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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NH Jewish Federation will honor pair for renaming of Jew Pond

MANCHESTER – The Jewish Federation of New Hampshire will revisit the renaming of Jew Pond in Mont Vernon at its annual meeting in June.

The group’s program, titled “The Story of Jew Pond,” will feature Mont Vernon resident Rich Masters, whose request last fall to have the pond renamed launched an issue that eventually drew national attention, and even some attention from overseas, including newspapers in Israel.

Mont Vernon residents voted at Town Meeting to rename the tiny, man-made pond. After gathering suggestions, selectmen chose Carleton Pond as its new name, after the Carleton family who donated the 5 acres that contains the pond. The pond is part of Carleton Park.

The quarter-acre pond, just a few feet deep, was called Spring Pond when created by hotel owners a century ago. It was nicknamed Jew Pond after a short-lived effort in the late 1920s to turn a town hotel into a resort for Jewish clientele; that nickname eventually became official.

The Jewish Federation’s annual meeting will be held June 10 at its offices on Beech Street in Manchester.

Masters will be honored at the meeting for his role in the renaming, as will Mont Vernon resident Katelyn Dobbs. Dobbs, now a reporter for the Bedford Journal newspaper, made a video documentary about the controversy as part of her coursework at UNH-Manchester. Its presence on YouTube last year drew considerable attention.

– Telegraph Staff