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History of East Hill Farm: The 2010s and 2020s

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.

During the 2010s, the Inn continued to expand its barn programs. East Hill Farm School was launched, hosting the Atrium School as its first curriculum-based program. Farm School is filled with farm related activities designed to promote mindfulness, responsibility, cooperation, and problem solving.

Students work along with the farmers, mucking the stalls and paddocks, and cleaning the barns. They work with animals, learning anatomy, grooming, feeding requirements. There are several workshops offered that round out the program, including pond ecology, mycology and cheese making.

NH Chronicle returned to East Hill Farm in 2017 sharing the Farm School message with their viewers.

NH Chronicle Anchors; Sean McDonald and Erin Fehlau
Filming of the NH Chronicle Story

The equestrian program added the Horse Trials, in which riders participated in selected tasks on horseback. For example; retrieving items from a mail box, racing around cones, and completing an obstacle course with a teammate.

The recreation schedule grew to include several new late-night activities for teens and adults, including trivia and a murder mystery game. A triathlon was added for active guests, followed by a different summer challenge each year. Farmer Dave took summer guests on a stroll around the grounds to share some of the Inn and Farm history and answer guest questions. Toddler time was introduced to engage the youngest of Farm guests and BINGO, dodgeball, ice fishing, sledding, and contra dancing remained popular activities.

During the off-season, line dance, ballroom dance, and retreat midweek and weekends were added to the long-standing square dance weekends.

Knitting and Spinning Retreat
The dining room set up for a quilting retreat.

A few themed family weekends were developed as well, such as the Sled Dog Weekend,

Harvest Fest Weekend, featuring the Annual Pumpkin Roll and other fun fall activities,

and Cooking with Kids Weekend.

The Inn also hosted conferences, bar and bat mitzvahs, and weddings, establishing itself as a destination location for a variety of events.

Meeting space in the small dining room.
Bar Mitzvah at East Hill Farm

Our “Adult Mid-Week Getaways” were rebranded with a new name, Grown Up Farm Camp”. Leave the kids at home, these midweek stays are just for the grown-ups! Guests can enjoy a five-night stay in April and October filled with fun and interesting classes, demonstrations, off-site trips, and more! Classic EHF activities are also on the schedule like BINGO, cornhole, and arts-n-crafts. If you loved the Farm with the kids, you’ll really love the Farm without them!

If you have spent time in the horse barn, or have ridden with Perri, you might be familiar with her horse, Sophie. She was bred with Checkmark, a borrowed stud, and gave birth to Izzie in November of 2017. Fun fact, Izzie is half-siblings with Joie.

Checkmark, the stud.

Another notable birth at the Farm in this decade was Piper. She was born in April of 2019. She is the daughter of Penelope (and a borrowed stud named Tarzan). You might remember that Penelope was born here on the Farm in 2005. Piper and Penelope live together on the farm and will greet you with a rowdy, “hee’haw”. 

Piper and Penelope
Piper meets Benny.

As we flipped the calendar to 2020, there was so much excitement for the new decade!

Happy New Year!

However, Covid-19 had other plans for the world and the Inn closed to guests from mid-March through mid-June. It is the first time since the Adams family has owned and operated the Inn that we had to close our doors. With a skeleton crew we kept the office open, took care of our animals, maintained the grounds and buildings, and offered take away meals and baked goods for local folks.

While we couldn’t gather with our guests, we missed them, so we launched “East Hill Farm at Home”. We put together East Hill Farm fun for families to enjoy remotely. On our website families could find links for Farm crafts, recipes, activities, and pictures and information about our farm animals. It was a way to give our guests a taste of the Farm while being isolated at home.

We carefully and slowly opened mid-June 2020, to about 30 guests. We spent hours researching Covid guidelines, buying disinfecting and PPE products and worrying. The summer ended with about 1/2 -3/4 occupancy. We were fortunate to have loyal long-time guests that were willing and able to visit us.

In the fall of 2020, we introduced “The Farm Box”. The Farm Box was a little taste of East Hill Farm delivered right to your door (or the door of someone you wanted to gift it to). It was full of classic EHF treats and treasures from the giftshop, crafts, recipes, and more! The Fall Farm Box was a huge success, and it was followed by Winter and Spring Boxes.

Summer 2021 saw an increase in guests, and a continuation of the safety protocols that have made East Hill Farm a safe home away from home you are all looking for.

With the upcoming celebration marking the 75th year of the Inn’s operation, we would be remiss not to acknowledge that our success and our drive to keep going stems from our guests. We have been able to continue the Whitcomb family’s vision of providing a year-round vacation resort for families because of you. Our family is incredibly grateful and humbled by your unwavering support and love all these years. We look forward to the future and all that it has to offer and hope to continue our mission to serve families from all over the country for generations to come.

We can’t wait to celebrate with you on our 75th Anniversary Weekend and throughout the entire year!

A special thank you to Holly for compiling these wonderful blogs to help us celebrate this milestone with all of you!

4 Comments

  1. Linda on January 31, 2022 at 10:53 am

    East Hill Fram is a great place to visit and stay a few days. Love the line/partner dance workshops, there are great. The employees are so very pleasant and understanding and they work with people and families that are unable to eat certain foods. East Hill Farm is a great place just to visit if you can’t spend more than a few days. Love East Hill Farm. Great people and guest. Hopefully I will be able to join the workshop in March. Love you all at East Hill Farm. See you soon.

    • Jennifer on January 31, 2022 at 10:59 am

      We hope to see you soon at a country line dance weekend! Those weekends are always a lot of fun!

      • Laurie Clark on January 31, 2022 at 1:43 pm

        So many great times and memories! I love the farm!

        • Jennifer on January 31, 2022 at 1:49 pm

          Thanks so much! We hope you visit again.

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