A Spot on the Porch
A celebration of Rumney and the Baker Valley in Images on the ocassion of the town's 250th anniversary.
In 1980 I moved to Rumney where it was just close enough to family that I would still be a part of it, but far enough away that they would have to call before visiting. I fell in love with the town almost from the first week. I rented a sweet little house from Joe and Nancy Kolb, who were the most gracious of landlords, living right next to Pic Jaquith who shared flowers with me from the first day they bloomed in spring until the end of summer asters had died away. Pic maintained the showplace flower garden of Rumney until his death, after which Betty-Jo and Bill Taffe gave even old Pic a run for his money.
In 1984 Alice joined me, living in the big old farmhouse that I had, by then, purchased from Faith Moulton. It was a big rambling 17 room house and piece by piece we turned it into apartments, living in one as we finished it, renting it and then moving on to the next unfinished space. Today that building has been turned first into the Common Cafe and Tavern by Brian and Dianna Paquette, to whom the entire town is indebted not only for providing great food but for converting the building back to a commercial enterprise. They have recently sold the restaurant and it has been re-opened under another name.
On December 21, 1985 Alice and I were married beside the Stinson Brook on a piece of land that we had purchased from Doug and Erin Way. We had by then decided that Rumney would be our home. Alice called it her "Spot on the Porch" and I couldn't have agreed more. Two years later we built the house that we lived in until Alice's death in 2018.
In 1988, having served three terms in the NH House of Representatives, I announced for the Senate and somehow managed to eek out a win, the first Democrat to serve in that seat since the Civil War, though in the Civil War era the Democratic Party was the pro-slavery party so there was nothing to brag about there. Nonetheless, I couldn't have done it without great people like Doris Tunnel, who introduced me when I announced; Betty Jo Taffe, a Republican State Representative and a giant in the fight to improve public education in New Hampshire. She quietly helped a fellow from the other side of the aisle. Bill who didn't need to hide his support was willing to help more openly; Kevin and Debbie Maes who were our eyes and ears throughout the county; Colonel Joe and Ann Kent and their daughter Jennifer who were, by then, icons of Rumney and noted conservationists - having established the Quincy Bog Natural area; Cindy and Norrie Parr; Joan and Paul Turley; Keith and Andrea Sutherland; Brad and Lori Eaton; Betsy Bennett, Pat, Paul and Peggy Hannigan - consecutive proprietors of the Rumney Village Store - all volunteered countless hours and made sure that my lawn signs would dominate the village, just in case the Union Leader came snooping.
So, here we are in 2022. The 250th anniversary of the founding of Rumney was in 2017 when this book was published and I still love this place as much as I ever have. This little town that has space for people of all kinds. This book is a celebration of our collective "Spot on the Porch". It is dedicated to the people of Rumney, those with us and those passed but still in our hearts. Here's to 250 more!
Wayne D. King August 2022