Great Northwoods Journal closes
after more than seven years
By Lyndall Demers
In August of 2005, my husband and I decided to venture into a magical world most people can only dream of. Okay, but really…we started this paper called Great Northwoods Journal. Based in Lancaster, the paper was a direct-mailed, free paper to over 8,600 homes—that number was reduced to 8,345 most recently. We mailed to Whitefield, Dalton, Stark, Groveton, Lancaster, North Stratford, Jefferson, and Colebrook in New Hampshire, and Lunenburg, Gilman and Guildhall, in Vermont. Quite a value for the advertisers’ bucks.
In preparation for the first edition, I approached Mike Kopp of North Country Ford and Schurman Motor Company, and Bob Snowman of F.B. Spaulding Co. about advertising with us. They agreed to go in our then, bi-weekly publication. F. B. Spaulding took the first week, and Schurman Motor Company was on the front page for the second (10/8/05) edition. Schurman and North Country Ford continued with us as regular advertisers. Other advertisers that first week were Dotte Scott Real Estate, Lancaster Fire Department, Trailside Lodge, Great Northwoods Outdoor Equipment Rental, and we had our first insert—Spring House Chinese Restaurant in Whitefield. After a very short time, due to customer demand, we went to printing weekly. We are thankful for all those advertisers who ran with us regularly over the years. Your support meant a great deal to us.
In that first issue, I wrote, “Now I start my own paper. Crazy thing to do. I’ve heard about it. Read about it. Watched people live through it. But it’s enticing. I have never been a reporter. Never sold an ad until now. But I want to try it. Having been involved in this business for so long I’ve learned, that if you print something someone doesn’t like, you’ll know it. If you print something someone does like, you’ll know that too.
I’ve typed news, ads, bills, done tear sheets, changed light bulbs, swept, vacuumed, shoveled snow, fetched firewood, ordered supplies, opaqued, fixed computers (in the old days you could use a paperclip to fix them—that’s changed), taken machines apart and put them back together (with very few spare parts) and had them work, edited news stories, put papers together, stripped them, hired help, and so many other things. I know there’s more to it than this, but I’ll learn.
My goal is to provide a readable, fun to look at newspaper that advertisers can count on getting into the hands of every possible reader in the Great North Woods. And I want to have fun doing it. I’ve worked with some of the best in the business while employed by the Democrat, and feel well equipped to begin this venture…”
“So here we go…”
And now, on January 16, 2013
Well, we did all that and more, to the best of our ability. We met some very interesting people, some who have passed away, but who will never be forgotten.
My husband and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who helped us throughout the years, from advertising salespeople, to office people, Sandra Challinor and Megan Birt. Megan has always been helpful not only in the office, but since beginning her teaching career, marrying, and having son Jaxon, if we needed someone to cover a story, and she was available, she would do so, expertly. We thank also, those of you who sent in pictures of loved ones graduating, getting engaged, getting married, and for notices of accomplishments of school children, and for all who called with stories, and for the letters folks took time to write over the years about concerns very close to their hearts. Without all of you, we would not have been able to do even half of what we did. Thank you to my whole family, including my children, Gary Michael, Tracy and Jenifer and their spouses Marissa, Leane and Bill, for their support. Tracy took over our website design and updated it each week, in addition to all else that he has to do, as a husband and father of young daughter.
We introduced Midge Rosebrook to the North Country and beyond. His readers have kept up with his column online, some from all over the United States and some from overseas. We thank Midge for his dedication in writing for every edition. He brought back memories for many readers and even young readers would tell us how they wished they had been around for “those fun times.” They don’t know what they missed, do they Midge? At first, Midge thought he’d have only a few stories to tell. But they kept coming. Thank you!
Thank you to other regular contributors including, but not limited to: Arlene Allin, Corinne Comeau, Bob Durant, John Compton, Steve Poulin, Steve Bissonnette, who each added their take on their various fields of expertise.
Over the years, we were recognized by some organizations.
In January 2007, 2008 and 2009, we were presented the VFW award for outstanding journalistic coverage of VFW programs, memorial ceremonies and for meritorious and distinguished service in furthering the aims and ideals of the VFW.
On November 5, 2009, we received the Community Builders Award in recognition of Outstanding Service to the Community, from the North Star Lodge No. 8, Free and Accepted Masons of New Hampshire.
On March 17, 2010, Great Northwoods Journal received the 2010 Award of Excellence for Communication from the N.H. Fish and Game Commission.
In 2011 Northern Gateway Chamber of Commerce presented the Great Northwoods Journal the first ever, Directors’ Award “in recognition of your many contributions to the community.”
Staying in Lancaster
Rumors that we are moving out of town, simply are not true. We hope to get away occasionally, but we are not leaving town. I serve on several boards in the area including the Methodist Church council, Lancaster Historical Society and GrayMist Fiddle Fest. And the Lancaster Open-Mic that I, with help from my husband, my sister Joyce, and others, began in July 2007, will continue the third Saturday of every month at the Methodist Church in Lancaster. We will continue to promote all that the Great North Woods is.
It’s never easy to end something, or make changes. But when you reach a point where you cannot do a job to the degree that you feel it should be done, then it’s time to do something else. That is exactly what we are doing. Moving on. Who knows what is around the corner? I do know that whatever it is, will be exciting and new, and include a certain five-year-old granddaughter and a new grandson, due in April.
Thank you to every single one of you who helped to make this paper something folks looked forward to each week. We couldn’t have done any of it alone.
Best wishes to all and thank you for some good years.
Lyndall Demers, Owner & Editor