5 Historic Places to Visit in Vermont and New Hampshire
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.