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  • Karen Cummings

In the News--October 1984

Front page headlines from October 1984 include: "Valley welcoming sign unveiled," "Papers passed on sale of Cranmore," "Fire controlled after 130 acres burn," and "New group buys option on airport" [Oct. 5, 1984]

Editor's note: Some issues of the Mountain Ear has some particularly newsworthy items that we will be highlighting with brief synopsis of them along with the Ear's classic feature stories.

Valley Pride: Valley welcoming sign unveiled It was a proud moment for the members of the Valley Pride Coordinating Council as the first of four planned Mt. Washington Valley welcoming signs was unveiled in Conway, the ultimate realization of a vision by the council more than a year ago.

The 40-square-foot hand-carved wooden sign was erected to provide a welcome to Valley visitors, as well as to serve as a means of accentuating the Valley's preeminence as a four-season destination resort... The focal point of the sign is a stylized carving of the Valley's peaks, with a church steeple in the foreground and Mt. Washington looming over all. On the north face of the sign, visible to motorists leaving the Valley is carved the slogan, "Every Season a Reason to Return."

--Rob Burbank

Papers passed on sale of Cranmore After a two-month-long negotiation, the Herbert Schneider Corporation, which had owned the North Conway ski area since 1963, reached an agreement with a group known as Mt. Cranmore Inc. to sell the mountain resort. The new group was headed by Arnold London of Newport, R.I., Ed Mank of Wellesley, Mass., and Steve Fiott of Nashua, N.H. Herbert Schneider would continue at the mountain as director of the Hannes Schneider Ski School and as mountain manager.

Ski slope improvements planned by the new owners included a 75 percent increase in snowmaking capacity and a 100 percent increase in snowgrooming. Herbert Schneider said that he was pleased to see Cranmore revitalized. "I see a great future here for the mountain as it regains its place in the ski world," said Schneider. "I'm very happy to see Cranmore becoming the ski resort I've always dreamed it could be."

--Tom Eastman

Fire controlled after 130 acres burned The largest fire in the history of the White Mountain National Forest was brought under control by National Forest firefighting crews on Bartlett's Table Mountain after charring 130 acres of forest land, according to Ned Therrien, public information officer for the WMNF. Table Mountain is approximately two miles from Bear Notch Road.

Particularly hard hit were stands of spruce and fir near the summit of the 2,663 foot mountain, where vegetation on the ground was very thick. Maple and other hardwood stands weathered the blaze with less damage; some hardwood areas were merely charred at ground level. "The hardwoods are still going to grow," Therrien said. "They'll have some fire scars on them, but they'll continue to grow."

The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, but Forest Service officials surmise it was probably started by a spark from a campfire or carelessly disposed of smoking materials. Firefighters worked 'round the clock for seven days to contain and control the blaze.

--Rob Burbank

New group buys option on airport A purchase option on the White Mountain Airport has been sold to a Boston-based group, the Mountain Ear has learned. [Could this be the start of Settlers' Green?]

In following up on a story about the status of the airport printed here in July, the paper has been told a written agreement was signed for the purchase option of the 90- to 100-acre site of Route 16 in North Conway. ...the group has employed the services of an architectural firm which is "working on a plan" to determine possible uses for the site. If the land use study is favorable, the group plans to present its ideas to town officials "in the near future."

Airport owner Wylie L. Apte Jr. ... has attempted to sell the airport since 1978 when town taxes on the property were raised "over 1,000 percent" to approximately $24,000 per year. He claimed the airport was no longer a financially lucrative venture, noting that what had been the airport's biggest attractions -- open cockpit biplanes in which sight seers could ride -- were sold to raise money to pay back taxes on the property.

Apte took over management of the airport from his father, the late Wylie Apte Sr., in 1970. The elder Apte started the operation in 1930.

--Rob Burbank

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