The Puddledock Press Staff in the early 1990s.

The all volunteer staff of the Puddledock Press outside their storefront office in the Hayward Block on Mechanic Street in the early 1990s.

The first issue of The Puddledock Press.

The very first Puddledock Press, Volume 1, Number 1, was published in December of 1979.

Farmington Town Christmas Party

The Town of Farmington used to have a Town Christmas Party. Here is a 1963 ad from the Farmington News.

Fire trucks outside the Station on Mechanic Street

Mechanic Street Fire Station in its hay day. On the left is the 1942 Seagrave Truck which was given to the town by H.O. Rondeau.

An old group photo hanging in the Puddledock Office.

Back: Ned Parker, Delores Bridge, Mary Cloutman, Henry Johnson; Front: Iola Sabine, Lilliam Emerson

Robert's Drug Store Christmas advertisement in 1906.

Robert's Drug Store was a popular spot in downtown Farmington and sold lots of Farmington post cards.

Old Farmington Town Hall

An old photo of the Farmington Town Hall, which is currently the Recreation Center, as it appeared in an issue of the Farmington News.

Fire Destroys the Trafton Block

The Trafton Block after a fire destroyed it on January 15, 1943. The fire damages totaled $50,000.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Is a Local Paper Worth the Effort it Takes?


by Stan Freeda, Editor

It’s a question I have struggled with a lot lately.  What is this “good news paper” worth in terms of what it provides to our community?  I used to think it was a lot.  I used to think it mattered a great deal.  I still do, in many respects.  But I am stubborn and like to think folks appreciate seated traditions.  I know I do.  Apparently, it’s not enough.  It used to be, but it is not enough any more. 
Lately, I have been scanning in the old issues of the Puddledock Press, and making them available in our Puddledock Press Archives for folks to view.  I am not sure people look at them, but they are there, and available, for those who are interested in looking.

In scanning those old papers, I get to see them, every page, every photo, every article, every advertisement.  All of it. And while I don’t get to read each article, I do get to get a flavor of what the articles were about, and occasionally, when one strikes my fancy, I will read it.  It makes the scanning longer, but I am getting a better feel for what the paper was in the past.  And it makes me contemplate more and more about its future.

At its peak, the paper offered 24 pages of news, photos, and advertisements.  Now, I can barely fill 12, and every page is a struggle.  We printed 1500 copies and they disappeared.  Now we print 500 and many of those remain on the shelf when time to replace with next month’s issue.  And the ads that the paper featured.  There were tons of ads.  Eager Farmington businesses all took out ads, and even businesses from outside of town often had ads in our little “Good News Paper”. Now we struggle to get new advertisers, and some of our long time supporters have decided that their return on investment just isn’t enough to keep sponsoring the paper.

The community spirit and support was amazing in the past.  Now, people hardly mention the paper.  No one sends articles.  A few send pictures. Some suggest that we send a reporter to cover some event.  A reporter! Hmmm.

Well we did have them at one time.  We had a larger volunteer staff, and folks wrote columns, and covered news.  There was Farmington history, there was library news, there was town events, lots of ads.  The truth is, I don’t know how hard it was to get those papers together with all those things.  All I see is the final result when I scan it in.  But I do know how difficult it is to develop and pay for the paper today.

And we do have two wonderful columnists in the paper today. I really appreciate the consistent efforts of Debbie and Kim who devote their time to develop their columns, sharing recipes and information about food and pets.  Those columns add a lot to the paper, and I am not downplaying their contributions to the paper.

As I approach the end of my fourth year as editor, and I reflect back at the 30 years of Puddledock production that my esteemed predecessor, JoAnn Doke, accomplished, I am both humbled and daunted by the prospects of the future for the paper.  Putting it together was never easy, to be sure.  But keeping it relevant is getting harder and harder, in my opinion, more from the consumer end than from the production end.

