Phil and Julie Taub stand on the back lawn of Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast in Hebron that they purchased last year. The couple founded Swim With A Mission in 2017, an open water swim festival on Newfound Lake that has raised more than $1.3 million to benefit veterans.
Hebron — Phil and Julie Taub have enjoyed the natural beauty and the history of the Newfound Region for years.
When a nearly 200-year-old homestead in Hebron came up for sale, they bought it, setting up a bed and breakfast in the picturesque lake town filled with 19th-century buildings in the foothills of the White Mountains.
“Let a new generation come to Hebron and enjoy the lake, the mountains and this beautiful property. If we can let people experience that we will be very happy,” said Julie Taub, who has been coming to the community since 1981 when her parents bought a local summer home.
The couple’s hope is that their Meadow Wind Bed & Breakfast will serve as a base for visitors. Located at the northern end of Newfound Lake, about halfway between Plymouth and Bristol, Hebron has a year-round population of just over 600 people.
Phil Taub, a partner with Nixon Peabody in Manchester, who heads the law firm’s private equity and family office practice group, was born in Durban, South Africa, and grew up surfing and life guarding on the Indian Ocean.
“There is something magical about Newfound Lake. It’s unique in that it is spring fed and among the cleanest in the world,” said Taub, who was introduced to Hebron when he met Julie in 1987.
An avid swimmer and cyclist, Taub recounted that on frequent bike rides around the lake he watched the former owner of the property, Air Force veteran Peter Carney, work to restore the 1820 homestead and winterize it. Carney later hosted weddings in the post-and-beam barn.
The original homestead was built by Captain Enos Ferrin, one of the area’s first settlers, on some 350 acres. Some of that land now belongs to New Hampshire Audubon but remains open to the public as the Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, which includes hiking trails and 3,500 feet of lake frontage.
The Audubon-owned Ash Cottage, just a stone’s throw from Meadow Wind at 41 North Shore Road, offers a prime spot for watching brilliant sunsets over the lake, and the absence of light pollution makes ideal conditions for admiring the stars. Taub said wedding parties use the backdrop for photos.
As just the fifth family to own the property in two centuries, the Taubs are committed stewards. Retaining some of the antique pieces that came with the property, Julie Taub has created a theme in each of the guestrooms, blending old and new.
The Captain’s Room takes its name from the home’s first owner. It features a king-sized wheat-carved four-post bed and original beamed ceilings.
In all, there are five guest bedrooms and four guest bathrooms.
The spacious screened porch overlooks a colorful flower garden and an expansive lawn. It is not uncommon to spot the occasional deer, black bear or moose meander by, Phil Taub says.
In the 25 years since moving to New Hampshire, Taub has committed himself to a variety of charitable efforts, including serving as president of the board of the Granite State Children’s Alliance, which helps victims of child abuse.
Swim With A Mission
In 2017, Taub was active with the Jeb Bush presidential campaign. In his frequent stops at American Legion halls, VFW posts and the New Hampshire Veterans Home, he said, a common theme emerged among the veterans.
“They were asking for help,” he said.
In response, the Taubs launched Swim With A Mission, an open-water swim festival on Newfound Lake to raise money to aid those who have served their country.
In learning more about the many issues facing the newest generation of veterans, the couple had the chance to speak with a group of Navy SEALs and shared their plans for the charity.
The SEALs pledged to participate and put on a public demonstration of their unique skills, including a free-fall jump from a helicopter into the lake, low-level parachute jumps and hostage rescue techniques using military K9s.
To date, Swim With A Mission has raised more than $1.3 million to benefit the Navy SEALs Museum in Fort Pierce, Fla., Veterans Count, Children of Fallen Patriots, Harbor Homes and the Bridge House veterans’ homeless shelter.
The event also honors the memories of New Hampshire service members killed in the war on terror.
“It’s a great reminder of what is important in life: loyalty to each other and to our great country,” said Taub.
The third annual Swim With A Mission, put on with the help of some 300 volunteers, will be held July 11-13 at Wellington State Park.
Swimmers who want to participate can sign up for the individual 1K, 5K or 10K distances, or put a team of up to five swimmers together to race in a relay format over a 10K course.
Details and registration information are posted at www.swam.org.
By Bea Lewis / Union Leader Correspondent.