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History of East Hill Farm: The 1940s and 1950s

What a journey the past 74 years have been!  From the early days of housing only 30 guests, to our current capacity of 140, we have been fortunate to meet and make many lifelong friends that call East Hill Farm their home away from home.  You are truly our extended Farm family! 

The Inn at East Hill Farm will be celebrating our 75th Anniversary during the weekend of February 4-6, 2022.  As with all celebrations, it is more fun to have your friends and loved ones to celebrate with.  Please mark your calendars and consider joining us for this momentous occasion! 

We will be sharing photos, behind the scenes, and fun stories in a series of monthly blog, Instagram, and Facebook posts leading up to the celebration.  While the Inn’s history dates to 1772, we are focusing on what it has been since right after WWII, an agritourism destination. 

The story picks up when Parker returns from war… 

In 1947, after World War II, Parker Whitcomb (son of Jim Whitcomb and nephew to Jennie) returned home to his family farm with a vision and a plan for change.  Aunt Jennie had been taking in boarders and “summer people” since the 1920s.  Parker wanted to expand what his family had been doing to make it a year ‘round vacation spot.   

Parker got engaged… 

And took over the operation of the Inn… 

The Inn at East Hill Farm was given its name and began hosting families in an environment that combined daily life on the farm with the comfort of a vacation at an old New England inn.   

Parker’s wife and four children took an active part in the day-to-day operations from bookkeeping, bread baking, farm chores, and entertaining guests, both young and old alike.  The emphasis was on family vacations, providing activities for all ages.  

A new “pine and print dining room” and a smaller pine paneled dining room, living room with fireplace, screened in porch, and several guest rooms rounded out the Main Inn. 

Summer activities included swim lessons at the outdoor pool and trips to the public beach at Silver Lake.  Nearby, guests could visit riding schools, golf courses, square dances, the summer theater in Peterborough, local auctions, and more.   

Winter brought the use of the Inn’s private rope tow.  It brought skiers to the top of the hill behind the barn for downhill ski and sledding adventures. 

In the mid 1950s one of the first indoor pools in New Hampshire was installed under the Main Inn building, certainly a major added attraction in the winter. 

Guests were encouraged to gather their own chicken eggs, pick vegetables they would eat at meals, visit all the farm animals, and help feed the young calves.   

The Recreation Hall, located next to the barn, was used for card playing and other entertainment.   

Parker’s vision for the Inn as a “relaxing vacation in beautiful country, ‘away from it all’ but also offering varied recreation and entertainment when not in the relaxing mood” had begun.  The Inn was now open all four seasons, providing activities for all ages and interests. 

Map of the Inn grounds from the 1950’s

Visit us next month when we tell you about the functioning sugar house that was on the Inn property.  We will share a story written by Grandpa Jim, “Maple Sugaring in the Old Days”

Post submitted by Holly LeClair


  1. Jan Merritt on March 24, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Absolutely love it! Happy t see those old pictures put to good use and new ones as well . Looking forward to the next installment. Earl ad I surly hope for one more visit ,maybe this year. After all, at ninety one we better just do it! Be well have a great year!
    From Jan and Earl

    • Jennifer on March 25, 2021 at 9:16 am

      Jan- We can’t thank you enough for all the history and pictures of EHF you have shared with us over the years. We always love to hear your stories and memories of growing up on the farm. I hope you and Earl can make the trip to visit us this year. We would love to see you both.

  2. You are making cry.

    • Jennifer on March 25, 2021 at 9:17 am

      Happy tears I hope.

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