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Orford, NH: Bucolic Connecticut River Village

Orford, New Hampshire is – as yet – an undiscovered country village oozing New England charm, offering Connecticut River water access to boating and wetlands on its western village border with serenely scenic rolling hills leading to the White Mountains along its Eastern ridge.

This unassuming gem of a hamlet appears surprisingly small and simple. But its long white fences, churches and a distinctive row of seven Federal-style mansions  along an old river bank ridge nod to a time when the community supported not one, but four, general stores; a community attracting  the likes of Daniel Webster and President Taft. Much like the old soil its sits upon, Orford remains as deep and strong as the nearby sturdy-flowing Connecticut River, comfortably embracing its residents like the arms of a favorite grandparent.

Arrival in Orford is via “The Great Road,” one of New England’s most historic byways along the river, now known as “The Dartmouth Highway.” It begins near Dartmouth College in Hanover travelling north through picturesque Lyme, dog-legging that community’s village green before dipping down into the fertile Connecticut River Valley on its way to Orford and points north.  Traveling this road by car or by road bike is the best way to meet the  town. The road’s meandering slowness absorbs as it passes  Colonial-era farmhouses with their plowed-through rich riverbed dirt, ready for hay and corn and summer vegetables. Old lilac trees and apple orchards mark current and former homesteads. There's more space here, more land, perhaps more places to imagine and build anew.

Orford was first settled in the late 1700’s by those described by at least one historian  as “entrepreneurial risk takers” who saw opportunities offered by river access, rich soil and deep forested hills. The river, which eventually flows through Massachusetts and Connectictut to Long Island Sound, was a perfect conduit for sending timber and other goods to the  cities.

Later, in the 1800’s, Boston’s educated urbanites found reason to settle here, building homes reflecting the architectural finesse of the age. Now, rolling into Orford from the South, there's  no doubt of the sophisticated  past,  notwithstanding the farm mud covering present residents' Bogs rubber boots and Carhartt pants.

Passing a very discreet “Orford, New Hampshire” sign coming into town, it is then hard to miss the white fences and endlessly green (or snow-covered)  lawns looking up to seven white stately homes perched like sentinels along a distinctive ridge. Former Dartmouth Architecture Professor Hugh Morrison has described this row of architectural delights “the finest group of Federal-style homes in the U.S.”  Whether you own one of these homes or buy close to them, they set the bar high.

New England history and the Connecticut River provide the deep roots to daily life in Orford. For those looking for a complete quiet get-away and total privacy, they will find it here. While everything needed for modern life is just 20 minutes away, Orford seems timelessly separate, a place where the pace of life is still dictated by the seasons. Whatever the hobbies or pursuits – from farming to gardening to fishing to duck hunting to hiking, skiing or snowshoeing it is easily done in or around Orford, unfettered. No malls, no attractions per se, no tourists. Here you'll find the real deal: hardy New Englanders whether in fact working the land  or simply in spirit, embracing the tough-minded values of a bygone age.

That said,  your don't have to go far for a 21st century culinary experience. Between Orford, Lyme and nearby Bradford, Vermont, foodies  looking for local-fresh menus will find several of the most highly-rated farm restaurants in the region, including Orford's  "Peyton Place."

Beyond that, for easy breaks from Orford to hustle and bustle, simply cross the Connecticut River at several bridge points into Vermont for direct access to Interstate-91 and everywhere it goes. Head north to ski at Burke Mountain or drive to Burlington and Montreal. Or, head south on Interstate 91 just a half hour to all the conveniences, art events and shopping in Hanover and West Lebanon. If work calls, Interstate-91 gets you quickly to Dartmouth College, Vermont’s Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center,  which are a few  of the Upper Valley area’s largest employers. Orford is also convenient to two main stand-alone Vermont shopping attractions: Bradford’s Farm-Way Store  just over the bridge from Piermont and Norwich’s King Arthur Flour “mother  ship" baking store and cafe.

Interestingly, the ties between New Hampshire and Vermont along this section of the Connecticut River are so strong that the Rivendell Interstate School District has been created to take care of kids’ primary and secondary school needs. Other options for schooling include private schools in Lyme, NH and Thetford, VT. Kids raised in Orford will certainly understand and have ties to the land, much like the first settlers – from farms to wildlife to simply appreciating the land.

