By Roy Sanborn, Roche Realty Group
John and Mary Ellen first met on Pinnacle Park Road in 1959 where their parents had homes on the lake. John was from born in Cambridge, Mass and grew up in Reading Mass. Mary Ellen was born in Plymouth, NH and grew up in Winchester Mass. Little did they know that their summer romance would turn into marriage and a lifelong love of Meredith and Lake Winnipesaukee. In fact, John says we are “the reverse of everyone else” with a primary home here and a horse farm in Pepperrell, Mass. where they raise quarter horses and. John and Mary Ellen much prefer to be residents of State of NH and live on the shores of Winnipesaukee.
They didn’t always live on the lake, however. When they were first married they lived in a small cottage (more like an old shed according to Mary Ellen) next to the old Jade Island restaurant on Route 3 in Meredith. John was working three jobs and Mary Ellen was a kindergarten teacher in Belmont. John was a graduate of the little known Belknap College in Center Harbor which only existed from 1963 to 1973. It may have been little known school, but fortunately for John he was hired right off the campus by IBM as a computer engineer even though he hadn’t ever taken a computer course. The rest, so they say, is history. John worked for IBM, eventually was recruited by Digital as a Vice President, went to Compaq as a senior officer, and subsequently returned to buy Digital. He is now Chairman and CEO of MyHealth which is focused on integrating health records of every citizen in every state into a National Health Information Network.
Back to the lake. John and Mary Ellen recently, and somewhat unexpectedly, sold their property on Wagon Wheel Trail. The unexpected part was that they only had a portion of their property on the market, but the buyers wanted it all. Wisely recognizing that buyers don’t come along very often, the Rose’s agreed to sell it all. Realizing they were about to be homeless, or more accurately “lakeless”, they set out on a search for their new lake home. Like all buyers, they checked out everything that was out there around the lake that met their criteria, but in the end wound up back on Wagon Wheel Trail in Meredith two houses down from the property they sold!
Their new home is an 8,000 square foot Adirondack that sits on an acre lot with 150 feet of waterfront looking out at the village of Meredith across the bay. This new home was constructed with meticulous attention to detail and quality. It has an elegant, yet understated, lake-home feel enhanced by the furnishing and décor picked out by Mary Ellen. Their favorite spot in the home is the great room with its wood cathedral ceilings and floors and a massive two story stone fireplace. But it is the view of the lake through the wall of doors and windows that is the true focal point. There is a gourmet kitchen, a wonderful dining room, a den/office, and a master suite on the first floor all with great views of the lake. Upstairs there are four more comfortable bedrooms and balcony looking down to the great room. The walk out basement level has a game room area, a sauna, a steam room, an exercise room, wine cellar, a media room, and two more bedrooms. John’s still waiting for his pool table, but along the wall is a pew from the old St Charles church (where they were married in 1968) that they recently acquired and had refinished. It looks perfect there.
John likes to golf and has always had high performance boats, but Mary Ellen calls him workaholic so he doesn’t have a lot of time to play. John says “It’s better to look down at the grass, than up at the grass”, so I guess he’ll keep on doing what he’s doing. Although he hasn’t done a lot of boating recently, he plans to get a new boat this year. He thinks that the speed limit on the lake is a “benefit” and is going to “change the composition of the lake and maybe we’ll see some more of the old style wooden boats”.
The Roses like most all of the Meredith restaurants: Giuseppe’s, Lago, the Lake House at Church Landing, and the local favorite, George’s Diner. They also have a special place in their hearts for Mame’s Restaurant. Mary Ellen’s mother was born in that very same building in 1911. She weighed in a pound and a half and wasn’t expected to live. But she was wrapped in cotton and placed in a shoe box then put near the wood stove to keep warm. She survived and lived to the ripe old age of 83. It’s unlikely that any other patrons in Mame’s can top that story.
John and Mary Ellen love their new home, though she confesses it is a full time job to keep clean. More importantly they love the lake, the environment, and the Town of Meredith. Mary Ellen says they aren’t likely to be moving again and I suspect John might actually be “looking up at the grass” if he sells this house.