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Relics of the Upper Valley to Explore

May 10, 2017 05:33PM ● By Victoria Pipas
You may not think of the Upper Valley as harboring relics or ruins, or at least not any that weren’t destroyed by early colonists in conflicts with indigenous Americans in the early 17th century.

Indeed, few of the remaining structures in New England are comparable in age to many of the churches and other structures of Europe or Asia, for instance. Yet the Upper Valley does have its historic gems, many of which you might pass in your daily life and not think twice about. Read on to begin your treasure hunt through the Upper Valley’s historic past.

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Location54 Elm St, Woodstock, VT 05091

Begin at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. There, in the mid 20th century, Laurance Rockefeller built a nuclear fallout shelter—and a stylish one at that. The underground shelter, built in 1965, still displays the provisions and supplies with which it was last stocked. 

To step into it is to step back in time; it’s a museum and a historical spot. The main attraction on the site is the George Perkins Marsh Boyhood Home, a National Historic site dating from 1805. Its architecture maintains the Queen Anne style of its 1885 renovations, and it too is a kind of time capsule. Its interior decorations have remained the same since 1984, down to the wallpaper. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967 and honored in a special ceremony by Lady Bird Johnson, and the building can be toured today at specified times.

You can also walk around the gardens, grounds, and trails for free at your leisure and enjoy the miles of trails in the woods on the property. 

Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College

Location: 2 E Wheelock St, Hanover, NH 03755

The Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College is a fully functioning historical establishment, with a history older than the nation. It was the home of General Ebenezer Brewster, steward of Dartmouth College beginning in 1769, and was converted by him into a tavern in 1780. Brewster’s son had the building moved to a different site in 1813 when it was enlarged to become the Dartmouth Hotel.

In 1901, the college, which at that point owned the hotel, completed an extensive remodeling project, and the name of the establishment was restored to the Hanover Inn. Most recently, the inn has experienced an intense modernization, bringing it up to par with hotels in more metropolitan areas. It still maintains the flavors of New England and old Ivy League traditions but now with a sleek new look. For instance, a long table made of a single, polished granite slab now graces the lobby. Sleek leather chairs surround the electric fireplace, offering the same function as the old sitting room with a new, updated form.

Visit the inn for a weekend stay, or if you fancy a day trip, enjoy lunch at PINE, whose menu retains its traditional New England fare but now with more internationally influenced options. The Hanover Inn offers a timeless melding of new and old. 


Soldiers Memorial Building 

Location: 31 N Park St, Lebanon, NH 03766

The Soldiers Memorial Building is a stately presence along the square in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Also built in the vernacular Queen Anne style, it was constructed between 1886 and 1890. The builders were Civil War veterans who built it as a monument to their fallen comrades. 

The building was first used as a free public library, but after the library moved across the street, it was converted into a war museum. Inside, you will find a consecrated memorial chapel adorned with marble tablets inscribed with the names of residents of Lebanon who died in the Civil War. 

Be sure to visit the Soldiers Memorial Building on national holidays, especially Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day, when special events are held welcoming the public and offering information.  

What is the most memorable landmark you and your family have visited in the Upper Valley? Tell us in the comments below! 

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The Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College - Hanover NH

The Hanover Inn at Dartmouth College

Overlooking the scenic Dartmouth College green in Hanover, New Hampshire, the Hanover Inn Dartmouth invites visitors to a historic boutique hotel experience in the Upper Valley. Discover ... Read More » 

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