End of an Era: Hinsdale racetrack being demolished
HINSDALE, N.H. -- The end of an era has begun, as an excavation company is working to tear down the storied Hinsdale racetrack.
Karey Tyler, the owner of Tyler Excavation Inc., said his crew has been tasked with demolishing the grandstand and all surrounding structures, and he expects work to be completed, weather permitting, sometime in December.
"We're just making it disappear," Tyler explained. "Everything is coming down."
SLIDESHOW: Take a closer look at the Hinsdale Race Track demolition, here.
The operation, which opened in 1958 as Hinsdale Raceway, was once one of four racetracks in New Hampshire. It began as a seasonal track for harness racing but added greyhound racing in 1973, according to an article published in the Concord Monitor in December 2008. Harness racing ceased in the 1980s and the park became Hinsdale Greyhound Park and OTB, legally known as Hinsdale Greyhound Racing Association, Inc.
Michael Bentley, an attorney, said he represents Hinsdale Real Estate Development LLC, which purchased the land a year prior to the racetrack filing bankruptcy in 2008. Bentley said the limited liability company was co-owned by Joseph Sullivan and Carl Thomas until Thomas purchased Sullivan's interest. Bentley said Thomas had nothing to do with the operation of the racetrack.
The attorney said the racetrack closed and filed for bankruptcy because it ran out of money and its license was going to expire at the end of 2008 and would not get renewed.
The Monitor reported the racetrack filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means a business has decided to sell its assets and use the money to pay off creditors. The racetrack, as of December 2008, owed money to between 200 and 999 people or organizations, according to the Monitor. The business also, at the time of the bankruptcy filing, owed $4,500 to the state, $189,257 to the Internal Revenue Service, $131,800 in town property taxes and $6,600 in other local tax expenses.
Tyler told the Reformer his company got the nod for the job about a month ago and started demolition on Tuesday, Nov. 12. He said he hopes to be done before Christmas.
The grandstand is now a shell of its former self, rife with graffiti and filled with broken glass and other material. There are Samuel Adams beer coasters among the debris and race ticket stubs from as far back as 1976. Tyler said people have caused a good deal of damage to the inside of the structure.
He said the sides of the grandstand will likely be pulled down Monday.
Do you have memories of the Hinsdale Race Track that you'd like to share? Please contact Domenic Poli, as he is collecting information and old photographs for a future retrospective feature on the racetrack.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.