Depending on where you choose to buy, build or live, families will find the freedom to run free a bit more than elsewhere in the world, kids  letting their imaginations expand, building forts in trees or diverting streams along the riverbank, collecting purple lilac stems from the old bushes in spring, gathering apples in Fall and enjoying a quiet snowfall in winter.

Adults and retirees are likely to find Orford at its best in summer, farm stands everywhere with fresh plump home-grown tomatoes just off the vine, toes and fingers trickling along the side of a boat in the Connecticut River or simply watching dragon flies flit about while enjoying a cool cocktail on a breezy porch or patio. As mentioned, the White Mountains and the Maine coastline are just a couple of hours away with incredibly scenic views along the way.

Orford, NH  is probably one of the last remaining truly idyllic country villages, offering still-reasonably priced properties from elegant stately homes along The Ridge and Main Street to charming rustic farm houses ready for modern touches. Care is taken with this  special fertile land and its properties – living pieces of history, homes  ready for their next chapter.

New Hampshire's Cornish Colony along the Connecticut River

Back in the late 1700's, Cornish, New Hampshire was known simply as  "Mast Camp" as it was a shipping point along the Connecticut River for the strong, tall and straight white pine trees used as Navy ship masts. However, Cornish -- named after a Royal Navy captain -- really came into popularity as the 19th century "discovery" of sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. 

Soon, through St. Gaudens' connections to the Art Students League of New York and a convenient passenger train to Windsor, Cornish became a destination for New York and Boston artists, writers, politicians and bon-vivantes attracted to the community's peaceful farms and riverbanks along the Connecticut River. Those banks and open pastures continue to yield not just seasonal crops but  wide open views to Vermont and Mt. Ascutney.

In addition to St. Gaudens,  some of the more notable visitors and land owners included actress Ethel Barrymore, dancer Isadora Duncan, illustrator Maxfield Parrish and architects Ellen Biddle Shipman and Charles Platt. President Woodrow Wilson also built a home in Cornish where he brought his family. It was known as "The Summer White House."

The Cornish Colony was most active between 1895 and World War I. It was such a popular place for summer creativity and conviviality that many built large expansive homes, that still have posted plaques with their names and listings  on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Gaudens' home "Aspet" is one of those; its extensive grounds are the centerpiece of Cornish and of this bygone era. The estate has been turned into the National Park Service St. Gaudens Historic Site which continues to offer low-key summer lawn concerts, theater presentations and ranger-led tours of studios used by the famous sculptor and his students. Among the more famous works created by St. Gaudens while in Cornish is the bronze Shaw Memorial, a public monument on display outside the State House in Boston.

While not all of the historic residences in Cornish are available for sale, the properties that ARE offered come steeped in the region's agricultural and artistic traditions. In addition, the Cornish-Plainfield area is among the most attractive in the region as it includes not one, but three picturesque covered bridges.

During summer, the roads meandering along the Connecticut River offer pick-your-own strawberries and other vegetables from the fertile soil.

In fall, the farms and riverbanks are dotted with yellow corn and bright orange pumpkins. Everyone from the Upper Valley area marks their calendars to attend the annual Cornish Fair. In winter, things are quieter but turkey and roast beef dinners continue.  

While St. Gaudens and Woodrow Wilson  may have been among the community's most famous in the early part of the 1900's, more recently, the celebrated author of "Catcher in the Rye",  J.D. Salinger, found a place in Cornish to live the latter part of his life. He did so reclusively and without fanfare as local residents united to protect his privacy.

Kimball Union Academy, a private preparatory school, is located in the Cornish-Plainfield area. The community  is also within minutes of Hanover, Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as well as the greater Lake Sunapee region. Boston is just a little over two hours away. In fact, depending on circumstances, commuting to the Boston area for business is not out of the question while living a simple, quiet life along the banks of the Connecticut in Cornish.

From a base in Cornish, New England sports activities are abundant with ice rinks in both Hanover and Woodstock, a major aquatics center in White River Junction, and skiing and snowboarding close by at Mt. Sunapee, Whaleback, Okemo, Stratton and Killington.  Tennis and golf clubs offer competition in Grantham, Hanover, Norwich and Woodstock. Within 12 miles of Cornish, every possible type  of restaurant, theater and store is available with all the major chains just 15 minutes away.

