The Troy Sand Dam

1949 - The First Year of the Troy Living War Memorial


In 1949, Troy Blanket Mills granted permission to the town for theuse of their land and water to develop a summer recreational program.  Dr. Samuel E. Paul chaired the first Memorial Recreation Committee, which consisted of Fred Caron, Maurice Clark, William Parker, Homer Atkins and Arnold Frazier. They named the recreation area the Troy Living War Memorial. Click here to read in Dr. Paul's own words how he arrived in Troy, N.H. and how the idea of the Living War Memorial began. Click here to read yearly activites at the summer program starting in the 1950's.

Two local school teachers provided their services and supervised the younger children while the older children took part in activities.   Considerable amounts of toys and equipment were obtained that included two volleyball nets and balls, several rubber play balls for use on land and in the water, a diving board, and two steel slides.  One slide permitted the children to slide into the water and the other into a sandy base.  They also acquired three sets of rubber quoits (horseshoes), a football, softball, basketball equipment, and three pairs of swim fins, swings and a small steel ladder for climbing.  Toilet facilities were made available and a bathhouse was built with a section for boys and one for girls. A well, which provided good drinking water, was constructed a short distance away.  Depending on the weather, the number who made use of the playground reached one hundred-thirty on some days.  During July and August they averaged around sixty children.

A senior lifeguard and water safety instructor were on hand at all times and they roped off for an area for non-swimmers.  At the close of the first year, thirty-one children received cards, which certified them as “Beginners” in swimming.  Eleven more took the “Intermediate” tests.  Classes were also held in Jr. Life Saving. 

The Town of Troy acquired the “Sand Dam” property after Troy Blanket Mills ceased operation.  It has since been renamed the Samuel E. Paul War Memorial Recreation Area after Dr. Samuel E. Paul who served as Troy’s physician from 1940-1969.  He served on the War Memorial Committee from 1949-1958 until his practice made it impossible for him to take on any extra-curricula activities, but still continued to support the summer program throughout the years. 

As of October 2010 Keene State College has joined together with the Samuel E. Paul War Memorial Commission in a Service Learning Project in support of the Sand Dam restoration project. This project integrates the College’s values of citizenship and academic achievement with opportunities for service to Troy.  This program links hands-on-learning with community needs providing valuable services.  KSC President Giles-Gee stands behind the students and professors who will be working on this project.  In President Giles-Gee’s words, “You can’t go through the gates that say, “Enter to learn, go for to serve” and not feel called to serve our community.”

On October 23, 2010, several Keene State College students and Dean Gordon Leversee, joined the Samuel E. Paul War Memorial Commisson to clean up the beach area.  Click here to view the Photo Gallery.