Chesterfield, New Hampshire
July 18th, 2013 by Judy Hueber
Last weekend a friend and I drove over to Manchester, Vermont to visit the Lincoln family home, known as Hildene. We enjoyed a leisurely drive up Route 30, stopping at antique shops along the way. We followed Route 7 South through Manchester, to the gates and long driveway through the woods to Hildene. The mansion was owned by Robert Todd Lincoln, who was the only one of President Lincoln’s sons to survive to adulthood, and his wife, Mary Harlan Lincoln. Robert Todd Lincoln spent his summers here with his family from 1905 until 1926, when he passed away.
We stopped in the Visitors Center and enjoyed a short film giving an overview of the property and its history and then walked up the path to the main house. We entered the foyer immediately engulfed in the sound of music coming from the home’s organ, setting the scene for a very interesting house tour. All of the furnishings in the home belonged to the Lincoln family, who lived in the house until 1970. The house has two wings flowing out from the foyer, with a sweeping staircase leading to the second floor. It was so interesting to walk through the rooms, many of which looked like the inhabitants had just left a moment ago. One of the rooms had not been freshened up or renovated, but left “as is”, and retained an air of faded elegance.
The back of the house has French doors which open onto a formal garden with a glorious view overlooking the hills and valley below. We wandered the paths of the garden, enjoying the blossoms as well as the expansive view.
We then walked the woodsy path that led to the restored Pullman railroad car that was part of the property and learned about the the Pullman Company, Robert Todd Lincoln’s role in it, and the role of Pullman Porters after the Civil War. Fascinating stuff!
The property also has a farm with a herd of Nubian goats and a cheese making operation that is an extension of the Lincoln family members interest in farming. The cheese is for sale in the gift shop and visitors can tour the goat farm as part of their visit. Hildene was well worth the trip: I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore Southern Vermont.
July 3rd, 2013 by Judy Hueber
This weekend, a friend and I took advantage of a leisurely summer afternoon to make a visit to Augustus St. Gaudens’ home and studios in Cornish, New Hampshire, a National Historic Site about 45 minutes’ drive from the Chesterfield Inn. We spent 3 hours there, wandering the property, touring the house, visiting his studio, and enjoying many pieces of his work. We started the day with a 20 minute film at the Visitor’s center , that gave us an overview of his life and the site. Augustus Saint Gaudens was one of America’s greatest sculptors and created many heroic monuments and bas-reliefs. Later in his life, he was one of the founders of the Cornish Colony, a group of artists and writers living in Cornish.
The views from the porch of the house were expansive, with rolling meadows, gardens, statues, and Mount Ascutney looming on the horizon. The gardens were designed to showcase the art work, and formed several rooms so that the works could be viewed in seclusion. The flowers were just gorgeous, in the gardens and in arrangements in the buildings; it seemed that the whole place smelled of roses!
This building housed many of Saint Gaudens’ bas-reliefs, as well as his studio, where our guide was kind enough to explain the process of bronzing, using objects such as molds and plaster casts from the studio to explain exactly how it was done.
We sat on the porch with our guide before touring the house and heard the story of Saint Gaudens’s life at Aspet, his name for the summer house that became his year round home towards the end of his life. The house is furnished with original furniture from the time that he and his family lived there. All in all it was a fascinating place to visit, with history and nature intertwined with art. A perfect summer outing while staying at our New Hampshire bed and breakfast!
June 12th, 2013 by Judy Hueber
Last weekend, while driving down Route 12 in Charlestown, New Hampshire, we noticed what looked like large kites with people hanging from them flying through the air. We quickly turned off the main road and into the Morningside Flight Park to check it out. The Park is set into the bottom and side of a steep hill with a platform for take off at the top of the hill. A driveway winds up the side of the hill to drop off the thrill seekers.
The Flight Park has something for everyone, from kayak tours to hang gliding to paragliding to a zip line through the tree tops of the forest. One thing that we learned is the difference between hang gliding and paragliding: hang gliding involves an airplane that takes you up in the sky and releases you. Paragliding is when you take off from the top of the hill under your own power and glide to the bottom of the hill.
The zip line involves being in a secure harness anchored to a secure cable that you slide along in the tree tops. It all looked like tons of fun and many thrills. The great thing about Morningside is that they offer instruction on all these New Hampshire activities. Morningside Flight Park is about 40 minutes drive from the Chesterfield Inn and is a perfect way to spend a sunny June afternoon!
