In 1977, after the Sunset Hill Hotel 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 preparation work prior to the moving the cottage and its four fireplaces
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

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 SSH Resort looked like in the early 1900s

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


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.

Below is a picture of the south side of our cottage in 2009 after we added thick vinyl siding
The cottage was moved to about where the dining room of the old hotel looked out at the White Mountains
The addition of a bedroom over a new garage happened shortly after the 1977 move of this cottage
The front porch was glassed in and opened up to the living room shortly after the 1977 move

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

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

This is the grove of trees and a wishing well now separating our cottage from our barn

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 middle cottage below accidentally burned down after our cottage was moved
Only the cottage in the foreground below stands on its original site when owned by the SSH Resort

The picture below has a red circle showing where our cottage was originally located alongside the golf course

The picture below is from a 1940s postcard
It shows the pool behind the main hotel
Our cottage is mostly hidden behind the trees but the middle cottage is visible

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



This is Milton Graton getting the cottage ready for its 1977 move

One of the first tasks preparing for the move was to remove the sets of steps leading into the cottage

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

Long moving support beams placed under the cottage above the crib supports

What's amazing to me is how the cottage could be moved with all of its four brick fireplaces and chimneys
This is a picture of one of those four fireplaces (all are the same size)
After the picture below was taken we had Swedish propane stoves installed in all the fireplaces
These ornate fireplaces (one black and three white) are much more efficient for heating
and run off each of their own thermostats so that the rooms are never too hot or two cold
Of course there is also an oil furnace in the basement that serves as the main heating source

After weeks of preparation the cottage was moved about six feet each day
A trestle was built and the cottage was literally rolled on perfectly round logs along this trestle
Leaving behind only a pile of dirt and the cottage next door (that a few years later burned down)

In future editions of Tidbits I will show pictures of the move and the moved cottage sitting over its new basement
Which for us has actually been a wonderful basement


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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