Efforts planned at Nansen to revive competitive jumping


By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Daily Sun

MILAN — When two-time World Cup champion and Olympic ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson flew off the Nansen Ski Jump on March 4, it was with the expectation she would be the last person to ever jump from the 1937-era steel structure. On that chilly day, the 22-year-old Red-Bull-sponsored athletic followed in the tracks of test-jumper Anna Hofmann, a daring Women’s Ski Jumping USA’s junior team member.

Over the past three months, however, a big change has taken place in what chief Ben Wilson of the Bureau of Historic Sites of the state Division of Parks and Recreation has said he is willing to consider as the future use of the historic ski jump.

It might very well be possible to bring back the ski jump for use in active competitive jumping, Wilson explained to an onsite Friends of the Nansen Jump meeting on Wednesday, June 21.

Before this, work has been directed to restoring and interpreting the site of the first U. S. Olympic Ski Jumping trials in 1938 and later major regional and national ski jumping competitions that petered out in the mid-1980s.

Wilson, the Friends of the Nansen Jump and Scott Nichols of Lyme, speaking for USA Nordic Sport Inc. headquartered in Park City, Utah, have agreed to work up a complete list of things that would have to be done to reach this new ambitious goal.

Nichols, the father of a 13-year-old son who is a jumper, said he had talked extensively with USA Nordic and had found its leadership “fully behind” the idea of reviving Nansen and eager to help in what would be significant fundraising.

Building a smaller “transitional” jump in the 30-meter-high range on eight state-owned acres would open the way for Androscoggin Valley high school teams, he said. New Hampshire is the only state in the country that has ski jumping as a high school sport, including at such venues as Plymouth, Lebanon, Andover and Hanover.

Some enthusiasts have already envisioned a competitive “four-hill” tournament put on over a two-week period — Salisbury, Conn., Brattleboro (Harris Hill), Vt., Lake Placid, N.Y., and the Nansen Jump in Berlin — that would draw crowds.

A Friends meeting is being planned in the near future that will likely include two well-known USA Nordic leaders, along with Wilson and other stakeholders.

A grant application has been submitted by the Friends for funds to rebuild the now-rotted-away staircase up the steep slope to the jump base.

The Student Conservation Association, that works every summer in a variety of state parks and sites, will begin work next month putting up split rail fence alongside Route 16 to control vehicle access to the jump property, Wilson said.

The state and the Flint Farm have signed an agricultural contract for use of the hayfield at the state-owned Nansen Wayside on Route 16. Parking will be permitted when the field is frozen.

Sally Manikian of The Conservation Fund was on hand earlier that day to work with the state to help arrange for a permanent easement to use a gravel road in a small part of the 293-acre tract adjacent to the Nansen Si Jump that the nonprofit conservation organization is trying to sell. This access has been available on a handshake basis, but should be formalized. The state does not have the capital funds earmarked to buy the tract, although it would lend to a network of Nordic trails.

The Nansen Ski Club is looking to secure a ski trail connection from Milan State Park to Nansen that would be useful during Nordic festivals and competitions. Club officers Tracy Rexford of Berlin and Phoebe Backler of Milan were on hand to discuss the possibilities.

Peter Michaud of the state Division of Historic Resources is writing an application to have the Nansen Ski Jump listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with the expectation that he submit it in time for the December round. After that, National Historic Landmark status will also be sought. The Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods is the only landmark now listed in Coos County.

At one time the jump was the centerpiece of the Berlin Winter Carnival, which celebrated numerous winter sporting events, outdoor activities and the culture of the Scandinavian people who migrated to the area in the 19th century.


Juvenile arrested in stolen motor vehicle case

COOS COUNTY — A juvenile wanted for allegedly stealing motor vehicles in three states including northern New Hampshire has been arrested by Farmington, Maine, police after a long search.

The juvenile is being held on burglary, theft by unauthorized taking, aggravated criminal mischief, unauthorized use of propelled motor vehicle, operating without a valid license, failure to stop for a police officer, and driving to endanger brought by Farmington police and the Waldo (Maine) County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities in New Hampshire and Vermont are also investigating incidents in their states.

In Coos County, the juvenile is believed to have fled on foot from the scene of an accident on Route 3 in Stewartstown Sunday in which he rolled over a vehicle that was stolen from Clarksville.

