Loch Lyme Lodge
Shirley Archibald Avakian
My father, Doug Archibald, and his younger brothers Ken and Bruce were campers at Camp Pinnacle beginning in the early 1930’s. My grandfather Walter would drive up from White Plains, New York to visit over "Parents’ Weekends”. When visiting by himself, he would stay in a small bedroom above the boathouse. That “boathouse” is now the cabin known as Lakeside.
He would continue visiting Loch Lyme Lodge with my grandmother every summer, usually staying in Fernwood. Ice would be delivered to the cabins just before cocktail hour every evening. They would enjoy all of their meals in the Lodge - breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I can still picture them at their “regular” table by the window!
I am the oldest of their 5 grandchildren, and I will never forget the special week I spent with them at Loch Lyme - just me! - when I was 7 or 8. My parents and sisters arrived the next week to stay in Lakeside, which was always our family’s favorite cabin. It’s so hard to picture it as it was then, without a kitchen but with a big old clawfoot tub in the bathroom, and a unique ceiling chandelier made from a huge tree limb with branches sporting cords with bare lightbulbs.
This was always my Dad’s favorite place, with so many memories of summers spent at Camp Pinnacle as a camper and a counselor. Many of those campers had returned to live in the Upper valley, and each year our parents would drag us away from our lakeside fun to see them, despite our grumbling. I think that one of them (Ernie?) was the Lyme town policeman! We would visit the Thayers and the Newtons, and my Mom and Dad would play bridge with El and Effie Fulton on the porch of Lakeside, while Judy and all of us kids would play out on the lawn.
Loch Lyme Lodge has always been so special to me - as a child, as a young adult, as a parent, and now as a grandparent. My children, Brad and Kerry, both enjoyed Loch Lyme as infants, as toddlers, and on. We would drive up from Florida each summer, stopping on the way in River Edge, New Jersey, my childhood home where my parents still lived. They would join us in NH for awhile, as would friends from NJ, and while here we met new friends from Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, and other places. We forged lifelong friendships, as did our children, and Brad and Kerry have now shared LLL with their spouses Jennie and Jason. Brad and Jennie’s daughters, my granddaughters, Viv and Ellie, look forward to heading back every summer.
It warms my heart and soul that my family shares my love for this very special place. We have so many priceless memories of star gazing, game nights and countless card games, swimming across the lake, reading under a white birch, wind surfing, canoeing, loon watching, Sunday buffets, hiking the Pinnacle, Horse Shed Crafts, Bargain Barn, church services on the second floor, flea markets, anadama bread, blueberry picking, feeding the pigs, legendary tennis matches, cookouts in the rain, hot air balloon ride, ice cream cones, fireside chats, lake beers, croquet, staff singing after Sunday buffet and when guests were leaving, spotting the beaver dam, kayaking, fishing, and so many more…….looking forward to making many new memories for many years to come.
With thanks and love, Shirley Archibald Avakian