A NEW ADDITION....On Saturday, September 26th, a picture perfect New Hampshire Fall day, the Merrill Family (pictured) delivered a 1917 Ford Model T to the WFK Ice House Museum in New London, as a donation and tribute to their parents’ long-time friend and the man whose collection is housed at the museum, William F. Kidder, Sr. Russ Merrill and his wife, Ada were members of the PAL (Profile Automobile League) of which Kidder was a founding member. The Merrills brought this Model T to many of the club meets joining Bill Kidder and his wife, Petie and Bud and Ade Lauridsen, long-time New London residents and close friends of the Kidders.
When Russ Merrill passed away, his family decided that a great way to honor their father would be to donate the 1917 T to the Ice House Museum, adding to an already impressive collection of early Fords. “One of the things that make this car so special is that it is a right-hand drive model” said Pete Lauridsen of Lauridsen Auto Body in New London.
The three children of the Merrills, Dean, Lisa and Geoffrey, along with other family members, made the trek up from the Seacoast with the Model T in tow. The family spent a few hours looking around the museum and reminiscing and commented about how terrific the collection was.
Not only does the collection include many pre and post Model T Fords, among other models; but also houses thousands of items of local historical interest and examples of Yankee Ingenuity, a favorite topic of Kidder’s. The museum, founded after his death, lives true to its slogan “Preserving Local Treasures since 2005” and is recognized as one of the Sunapee Region’s best kept secrets.
Annually, the museum offers several events open to the public including, Old Ford Day, Antique Tractor and One Lunger Day and a Cracker Barrel event on varying topics. The museum is located at 91 Pleasant Street in New London and is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-4:00 and Saturdays from 9:00-2:00. More information can be found on their website wfkicehouse.org and Facebook.
Pictured with the 1917 Model T are the Merrill family members and in the back, Ben Cochran, the museum’s “Head Tinker” and Pete Lauridsen, son of Bud Lauridsen and member of the museum board.