If we can define a town by its boundaries, boards, committees, ordinances, and-yes-tax bills, how do we arrive at the measure of a community? One could say that community is the sum of all the things the inhabitants of a town do that they don’t have to! Our town is just as surely defined by all of the individual acts-whether in full view or privately shared-of kindness, generosity, and dedication performed by its residents, as it is by the common metrics of size, population, or budgetary factors.

One such community activity has a pedigree that reaches across the years. The greening of the Lord’s Hill bandstand is a sometimes stealthily executed tradition that nevertheless is always noticed and appreciated by those of us living in the neighborhood and those passing through during the holidays. Currently Emelyn Albert marshals a crew to decorate the tree and bandstand, but she has a story to share of her involvement, and how she inherited the Christmas candle.

The bandstand on the Parade Ground was constructed, as best as we can tell, in 1880. At this point in time the Tavern opposite the Bandstand was run by Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Leavitt 2nd as a boarding house commonly known as the Green Mountain House. At the home diagonally across route 153, heading down the hill, J.M. Leavitt, a doctor who cared for many local people and trained numerous colleagues, was likely just beginning his practice. These two men and their families were probably involved in establishing our bandstand, and stand as middle mile markers on a long road of Leavitts in Effingham-beginning with Captain John Leavitt, whom our “Plantation” was original named after, and continuing through one Larry Leavitt, Jr., the last named Leavitt to live in the Doctor’s home and be put to rest in the family tomb across the road.

Larry Leavitt held for some years a tradition of providing and decorating a Christmas tree in the Bandstand for the enjoyment of the community. Since history is fueled as much by supposition and speculation as by the vital or random passages that arrive to future generations as fact, let’s assume that some of these trees might have come from his tree farm, itself connected to the earliest days of the land-grant Leavittstown Plantation. Larry Leavitt, himself a grandson of Doc Leavitt, passed away just shy of Christmas in 2003.

In the fall of 2004, Emelyn Albert was passing through the village, riding with George Mueller, formerly a Selectman in town, and George, noting the darkened bandstand, suggested that a tree be placed in Larry Leavitt’s memory. He provided tree and lights and Emelyn engaged the help of Pat Parker and Janet Normandeau to decorate. Thus a tradition was passed and reinvigorated. This trio faithfully completed the chore each year, and soon were doing it with George Mueller in mind following his passing. This year we can thank Emelyn, Nancy Goodreau, and Virginia Wrabel for their trek up the Hill from the Huntress Bridge neighborhood to green our Bandstand. Jack Williams assists, and Pat and Janet are still on board in taking the tree and window box greens in after the season passes.

This is one story among many, each and all contributing to the story of a community. As with many traditions, it survives with a blend of obligation to those who are no longer with us, and a continual and expanding inclusion of new participants who hear the call, and see the value in building a shared inheritance. Best wishes and many thanks to our greening crew, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season to all friends and neighbors of the Meeting House.

We would love to hear of any anecdotes our friends may have to add to the story of the Bandstand. Please e-mail info@lordshillmeetinghouse.org with memories or photos you may have!

The Lord’s Hill Meeting House is pleased to announce our first Blueberry Festival, to be held on the Meeting House and Parade Ground (660 Province Lake Road, Effingham). Please join us on Sunday August 11 from 12-4pm – we plan to have blueberry related activities for one and all. Olivia Saunders, from the Carroll County office of UNH Cooperative Extension will be our featured speaker on blueberry cultivation from 1-2pm. Kids activities will be provided by local 4-H groups throughout the afternoon. Lunch will be available, as well as a smorgasbord style sampling of blueberry edibles, blueberry ice cream provided by Bobby Sue’s, and a pie eating contest. There will also be blueberry shrubs for sale – 5 varieties, in several sizes. To top off the day, a concert on the bandstand starts at 4PM with the Northwood. Northwood blends bluegrass, folk, country and Americana to create arrangements full of powerful harmonies and solid instrumentation. The band features Kirk Underwood on guitar, Ann Murray on accordion, Greg Bjork on mandolin, and Kate Driver on bass.

More details here

The Parade Ground

From the earliest days of our town, the building and grounds of our Meeting House at Lord’s Hill have been privately owned and maintained for the use and appreciation of all.

The Parade Ground, situated as Route 153 turns south towards Center Effingham, hosts a bandstand, flagpole, and Veterans Honor Roll.

