April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011 – Don Leavitt, a former Belknap College student was one of the two guys who bought the Belknap College Estate. The former Founders Hall was in serious disrepair when they bought it, but they did extensive renovations and turned it into the Red Hill Inn. They would give discounts to former Belknap students during the off season. My wife and I stayed a couple nights in the third floor bedroom that was on the far right hand side of the building with one heck of a view! Here’s a link: http://www.innsite.com/inns/A031047.html Larry Mack ’70





April 8, 2011 – Anne Schroeder sent me this to Gene McCaffrey



You may have forgotten, but we DID own Founder’s Hall. We bought it as a Limited Partnership in 1986; I never knew who was in the partnership. We had no say in the running of the Red Hill Inn which it was then called. Two guys, non-students, bought it, fixed it up to a beautiful state which included a 4star restaurant. The bedrooms upstairs were all tricked out in Victorian furniture, linens and things. It was gorgeous. The fireplace room was a lounge, very inviting with a warming fire going.



I’m not sure why more people don’t remember this fact.



Here’s a cool painting as it was in winter of 2000.






This site mentions the Inn, no longer in business of course, because NHMF people bought it.






If you don’t follow any of these links, which basically lead nowhere because the Inn is no longer in business, this is the one link you’ll like – the financials for the NHMF.






On page 8, about half way down, see this: “In December, 2001, the Festival purchased from the former Red Hill Inn property for $2,031, 897….”



Our limited partnership ended in 1996 I think it was. It had been a 10 year commitment while the property was made into a business, the Red Hill Inn. When the LLP ended, I remember that it was going up for sale and the NHMF was the buyer. They were not the only party interested, but other financing fell through. The Inn continued to operate after the LLP ended – an additional 5 or 6 years. That puts the NHMF in ownership from about 2001 to … whenever the NHMF sold/lost it… or currently. The Inn was in business from 1986 to 2001.



The guys that owned the Inn bought another property, some sort of castle near Moultonborough, and intended to make it into another B&B. Then, one of them died. It was really sad. They had been partners for a very long time. I lost track of what happened to the survivor and whether the castle project ever happened. I do remember that it took a long time for the NHMF to get its act together and purchase the college buildings. There was a lot of speculation as to what would happen with the property. Upkeep must be a nightmare, you know? And not at all conducive to storing musical instruments in the winter! What were they thinking??



Also, on the bottom of page 6 there is a statement about the repairs, or lack there-of, by the NHMF on the buildings. No wonder when you saw it there was a lack of repair! They weren’t making any money. Non-profit as it was, some money had to be coming in from endowments or somewhere to pay off that loan. Sounds like a pipe-dream that sounded so wonderful, summer evenings on the grass, looking out over that fabulous view and listening to music, only to wake up in 6ft of snow, the roof leaking and owing $2M bucks! Very sad, really.



Yet, that amazing building with its varied history lives on. What will happen next? I hope someone chronicles it.



And that’s the “backstory” of Belknap College as the Red Hill Inn! <G>



It’s interesting reading. The Belknap website may find it interesting. You can edit it if you’d like and post it if you think it fits the mood of our forum, the one for the college.



Here’s a strange little “forum“ I just found. No one has posted anything on it for several years. Hard to say who posted at all, or, even who started it.



http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8325 Anne

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