History of East Hill Farm: The 1960s
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.
Our story last ended in the 1950s with the expansion of the Inn as a four-season resort…
During the 1960s, East Hill Farm expanded to hold about 40 guests. As the barn transitioned away from dairy production, horses and pigs were added. Calves, lambs, and chickens continued to be boarded during the summer months.
As a general rule, during school vacation weeks and throughout July and August, guests brought children on vacation with them, birthing the slogan, “Where Kids are King.’”
It was during this time the Inn hired its first recreation staff person who organized and supervised activities between serving meals to guests. Recreation events included: story time, trips to the track to watch harness races, hikes up Gap Mountain and Mount Monadnock,
square dancing with Frank Prettie,
and cocktail parties on the lawn.
On Wednesday evenings, after the cocktail party, the children would pile into the back of a pickup truck for a hay ride to Silver Ranch for ice cream. Later in the evening, the adults took their hay ride to Fitzwilliam Inn where they sipped cocktails and played parlor games well into the night.
It was in this decade that Parker purchased the Inn’s current property on Silver Lake in Harrisville. Guests drove over, caravan-style, for a day of water fun including boat rides, jumping off the raft
and a cookout.
The old barn burned down, and a new barn – today’s current cow barn – was built along with the ice-skating rink and the Annex.
Guests helped the farmers with haying, which happened on the property until the mid-1960s. The Recreation Hall was renovated from a recreation room to a dormitory (The Dorm) and provided housing for non-local staff members. Occasionally, guests who vacationed at the Inn as children, would transition in their teenage years to working at the Inn during the summer.
There is a similar story behind the way Dave Adams, met his future wife, Sally Shattler. Here in Farmer Dave’s words is the story of their meeting:
“The year was 1961, I had just finished my tour of duty with the U.S. Army. I spent most of that summer and fall working in a warehouse in Boston. I returned to Troy to attend Keene State College. I was working second shift at Troy Mills and took a dishwashing job at East Hill Farm on the weekends.
In the spring of 1962, two college co-eds arrived at the Farm seeking summer employment. This one chick caught my attention; I was able to fool her into thinking that I was a nice guy. Sally was attending Plymouth State at the time. We were engaged on Thanksgiving and got married during semester break in 1963. We both worked at the Inn part or full time except for the year we spent in Louisiana while I attended LSU in 1968. When I returned, I taught math at Monadnock Regional High School while Sally stayed at home with our three children. We spent weekends and summers at the Inn working all aspects of the operation.” And the rest is Adam’s family history…
Next month, we travel back to the 1970s. Groovy, can you dig it?
Post submitted by Holly LeClair
Thanks for the great emails. We look forward to bringing our grandchildren there soon.
We are happy you are enjoying the blogs and emails! We look forward to seeing you and your grandchildren soon.
I just stumbled across this wonderful article. I used to visit the Inn when I was a kid in the late 1960’s. My dad, Arthur Rice, and my Aunt and Uncle, Allen and Margaret Eastman, were related to Jim Whitcomb; I remember calling him Uncle Jim. He took me on hikes up Mt. Manadnock, and we had huge corn roasts at the end of Summer. I also remember skiing and the rope tow. So glad I found this site; I will keep in touch, and check for new publications regularly. Thank you for creating this!
I am so happy you found East Hill Farm again after so many years. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. It is so nice to hear from guests, past, present and future!
Ahhhhhhh, now that’s what I’m talking about! See you in February with some pictures from back in the day!!!!
Ooohhh! Can’t wait to see the pictures you come up with!
