Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor


Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

The 2014 Monadnock International Film Festival

The main events of the 2014 Monadnock International Film Festival will be taking place from Thursday April 10th through Saturday the 12th.  Highlighting local, US, and international films, MONiff’s website states that ”The festival’s goal is to bring great movies and their film makers and actors, to the Monadnock Region.”

This year’s films will be announced on March 7th.  In addition to screening movies, the festival will have panel discussions with film makers, actors, and directors and special events each day at which members of the public can mingle with film personnel.  DSC00467

Films are screened at the Colonial Theater on Main Street in Keene and at other locations around the town. This is a great opportunity to see presented on a theater screen films that might not otherwise be available in the New Hampshire area.  For ticket information, click here.

Ken Burns, one of the most celebrated documentary film makers, will highlight a fundraiser for the Festival a few days before MONiff.  An Evening with Ken Burns will take place from 5 to 7PM on Sunday March 30th at the Restaurant at Burdick Chocolates, 4 Main Street, Walpole, NH. Tickets are $ 75 per person, $ 125 per couple.  Click here for more information on this event.

This Monadnock International Film Festival is sponsored by Arts Alive, Keene State College, the Putnam Foundation, and several local businesses and arts groups.  MONiff has a very extensive website with in-depth treatments of the featured films, festival activities, and participants.

 

Keene Ice and Snow Festival 2014

On February 8th downtown Keene will host its annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival.  From 10AM to 4PM,  Central Square will be festooned with ice and snow sculptures – and there will be lots of fun activities to participate in.Keene 2/8/2014

Help judge the snow sculptures, join the snowball throwing contest, build a snowman, or have your photo taken with the Ice Princess, Polar Bear, and the Snowman.  Warm up with hot chocolate, s’mores, and more!  Be entertained by magician Ben Pratt and enjoy the other entertainers and food sellers.   DSC_3620

For some colorful photos of previous years’ Festivals, check out the “Keene, NH Ice and Snow Festival” Facebook page.  This event is co-sponsored by the Monadnock Travel Council and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the Keene Ice and Snow Festival, click here.

 

The Cheshire Railroad Stone Arch Bridge in Keene

New England is famed for its covered bridges, but its stone arch bridges are also deserving of admiration.  One of New England’s most impressive stone bridges is the one in South Keene.  Traveling west on 101, shortly after exiting Marlborough, one may see a massive white-gray stone span to the left of the road; this is the celebrated Cheshire Railroad Bridge.

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When Keene was bypassed by other railways in the mid-1800’s, the residents banded together to form a railroad company that would connect Keene to other towns in New England; the Cheshire Railroad Company was the result.  This structure was built in 1847 as a part of the rail line for the Cheshire Railroad which went from Winchendon, Massachusetts to Bellows Falls, Vermont.  From Winchendon, the line connected with other railways to enable people to travel all the way to Boston.

This arch over the Branch River was one of the most demanding sections of the railway built; it has a span of 90 feet and is over 50 feet high. It is built of split-faced granite ashlar stones quarried from the nearby Thompson Farm in Roxbury, NH.  It is considered one of the most impressive stone arch structures built in the United States before 1850.  It wasn’t until the 20th century that other bridges were built to rival its height, span, or mass.

The railway was abandoned in 1972 and was eventually taken over by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation; the bridge is currently administered by the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development as part of its hiking trails division.

By the mid 1990’s the bridge was deteriorating, but due to a concerted effort by local historic and preservation groups and Keene city officials, the bridge was restored to its current condition with the aid of state and federal funding.

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The bridge is open to pedestrians, and is a favorite of rock climbers.  Please note if visiting this site: there are no railings on the bridge or its approaches, so one must be careful walking on or near it.

The bridge was placed on the National Historic Register in 2012.  For a detailed history of the bridge with construction and engineering facts, consult the application that secured its place on the Register, available online.

The 1st Monadnock International Film Festival

The 1st Monadnock International Film Festival (MONiff) highlights local, US, and international films.  The MONiff’s website states that ”The festival’s goal is to bring great movies and their film makers and actors, to the Monadnock Region.”  This year, the festival will feature seven feature-length films and seven shorts from North American and European directors.  In addition to showing movies, the festival will have panel discussions with film makers, actors, and directors and special events each day at which members of the public can mingle with film personnel.

The festival events will be taking place from Thursday April 4th through Saturday the 6th at the Colonial Theater on Main Street in Keene and at other locations around the town.  Tickets are available at various locations in Keene, Peterborough, and Walpole, and online.  This is a great opportunity to see presented on a theater screen films that might not otherwise be available in the New Hampshire area. For ticket information, click here.

This Monadnock International Film Festival was four years in the planning; it is sponsored by Arts Alive, Keene State College, the Putnam Foundation, and several local businesses and arts groups.

MONiff has a very extensive website with in-depth treatments of the featured films, festival activities, and participants; it is definitely worth a look.

12th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival

On February 9th downtown Keene will host the 12th Annual Keene Ice and Snow Festival.  From 10AM to 4PM,  Central Square, Gilbo Avenue, and the surrounding area will be festooned with ice and snow sculptures – and lots of participatory activities.

Help judge the sculptures,  join the snowball throwing contest,  build a snowman, or have your photo taken with the Ice Princess, Polar Bear, and the Snowman.  Warm up with hot chocolate, s’mores, and more!  Be entertained by magician Ben Pratt, a snowboard railjam, musicians, train rides, and face painting.

This event is co-sponsored by the Monadnock Travel Council and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the Keene Ice and Snow Festival, click here or see the event’s facebook page.

PLEASE NOTE:  This was just added to the Festival’s facebook page: Due to the severe weather coming over the next couple days the Ice & Snow Festival scheduled for this Saturday is cancelled. We will keep you posted if it is possible to reschedule the event to a later date.