This entry is brought to you by John Hayes, who advises and assists distinctive real estate homeowners and buyers of land, estates and farms in Concord, New Hampshire and surrounding areas.
We are often asked, “What are the really special places where we should look for a home?”
One such special place is Walpole, New Hampshire. It is a classic, carefully preserved small New England town with beautifully restored antique homes, surrounded by green fields along the banks of the Connecticut River. It has been a retreat for writers and artists for centuries, and has a wonderful, elegant feel.
The majestic Connecticut River defines the character of river valley towns as it flows south from its headwaters in the Fourth Connecticut Lake in northern New Hampshire with a terminus in Long Island Sound, passing between Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, Connecticut. It is the largest river in New England with a length of 407 miles and runs through Connecticut and Massachusetts, and forms the border between Vermont and New Hampshire. Along this border are abundant farmlands blessed with deep, rich river bottom land and quintessential New England villages and small towns such as Hanover, NH (home of Dartmouth College), Windsor, VT, Orford, NH , Bellows Falls, VT, Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT . None, however, are more historic, charming or as well-preserved as Walpole, NH.
Walpole was first granted in 1736 as one of four fort towns strategically located along the Connecticut River to provide protection to the first settlers; The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH is a re-creation of one of these forts and is open to the public during warm weather. Walpole was incorporated in 1756 and was named in 1761 in honor of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. The first bridge across the Connecticut River, connecting Vermont and New Hampshire, was built in Walpole in 1785 and was regarded as the outstanding engineering feat of its day, as well as one of the most famous spans in colonial America.
The town features many architecturally significant homes, including several associated with Colonel Bellows (of Revolutionary War fame) and members of his family. Master builder Aaron Prentiss Howland built Walpole Academy, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – as are many of the beautiful homes in the village. Two of the loveliest homes in Walpole Village are now for sale: the Buffum House and the Porter House.
The Buffum House was built in 1786 by Ebenezer Crehore, on land once owned by Benjamin Bellows. The original Colonial hip roof style was converted to its current Greek Revival appearance in the 1840s. The home was further renovated by the current owners, who have combined a wonderful sense of style with the utmost respect for traditional New England architecture. This classic village Colonial is offered for sale at $850,000.
The Porter House, which was built in 1791, has the dignified air of the village physician’s house that it once was. While the adults in the family will appreciate this thoughtfully renovated home, the entire family will appreciate that it is just steps from Burdick’s Restaurant and Chocolate Shoppe, which just might be the best chocolate on the planet. The Porter House is currently listed for sale at $599,000.
The natural beauty of Walpole Village, combined with the lovely vintage character of the area, has long attracted home buyers seeking a quiet retreat with the intimacy of village life. As these special restored Colonials are not often offered for sale they tend to be snapped up quickly, especially at their current listed prices, offering great real estate values in a lovely setting.