September 14, 2015

5 Historic Places to Visit in Vermont and New Hampshire

  • By: Meghan Drueding

The Great Stone Dwelling House at Enfield Shaker Village.

In the Fall 2015 issue of Preservation magazine, we compiled a list of preservation-related travel recommendations for Hanover, New Hampshire, and the surrounding towns. But there were a few we couldn’t fit into the story, and it seemed a shame not to tell readers about them. We’ve gathered up five extra suggestions for places to visit in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire and highlighted them for you here.

Enfield Shaker Museum, Great Stone Dwelling House

Two of the knowledgeable locals we spoke with, Bente Torjusen (executive director of AVA Gallery and Art Center) and Marcelo Gleiser (author and theoretical physicist at Dartmouth College), extolled the virtues of the Enfield Shaker Museum (at top) in Enfield, New Hampshire. This 200-year-old former Shaker village offers tours of the Great Stone Dwelling House -- the largest Shaker building ever constructed -- as well as exhibits, gardens, concerts, and special events. “It’s a must-see,” Gleiser says. Torjusen adds: “In the fall it’s just gorgeous there.”

The Gothic Revival-style Justin Smith Morrill Homestead.

Justin Smith Morrill Homestead

Architect Sue Reed, of Smith & Vansant Architects, recommends the Justin Smith Morrill Homestead in Strafford, Vermont, as a top preservationist destination. “It’s kind of pink, and Carpenter Gothic style, with all the original furnishings,” she says. Morrill, a United States senator from 1867 to 1898, authored the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act that paved the way for many of America’s public colleges and universities. The Homestead is open for tours from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge.

Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge

If you picture covered bridges when you think of New England, you might want to put the quaint but impressive Cornish-Windsor covered bridge on your list. The structure spans the Connecticut River, connecting Cornish, New Hampshire, with Windsor, Vermont; Bente Torjusen highly recommends driving over it. The longest wooden covered bridge in the nation, Cornish-Windsor was constructed in 1866 and rebuilt in 1988.

The Lebanon Opera House occupies the same building as the town’s City Hall.

Lebanon Opera House

The 1924 Lebanon, New Hampshire, City Hall shares space with the 800-seat Lebanon Opera House, suggested by both Sue Reed and Bente Torjusen. “National acts play there, and also Opera North and the City Center Ballet,” says Reed. The New Federal-style building was designed by Jens Larson, who also created many of the buildings on the nearby Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Georgian-style buildings of Dartmouth Row.

Dartmouth Row

One of Sue Reed’s favorite spots on the Dartmouth campus is Dartmouth Row, which faces the Hanover green. The original 18th-century centerpiece, Dartmouth Hall, burned down in the early 1900s but was rebuilt with a similar design a year after the fire. The whitewashed Georgian buildings with crisp black shutters still house classrooms for subjects including languages, religion, and philosophy.

Meghan Drueding is the executive editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for Midcentury Modernism, walkable cities, and coffee-table books about architecture and design. @mdrueding

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