Yet, when all is said and done, a return to home might mean  lighting a real wood fire in a historic (but updated!) home or taking a walk on your property  to watch the sun set just across the Connecticut River behind Mt. Ascutney. Better yet, for the artist, actor, writer or musician who chooses to live here, history and the muse is still in the air, down the road or just around the corner. Creativity might well be at its finest living among the fascinating ghosts of the Cornish Colony.

Comments

  1. Omura on

    I think it's great that we have so much going on and coming up with Pride Parades in San Francisco and San Jose, CA. I still think the bigsget goal in my own opinion is the reversing of the travesty and human oppression and denial of rights that is Prop 8 (ie- Prop Hate). I don't want to be told NO if I want to get married and be a wife'. To have California join New York will be a major victory and with work. increasing numbers, information and quick press releases to counter smears and mistruths and dedication there is no reason we can't achieve it. Ken Hodges,Saratoga, CA. e-mail:
    • Jacqueline on

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      Reading, Vermont: The Vermont Alps Welcome You

      Have you ever heard of the Vermont Alps? Yes, it sounds strange. But, think of the scenery from that movie The Sound of Music – open pastures with views, green hills with well-worn hiking paths up where dairy cows come to meet you at the fence and places where you want to spin around in a ridiculously dizzying manner.  Maybe you just want to jump on your horse and gallop down dirt roads through an arbor of maple trees. No billboards, no skyscrapers, just the fresh air, land and sky. The place for all this is Reading, Vermont. For horse lovers, Reading (pron. Red-ding) also happens to border two equestrian capitals of the region, South Woodstock and West Windsor.

      The small community, located between Woodstock and Springfield, does not call attention to itself. There is nothing fancy here. Its center is a “hollow" with plenty of wide-open acreage rising up into its alp-like pastures that continue to Tyson and a small lake-country due West towards Ludlow.  The population of Reading is approximately 700 year-round residents who live on old Vermont family farms, down dirt roads  or on the simple main street (Rt. 106)  with its town hall, churches, an elementary  school, a greenhouse and a general store. 

      Yet, within its simple borders, in the shadow of Mt. Ascutney on one side of the Valley and the “Alps” on the other, you’ll find one of Vermont’s best swimming holes, known as Twenty Foot Hole,  not to mention the surprising location of one well-known financier’s farmstead and exceptional collection of modern art. Andrew Hall, of late, has made quite an impact on the community establishing his Newhall Farm with its many farm-to-table products and rotating art exhibits within a refurbished barn (Hall Art Foundation). But even those without big names or large wallets are here in Reading quietly creating artisan cheeses or growing vegetables, selling their Vermont wares far and wide.

      In March, the steam still rises from maple sugar houses in Reading as the sap oozes out of trees and residents prepare for various spring and summer activities – a major Fourth of July parade, a strawberry supper.

      Those who live in Reading year-round have found a place to call home easily within commuting distance to Woodstock and other Upper Valley locations, working at the National Park or the Woodstock Inn and Resort. Nearby Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor is both a medical provider and a local employer.

      For winter sports, Reading is within reach of Okemo and Killington and easy to get to from either Boston or New York City via Interstate 89 or 91. Lebanon, New Hampshire Municipal Airport provides connection to Boston Logan and LaGuardia Airports. Hartford, Connecticut is just two hours away.

      Reading is also a must-go destination for any number of summer athletic events  due to its incredible beauty and  its rolling, but challenging hills. The community hosts participants in the Vermont 100  ultra-marathon, 50K mountain bike races and multiple weekend equestrian trail rides sponsored by the nearby Green Mountain Horse Association.

      Whether you’re looking for a place to keep horses, raise a family, retire or just enjoy weekends in the country, Reading offers magnificent possibilities in an un-fussy and private atmosphere. And while the location is rural, you can still find places to dine out by taking a little drive to Keepers, The Kedron Valley Inn, The Hartland Diner or The Skunk Hollow Tavern. Don’t forget the ice cream stand just south of Reading at a place called Downer’s Corners. After a swim in your pond or at that secret swimming hole on a hot day, you might find yourself there, sitting on a bench watching the world go by, any pent-up stress dripping away like your delicious maple walnut ice cream cone.  You might even be tempted to turn off your phone.  We won’t tell.  