I love 💕 this! I am so fortunate to have been a small part of your history and to enjoy so many weeks with you! You are a beautiful family with wonderful values and this reflects upon your success and your guest services. You make this a fabulous place to stay, relax, mingle and enjoy such a wide variety of entertainment and activities! You truly are the best and I remain, forever grateful, for being a guest of yours yearly. Love, Christine Findlay and family! 💕🌸🐔🦋🦉🐝🐰🐑🐖🐎🐓🐾🌲🍀🌳🌲🌺🌸🌼🌻🌹🌼🌻⭐️💥✨🍓🥑🥝🍒🍉🥗🍔🍕🍖🍗🌮🍜🧁🍰🍮🍨🍦🍷🍾🥂🍻🥃☕️🍹🍴🍽🧉🍸🧂🏐🏸🏓🧘♂️🏊♀️🚣🏼🏆🎨🎼🧩🧺🎀🛍🎀🎉💌📚💛
Thank you so much! See you and your family soon.
Wonderful to see this .Such fun to see old pictures-even ones with Parker that I had never seen! Oh the smiles and fun times my brother did have and make. Talking with daughters about how we could manage a trip up Hopeful! Have a wonderful summer Maybe n m ore need for masks? Hope so!
Thanks for reading. Glad you liked the pictures. Hope to see you soon!
Love the blog and the history, such a wonderful story, can’t wait for the next one ! I hope it includes some history on your exquisite culinary talents and your warm, welcoming Christmas gatherings!
Good idea, maybe we will write a blog about EHF food traditions and gatherings. Thanks for the suggestion.
So many memories working at the Inn. The 70’s was the best.
East Hill Farm has been a great place to work throughout the years. Stay tuned for stories from the 70s in upcoming blog posts!
My dad, now 90, is the one cooking on the grill. He also built the little sailboats. He and my mom worked there weekends and summers from 56-60.
That is so cool! I love how so many people have stayed connected to East Hill Farm as both employees and guests over the years. Say hello to your dad from all of us at East Hill Farm.
In 1956, my first year at East Hill Farm, I worked milking the cows, haying, giving swim lessons and, cleaning the cabins. Haying was a hot job, male guests at the time, would come to the milk house to get cans of keg beer that we kept in there for after haying. It was a fun place to work. Parker was a great boss during all our years with him. My wife, Betsy, worked in the kitchen with Parker’s wife and waited table. He provided a place to for us to live in the summer and a baby sitter for our two young children, It was always interesting to be at East Hill Farm and be a part of its growth from just summer family cabins to a year round get away with sugar on snow, sap boiling, a rope tow powered by the tractor, and other winter activities for guests!
This is an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful memories.
Such fun reading all this East Hill Farm history!. And, especially the message from Cookie Woodward….I was the babysitter for his daughter Annie during my first summer working at East Hill Farm, and I worked there several seasons: as a pot-washer, chamber gal manning the “sheet shack”, then as waitress until the summer before my senior year at UNH. Great memories of all the activities planned for guests and of the many families that returned as guests several summers.! My first summer there my bed was in the corner of the laundry room at the Whitcomb home; other summers I lived upstairs over the Rec barn with other waitresses. And the weekly trips to the lake with the guests and the water skiing and cook-out, etc. there was always a big day, as was the climb up Mt. Monadnock.
I would really appreciate having Cookie’s contact information, if that can be shared.
Sue Gordon Johansen
Thanks for sharing your memories of working at EHF! Many things have changed over the years, and the sheet shack has been replaced with a large laundry room, but the overall feeling of EHF remains the same. A wonderful place to vacation with your family and an even better place to work.
My Name is John Daniello my Family used to come to the inn I guess was the late 60 – through the 70s there were 5 children and my Mom And Dad I remember helping Parker and Dave doing anything to help around the inn myself and my sisters would always look forward to our vacations there . This year my family had a Terrible loss this year our Mom Passed away and cleaning out the house we found all of the old Pictures that my Dad had taken when we were there on Vacation and they brought back all the old Memories from the good old days Sisters and I would just like to thank you for all the good times we had at the Inn
Thank you again
I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. My condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your fond memories of vacations at East Hill Farm. Maybe you will be able to visit us again in the future.