In 1977, after the Sunset Hill Hotel and Resort was nearly all demolished, our cottage (before it was ours)
was moved from the golf course across a tennis court and up to where the former hotel site.
This week I show pictures of the move to the new site
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

This is the link to a photo set of the preparation of the cottage on the old site its move

Our cottage was at one time a part of the historic Sunset Hill Hotel Resort
In the September 28 edition of Tidbits I feature a brochure revealing part of the history of this resort and our cottage


This is what the SHH Resort looked like in the early 1900s

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan ---

The post card below shows the SHH golf club house, pool, and east porch facing the White Mountains

The red circle below shows the old site of our cottage alongside the golf course

The main hotel was torn down in an interesting manner in 1973. Each room was sold at auction
and a buyer of a room could take everything from the room, including the furniture, fixtures, windows, and floors.
The remaining structure was then burned down along with most surrounding buildings.
Buildings remaining to date include two of the three VIP cottages, the power house (my barn), the
golf clubhouse, and the Annex which was eventually renovated to become the current Sunset Hill House Hotel.

The SHH Resort piped in spring water from over a half mile up the hill to the south
For our cottage it was necessary to drill a well at the new site

Then it was necessary to dig the hole for a new basement
At the old site these were summer cottages that did not need basements
The cottage would be winterized on its new site and needed a really nice basement

New Hampshire is known as the "Granite State"
The White Mountains are solid granite
When you start digging a post hole or a basement
You will encounter boulders --- some small and some huge
The smaller rocks on the surface were used to build the famous stone fences of New Hampshire

A cement truck was then brought in to pour footings before the basement floors and walls were commenced

While the basement was being finished the move commenced on the old site of the cottage


In 1977 the cottage was moved along the red line shown in the photograph below
The cottage at the time of the move had reddish-brown cedar siding
The bowling alley was later demolished and the tiny power house beside the bowling alley
was expanded by me to become what is now my barn
A grove of mature trees now separates the cottage from the barn and our wildflower field
The driveway and the golf course road are now grassed over

Our cottage was at one time the golf clubhouse called the Pavilion (because of its oriental roof style)  in the 1800s
Then it became the Pavilion Tennis Clubhouse in the early 1900s
It later became one of three VIP "housekeeping cottages" that hotel guests could rent with housekeeping services
The cottage was smaller in those days without the garage and master bedroom added after the 1977 move from the golf course
The middle cottage eventually burned down and the cottage on the far end remains alongside the golf course


The owner of our cottage in 1977 was George Foss

Message from George Foss on June 28, 2011


In answer to your questions:

1. The mover's name was Milton Graton (pronounced with a long "A"). He worked with his son Arnold, who is still in the business.

2. The move commenced in mid-September, 1977

3. The move was completed and the house on its new foundation by about mid-November, 1977.

4. The crate looking things were cribs made of four foot long timber that were planed 6" x 7". Mr. Graton could build the crib one course at a time, and select whether he wanted the 6" faces to be exposed or the 7" ones.

For example, once a particular jack got to its limit of extension, he could brace the house at that spot, and loosen the jack, and flip all of the 6" faces in the crib below the jack to the 7" faces; depending on how many rows there were in the crib, he could pick up that many inches worth of height without moving the crib or adding more rows to it. If it had 6 courses (rows) for example, just by flipping the faces from 6 to 7 in each row, he could pick up 6 more inches. He would then reset the jack, and continue lifting.

He reversed this process when the house was lowered back down.

5. Mrs. Brayton "bought" her cottage in the 1880's but she never had a deed, only an exclusive lease. The three cottages were on general Sunset Hill Hotel land, and were never subdivided. Mrs. Brayton had yours, the Wheeler family had the one in the middle that burned, and the Adams family had the one that Susan Packard has owned since 1977. When the CEMPCO Group tore the hotel down in 1973, they left the 3 cottages standing. The listed all 3 with me (Post Road Realty, Inc., now Peabody & Smith), and it fell to me to get the Town of Sugar Hill to approve lots for them. CEMPCO only wanted to give them 1/4 acre each, but the Town had adopted zoning by then, 2 acre/200' ft. front minimum lots.

In the original plan, the Adams' lot took a bite out of the Wheeler lot, and the Wheeler lot took a bigger bite out of the Brayton (your) lot to accommodate the 2 acre requirement and the side and rear lot lines or the golf course. Later, after I moved my house, I exchanged land with Jerry Barber (now Clapp) to straighten our sideline out, and he later did the same with Susan to straighten that line out, so the lots now run straight to the street, without jogs.

Best, George




The cottage was jacked up before the moving beams were placed under the house
Then it was eventually settled back down on what are called "cribs" as described in George's message above
There were nearly 30 jacks set beneath the cottage that had to be "orchestrated" up and down in small increments




After weeks of preparation the cottage was moved about six feet each day
A forward-moving trestle  of cribs was rebuilt daily and the cottage was literally rolled on perfectly round logs along this trestle
In October 1977 the cottage reached the site of the new basement
The west wall of the basement was lower than the other walls

This is how the west side of the cottage looks today with the
master bedroom built over the new garage

The cedar siding was stained gray and the widow's walk was installed
And the curved windows were installed on the east side facing the White Mountains
The living room wall was also taken out so that the glassed-in porch is now part of the living room
But the garage and bedroom were not yet added on the west side
This is the view from the north side of the cottage

My desk now sits about where the old SHH dining room used to be located
Thus I now view out at Mt. Washington like diners used to view out at Mt. Washington toward the northeast

And straight to the east we view Mt. Lafayette, Mt. Lincoln, and Cannon Mountains

And to the southeast we can see the Three Graces, North Mt. Kinsman, and South Mt. Kinsman

This is the south side of the cottage before the pond and gardens were installed
The road to the cottage still came up from the golf course to the west
That road was grassed over when a new driveway was installed toward the east
George Foss owned the cottage throughout the 1990s
He also added the garage and master bedroom
and turned one of the old cottage bedrooms into the master bathroom
which is why we have a commode sitting beside a fireplace


George's wife Sarah built her art studio about 100 feet southwest of the cottage
I later added bookshelves and turned the studio into my office
However, after Erika began having her heavy-duty spine surgeries
I moved my office into the cottage so I could be closer to her when she needed my help

We turned the old SHH Power House into a barn and attached a double garage
The barn's slightly visible beyond the studio

I retired in 2006, but we purchased the cottage in 2003 before I retired form teaching
We added thick vinyl siding and two new roofs (half the first new roof blew off in a severe wind storm)
The addition of a bedroom over a new garage happened shortly after the 1977 move of this cottage
We also buried a propane tank and added a power generator under the back deck

This is the west (backside) of our cottage in 2011 showing the added garage and master bedroom

This picture shows the northeast side of the cottage in its present location

Erika and I left this in San Antonio, Texas

For this in northern New Hampshire

Sometimes Erika wonders why?

Her Kempten (Allgau,Germany) relatives who live in the mountains
preferred to visit us in Texas
Erika is on the left in her Stetson just before we drove up to Luchenbach
Y'all come back someday!


What's the largest building ever moved as an intact structure?

I don't know about building moves in general, but when we were living in San Antonio I think the move of the brick Fairmount Hotel was the largest building ever moved (1986) across a bridge ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan ---

Bob Jensen's photo set on White Mountain Hiking Trails ---

On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

Bob Jensen's Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---
Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Our address is 190 Sunset Hill Road, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Our cottage was known as the Brayton Cottage in the early 1900s
Sunset Hill is a ridge overlooking with New Hampshire's White Mountains to the East
and Vermont's Green Mountains to the West



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