This year, we are planning to start some improvement to the grounds, including smoothing and reseeding some areas in need of attention, trimming trees, and planting new ones.

We plan to enhance plantings, improve soil conditions, and repair damage to the lawn that extends back to the ice storm of 1998!

We are asking for your help in raising funds to support this work. We welcome donations of any size – help us expand the circle of stewardship by taking the time to send a check or donate online.

While the business of the town is no longer conducted in the Meeting House, as in days past, we can all join in the business of a Community as we treasure and maintain a shared pride in the Meeting House and Parade Ground.

A Mountain Comes into View

Those of us who live in Effingham know how prominently Green Mountain figures in daily life. Any trip of length between two points in town will involve reckoning with the mountain at the center of our township. Our location and our destination being two points on the hem of a garment, we have to decide which is the quicker path between them. The mountain is therefore never far from mind, but for certain spots in the Lord’s Hill neighborhood it can recede from view in spring when budding leaves join buildings, topographical contours, curves in the road and general busyness in obstructing a clear sightline.Then comes fall, and amid dropping leaves and browning grass, we suddenly notice its almost looming presence. Thanks to wetlands to the north and west of Green Mountain, and its long-sloping sides, the Lord’s Hill viewshed is both intimate and close. The view revealed through the Meeting House windows, across the Lord Tomb and Josiah Dearborn house to the mountaintop, is ready-made for contemplation.

The following is an excerpt from a small book of writings by Emma Cowan Dearborn (1892-1987), entitled Contemplations of a Green Mountain Girl. Emma was a sister to Richard Dearborn, the last Dearborn descendant to occupy the Josiah Dearborn house; she was the youngest of eleven siblings, born to Samuel Quarles and Emma Nichols Dearborn over a period of 24 years.  The book was published by her family following her death.


The mountain has a formal “map name,” Green Mountain, but locally and familiarly, and almost affectionately, it is referred to simply as “The Mountain.”

It is totally corralled by our town of Effingham, New Hampshire, and, perhaps in geographical retaliation for its confinement, it dominates the town from all angles.

Yet it is a gentle, unforbidding height, spreading arms from south to north, there to stop by the Ossipee River. This point was called “the spur,” and in early days of the town settlement was narrowly cut off in the building of a road to provide communication with the part of town known as “back of the mountain.

Tall trees march up the skylines of the two slopes, like opposing armies determined to occupy the height. But fear not, United Nations is in command there, so to speak, and the top is cleared of trees to provide unobstructed view from a fire watch tower. So the two armies will never meet.

The mountain marks the seasons. In summer the sun sets late behind the far end of the northern slope, and travels, so it seems, past the height, to set in the winter behind the far south end.

Clear, or hidden in mist, clothed in delicate green, or glorious in fall foliage, The Mountain is a very intimate part of life in Effingham.

While the Parade Ground beside the Meeting House on Lord’s Hill was not established or referred to as a “Town Common” as some parks and greens in New England towns were, the spirit of the commons was alive and active on November 4, 2018.  A baker’s dozen of friends and neighbors of the Meeting House met on a sunny Sunday morning to clear the grounds of leaves and debris and prepare for our Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday, November 11th.


This quarter-acre parcel with its bandstand, flag pole, and Honor Roll can confuse visitors to Effingham, who often think that arriving at Lord’s Hill, they have reached Center Effingham.  But they are either a couple of miles or some hundred years off target.  For the Meeting House did serve as the center of town upon its construction in 1798, and for many years maps would refer to this neighborhood simply as ‘Effingham’ while the current day village of ‘Center Effingham’ was called ‘Drakesville.’  In time, the name Lord’s Hill took hold, and has continued in use to this day.

Veterans Day Ceremony Sunday, November 11, 2018 2:00 p.m. Lord’s Hill Meeting House 660 Province Lake Rd (Route 153) Effingham, New Hampshire Join us in the historic Meeting House as we honor America’s veterans followed by the unveiling of the rebuilt Effingham Honor Roll for veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, and Global […]

Join us for the 2nd Annual Bake Sale at Lord’s Hill Meeting House on Saturday, September 1st! Open 9-1…..Yard Sale too!

Thanks to our friends at Effingham Preservation Society we will host the weekly Bake Sale normally at EPS.  Plan to join us and bring a friend to visit in our beautiful building, in the bandstand, or on the Parade Grounds.

Bakers are needed for this event as well.  Or bring your garden produce for our farm table.