Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site

Activating Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site

We will have two club events in Cornish, NH to activate the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Site as part of the ARRL National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.  The dates are:

  • July 10, 2016.
  • August 7, 2016.

This should give more club members a chance to operate, more HAMs a chance to make a QSO with Sullivan County, and more of the world to hear what a treasure we have in New Hampshire’s only National Park!

The park has a lot to see, and we hope that you will bring along friends and family members — even if they are not (yet!) HAMs.

The artist’s studio, his wife’s gardens, and their house (originally built as an inn in the early 1800s) should be open.  (Tickets for the house tour are free and first-come, first-served, although its hours are slightly limited on these Sundays.)  Sculpture by the artist is displayed on the grounds and in the studio.

For anyone who wants to take a break and explore the woods, there are two short nature trails (0.25mi and 1.5mi) for anyone who wants to take a break away from the radios.

This is one of only a couple of National Parks dedicated to the arts, and they have an Artist-in-Residence program, so we hope to get a chance to see and talk to a working sculptor.

The park’s new bronze cast of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famous 12′ statue of Abraham Lincoln will be on permanent display.  This picture of the original sculpture will give you an idea of what a monumental work of art it is:

ASG-Standing-Lincoln-finished-clay-Cornish-1886

As an added attraction, the park has concerts in July and August, following a tradition set by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  There is no fee for them beyond the park entrance fee.  The concerts for our operating days are:

  • July 10Ensemble Amphion – Music from the Court of Henry VIII
  • August 7 – Creek River String Band – Blue Grass Music from Appalachia

The concerts will be near the studio and house, and we will be operating from the far end of the field, so there won’t be any risk of us inadvertently transmitting music and incurring the wrath of the FCC.

Concert

There are more pictures, and information on the operating conditions in the park, in the article about our trial run.

The town of Cornish also has 4 covered bridges, one of which is a National Civil Engineering Landmark.  However, not all of Cornish has been blessed with advanced Civil Engineering projects, and the NPS points out that most GPS devices and mapping software will send you over rough dirt roads to get there, so be sure to follow the directions on their website instead!

We will meet at the park to set up at 11:00 am, at the far end of the meadow/overflow parking area, away from the buildings.  The entrance to this is on the left, and it is the first part of the park that you will see as you approach it using the paved road.  The paved parking area is shortly after that, on the right.

There is no food service at the park, so we suggest packing a picnic lunch or stopping en route to eat or pick up food.  And even though Cornish is much further from the equator than Nashua, it is summer and it will be warm, so be sure to bring enough fluid to keep yourself hydrated.

Entrance to the park is $7 for those 16 and older, and there are season passes for a carload of up to 4 adults for $30.  Senior, Active Military and other special passes are available.

Aron W1AKI

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