SPRINGFIELD, N.H. (AP) – Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of the multinational forces in Iraq, owns property in New Hampshire and sometimes comes to the state to visit friends and relax.

Petraeus, who soon will head U.S. Central Command, owns a small boat house next to a woodland with his wife on Lake Kolelemook in Springfield – a town of about 1,200 residents just north of Lake Sunapee.

Town Clerk Cynthia Anderson said Petraeus claims Springfield as his domicile and is registered to vote there.

Anderson said Hollister “Holly” Petraeus’ grandparents, the late Fairfax and Mildred Downey, lived in Springfield for many years. Her mother, Peg Downey, married William Knowlton, who was a four-star general.

Fairfax Downey, who died in 1990, was a military historian who wrote several books after a reporting career with the New York Times. According to the Times, in World War I, he was awarded the Silver Star for “gallantry in action” at Belleau Wood. In World War II, he served in North Africa and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Anderson said the Knowltons would often visit Holly’s grandparents and the visits continued after she married Petraeus. Petraeus grew up in New York’s Hudson Valley and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The two married shortly after his graduation in 1974.

Anderson said the Downey home is now owned by an unrelated family, but Petraeus and his wife occasionally return to Springfield, presumably to visit friends.

“We leave them alone,” Anderson said.

She said she doubted many people in town know about them.

“It’s just another one of those small town kinds of things,” said Selectman John Chiarella.

Chiarella said he does not know the Petraeuses personally, but knows that they have friends in town and occasionally return to their boathouse, which he described as a “small house at the end of the lake.”

Petraeus relinquished his command of the Multi-National Force in Iraq to General Raymond T. Odierno and will soon officially become Commander of U.S. Central Command. CENTCOM oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East, East Africa and into Central Asia.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.