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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Beautiful House, Garden, Day and Friends - The Fells

On Saturday afternoon, some of the Great Escapers took a field trip to The Fells, summer home of John Hay, private secretary to Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s, and who finished his career as Secretary of State to Theodore Roosevelt.  In between he wrote poetry, a biography of Lincoln and served as a diplomat.  To escape the pressures of Washington, he spent summers at this beautiful house overlooking Lake Sunapee.  This picture was taken on the terrace where cocktails were served every summer afternoon.   See the lovely hydrangeas? 

Click to enlarge and see the Monarch Butterfly
What a wonderful time we had!  We saw a lovely rock garden, an amazing fountain and a maple tree planted by TR himself (it's massive!)
Rock Garden
The Fountain's source was an actual brook running through the property!
Maple Tree Planted by Teddy Roosevelt in 1905

The chatelaine of the gardens, Alice Hay, did not like yellow flowers so blues, purples and pinks prevail - so lovely.  The gardens are terraced, and there is still a view over Lake Sunapee to Mount Kearsarge from the end of the terrace.

Down the garden path
The land and house were donated to the Fish and Wildlife commission which didn't want to maintain the house, so a devoted band of locals has acquired it and is restoring it to its former beauty.  Well worth a visit if you are in the Sunapee area.  In early November, the house will be decorated for Christmas and you can visit - this only happens every other year.  Check their website for details.

Thanks to Jen and Laura for use of their photos!

If you have suggestions for field trips for next year's Great Escape, let us know!

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