Save Our Shores Papers, 1973-2001

Collection number: MC 69
Size: 3 boxes (0.99 cu.ft.)

About Save Our Shores

“Save Our Shores” was a citizens group organized in 1973 to combat the proposal by Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis and others for a massive oil refinery to be built on Great Bay just outside of Durham, N.H. Olympic Oil Refinery’s plan was to build the refinery at Durham Point, supply it with the necessary freshwater from Lake Winnipesaukee and pump oil back and forth to the terminal at the Isles of Shoals via a pipeline through Great Bay, Newington, Portsmouth and Rye. The pipeline’s final leg would have crossed the ocean floor from Rye to a supertanker terminal at the Shoals. Had Olympic Oil been successful, the 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery would have been the largest built from scratch in the United States at the time. It would also have changed Great Bay and Durham Point, areas of outstanding natural beauty, forever.

Save Our Shores included former state legislators Dudley Dudley and Patti Blanchette; Jack Kingsbury, founder of the Shoals Marine Laboratory; Nancy Sandberg, one of the first leaders of the citizens group; and Phyllis Bennett, who was a founder of Publick Occurrences, the newspaper that broke the story of the proposed refinery after many Durham Point landowners were approached to sell their land. Olympic, through a realtor, had successfully optioned more than 1,000 acres from 11 property owners. The realtor told some property owners he wanted land for a game preserve, to others it was for investment, to others it was to build a home and still others he told he was representing someone else.

The fight against the refinery began in the fall of 1973 and it concluded in March 1974. However, plans for a refinery in the Seacoast continued as other towns such as Newmarket, Rochester and Raymond considered the project.

Dudley Dudley played an integral part in the fight as a freshman legislator. She sponsored House Bill 18 that reaffirmed towns’ home-rule rights in decisions on large projects such as the oil refinery. The Legislature approved her bill the day after Rye and Durham residents overwhelmingly voted against zoning amendments needed for the oil refinery plan. In Rye, the vote was 1,073-to-194. In Durham, it was 1,254-to-144.

The collection materials were donated by Gael Ulrich, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of New Hampshire, Nancy Sandberg, chair of Save Our Shores, who at the time was a 27-year-old mother who “grew vegetables and planted apple trees at her family’s home when she was called to action,” and Robert and Gail Bates, residents of Exeter, N.H.

Source: Some of this information was taken from an article written by Richard Fabrizio for the Portsmouth Herald, August 5, 2001.

About the Save Our Shores Papers

The papers are primarily newsclippings, but there is also correspondence, newsletters, flyers, and a small number of slides.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Save Our Shores Papers, 1973-2001, MC 69, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation: Gael Ulrich, Nancy Sandberg, and Robert and Gail Bates, 1998 (Accession number 98.016)

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1C. H. Sprague Papers
Box 1, Folder 2SOS Board Notes
Box 1, Folder 3News Releases
Box 1, Folder 4Oil Refinery Proposal
Box 1, Folder 5Correspondence-Bates
Box 1, Folder 6Correspondence from Ulrich
Box 1, Folder 7Correspondence to Ulrich
Box 1, Folder 8Correspondence-All Others
Box 1, Folder 9Miscellaneous Handnotes
Box 1, Folder 10Miscellaneous Items
Box 1, Folder 11Photos and Slides
Box 1, Folder 12Speeches
Box 1, Folder 13Circulars
Box 1, Folder 14Letters-Save Our Shores-A Citizens Group
Box 1, Folder 15Home Rule Bill
Box 1, Folder 16Publications and Prints
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Clippings: American Journal, 1975
Box 2, Folder 2Clippings: Bordertown News (Pub. Daily News)
Box 2, Folder 3Clippings: Boston Globe
Box 2, Folder 4Clippings: Chemical and Engineering News
Box 2, Folder 5Clippings: Chemical Engineering Progress, 1973
Box 2, Folder 6Clippings: Christian Science Monitor
Box 2, Folder 7Clippings: Concord Monitor
Box 2, Folder 8Clippings: Eagle Times
Box 2, Folder 9Clippings: Exeter News Letter, 1974-1975
Box 2, Folder 10Clippings: Foster's Daily Democrat
Box 2, Folder 11Clippings: Fortune, 1975
Box 2, Folder 12Clippings: Maine Times, 1973-1975
Box 2, Folder 13Clippings: Manchester Union Leader, 1974
Box 2, Folder 14Clippings: New Hampshire Times
Box 2, Folder 15Miscellaneous Clippings (1-2 Articles)
Box 2, Folder 16Clippings: Nashua Telegraph
Box 2, Folder 17Clippings: Newsweek
Box 2, Folder 18Clippings: New York Times
Box 2, Folder 19Clippings: Manchester Union Leader, 1975-1976
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1Clippings: Portland Press Herald
Box 3, Folder 2Clippings: Portsmouth Herald, 1973
Box 3, Folder 3Clippings: Portsmouth Herald, Jan. 1974-Feb. 1974
Box 3, Folder 4Clippings: Portsmouth Herald, Mar. 1974-May 1974
Box 3, Folder 5Clippings: Portsmouth Herald, 1975
Box 3, Folder 6Clippings: Publick Occurences, 1973
Box 3, Folder 7Clippings: Publick Occurences, 1974
Box 3, Folder 8Clippings: Publick Occurences, 1975
Box 3, Folder 9Clippings: Publick Occurences
Box 3, Folder 10Clippings: Rochester Courier
Box 3, Folder 11Clippings: York County Coast Star
Box 3, Folder 12Clippings: Unidentified Publications