January 13th, 2012 by Judy Hueber
It seems that winter has finally arrived in Southern New Hampshire and Vermont! Yesterday’s snowstorm dropped 6 inches of fluffy snow on our barren landscape, making everything look better. Now we have more options for outdoor play this weekend! Previously we were able to hike in the woods around our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast, just like it was still November, or go ice-skating on ice that had never had snow on it. That was pretty great!
This weekend, we can snowshoe in Pisgah Park, Friedsam Forest or the Madame Sherri Forest in Chesterfield, and have the woods all to ourselves. The snow has covered the trees and made the forest into a winter wonderland that sparkles all around in the sunshine.
For cross-country skiing, I would suggest the ski center at Grafton Ponds in Grafton, Vermont. Grafton Ponds has been making snow on its lower loop all season and has been a popular place for all of the local racers to go to train. Now they have snow in the woods and plenty of trails open. They also have a ski shop for rentals and a lodge where you can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. You can check their Facebook page for info on the ski conditions.
Downhill skiers have of course also benefited from the new snow. The downhill ski areas have been making snow and this new snow will only improve conditions. The ski areas closest to our New Hampshire Luxury Inn are Mount Snow, Stratton, Bromley and Killington, all about an hour’s drive.
November 19th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
We’ve got a new place to send you when you’re looking for things to do in the area. Kringle Candle Company opened in 2009 in Bernardston, Massachusetts, a short 20 minute drive from our New Hampshire bed and breakfast.
Kringle Candle is owned by Mick Kittredge III, the son of the Mike Kittredge who founded the famous Yankee Candle in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The candle shop specializes in scented candles, with 36 scents, such as peppermint twist, Nantucket rose, gingerbread, and frosted cake. The candles are all white, for the purest light, in beautiful glass containers that can be re-purposed for many things once the candle been finished. They also have votives, tea lights, fire starters, and home decor items.
Kringle owns 200 acres of property in Bernardston, and on the property you’ll find the Kringle store, bulit in 2010, and the newly opened Christmas Barn and The Farm Table restaurant, opened in late October 2011. The Christmas Barn is a two story former dairy barn filled with Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, toys, gifts, and more candles. The Farm Table restaurant is in a 200 year old house, beautifully renovated and decorated, where you can enjoy brunch, lunch daily and dinner as well. They have a full bar and wine list and feature local fare. Enjoy a visit during your stay at our New Hampshire luxury inn!
October 12th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
Yesterday, I escaped for a quick foliage getaway between breakfast and lunch. It was sunny and crisp, with morning fog from the river burning off quickly. My friends picked me up, with dogs in tow, for a hike up Putney Mountain. We drove up Route 5, enjoying the beautiful colors of the leaves along the roadside, into the village of Putney, and then out to the Putney School and to the Putney Mountain Trail Head.
There was just one car in the parking lot, a great sign for a quiet walk in the woods. We hiked up the well-marked trail, about a mile, to the lookout area at the top of the Mountain. There were 2 women sitting in chairs, using binoculars to look for birds. They were up there for the day, basking in the sunshine, counting birds for the Putney Mountain bird count. We spent a few minutes at the top, figuring out which mountains were which to the East and West. We could see Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, and in Vermont we had a clear view of Mount Snow, Haystack, Stratton, and Bromley. The hills were gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange mixed with the dark green of the evergreens.
After the quick downhill hike, we retired to Green Mountain Orchard just past the Putney School, for homemade cinnamon and sugar donuts and apple cider. If we had wanted to, we could have walked into the orchard and picked several varieties of apples to take home. It was tempting, especially when I saw the 6 apple pies that they had just taken out of the oven! I love making apple pies in October! It was just great to be out in the fresh air on a beautiful warm autumn day, enjoying the scenery with friends before heading back to Chesterfield Inn.
September 14th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
Gaines Farm Corn Maze
It seems that Summer is officially over and Fall has arrived at Chesterfield Inn! I know this because the Gaines Farm Corn Maze opens this Saturday. For those of you who haven’t ever experienced it, a corn maze is a maze cut through the corn stalks in a corn field, with dead ends, winding paths, and, finally a way out. The challenge is to make your way through the maze without getting lost, and finding your way out on the other side!
I grew up on a dairy farm in Hardwick, Massachusetts, and as children we used to play in the cornfields. We never had anything as sophisticated as a corn maze, but we would play between the rows, in our own little world. You see, the corn stalks grew over 7 feet tall, so that once you entered the cornfield no one on the outside of the field could see you. It was perfect for us and we spent hours playing games between the giant rows of corn.
