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Thanksgiving in the Lakes Region: Gather Round the dining table and the billiard table

Thanksgiving in the New Hampshire Lakes Region: There's no place like home for the holidays. CNN tells us that 36 million of us will travel 50 or more miles from home during next week's Thanksgiving holiday. Family members drive from all over the country to return home to the Lakes Region. If you lived here, you'd be here by now... Of course the center piece of the holiday is dinner (and football, for some). From baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows to organic free-range turkeys, from parades to wish-bone wishes, traditions and tastes run the gamut. But the gathering place remains pretty consistent in the Lakes Region: the dining room is where the main event is staged. Here are two of my favorite dining rooms among my property listings:

  This Moultonborough dining room is the most heavily trafficked room in the quintessential lake house...the ideal location for Thanksgiving dinner. The house has westerly views which include the Loon Sanctuary.    This Wolfeboro dining room is lovely, and a bit more formal than  the Moultonborough dining room. The home is another terrific lake house. This time on South Wolfeboro Bay, with excellent southern exposure and gorgeous views.

For those of us who love to cook, the fun is preparing the Thanksgiving meal and the worry of hosting friends and family starts after dinner: what to do with a house full of guests in potentially inclement weather. This is where billiards comes into play. Billiards finds its origins in croquet; croquet finds its origins in the games Attila the Hun played with the severed heads of his conquered enemies. In light of the family-oriented character of Thanksgiving and the sometimes delicate nature of family reunions, lets stick with billiards. The dining rooms listed above come with wonderful billiard rooms, hence their presence in this post. Here are the billiard rooms:

   This billiard room is part of the Moutonbourough lake house listed above.  






In Wolfeboro New Hampshire Fences Make Good Neighbors: then and now

The stone wall surrounding this historic Wolfeboro cape on Warren Sands Road may have preceded the 1780 construction of this wonderful home.

In 1780 when this incredible Wolfeboro cape was built, the stone walls surrounding the property served three important roles: keeping the livestock in (and some out); defining property borders; storing the stone harvested from the fields to facilitate the working of the land (why carry a stone any further than you have to?). When Europeans first settled New Hampshire, it was mostly forested, but between mid 1800s and early 1900s the Granite State was nearly clear-cut. Agriculture, wood products, and wood heat ate up acres of timber. The original wide-pine floors and exposed beams in the Warren Sands Road cape shown here are a testament to those forests. Stone became the natural fencing material alternative...and then it became Robert Frost's favorite neighbor. The stone wall Frost refers to in his poem Mending Wall is on the property of his home in Derry, New Hampshire. Similar stone walls can be found all over New Hampshire. Deposited by glaciers and heaved up from the subsoil by centuries of winter frosts, the stones that made up these walls were easy to come by. As most early homes in New Hampshire involved some kind of agricultural activity and many fields had to be cleared, the prevalence of stone walls in this part of the country is not surprising. "That ancient rock was made of minerals that were made from elements that were made from universal mater, that was captured by our solar system during formation of planet Earth. Hence, the story of stone walls begins with the beginning of everything, and ends with the present moment." (from The Stone Wall Initiative) Elements of the Warren Sands cape will connect you with a slightly more recent past: built-in corner cabinets, wainscoting, spiral stairs, two original fireplaces, a three-carriage barn, and 47 acres of fields and woodlands. When the house was built, it was just off a major road connecting Wolfeboro to the seacoast area. The road was abandoned a number of years ago, although Google maps still show it as passable. Legend has it that Carol's great, great, great grandmother was an Abenaki Indian who married a white man named Warren, descended from Gen. Warren of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Late fall is an excellent time to view antique homes in the Lakes Region, especially those with stone walls, as there are no leaves to impair the views. For more on the stone walls of New Hampshire, check out the sources listed below, or contact me and we'll look at them together. The Pictorial History of New England's Stone Walls The Granite Kiss Stone By Stone Mending Wall image credit: Wikipedia

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