September 2, 2016

Albany is going international!  Dan Sdankus has sold Pine Knoll Campground to Huttopia, Inc. a Canadian company that plans to revamp the property into a chic camping experience. Huttopia has campgrounds in 17 national parks throughout Quebec and 8 destinations in France, where Huttopia originated. This will be their first foray into the United States and they have chosen Albany for that!  Their plan is to create an experience that is in harmony with the environment thus preserving its natural quality. Trees are protected and all infrastructures can be dismantled and are constructed on piles to lighten the footprint on the ground. Automobile traffic is limited to a central parking area and visitors are brought to the campsite via campground vehicle. All buildings are eco-designed using untreated, unpainted, raw wood to allow for better integration into the landscape.

According to Dan, he was contacted by Huttopia after they found the campgrounds through Google Earth. A company representative came to look over the property and the deal was consummated in June.

Under the new management there will be tents supplied by the firm with comfy mattresses, a small refrigerator, dishes and cookware. Though campers bring their own food and drinks, there’s no need to haul bulky camping equipment, towels or sheets. Those things are provided. For those who want more than a tent experience, there will be two story chalets with a living room, bedrooms, kitchen space with sink, electric stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher (and dishes) and bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet. If you like the company of other campers, there will be an activity center to have fun with the whole family. For those who might like to eat “out” there will be a cafe/restaurant on premise.  The convenience store can supply a few basics such as fresh bread delivered from a local bakery.

The Coleman company has been hired to prepare the property. (As it happens, Dixie Coleman hopes to spend some vacation time in a Huttopia property while in France this year.) Some present staff from Pine Knoll are staying on and the company plans on hiring more locals as well.  Huttopia hopes to be ready for business by May of 2017.

Seasonal campers who were already committed to enjoy their summer/fall camping experience at Pine Knoll can remain on the premise until October 15 rent free.  Still there was some dismay, as many were frequent visitors who will miss coming to the “old” Pine Knoll.

The seasonal residents, like any household being moved, have things to sell.  Come by for their yard sale September 10 and 11. Drive down to 57 Pine Knoll Road and check out what might be useful. For more information call Terry Bunnell (site 45) at 978-395-5765.

In the meantime, Dan is busy packing up for his move. He’s been at this since June and still has lots of work to do. He is planning to stay in Albany and is presently looking for a house.


The selectmen met on Wednesday for a work session. Selectman Richard Hiland attended a workshop in Concord held by Primex (the town’s insurance provider) dealing with contracts. The selectmen spent most of the meeting discussing the town contracts with the farmers. Several problems were discussed and the selectmen decided to hold another meeting with the Conservation Commission to go over what they see as possible problems with leases/contracts that have been issued. Insurance provider, Primex, is willing to go over any contract the town goes into.

For a full understanding of this meeting, go to and listen to what went on.


The Selectmen and Clerk’s offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor Day.


Supervisors of the Check List will be available September 6 from 7-7:30 p.m. to review and make any needed changes to the list before the September 13 Primary.


Gibson Center: Check out the Crafts and Artisan Festival this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tuesday, September 5 is Primary Voting.  If you need transportation, call the Center (356-3231) to sign up for the ride to the polling station. September is Go Orange Month. Thursday, September 8, there will be a memorial raffle, orange food on the menu, a Memorial Leaf Tree ($5 buys a leaf on the tree). Wear orange that day. If you missed the trip to Two Lights & Lobster Shack in August you can call (356-3231) to make th September 7 trip.  The cost is $18.


Library: The library is closed on Monday for Labor Day. Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. is Story Time for Twos and on Wednesday it’s for Wee Ones. At 6 p.m. the Teen Writing Group meets. On Thursday at 10:30 a.m. it’s Story Time for Threes and Fours and at 11 a.m. there’s Yoga for Kids and Caregivers. At 4 p.m. the Family Garden Club meets.


Beware hungry bears.  Nathaniel Knox was visited in his home recently by a bear who made entrance through a window.  Sara Knox happened to be there at the time and shooed the bear out of the house, but not before the bear had consumed several chocolate chip cookies. The bear left unwillingly and returned several more days knocking on the door to get more cookies.


Congratulations to Lauren O’Reilly on completion of the Fraternal Insurance Counselor program.   Lauren is a Modern Woodmen of America representative, a firm founded in 1883 that offers financial products and member benefits to individuals and families countrywide.


This is the Labor Day weekend. Keep safe out there and have a great week!