Lake Auld Lang Syne 2022

Freedom—December 28, 2022—The New Year will mark our 20th anniversary as an organization, so we thought it would be appropriate to reflect for a few moments on our past 19 years instead of writing our traditional year-end news summary.

Newcomers may find it hard to imagine Ossipee Lake in 2003. Property owners were almost all seasonal non-resident taxpayers who closed their “camps” in October and opened them again in April or May. Year-round lake residents were few and far between.

Our website on April 20, 2003. We reported on what lake property owners needed to know, most of which was unavailable elsewhere. Alliance Archives

Each Spring there was word-of-mouth news about changes that had taken place during the Winter.

Properties had been bought and sold, buildings constructed, and important land use decisions enacted.

Some changes were positive, others were not. Almost all of it took place out of the sight of lake property owners, and none of it made it into the local newspaper (there was only one back then).

Thanks to the Internet, however, change was in the air in 2003. Agendas for municipal board meetings, meeting minutes, zoning regulations, court orders—all manner of public documents were migrating online, making a drive to Town Hall unnecessary, and rendering photocopying fees redundant.

The task, as we saw it, was to triage this newly available information and circulate what was relevant to the lake community. A website where important issues could be publicized and debated, and a mailing list that ensured distribution of news in a timely manner helped us find an audience.

Not everyone was on board with this new level of transparency, especially as non-resident taxpayers began appearing at municipal meetings, lacking a vote but wanting to be heard. In time, however, things balanced out, and today we enjoy a level of municipal transparency that was hard to imagine 20 years ago.

In the coming year, we’ll take a look at some of the remarkable physical changes that have taken place on the lake since we set up shop. We’ll also take a look back at some of the lake news stories that remind us of the importance of being informed and staying involved. But beyond that, we’ll celebrate simply by continuing to do what we do.

Whether you have been with us from the start or are just discovering us, we’re glad you’re here. Happy New Year!

Susan M. Marks
David L. Smith
Co-Founders, Co-Directors

On behalf of our talented Board of Directors:

Emelyn Albert (Effingham)
Paul Elie (Freedom)
Perry Fine (Ossipee)
Barre Hellquist (Freedom)
Corey Lane (Porter)
Roberta MacCarthy (Freedom)
Tim Otterbach (Ossipee)
Jean Hansen (Emeritus)

There is still time to make a donation and claim a 2022 tax deduction. Click here or send a check to P.O.Box 173, Freedom, NH 03836.

5 Comments

  1. Bill 1 month ago December 29, 2022

    Thank you for being there.

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  2. ted and Carol kramer 1 month ago December 29, 2022

    congratulations Susan and David on being positive protectors of Ossipee Lake. ted

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  3. Steve Foley 1 month ago December 29, 2022

    From our Family and Friends to you All, a Big Hardy Thank you for watching out for our little Piece of Heaven and A Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year.

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  4. Richard L. 1 month ago December 29, 2022

    Although I am not a property owner on the lake, and sadly now not even a boat owner anymore. I still have very dear friends that we visit and join them on their boat most weekends. I was one of the original members appointed to the committee set up by the State to develop a safe and equitable use of the beach areas on the lake. The group was comprised of representatives from all of the various conservation groups in the area and all of our meetings were open to the public to attend where people were allowed to voice their opinions and thoughts. No decisions were made by the committee, only recommendations were made to the State and the State then made whatever decisions they deemed necessary. I can tell you openly and honestly that EVERYONE that met for several years worked very closely with each other, not always agreeing with the others’ ideas; but we always treated each other with total respect! As time went on and we developed the basis for the State to issue “rules” for the OLNA (Ossipee Lake Natural Area) my personal contribution to the discussions always said, “Any rule that the State decides to make will only be as good as it is enforced.” I am truly sorry to say that this has been proven to be only too true too many times. The fence was installed to keep people out from being in the area just off the beach to protect the many endangered species of plants that were found growing there. That is a federal law that these plants are to be protected and the state must comply. It has always been left up to the boaters themselves to educate the public using the beach area of what is and what is not acceptable. Last year I resigned from this committee mainly due to the lack of enforcement of its own policies on the OLNA area. I have worked with both Susan and David for many years and will miss them. THE LAKE IS NOW AND WILL ALWAYS BE A BETTER PLACE THANKS TO THEIR WORK!!!!!!

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  5. Kim McVicker Bevan 1 month ago December 31, 2022

    My parents built a Log Cabin in Mountain View1965. That era was my most treasured memories. I visit every year and am amazed by how many reside there. Back in the day there was one year-round resident, The Bryant’s. There were only a handful of us who came for the summer. For phones we had party lines.

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