      BTW, arguably, the most-photographed scene in Vermont?

      On postcards everywhere? The Jenne Farm. Reading, Vermont.

      So bucolic and popular an image that Malone, New York used a photo of the farm as background for a roadside billboard.

      What’s will your  postcard look like?

      Picture Perfect Postcard Pomfret, Vermont

      Pomfret is one of the most beautiful locations in New England, with its clear running brooks and green rolling pastures perfect for skiing, hiking, walking and more intense pursuits like farming. The Appalachian Trail runs right up and over Pomfret on its way to Hanover, New Hampshire. You’ll find Cloudland Farm here with its Angus cattle and the popular off-the-beaten track  farm-to-table restaurant. A not so tongue-in-cheek sign at the farm nearby advises hikers that short-cutting through the fields will end up with an impromptu  “running of the bulls” with hikers likely to lose to the bull.

      But, go up and over and around the scenic Pomfret  dirt roads and you will surely find little pieces of heaven. Wild Apple and Oatway Farms are just two examples of the iconic properties  listed here by Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group.

       

      In Pomfret, people give names to  their farmsteads or  refer to location by family name. Directions are the same, “Just past Oatway and the orchards on the left…” One resident named his property “The Sweet Spot” and runs his professional recording studio of the same name out of an attached barn.

      Speaking of barns, an old dilapidated barn that was, for the longest time, in disuse as part of the MIT Ski House  property, is now the splendid  big bright renovated Artistree Arts Center just up from Teago General Store. The arts organization – part of the greater Woodstock community  -- offers workshops, well-lit studios, galleries and performance space.

      Through the large glass windows at the back of the big old red barn you can see “The Face” of Suicide Six Ski Area, run by the Woodstock Inn and Resort. The Woodstock Ski Runners program for local kids  is operated at “Six”, a great place for locals and families.

      During colder winter days its traditional tree-lined New England trails protect from the wind making skiing or riding much more pleasant and fun.  It’s also no big deal to take a few runs every day and head back to work or pick up the kids at school.  Location is everything as the ski area is also just down the road from The Pomfret School, a Windsor County charter school for elementary-aged children.

       

      Settled by some folks from Connecticut, Pomfret was named after England’s Earl of Pomfret. The community is just 40 square miles. You might have to drive by twice to catch the Pomfret Town Clerk's Office , a tiny brick building,  sitting atop a steep hill dividing North and South Pomfret. The views from this hillside are perfection. Moore’s apple orchards fall off to one side, a popular place for apple picking in the Fall. Also in North Pomfret the former Trafalgar Square Publishing cattle farm which, for many years, was the exclusive importer of British books in the U.S. and publisher of several well-regarded equestrian manuals. Vermont Law School in South Royalton is within minutes of Pomfret for those who have interests there and close to Interstates 89 and 91 for quick commutes to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center or north to Montpelier and Burlington.

      Pomfret real estate offerings reflect ties to the land – many with barns, ponds, equipment sheds, maple tree-lined winding dirt roads into cozy valleys or up onto magnificent Vermont hilltops. The sweetest antique cape houses provide welcome quiet retreats while expansive contemporary homes are ready for you and your guests.  Look at our listings for some ideas.

      If you are looking for some daily social life, just stop by Teago General Store to pick up your mail and enjoy coffee and a sandwich made by one-time professional Chef Chuck Gunderson. Chuck also helped start and run an alternative radio station back in the day  and writes a column for The Vermont Standard. People are busy here. Everyone has a back-story. What’s yours?

      Some of the more famous people who have chosen Pomfret as their home include Rush Hawkins, a Union general during the civil war;  Judah Dana, later to become a Maine State Senator; Lyman Johnson, a leader of the Latter Day Saints; Joe Perry, Aerosmith guitarist; and William Arkin, an arms expert and political journalist. Each of these individuals found property in Pomfret that suited their requirements for living in a fertile, beautiful place, close to urban centers, but seemingly far, far away. Pomfret  is a place where watching the  full moon setting as coyotes yip in the distance is a welcome reason to wake up early in the morning, starting another fresh Pomfret, Vermont day.

