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Meet a Hamilton Man Who Was Attracted to Town Because There's So Few Roads

Chris LaPointe and his family was convinced they had to move to Hamilton eight years ago when they looked at a map and saw how few roads were in town.

Name: Chris LaPointe

Street: Mill Street, Hamilton

Family: My wife, Dalene, and my two boys, Alden, 2½ and Wilder, 2 months.

Occupation: Senior Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land.

Hobbies/interests: I love working outside in my gardens and restoring our house, one of the mill houses that was moved here from the near the Ipswich River in 1895.

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about “place” – protecting and supporting those things that make a community great, including local agriculture, the schools and the arts, our open spaces, our historic architecture, and our community institutions. Hamilton and Wenham are blessed with all of these things.

What is your involvement with the new community garden? I have been very active in the as a Director of the Hamilton Wenham Open Land Trust (HWOLT). HWOLT owns Dodge Farm, and we have invested in the substantial site work which has occurred over the past several weeks. HWOLT is pleased to be developing these gardens in partnership with Hamilton-Wenham Green and we can’t wait until our fellow community members are out there gardening this spring. 

What did you study in school? I have a Bachelor's of Arts in Environmental Policy from Colby College and an Master's of Science in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont.

Are you utilizing this subject now? Yes, absolutely. I have worked for The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, for nearly 10 years acquiring and protecting land for parks and open space. My work involves real estate, planning, campaign finance, private fundraising and natural resource management, some of which I learned in my graduate work and most I learned on the job. My most recent local conservation effort involved the protection of Maplecroft Farm in Ipswich, on the way to Crane Beach.

Best book: "Zen in the Art of Archery"

Best movie: "Smokey and the Bandit"

Dream vacation? We’ve been before, but St. John is pretty much all I want in a destination. Maybe when the boys are older.

Favorite tradition? , where my parents live.  My oldest son was born on the 4th of July, so we go all out. We started with one wagon and some bunting, and then last year I built a kid-sized plywood John Deere tractor with a trailer, and eight of us dressed up like cows for a farm theme (you may have seen us rolling around town in that get-up at Halloween).  This year we’ve added a third wagon and are looking to three-peat in the wheels category. Everybody has a good time – it’s lots of fun – we throw about 3,000 pieces of candy!

What obstacles have you overcome? My wife and I lost our first son, Baker, in labor in 2008. The death of a child puts your life in perspective really quickly. I am so thankful for my wife, who has unbelievable strength, and for our family and friends who rallied around us and continue to do so.

What have you done in your life that makes you proud? I am proud to have had the opportunity to row in the Henley Royal Regatta in England my senior year in college. I was proud to represent Colby internationally and it was the capstone on a successful rowing career.

How long have you lived in Hamilton-Wenham? Eight years.

Why did you chose Hamilton-Wenham? Although we knew people who lived in Hamilton and Ipswich, it was weekend forays from our apartment in Salem that sealed the deal. We wanted good schools and the ability to walk to the train, but what really got me was when I looked at one of those eastern Massachusetts gazetteers and saw how few roads there were in Hamilton. I was amazed, and sold.

What is your favorite place in Hamilton-Wenham? when the sun is low in the evening and the light is amazing across the fields.

What is your favorite shop? My favorite shop . I loved being able to walk home with a 2x4 on my shoulder. 

What is a fact about you that most don’t know? I had long hair in high school.

Where would someone see you around town? It’s a bummer, but most people would see me walking to or from !

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