher during vacations, rather than filling the seat with someone else “Still, there are times we could use three dispatchers, all at once,” he added. In a better economic climate, “I would love to keep the position filled,” Lewis said. Lewis also explained that there is less manual work for dispatchers to do, than previously, as the result of increased electronic capabilities, making the need for a second daytime dispatcher less critical. Selectman Roger Hohenberger applauded police department administrators for “looking into the possibility of saving money.” Lewis said approximately $34,000 will be saved in salary and benefits by eliminating the dispatch job from this coming July 1 through December 31 of this year. Selectmen voted unanimously (5 to 0) to eliminate the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. police dispatch slot, effective July 1. “It’s the right thing to do for the town,” Chief Lewis

said. “But I do reserve the right to come back and ask to have the position restored, if the need arises.”




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staff photos by Marc Ayotte

courtesy photos




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