By Matthew McCully
Local Journalism Initiative
The municipality of Ogden has sent a lawyer’s letter to the Weir Memorial Park board of directors, pressuring the charitable company to shut down the RV camping area on the property, which has been in operation for decades and provides the sole revenue stream for the park.
The board, perceiving Ogden’s heavy-handed gesture as a possible play for the management of the park, has no plans to acquiesce.
Passersby could stop by Weir Memorial Park, blended seamlessly into the landscape of Ogden, for a quick dip in the lake and be none the wiser as to who owns the space or how it is managed.
It is, in fact, a private memorial park, donated by the Weir family in 1957 to provide residents of the area with lakeshore access. It is owned and managed by Weir Memorial Park Incorporated, which is comprised of a nine-member volunteer board of directors. Surrounding municipalities have representation on the board (one from Ogden, one from Stanstead Township, three from Stanstead-one for each of the three villages) and the other members include descendants of the Weir family and local community organizations, including the Legion and Rotary Club.
For its first few years in operation, there was a mini golf course on the site, but it was not generating enough revenue to support the park, so within 10 years, a camping area was established.
According to Ogden Mayor David Lépine, the motivation for the legal action is to return the property to its original purpose as a park for locals, not a campsite.