      South Woodstock, VT: Pastoral, Peaceful and Verdant

      Just five miles from the Woodstock village green is the hamlet of South Woodstock, one of the most desirable communities in the region.  The Kedron Brook meanders through the postcard-perfect valley, location of many historic federal and colonial houses and some of the area's most gracious and storied estates. Generations of families continue to call South Woodstock home, ready to pass on the history of the place to anyone who asks or would like to listen.

      South Woodstock is also home of the venerable Green Mountain Horse Association, host to the most precise and beautiful equestrian dressage events to rougher, down-to-earth 50 and 100 mile trail rides. 

       

      The GMHA's mission is to provide and maintain opportunity for educational and competitive activities for diverse equestrian disciplines. So, it is no accident that riding boots are de rigeur on the beautiful summer-dining porch or in the clubby tavern of the Kedron Valley Inn. Many who visit in summer, also take a plunge in the Inn's wonderfully cool spring-fed pond just next to the South Woodstock Country Store. Families with their small kids can get passes to the pond's small beach, little ones plucking minnows and tadpoles from the water into fishing nets for full inspection in water-filled sand pails later.

      By providing a gorgeous and popular location for horses and their people, GMHA contributes to the vitality and sophistication of this storied hamlet, a place that has also attracted a handful of Hollywood's most famous -- among them Charles Bronson and Michael J. Fox -- but not the sort that seek high visibility. Rather, these "celebrities" are always able to blend in, go about their business and be completely comfortable in an environment were locals respect their right to privacy.

       

      The farms and luxury estates in South Woodstock offer plenty of beautiful homes and outbuildings, ponds, land and views -- of course -- but, most of all, what these properties offer is the freedom to completely -- and safely - relax in an uncertain world.  If desired, theater, music, schools, shopping, interstates and municipal airports are just a half hour away. Several properties in South Woodstock also include their own helicopter landing pads.

      One need not be a horse lover to love living the South Woodstock life. It has everything you would expect to find in Vermont: great natural beauty, down-to-earth, hard-working people, a respect for history and tradition and a place to celebrate life in the smallest or grandest of ways.

      South Woodstock--pastoral, peaceful and verdant, is a place to live the good life.

       

      Hartland, Vermont: What's Old Is New

      James Hope Painting of Mt. Ascutney credit: American Gallery

      Hartland is Central Vermont's best kept secret. With its quietly rolling hills, like the nooks and crannies of an English muffin, it is sandwiched between White River Junction, Woodstock and West Windsor; a rural town offering 62 miles of dirt road yet merely five minutes to I-91 and I-89.  That means quick and easy access to shopping, movies, restaurants, theater, schools, two National Parks, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as well as Lebanon Municipal Airport.

      Chartered in 1761, Hartland's center is known more specifically as Hartland Three Corners. Its centerpiece is Damon Hall, an old brick structure, the gathering place for all political activity.  If you buy property in Hartland, you will surely attend "Town Meeting," the annual get-together that - with the running of maple sap in March - brings people out of their cabin fever confinement, heralding a start to spring in Vermont.  While technically a meeting to approve tax rates and such, it is also traditionally the time when Vermonters get to "vent" about everything from road conditions to thanking volunteer rescue workers for retrieving their runaway cow.

      In close proximity to Damon Hall is The Hartland Diner where local ministers, carpenters, beer brewers, moms and kids all congregate for simple breakfast, lunch and conversation.  Down the road at Hartland Four Corners, you'll find the Skunk Hollow Tavern, a cozy "Hobbit Hole" in winter where folks gather to make music on open mic nights, but also a gem of a place upstairs for fine food and candlelit dining. Just beyond the crossroads, you'll find the Cobb Hill agricultural community, known, among other things, for its artisan specialty cheeses. And access to skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing is easy as Hartland is close to both Okemo, Killington and Mt. Sunapee, New Hampshire, less than an hour away.

      Properties for sale in Hartland can range from extensive acreage to antique capes to new construction luxury homes with huge views or southern exposures revealing Mt. Ascutney. Hartland is a place where you can still see the stars at night or a Super Moon rise along Vermont's beautifully-protected ridgelines.

