Backroads & Notches, New Hampshire

Kanasatka Lake

Our final adventure before leaving the state involved a quest for genealogy information for Annette's dad, as well as a chance to explore the back roads of central New Hampshire.


Coe HouseCoe House

As we headed east on Highway 25 toward Rumney, we stopped to photograph The Coe House in Center Harbor. This historic house is now a popular restaurant.




Private Schools

Having grown up in the midwest US where practically everyone goes to public school, it's been interesting to see all the private schools in the east.

For example, we drove past the Holderness School which was founded in 1879. The campus includes beautiful old buildings, majestic trees, and green lawns.




Smith Millennium Covered Bridge

Smith Millennium Covered Bridge

Smith Millennium Covered Bridge is a newly constructed (2001) bridge in West Plymouth. The original bridge burned in 1993, and this replacement was rebuilt at a cost of $3.3 million dollars.


Rumney New Hampshire

Rumney, New Hampshire

Our destination for the day was Rumney Depot. This small village is just south of Rumney and the location of a cemetery containing Annette's ancestors (see the Rumney page). After finding the grave of Annette's great-great-great-great... grandfather William Preston who served in the Revolutionary War, we spent a few minutes photographing Rumney including the library, church, and town square above.

The town is filled with historic homes, bridges, and granite and chain fences (below). Many of the buildings would have been there when William Preston lived in the area. For example, the Stinson House, now a hotel, (below right) was built in 1837.

RumneyStinson Hotel

Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy House

When searching for information about Rumney, New Hampshire in Google, the name Mary Baker Eddy kept appearing. Founder of The Church of Christ, Scientist and the Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy lived in central new Hampshire in the 1800s around the same time as William Preston and his children. I wonder if they knew each other?


After visiting the the Rumney cemetery and town, we made a stop at the Mary Baker Eddy house. The most interesting part of this experience was meeting the house's caretaker who shared many personal and professional interests with us. We only intended to spend a few minutes, then head back to the RV. We ended up spending most of the afternoon talking with him about history, travel and the environment, politics, and mutual reading interests. The photos below were taken during our tour of the house. He shows us the rope bed, china cabinet, and Mary Baker Eddy's writing box and original table.

upstairsliving roomwriting box


Christopher suggested that we take a backroad north from Rumney called Stinson Lake Road for a nice view of a road-side waterfall.

falls near Stinson lakeStinson Lake falls

After exploring the waterfall, we continued down the road. Soon we came to a ridge with great views of the Presidential Mountains to the north.

Presidental Mountains

We stopped for sandwiches at a deli near the Interstate 93, Campton, and then decided to take another backroad home.



Historic Sandwich Notch Road

Annette was looking for a back road home and discovered White Mountain National Forest - Sandwich Notch Road. Read more about this back road in an article titled Driving through Fall Color and Granite State's Past.

Established in 1801, the rural road is a mixture of gravel and dirt. We drove through deep woods and along hill tops.

Apple view on Sanwich NotchSandwich sign


A Great Day

We've been thinking about what makes a really good day and have decided that it involves three things:

  1. Mission - we like to do a little planning. Today, our mission was to find William Preston's grave. A couple days ago it was to drive the Kancamagus Highway. Once we've done a little planning, we like to just let the day happen.
  2. Surprise - it's fun to make a discovery. Today, we met a really interesting person, the caretaker of the Mary Eddy House. We're always on the lookout for something unique or unexpected. On the last trip, Larry really enjoyed photographing a squirrel. Okay... Larry says that it wasn't just "any" squirrel. It was "an eastern chipmunk emerging from a hole in a log".
  3. Beauty - we look for those moments when you say, "this is what life is all about..." These relaxing times are found in the sound of a waterfall, view of the mountains, or glimpse of a hawk flying over the trees. We look for those "Kodak Moments" when the landscape and lighting combine for perfection.

rock wall

farmstead in New Hampshire


Durgin Covered Bridge

Dusk was quickly approaching as we arrived at the Durgin Bridge, New Hampshire #45. Since 1920, four bridges at this location have been built and destroyed. The bridge was named for James Holmes Durgin (1815-73) who was a link on the underground railroad.

Durgin Bridge


Next Time

We really enjoyed our time in New Hampshire. Here are a few things we want to do next time:

  • Spend time in northern New Hampshire and Vermont in late September. Peak leaves for central NH are the week of Columbus Day
  • Fryeburg Fair in Maine (early October)
  • Franconia Falls (6.5 miles)
  • Bear Notch Road (between Highways 302 and 112)
  • Stay at the Goose Hollow Campground

Oak Tree at Rumney Depot Cemetery


Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 10/04.