It seems that folks would rather check Facebook than the Puddledock.  Participation in the Farmington Community Forum and the Farmington News, both Facebook groups, is high and consistent.  And readership for the Puddledock?  Well, I just don’t know.   It’s hard to gauge how well read our paper is.  But I do know that folks readily post information and ads in those places, and forget that the Puddledock even exists.  It takes a lot of time and energy to keep a printed paper alive and well.

On the funding end, the lack of businesses in town, coupled with the ability to access free advertising in our Facebook groups, has made attracting advertisers more difficult than previously.  Without adequate support from our organizations and businesses, our ability to print the paper is threatened. It has been a struggle to attract new advertisers to support the costs of printing and distribution of the printed paper.  So what’s the solution? What does the future hold?

I’ll leave you with one final question.   What’s the Puddledock Press, which will be 40 next year,  worth to you?   𝛀

The September Puddledock is Finally here!

The September 2018 edition of the Puddledock Press is now available online and has been out at some of our distribution sites in town!  The rest will be delivered shortly.  Visit one of our local businesses, pick one up, and enjoy it today.

It also has been posted on the Puddledock Press website and is available for viewing online in the Puddledock Press Archives.

Please consider advertising in the Puddledock Press.  Your support through advertising helps build connections to the community.    Price. Quality. Community.  That is the commitment the Puddledock Press makes to you. See our Advertising Page for details

Online and mail subscriptions are also available.  We offer reasonable rates, quality service, and connections to the community! View our subscription page for details.

Don't forget to Take your Puddledock with you when you travel and take a selfie with the Puddledock at your destination.  Submit it for publication in our Where in the World is the Puddledock Press column.  Let's see how far we can spread our community newspaper.

Take a look at our Photo Albums on Flickr.

Read it Here



Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The August 2018 Issue is Now Available Online and Will be in Town Soon

The August 2018 edition of the Puddledock Press is now available online and will be out to some of our distribution sites in town in the next few days!  We apologize for the delay in this month's issue. Please remember to visit one of our local businesses, pick up your print copy, and enjoy it.

It also has been posted on the Puddledock Press website and is available for viewing online in the Puddledock Press Archives.

Please consider advertising in the Puddledock Press.  Your support through advertising helps build connections to the community.    Price. Quality. Community.  That is the commitment the Puddledock Press makes to you. See our Advertising Page for details

Online and mail subscriptions are also available.  We offer reasonable rates, quality service, and connections to the community!

Don't forget to Take your Puddledock with you when you travel and take a selfie with the Puddledock at your destination.  Submit it for publication in our Where in the World is the Puddledock Press column.  Let's see how far we can spread our community newspaper.

Take a look at our Photo Albums on Flickr.

Read it Here



Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The July 2018 Issue is Now Available Online and in Town

The July 2018 edition of the Puddledock Press is now available online and has been out at some of our distribution sites in town!  The rest will be delivered shortly.  Visit one of our local businesses, pick one up, and enjoy it today.

It also has been posted on the Puddledock Press website and is available for viewing online in the Puddledock Press Archives.

Please consider advertising in the Puddledock Press.  Your support through advertising helps build connections to the community.    Price. Quality. Community.  That is the commitment the Puddledock Press makes to you. See our Advertising Page for details

Online and mail subscriptions are also available.  We offer reasonable rates, quality service, and connections to the community!

Don't forget to Take your Puddledock with you when you travel and take a selfie with the Puddledock at your destination.  Submit it for publication in our Where in the World is the Puddledock Press column.  Let's see how far we can spread our community newspaper.

Take a look at our Photo Albums on Flickr.

Read it Here



Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter

Monday, June 4, 2018

The June Issue of the Puddledock Press is Now Available Online

The June 2018 edition of the Puddledock Press is online and is or will shortly be available at our distribution sites around Farmington!  Visit one of our local businesses, pick one up, and enjoy it today.

It also has been posted on the Puddledock Press website and is available for viewing online in the Puddledock Press Archives.

Please consider advertising in the Puddledock Press.  Your support through advertising helps build connections to the community.    Price. Quality. Community.  That is the commitment the Puddledock Press makes to you. See our Advertising Page for details

Online and mail subscriptions are also available.   Reasonable rates. Quality service!