      While Hartland is a traditional, albeit even sleepy New England hamlet, it is also home to several very active Vermont politicians including U.S. Sen. Peter Welch and Rep. Matt Dunne. When Bill Bradley ran for President many years ago, he spoke to Hartland residents at Damon Hall. The head of a major telecommunications company, VTel, has also chosen to own property here - not surprisingly this rural community is well-connected with state-of-the-art fiber optic lines. And, when the Vermont Legislature first approved same-sex unions many years ago, it was Hartland's Town Clerk who opened early - without a whole lot of fanfare -- on a Saturday morning to issue the very first Civil Union certificate in the state.

      For those with children, who might want to raise them rurally or get them out of an urban environment, Hartland has its own school, library and recreation center and is within easy reach of learning centers like the very kid-friendly Montshire Museum of Science.  

      For adults, Hartland is only ten minutes from the Artisan Center of Windsor which includes the Harpoon Brewery, Silo Distillery and Vermont Farmstead Cheese outlet. The location is perfectly used for area concerts and community get-togethers. Additionally, in summer, area residents enjoy going through the covered bridge at Windsor to concerts on the lawn at St. Gaudens National Historical Park in New Hampshire.  Hartland offers the opportunity to be happily hidden in the hills without feeling the least bit isolated.

      Bridgewater, Vermont: Entrepreneurial Outpost, Snow-Lover's Secret

      Bridgewater, Vermont, 8 miles to the West of Woodstock; that much closer to Killington Resort, has a year-round population of about 1,000 people most of whom you will never see due to the community’s rural character. It comprises 45 square miles of land with old 18th-century tracks, roads and stone fencing still evident throughout its woods and pastures.

      The population means more land available, more unobstructed views, more horse trails and more chances to breathe the fresh air, fly high and spread your wings. That's exactly what a number of entrepreneurs have done who have chosen to live -- and create - in Bridgewater.

      Once a bustling hub of the sheep and woolen industry along the Ottauquechee River, Bridgewater, Vermont now continues its history with its use of the restored woolen mill. The mill is home to a number of remarkable craftsmen and businesspeople, including internationally renowned furniture maker Charles Shackleton, Miranda Thomas Pottery along with smaller micro-craftspeople such as Fiona Blunden and her Gold Gilding Studio.  The Mill Building also offers Ramunto’s pizza and beer, popular with locals heading home from work or visitors heading home from the slopes. 

       

      Just down the road, at Bridgewater Corners, Long Trail brewery, which started in the mill building and is now a vital local employer, hosts thousands of skiers, bikers, tourists who stop by to sample beer, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the Ottauquechee River as it burbles its way East to the Connecticut River.

      Long Trail Ale is the top-selling beer in Vermont. And its new Limbo IPA is winning awards even in 2014. Long Trail is one of the original microbrewers in the State, named after the Long Trail, a North-South trail through the Green Mountain National Forest. The Long Trail connects to the Appalachian Trail, the famous outdoor thruway, which happens to go through Bridgewater the surrounding Chateauguay Wilderness and on into Woodstock.   

      Bridgewater, Vermont also includes one of the most scenic roads in America, often featured in magazine and TV reports, Route 100 /100A offers great bicycle touring and top-down roadster fun. The road less-travelled just happens to be the most beautiful, particularly in fall when the hillsides are ablaze with leaves turning red, orange and gold. 

      The October Country Inn in Bridgewater serves as perennial host B&B for those passing through whether by antique car or road bike. Nearby places to stay are also available in Woodstock, including the newer 506 On the River, the latest entry into the local hospitality business.

      If you choose to live in Bridgewater, Vermont and own property you can enjoy the convenience of stopping in for last-minute groceries, gas and supplies at the Bridgewater Corners General Store or make your way into Woodstock for movies, performances, library, tennis and golf at the Woodstock Country Club. Heading in the other direction on Route 4 from Bridgewater, Green Mountain National Golf Course is less than a half hour away.

      Exceptional properties, horse farms, working farms are available in Bridgewater and many "famous names" have chosen to quietly buy retirement or second-homes here in which they can entertain, quietly create or plan their next venture from a big old style front porch, rocking in a chair with a lemonade, a beer or a more sophisticated cocktail.

