It’s true, it does take a village to raise a a kiosk. To be more accurate, as this picture shows, it took a John Deere tractor and operator Mark Castonguay. Mark works for the Brighton Street Department and did a great job operating the back hoe to place the kiosk. A sneeze or jitter could have crush months of work and thousands of dollars of grant money in a second, fortunately for us Mark made everyone’s job easier.
Then came the official dedication. What a day. It was a real joy to see most of the Island Pond Kiosk Committee come together with family, friends, and neighbors to celebrate how unique Island Pond is and all the work that went into the creation of the kiosk. It all started in the heart of winter as we gathered together a group of individuals with varied backgrounds who all had a deep-seeded appreciate of the village and the trail. The core group consisted of Ross Stevens and Luke O’brien of the NorthWoods Stewardship Center, Mark Maghini of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, and Bill Schomburg (a huge supporter of the trail). The dedication of the kiosk was one aspect of a joint effort between the NFCT and NorthWoods Stewardship Center to celebrate National Trails Day. The dedication was followed by a few hours of canoeing on either the Clyde River or Island Pond.
Looking at the group photo of those that attended the dedication ceremony brings a smile to my face. Partly because a large percentage of the crowd is family (I have relatives living just up the road near Semour Lake), and also because it reminds me that it takes a village to raise a kiosk. Our small kiosk committee was a catalyst that spurred the good will of the community. During the process I didn’t meet a person in Island Pond that wasn’t excited about what we were doing. Everyone was eager to share memories, review the maps, and help delve into the unique stories of Island Pond. There are plenty of interesting stories that we couldn’t confirm that would have made for interesting text, like the railroad being situated through Island Pond due to a horse race. They were trying to decide which route would be quickest, one that went through Island Pond and one that went further north. So, the powers that were decided that they would have a horse race where one horse would take the southern route and one the north route. Whichever horse got to Montreal first would determine the line the railroad would take. Makes sense to me. Just an example of one of the many stories that came out of the wood work.
Kiosks are so image driven. We are very fortunate that the Clarke Family of Island Pond has a deep fascination with the history of the village they live in. They allowed us to use two of the most interesting photos we came across. One, their son Shane spliced together to make one of the first known panoramic photos of Island Pond. It is amazing how much has changed since that photo, and how much is the same. Thanks again Clarke Family. Brian Pfieffer of Wings Photography and Sandy Macys of Sandy Macys Photo also gave us the use of some beautiful photos at a discount. I feel that we did a good job relaying Island Pond and the Northeast Kingdom. It is not easy to capture such a unique place when it is not necessarily any one image or person that makes it so unique, but a feeling you get when you’re there. Then there is all the intrisic values of the area like the land and hunting ethic that seems to get passed down from generation to generation.
Much thanks to Ross for keeping a head of steam on the process and the committee. Ross lead the local committee and made sure we had places to meet. He dotted quite a few i’s.
We chose Mike Bresette, Jim Worth, and Jerry Goupee, all town selectmen, to cut the ribbon. We did this because the town was so helpful. Between Mike , Jerry and Jim attending meetings, Jerry helping line up the installation, and the town street department using equipment to help install the kiosk , it was a very supportive environment.
A big thanks to all the eagle-eyes, especially Joel Cope and Mark Maghini. Without their editing nature I doubt the text would flow like it does.
So after all the “thanks”, there is not much more to say than, I hope you have a chance to check out the Island Pond Kiosk sometime.
Coming soon: Bugs vs. Rain and the Moose River…………