Tag Archive: kip


Artist, Architect, and Mayor of Harpers Ferry

Trip-Kip cover

Kip was born ‘Walton Danforth Stowell’ in Massachusetts. He lived a long life as an artist, architect, and politician; settling in Harpers Ferry, WV. This biography spans 73 years of Kip’s life, from 1936-2009; and is a summary of people, places, and art related to him. As an architect he worked for the National Park Service, but also maintained private practice. Kip loved entertaining people, and was loved for his enthusiasm for design. Among his most famous designs are the Charles Town War Memorial, Turf Race Track Hotel, Bolivar Community Center, and Harpers Ferry Town Hall. His greatest contributions to Historic Preservation may have been to protect the Town of Harpers Ferry and the Peter Burr House for all time and for all people. Kip saw Architecture as Art you live in; Sculpture that provides shelter.

Please purchase Kip’s Biography as sales help to preserve his legacy:

Paperback book on Amazon

Kindle Ebook on Amazon

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Lake Sunapee

Biography & Geography based on an English Class assignment in 1989

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There is a place in New England where I went every summer since I was born, until I finished college. The name of it is Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. Lake Sunapee is a very unique place; and I have interesting experiences, feelings, and memories associated with it, accumulated over the years. Let me explain to you the rare treasures of Sunapee that are familiar to me; the ideal mountain vistas, the gorgeous and thrilling waters, the beautiful vegetation and geology, the pine scented air, great old boats, and metamorphosis of seasons.

My father (Kip) and his two brothers owned our family cabin, which was really a small house that we affectionately called the ‘Camp’. They inherited Camp from their parents, who originally bought it from their friend, Marion Savory, in 1960. The official title of Camp is ‘Summer Savory’, which is a pun of Marion’s last name, the sweet summer herb, and the adjective savory (morally pleasant). Camp was built in 1903, on a small lakeside wooded lot. Under the seclusion of the trees, while resting in a hammock, you can glance around and see several types of trees, animals, ferns, lichen, moss, and rocks.

The grey rocks are formed so smoothly, they encourage soft relaxation. Every rock is blended into the leaf-covered surroundings, as though arranged by ancient pagans. The rocks are familiar to me, each with their own characteristics. When I was four years old, I named them all. Some look like chairs and tables, some look like animals or vehicles. A large rock I played on by the Camp as a kid, was named ‘Ship Rock’. Most of the rocks are down by the water; Computer Rock, Frog Rock, Boat Rock, etc.

If you follow the path down to the water, you use steps made from the old train-tracks that were on the terrace landing, between the Camp and the Lake. Down by the water’s edge are a series of wharfs and docks. Uncle Chan and his family keep boats, canoes, and other aquatic devices there. Uncle Chan was a police officer on the Lake, and he kept his police boat there too. Uncle Jay did not actively use the Camp, but he had his own place on Great Island, where he had a collection of antique boats.

The clean fresh air in New Hampshire tends to be typical of New England; the wind is dry and cool, with an aroma of pine needles. When it rains, it is often just as beautiful as when it is a clear, warm day. Although thunder storms do knock hillside trees down, perhaps reminding us that nothing is forever. In the Winter the Lake freezes over so thickly, that trucks can drive over it. It can get very cold and windy. Camp was not winterized (insulated), and so we depended on the fireplace and thermal blankets.

In 1989 we went skiing with Uncle Chan. During the Summer I often participated in water sports with Cousin Chip; water skiing, water tubing, and swimming. The State Beach is nearby along the shore. The Beach has nice sand, and usually full of people having fun in the Summer Sun! Near the paddle-boats, there is a secret canal swamp to explore by canoe.

Mount Sunapee sits above, behind the Camp, and looks down upon the Lake. It has ski gondolas, ski slopes, and hiking trails. At the top is Lake Solitude. Other mountains nearby include Kearsarge, Ascutney, and Monadnock. All of the mountains have lush forests, with pine and deciduous trees. It is intriguing to watch the hang-gliders. We had many hiking adventures. On one such adventure, Dad and I hiked up Mount Sunapee without a trail, and got lost; so that by the time we reached the top, it was sunset, and we could barely walk down the ski slopes. Once we got down, we had to hitch-hike to our car on the other side of the mountain. I remember we did find ruins of a cabin on one of the bluffs I mapped out, we would never have seen if we had not gone our own route.

Lake Sunapee itself is a powerful 10 miles long, and at its widest part is 3 miles across. The navy blue-grey waters can be very deep. On Great Island, there are 18 summer cottages. Dad and I annually canoed to Minute Island (the smallest island), and then to Great Island (the largest island). The Native American name ‘Soonippi’ meant “Land of Wild Goose Waters”.

On cold days we sat in front of the stone fireplace, with its twin owl andirons, and roasted marsh-mellows. In the mornings we liked to sit on the porch eating breakfast, and watch the sail-boats and motor-boats plow across the Lake. There are two pleasure cruise ships that circle daily; the Dinner Boat and the Sight-Seeing Boat. One of our favorite things to do, was have my uncles drive us in their boats to go get ice-cream at the harbors. One of Dad’s favorite things was to get in the car, and explore around all day. Other favorites included going to St. Gaudens NHS, or the John Hay Estate NWR. At the Hay Estate, which is directly across the Lake from us, we loved to draw the gardens, and walk to Sunset Hill.

Dad and his brothers sold Camp to Uncle Chan’s daughter Kim, so I am glad that my cousin owns it. In 1989 we had a family reunion that saw more relatives than the Camp had in over 50 years, and we got it on video! The main reason I do not travel there every year anymore, is because of the massive distance. For tranquility and adventure, Sunapee is the place to go though!

The following is a list of the primary books I have published:

1.  MOSS – My Old School Stories  (compendium of fiction stories)

2.  Harpers Ferry Houses  (with Kip Stowell)

3.  Hoppers Furry Tale

4.  SCOD 2000  (Architecture Thesis version)

5.  Ten Consciencious Objections to War – Operation 10 COW

6.  BDU – Air Force Basic Training Journal Unauthorized

7.  Pitcher of Immortality – Byzantine multiple-choice fantasy

8.  Art Beyond Reality  –  my art portfolio 1  (1976-2012)

9.  Multiple Choice Adventures  –  Interactive Short Stories

10.  Art By Nena  –  Nena Stowell’s artwork  (1960-2012)

11.  Kip Stowell Biography  (Paperback) (abridged Kindle)

* this is not a full list of my books, nor does it note sales popularity; it is a list based on the major titles of my different series categories. Nor does it distinguish paperback from ebook.