Phil Breton and his cats

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In May of 2012 I was photographing some of the portable classrooms that had been erected on the campus of Appleton Academy. The original school had been closed because it was deemed not in compliance with fire codes.

While I was there I noticed an older gentlemen with two cats on the steps of the Academy. He introduced himself as Phil Breton, a former teacher at the Academy. Appleton was a Prep School from 1968-1974. The main building and the six surrounding buildings comprised the campus. Phil taught French at the school and told me a bit about the daily routines at the school.

Appleton Academy 2012
Appleton Academy in 2012. The building had remained empty for several years but in fall of 2015 will re-open as CITS@APPLETON. It will offer a program for middle school students in hands-on direct learning in the S(cience) T(echnology) E(ngineering) M(ath) areas.
Temporary Classrooms
Portable classrooms were used for elementary students until a new school was built. Phil told me how the grounds were used for recess and sports. Thankfully these buildings have been removed.
Phil and his cat
Phil told me that this cat was 23 years old. He would take both of his cats on a short walk around the campus.
Bastet on the steps of Appleton. This cat is named after the Egyptian goddess of cats.
Bastet was quite friendly
Phil told me how the students would take this path to the 1808 Inn for meals. When the Academy was in operation, the 1808 served as the refectory.

Barr/Eaton/Tripp Estate Tour

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Russell and Melissa Salo hosted an tour of the Barr/Eaton/Tripp Estate after their extensive renovations.
The home had fallen into disrepair with water damage. The home is an important part of New Ipswich History and they did a wonderful jobs (see photos). First a bit of history about the first owner.

“The first Barr to arrive in New Ipswich was James Barr (1752- 1829) who came here ca.1775 and lived first on Knight’s Hill and later on Page Hill, outside the Village. Barr brought with him from his native Scotland the knowledge of how to prepare and hull oats for oatmeal, a process hitherto unknown in this country. With his father-in-law, he operated a small mill to produce oatmeal, highly prized by Boston apothecaries. Of Barr’s 14 children, the best known in New Ipswich was Dr. James Barr (1790-1845) who began practicing medicine here ca.1816. After his marriage in 1824 to Laura Livermore Bellows, Dr. Barr moved into his wife’s grandparents’ house on Old Country Road, a stately Georgian house with extensive grounds overlooking Appleton Common and built ca.1768. Here the Barr family remained over 140 years. Dr. Barr’s son, George Lyman Barr, was an antiquarian; his widow, Elizabeth, later married George Robert Barrett. His daughter, Caroline Frances Barr, lived here until her death in 1922. During her ownership, the grounds were extensively planted and included the state’s largest willow tree. She was a charter member of the New Ipswich Historical Society, as well as a founder and major benefactor of the New Ipswich Library.”

Source – New Ipswich Center Historic District


Barr/Eaton/Tripp Estate overlooks Appleton Common
Side view


Russell did the brickwork entrance to the kitchen


Wide pine floors and plenty of light


Fireplaces are in most of the rooms


Another view


Non-electric doorbell (and it works) for the front door
Pull a level and the bell rings


View to the front door
I assume the door on right might be for baking bread


The cellar is intriguing, what a place for running around
At one time it had a firing range


Kitchen stove was in the home and was restored
Love he nickel trim


What I assume will be the dining area


I have no idea how many rooms this place has, kept finding them






View from upstairs
A touch from the past, decorative isn’t it?


Another blast from the past


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What’s new at Appleton

As Central School languishes behind a fence, Appleton Academy will once again rise as an educational institution.

In 2012 The  The Center for Information, Technology & Society and The Program for Knowledge, Learning & Social Progress   purchases the building to the be site of their K-12 education program.

Mission statement from their website:
Since 1986, our mission has been to help mankind make the best of life in ways that economic market forces neglect.  So our focus is on furthering K-12 education and furthering human values which cannot (or are not) monetized. These are “public goods” which, like other nonprofit efforts or government efforts, are the root reason for these agents (and their philanthropic and government support)
Begun as the Program on Information, Technology & Society at MIT, CITS has been a charitable nonprofit since 1986 — dedicated to improving human communication and learning.  In 2003-2008, the program returned to MIT via a formal affiliation with the MIT Media Comparative Studies Program with a revised mission focusing on Knowledge, Learning, and Progress.
In 2012, CITS took over the 1789 Appleton Academy in New Ipswich, NH to be the site of our K-12 education programs and to provide Boynton Middle School students with learning projects, both addressing the Nation’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative and for field testing of a simpler way to learn based on Charles Peirce, William James, John Dewey, E. A. Singer, Thomas A. Cowan, C. West Churchman, and, most importantly, Russell L. Ackoff. In Choice, Communication and Conflict, 1967, Ackoff brilliantly provide a framework for knowledge and understanding, which we have adapted as The Science of Knowledge and Learning. Dr. Priest’s RPI dissertation, The Need and Value of Restructuring Human Communication Systems was based on Ackoff’s work, and he created a course on The Science of Knowledge at the Emma Willard School of Troy, NY, in 1970. These students quickly and appreciatively found the course very informative. It is an improved set of materials that Appleton Academy will foster. One learning aid will be to apply the Science of Knowledge by projects where students explore the differnce between analog-based and digitally-based artifacts.
What’s new at Appleton?
One of the analog “artifacts” in the collection
Dr  W. Curtiss Priest and his wife at the 152nd Children’s Fair
Dr Priest fields questions

The Abandoned Buildings of New Ipswich – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The jewel of the three building is the Appleton Academy which apparently has been purchased by an unknown party. One can only hope that the new owners will preserve this historic building.
My Children went to Central School. I remember seeing the parade of classes making the short trek to the library. I liked this school but it has fallen on hard times.
FOR SALE!  Dollar General has made an offer to purchase the property for more than the asking price. The store chain has identified New Ipswich as a food desert, meaning that access to large grocery stores involves a reasonably long drive. The Zoning Board of Adjustments is in deliberations over the final outcome. The next public hearing will be held July, 18th 2013. 
The “Ugly”, building 2, home to Toxic Mold
Building 2 is the former site of the Police Station and later the Green Center. An ongoing debate over whether it should be torn down or left vacant. It contains mechanical and electrical systems used by the adjacent town office. Maybe it has a future for urban explorers in protective suits.
Since 2011