Yesterday I visited old Hill Village for the first time. My mentor, Jim Cluett- W1PID, invited me on this scenic and peaceful hike on an early spring day. It was the first day of the year you could be comfortable outdoors in short sleeves.
We were going to try to operate our small portable outdoor radios, but the sun had different ideas. You just never know how well radio waves will propagate on any given day.
Yesterday was one of those days where the 20-meter band was just not working well in central New Hampshire.
Old Hill Village is on the banks of the Pemigewasset River in central New Hampshire, just about six miles north of Franklin, NH. In the 1940’s, the entire town was moved to higher ground to make way for a massive flood control project by the US Army Corps of Engineers. They operate the Franklin Falls Dam to help ease flooding in the more populated areas in southern New Hampshire.
It had been a long, harsh winter and just two weeks before snow covered much of the land in central New Hampshire. But in the past ten days, much of it had turned to liquid heading towards the Atlantic Ocean. There were still patches of snow and ice where the snow had drifted or was shaded by trees.
To protect property downstream, nearly 4,000 acres of land on either side of the river north of the dam was purchased by the US Government and transformed into little-used public area. The primary occupants are wildlife and the rare occasional human walking across the land.
Concrete sidewalks, chunks of asphalt and man-made walls along Needle Shop Brook bear witness that this was once a bustling area enjoyed by several past generations. No doubt many a garment or sock was stitched by needles made in Hill well over 100 years ago.
The following photos and video can probably do a much better job of communicating what it was like there yesterday. You’ll hear more about Old Hill Village from me in the future.