Cordingley Preserve

  • 13.00 acres
  • 3/06
  • U
Cordingley Preserve

SooNipi Road, New London

About 100 years ago William R. Cordingley and his family began a love affair with the area of SooNipi Park Lodge, so much so that in 1913 they bought the nearby Currier Farm renaming it the "Meadowlands." Part of the land so cherished by the family was the Putnam Parcel, a 13 acre tract located on the south side of SooNipi Park Road off Route 103A in New London and sloping down to King Hill Brook on the eastern shores of Lake Sunapee.

Now in honor of his grandfather and to protect this critical watershed, King Hill Brook being the second largest tributary to Lake Sunapee, Robert Stevens and his family have made a gift of this land to the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust to protect it from development, assure continuance of this natural area, and invite the public to experience the beauty and history that brought, in Robert Stevens own words, "so much summer joy and pleasure to subsequent generations of the Cordingley family."

The ASLPT constructed a nature path to King Hill Brook named the "Molly Charles Trail" in honor of Mr. Stevens’ mother. She "loved Sunapee and brought her children to a house on the SooNipi shore about 1930, where she often walked the trails and roads in the Park with her children, who after her death arranged to keep cottages on the lake." Eleven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren now habitually enjoy the shore each summer.

The property may at one time have been pastureland, but the forest has reached "climax" stage where trees tolerant of shade predominate, consequently there is an abundance of large hemlocks, red maples, and white pines. There is also a wildlife corridor along the brook, which will remain undisturbed and as the older trees decay will provide nesting and feeding habitat for a variety of insects, birds, and mammals.

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust is both pleased and proud to join with the Robert Stevens family in this "watershed" gift to purchase part of his family’s history at SooNipi Park.

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