A Valley News Publication

Kilton Library celebrating National Poetry Month with sweet little poem scrolls

Sorry to be relatively MIA this week … both Amanda and I have been a bit under the weather!

BUT Calendar editor Liz Sauchelli recently gifted me a sweet little pick-me-up, courtesy of Kilton Library in West Lebanon, which is celebrating National Poetry Month by passing out poems, rolled up in a scroll, for patrons to read and pass on. I still haven’t given mine away yet … maybe I will give it away to YOU if I see ya!

~ poem scroll ~

Overnight fire in West Lebanon sends 9 people to the hospital

Nine people were taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center overnight and two children were rescued by a neighbor following a smoky fire that heavily damaged an apartment at The Village at Crafts Hill apartment complex. (A news release originally said eight people were hospitalized, but that number was later increased.) Click here to read more at the Valley News website.

Eight people were taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in the early morning hours of Friday, March 30, 2018, and two children were rescued by a neighbor following a smoky fire that heavily damaged an apartment at The Village at Crafts Hill apartment complex in West Lebanon, N.H. (Lebanon Fire Department photograph)

Update on the 1920s love letters discovered in a West Leb ceiling: They’re back where they belong!

Happy Friday afternoon, y’all!

Remember our post about the long lost love letters from the 1920s that were discovered in a West Lebanon ceiling recently during a kitchen renovation? They have officially been returned to the couple’s relatives!

Valley News chief photographer Jennifer Hauck was there for the handoff (click here for photos) and the Valley News editorial board has weighed in on the magic of these letters.

Friday, March 16.

The letters are now “under lock and key,” family members say, until the couple’s last living daughter can make it up to Vermont from Florida for a family visit later this year.

Thank you so much to Jenn Carter, who found the letters, and granddaughters Theresa White, Shannon Kivler and their extended family, for allowing us to document the return of the letters that captivated the Upper Valley with some good news for a few days.

As I told a couple of the folks involved, it has inspired me to go through some old love letters I inherited from my grandparents some years ago and have never really sat down and read through. That will change soon!

We wish a lot of happy reading to Mr. & Mrs. White’s family in the months and years ahead. ❤


Heartfelt exchanges in the #UpperValley on Thursday: 1️⃣ Theresa White, of White River Junction, #VT, left, Jenn Carter of West Lebanon, #NH, and Shannon Kivler, of Charlestown, NH, talk about the #handwritten #letters found in Carter’s kitchen ceiling during a remodeling process. Kivler and White are the granddaughters of Laura Johnson, who wrote the letters to Harold White in the #1920s. The couple later married and had four children. The group of women met in White River Junction on Thursday for Carter to give the letters to White and Kivler, who she located via Facebook earlier in the week. 🔶 More photos from their meeting at www.vnews.com. Link in profile. 🔶 (Valley News – Jennifer Hauck @hauck45) 2️⃣ Tom Cox, of Sunapee, NH, hands a #bouquet of #roses to Victoria Davis, of Brooklyn, NY, on Georges Mills Road in Springfield, NH, on Thursday. Cox sells roses on the side of the road and will wait hours, sometimes even a whole day, for someone to stop and buy the #flowers. “You have to develop #patience and an appreciation of #nature,” Cox said. (Valley News – Carly Geraci @carlygeraci) ▪️ #vnewsuv #uppervalley #upval #603 #802 #twinstates #newengland #photojournalism #heartfelt #exchange #sliceoflife #💌 #💐

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After kitchen remodel reveals 1920s love letters hidden in West Lebanon ceiling, Upper Valley Facebook reunites them with the couple’s granddaughters

(Originally posted Tuesday, March 13. Updated on Thursday, March 15.)

Photo courtesy Jenn Carter.

West Lebanon resident Jenn Carter has made a pretty neat discovery in her kitchen ceiling — letters that are more than 90 years old! — and now she’s trying to return them to their rightful owners.

Here is what she posted on the Upper Valley VT/NH Facebook page (w/ light editing by me):

Hi, Upper Valley … So here is an odd one and probably a long shot.


I am remodeling my kitchen in West Lebanon. During demolition, many very old letters were found in the ceiling. They are from Miss Laura S. Johnson, of West Lebanon, to Harold B. White, of Brattleboro, Vt. The letters I have gone through are postmarked for various dates in 1925 & 1926.


I think I found the right Laura through the 1910 & 1920 Census. It appears that she passed in 1998 and is buried at the West Lebanon Cemetery. I was hoping she might still have family in the Upper Valley as I would love to return these letters to them. Please message me if this may be someone you knew.

Jenn later called them “super sweet love letters.” Awwww. <3 :’)

You can contact Jenn at her original post, OR comment below or email me at mcassidy@vnews.com and I will pass along the message.

* * *

UPDATE #1 (TUESDAY): A woman has come forward as the couple’s granddaughter!

That seriously took less than 30 minutes. The Upper Valley is small and the internet is fast.


* * *

UPDATE #2 (THURSDAY): Jenn Carter reunited the letters today with two of Laura Johnson’s and Harold White’s granddaughters, Theresa White, of White River Junction, and Shannon Kivler, of Charlestown.

They are waiting to open all of the letters until they can be read by the couple’s last living daughter!!!! So exciting. We are thrilled for everyone involved. Look for a photo in Friday’s Valley News.

* * *

UPDATE #3 (FRIDAY): Photos and an editorial!

Valley News chief photographer Jennifer Hauck was there for the handoff, and the VN editorial board also weighed in on the magic of these letters. Photos here & editorial here.

Wondering what that BOOM was in the West Lebanon area this afternoon?

Photo courtesy Lebanon Fire Department.

Photo courtesy Lebanon Fire Department.

Photo courtesy Lebanon Fire Department.


According to the Lebanon Fire Department, the New Hampshire State Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal made controlled detonations of “potentially explosive materials” at the Lebanon landfill this afternoon. The material was first discovered by a clean-up contractor at a residence on Spring Street and then transported to the landfill for the controlled detonation.

Lebanon fire officials noted that the public was never in danger, but several people — including yours truly! — took to Facebook to try to figure out the source of a booming noise shortly before 5 p.m., which was reportedly heard from at least White River Junction to Plainfield.


Here’s the full text of a news release from the Lebanon Fire Department:

At 1205 hours (12:05 p.m.) the Lebanon Police and Fire Departments responded to a vacant residential dwelling on Spring Street for a report of potentially explosive materials found. On arrival personnel were met by a a clean-up contractor, hired by the property owner who was clearing debris from the residence. The contractor advised that they had found several boxes of retail fireworks, black powder and other potentially explosive materials and removed them from the building. Public Safety personnel contacted the New Hampshire State Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal (NHSP EOD) unit to request assistance with identifying the materials and disposal.


At 1330 hours (1:30 p,m,) the NHSP EOD supervisor arrived on scene and upon examination determined that some of the materials were retail fireworks and other appeared to be homemade explosive devices. Due to the uncertainty about the stability of the materials and age, a decision was made to transport the materials to a safe location and render them safe by explosive charge. The materials were transported to the lower area at the Lebanon Landfill and subsequently detonated, resulting in four small explosions in the area.


It is important to note that at no time was the public in danger, both at the Spring Street location and at the landfill.