Don't forget to Take your Puddledock with you when you travel and take a selfie with the Puddledock at your destination.  Submit it for publication in our Where in the World is the Puddledock Press column.  Let's see how far we can spread our community newspaper.

Take a look at our Photo Albums on Flickr.

Read it Here



Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter

Friday, May 25, 2018

May Issue of the Puddledock Press is Online

The May 2018 edition of the Puddledock Press is finally available online and has been out at our distribution sites in town!  Visit one of our local businesses, pick one up, and enjoy it today.

It also has been posted on the Puddledock Press website and is available for viewing online in the Puddledock Press Archives.

Please consider advertising in the Puddledock Press.  Your support through advertising helps build connections to the community.    Price. Quality. Community.  That is the commitment the Puddledock Press makes to you. See our Advertising Page for details

Online and mail subscriptions are also available.   Reasonable rates. Quality service!

Don't forget to Take your Puddledock with you when you travel and take a selfie with the Puddledock at your destination.  Submit it for publication in our Where in the World is the Puddledock Press column.  Let's see how far we can spread our community newspaper.

Take a look at our Photo Albums on Flickr.

Read it Here



Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter

Friday, April 13, 2018

Valley View Student Ian Schwab Has Artwork at White House Easter Egg Roll

The Farmington School District had the distinct honor of representing New Hampshire at the White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday April 2.  A 140 year tradition, the Easter Egg Roll, traditionally hosted by the First Lady, officially started in 1878 under President Rutherford B. Hayes. Informal festivities have origins back to the 1860s when President Lincoln hosted egg rolling parties at the White House.  As part of the decorations for the 2018 Easter Egg Roll, each state was asked to contribute an Easter Egg design that represented their state. The state designs would be enlarged to a 2 ft by 4 ft size and the eggs would be placed on the White House South lawn for visitors and participants to admire.

School Board member, Stan Freeda, who also works at the NH Department of Education as the State Educational Technology Director, worked with two Valley View Community School teachers, art teacher, Kim Smith, and technology teacher, Tom Pringle to get Farmington School District to produce a New Hampshire representative egg design.

Kim and Tom worked with student Lighthouse facilitator, Cindy Hunn and Grade 3 students to create some egg designs that represented New Hampshire. The third graders designed their individual eggs and then teachers Cindy, Tom, and Kim, selected the design they felt best represented the Granite State.  Ian Schwab, a student in 3 Pankey, created the winning egg design, a line drawing that contained many recognizable symbols of the state of New Hampshire, like the shape of the state, the New Hampshire flag, the birch tree, purple finch, and the Old Man of the Mountain.  The symbols surrounded large initials, NH. 

Once the design was selected, Tom took the line drawing, digitized it, and converted the colors in Ian’s drawing to the required colors for the state egg decorations, along with enlarging the digitized drawing to the appropriate size for submission to representatives at the US Department of Education, who were charged with getting the representative egg designs from each state.  The decorating team took the designs, mounted them on a large board display, which also featured the state name and the school district whose submission was selected. The state eggs were a perfect backdrop decorations for this year’s Egg Roll. 

Above Photo:
The New Hampshire Egg on display on the White House Lawn at the Egg Roll on April 2.

Middle Photo:
Valley View Art teacher, Kim Smith and Technology teacher, Tom Pringle, help student Ian Schwab display his New Hampshire Easter Egg.

Below Photo:
Valley View Community School Third Graders participating in the search for a New Hampshire egg design for this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll at display their egg designs. Back L to R: Joshua Mosher, Alan Vaughn, Harper Martin, Corbin Ferreira, Reese Cocarus, Tessa Ward, Checotah Boisvert
Front L to R: Payton Leclair, Jacelyn Doyle, Alexis Gomulka, Ian Schwab, Hunter Cookson, Madison Lord, Kylie Kenny

Find out more about the White House Easter Egg Roll.