The Gaines Farm corn maze covers 7 acres of cornfield, and the corn has grown to heights of up to 10 feet. The pattern of the maze, as you can see here, is a tribute to the 250th anniversary of the town of Guilford, Vermont, which is about 20 minutes drive from our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast. The corn maze opens this Saturday, September 17 and will be open weekends until October 30. Admission to the maze is $7 and includes entrance to the baby animal barn, pumpkin bowling, and many other activities. Fun for kids of all ages!
August 26th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
On Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, a group of artists whose studios are located in Brattleboro, Marlboro and Dummerston, Vermont are hosting an open studio tour. These artists enjoy living and making art in this beautiful corner of Southern Vermont, a place where artists are welcome and supported by the local community. These artists invite you to come by their studios and get an idea of what their creative process is like.
You can choose between Kris McDermet‘s hooked and braided rugs, Doug Cox‘s handmade violins, Malcolm Wright‘s woodfired pottery and clay and bronze sculpture, Petria Mitchell’s and Jim Giddings’ paintings, and Josh and Marta Bernbaum‘s blown glass. You can download a map and make your way around the hills to the artists’ studios. All of these artists’ work is rooted in the natural beauty that surrounds them, as well as the culturally sophisticated town of Brattleboro.
So, plan a weekend away and make your home base the Chesterfield Inn. You can drive up Friday night, enjoy a delicious dinner at the inn, sleep until you wake up, enjoy a famous breakfast at our New Hampshire Inn and head out on the tour. What a great way to spend the day, exploring the back roads, looking at art, and actually meeting the artists in their studios!
August 9th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
One of the best things about living 20 minutes away from Marlboro, Vermont is our close proximity to Marlboro College, which is overrun by world-class musicians in the summer rehearsing for the Marlboro Music Festival concerts. The festival was founded in 1951 by Rudolf Serkin, Adolph and Hermann Busch and Marcel, Blanche and Louis Moyse. The musicians gather each summer for 3 weeks of intensive rehearsals, preparing for several concerts each week from mid-July to mid-August.
Over 200 pieces are rehearsed each summer, in all combinations of instruments and vocal ensembles. The programming is a mix of music written centuries ago by the giants of classical music (Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.) to compositions written in the 20th and 21st centuries, some which are played for the first time at Marlboro.
The wonderful thing about Marlboro is the collaborative approach. Young and old professional musicians work together to prepare the pieces, each bringing their own experiences and personal perspectives to the rehearsals. The atmosphere at Marlboro is warm and supportive, a true family of musicians who eat together, play, work, share chores, learn from each other and inspire one another.
Some of my favorite memories as a new innkeeper were attending the Sunday afternoon concerts with a family friend from Massachusetts. He would make a gourmet picnic and we would enjoy it on the grass outside the concert hall before going in to listen to the glorious music. Marlboro is a very special place!
The Chesterfield Inn is a very convenient place to stay if you’re visiting the Marlboro Music Festival. Even though we’re across the river from Brattleboro, Vermont in New Hampshire, we are just a 20-minute drive to the Marlboro College Campus.
June 15th, 2011 by Judy Hueber
We love gardens at Chesterfield Inn and we’d like to share about one of our favorites! One of the hidden jewels of Windham County in Southern Vermont is Olallie Daylily Gardens. Olallie’s is in South Newfane, which is a lovely little town off of well traveled Route 30. When you turn off of Route 30 and meander off into the web of country roads that lead to South Newfane, you can feel the hustle and bustle fall away. Olallie’s is off of Williamsville Road, on Augur Hill Road, on the left after the South Newfane Country Store.
The lilies are grown on a third generation organic farm and fill 40 display beds in a 6 acre field. The Darrow family owns the farm and it is managed by Christopher Darrow, his children and his mother, Ellen. They continue the work of Christopher’s grandfather, George Darrow, who began collecting and hybridizing day lilies in 1957. Lilies are very hardy plants and come in many sizes and colors. Olallie has over 2,500 varieties of day lilies, in all colors, that bloom during the months of June, July, and August.
Olallie also has irises, field grown perennials, unusual hostas, shrubs and trees, and pick your own blueberries. During June they are having a Siberian iris and field grown perennial sale that will go until June 26. The farm is a great place to just wander, enjoying the gorgeous blooms and quiet surroundings. They even have picnic tables and benches with market umbrellas if you’d like to bring a picnic to enjoy after you have seen the flowers.
We hope that you have an opportunity to visit this beautiful farm during your stay at our New Hampshire B&B!