      And, while not technically in Bridgewater, living here puts you close to those who have made a difference, including one famous name: President Calvin Coolidge, whose birthplace- now a historic site - is just a few minutes away in Plymouth Notch. The traditional values he espoused were much related to the place in which he grew up. It was and is a bucolic place just up and over from Bridgewater, Vermont.

       

      Comments

      1. Gisela on

        I've always been facsinated by color and how people respond to it. I think it's the part of my job that I love the most, and it seems to be the most appreciated from my clients. Choosing colors is alot about a person's sensabilities, but it's also about changing the perceptions and the mood of a space. Nothing does it better than color. fun post!

        Pristine New England Colonial: Lyme, NH

        Postcards of quintessential New England towns usually include the white clapboard houses, church steeple, village common and sturdy, hardy folks used to the fickle nature of weather and time. That would be very beautiful small-town Lyme, New Hampshire with a population of under 2,000 whose exterior is still picture-perfect.

        This is a town that values its heritage yet provides a perfect commuter's roost for those wanting the most up-to-date and in-touch arts, culture, educational opportunities, medical facilities which are just down the road. And an easy drive beyond, Boston. 

        Living in Lyme, you'll be less than a half hour to some of the world's leading institutions like Dartmouth College, The Tuck School,  Vermont Law School, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Veteran's Administration Hospital. 

         

        And while all the limelight might got to Hanover just down the road, Lyme has Stella's, it's own Italian restaurant, country lodging at The Lyme Inn, The Lyme Country Store,  gas station and several schools -- both private and public. It is also close to the Appalachian Trail and the Dartmouth Skiway for winter sports.

         

        Beyond Lyme are byways to the White Mountain with all the beauty and recreational opportunties there. Across the Connecticut River is Thetford, Vermont and down the road past fields and farms is Norwich. Much of the farm-to-table fare offered at farmers markets and in local restaurants are sourced in Lyme's back yard.  Lyme is for those who seek a quieter, more traditional landscape in which to retire or raise a family yet within reach to all the Upper Valley has to offer. 

         

         

        Vermont Snow Plowing: No Rest for The Weary

         

         

        Intrepid Reporter John Snyder, one of the principals of Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group, goes "on-scene" to see what it's like keeping roads safely clear during a Vermont snowstorm. He gets to ride with Barnard's Road Foreman Lance Webster while doing rounds. As Webster explains, it takes thought and skill to get the job done so everyone can get in and get out. And, while touring by snow plow isn't a normal way to see the sites, this video includes a ride along North Road following a ridgetop from the Barnard General Store all the way to Bethel with iconic farms along the way. There are views aplenty of the Green Mountains, snow-covered fields, dotted with cows in summer and that special green, green grass found only in Vermont. But for now, this week, only white, white-out and wipe-out. Watch and see!

        Within minutes of Barnard, where this video was shot, are the Suicide Six Ski Area just outside of Woodstock (run by the Woodstock Inn and Resort), Killington, Pico, Okemo and Sugarbush all within an hour or less. It's a well-known fact that Barnard gets a lot of snow being at higher elevation than Woodstock and the surrounding valleys, but it's worth that elevation for the spectacular fresh air, views and lighter snow. Not to mention that elevation and more rural atmosphere means WILDLIFE. That's right, animals, large and small. Several bear corridors run through the nearby Chateauguay Wilderness and moose, deer, fox, pheasant are prevalent. Learning to track wildlife is a great past-time for many who just wonder what kinda' critters are walking around their homes, spending time on top of their snow! One more factoid, great for local trivia buffs: There is a small ridge of hills (not quite mountains, but big hills) in the Barnard, Bethel, Royalton, Pomfret area. It's in these hills where some of the most private and wonderfully comfortable, expansive homes exist. For those in the know, those hills are known as "The Delectables."

         

         

        Season's Greetings! We're Glad You're Here....

        Happy Holidays from Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group!  Let us know if we can be of service selling your place or buying a new home. John, David, Mary Ann and Dail can help with all the details. You'll find us around Woodstock, Barnard, Norwich, Lyme and Hanover. Give us a call if you're visiting or just ready for your move.