He is also believed to have stolen a truck in Stratford, leaving a stolen vehicle behind. The truck was later discovered in a ditch. That was followed by a report of stolen vehicle in Northumberland that was discovered crashed just over the border in Maine.

The juvenile is believed to be from Campton. Authorities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont continue to investigate.

State police seek public's help in solving 2015 murder

COLUMBIA – State Police are continuing to seek the public’s assistance with any information relating to the death of David Oldham.

Mr. Oldham’s body was found at his residence at 926 U.S. Route 3 in Columbia on July 1, 2015. Oldham’s death was ruled to be a homicide due to a gunshot wound to the head.

To date, numerous leads and tips have been received and reviewed. Nonetheless, the public’s help is still needed in this investigation.

Anyone who may have knowledge of any circumstances surrounding David Oldham’s death is urged to contact the N.H. State Police Major Crime Unit at (603) 223-3856 or the N.H. State Police Tipline at (603) 223-4381.

In addition, members of David Oldham’s family have announced that they will be holding a press conference on Friday, June 30, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the State Police Headquarters at 33 Hazen Drive in Concord to announce their offering of a reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the individual or individuals responsible for Oldham’s death.


Schedule for New Hampshire’s Longest 4th of July Celebration

Thursday, June 29

4-7 p.m. WREN Local Works Farmer’s Market on the Common with vendors and live music.

Friday, June 30

5-10 p.m. Miller Amusements Carnival Midway, pay one price on the rides.
6 p.m. Side walk vendors open.
6-9 p.m. Concert: Jonathan Sarty.

Saturday, July 1

8:30-8:50 a.m. Registration for the 4-mile walk and run.
9 a.m. Scootin’ for the Red, White and Blue 4-mile walk and run.
(Start and finish at Ed Fenn School. Donation entry free. Sponsored by Androscoggin Valley Hospital).
11 a.m. Side walk vendors open.
Noon-5 p.m. Pay one price on the rides.
5-10 p.m. Pay one pride on the rides.
6-9 p.m. Concert: Straightaway.

Sunday, July 2

11 a.m. Classic Car Parade line up at Ed Fenn School.
11 a.m. Side walk vendors open.
11:30 a.m. Classic Car Parade, down Route 16 to Railroad Street.
Noon-2 p.m. Classic Car Show with 50s and 60s music.
Noon-2 p.m. Kids Games hosted by American Legion Aux. Unit 82.
Noon-10 p.m. Miller Amusements Carnival Midway.
Noon-5 p.m. Pay one price on the rides.
5-10 p.m. Pay one pride on the rides.
5-6:30 p.m. Chili Chowder/Dessert Cook Off at the Gorham Fire Station, hosted by the Gorham Fire Department and Gorham EMS.
7:30-9:30 p.m. Concert: The Ultimate Garth Brooks Tribute Show with Dean Simmons, sponsored by Berlin City Auto Group.

Monday, July 3

8-10 a.m. Registration for the Patriotic ATV Photo Scavenger Hunt at the Gorham Corner Market, $5 per person. Must have a camera or cell phone.
3 p.m. Side walk vendors open.
3-10 p.m. Miller Amusements Carnival Midway, pay one pride on the rides.
6-9 p.m. Concert: Riley Parkhurst Project.

Tuesday, July 4

9:30 a.m. Duck Race, hosted by the Berlin Backers.
10-10:45 a.m. Registration for Kiddies Parade, registration is a must at Ed Fenn School.
11 a.m. Kiddies Parade, starts at Ed Fenn School.
11 a.m. Side walk vendors open.
Noon-11 p.m. Miller Amusement Carnival Midway.
Noon-5 p.m. Pay one price on the rides.
5-11 p.m. Pay one price on the rides.
1 p.m. Parade line up.
1:30 p.m. DJ Music with Steve Emerson.
2 p.m. Main Parade, starts at Dublin Street down Route 16 to Railroad St.
6-10 p.m. Concert: Rebel Sons.
10 p.m. Fire Works by Atlas Fireworks.

Schedule is subject to change without notice.

For more information, visit www.gorhamnh.org, www.gorhamnewhamoshire.com or visit their Facebook page Gorham 4th of July Celebration for updates.