LIFE (in a small town).

Ahhhh, the good old days of winter when warmth radiated from every nook, every window, every cranny, everybody!

Lyme, NH. Relax, adventurously!

Maybe you remember LIFE as a magazine of the good old days when you could leaf through its pages and relax knowing you lived in an America that was just fine, and where people appreciated other people as though they were family.  Remember when?

Back in the day when ice skating made us all so happy!

Maybe you remember Life in a much earlier era, or your youth no matter how far back that may be?  That was when life's pace slowed just enough so you could walk around the town common and feel like you were in the most beautiful spot in the world.  Trees overhanging with a canopy of winter limbs that enchanted you as chickadees, sparrows and blue jays flocked to the crumbs you put out for them while seated on a weathered bench.

The joy of a wild bird fed from your gloved hand.

Maybe you remember life as a hectic, fast-paced cityscape from which you moved away a few years back to enjoy a less harried world like the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire or Vermont.  Where after a fashion, you begin to know the faces you see no matter which town you visit in this lovely area.

Driving by the Lyme horse sheds, you'd know these folks by first name on the big wedding day as church bells peal across the town.  Memories for a lifetime are made right here in Lyme.

Maybe, just maybe, you might be ready for a visit to Lyme, NH, just 10 miles north of Hanover, NH on Route 10, just south of Orford, along the banks of the mighty Connecticut River, and just next to Thetford, VT via a quick downhill from VT's Interstate 89 and over a slice of a bridge arching majestically above a stretch of gleaming river ice that sits beneath it this winter day.

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Why Lyme?  What does this writer know that you may not?  Well, for one, I live here.   And for another, it's become an increasingly special place to step away from the world at large and take a breath.  Visit Lyme and breathe out.  You'll feel better when you're here.

Let's take a quick trip around the Lyme Town Common, the locus and focal point for many Town activities.  Today, in early January, the likes of Norman Rockwell or Currier & Ives might never have imagined a more special place.  A skating area on the Common sits just across the street from the Lyme Country Store where generations of "Lymies" have been meeting and greeting one another for decades.  Owned by the Pippin family, the warmth this place radiates on a cold winter day is unrivaled.  They also have milk crates full of ice skates you can borrow for a skate on the Common just a few feet across the street from the store's front door.  Coffee?  Check.  Hot cocoa?  Check.  And most anything else you may need to stave off hunger and stay warm?  Check.

Lyme Country Store. Waiting for your arrival with open doors and friendly smiles 365 days a year!

Walk one minute East and you'll find the longest contiguous structure of freestanding horse sheds in the nation (or so we're told).  

A slice of New England's history sits right here in Lyme, NH. Just across from the Lyme Congregational Church building where horse-drawn carriages had their own parking spaces back in the day.  The row of twenty-seven sheds standing today is the longest line of contiguous horse sheds in New England, and possibly in the United States.

Then walk just a few hundred feet South and you'll find Lyme's crown jewel of an inn, The Lyme Inn.  Here, you'll be amazed at the stunning exterior and interior.  Rooms have been renovated to 5-star standards, wooden beams radiate the feel of an earlier era, while fiber and art exudes a relaxing feel throughout.  It's tavern and bar are lively spaces for short or long stays, and its dining rooms are replete with atmosphere and finesse that complements each meal served.  Even if you're just passing through, have a look, and ask for a tour of The Dartmouth Suite.  It's stunning, as are all the overnight rooms.  Stay for dinner, or a relaxing drink at the bar, and you'll get to know what old world service is all about.  

The Lyme Inn. In a word, "majestic." A multi-million dollar renovation has brought this old-world inn up to current 5-star standards for travelers who love exciting new places!


Then meander back to the northern side of the Common across a snowy path maintained by the skating area volunteers and you'll see the Latham House Tavern and its adjoining sister-structure, The Dowds' Country Inn and Event Center.  Here', you'll find food in a British pub style, with beverages to match.  Nineteen beers on tap at any one time, rotating frequently.  I love the chicken pot pie and the fish tacos.  Their wings are also wonderful, as are their fritters (if you get lucky and they're on the special menu).  Open for lunch and dinner, Latham House is a fine place for great fare and a lovely gathering spot.  The Dowds' Inn, by extension, is the heartbeat by with all New England Inns can be measured, with the warmth and friendliness of the staff making visitors wonder what they hadn't booked a longer stay!  

Latham House Tavern. A gleaning tribute to life in a small town. Come and be served.                                  The fare is exemplary!

Another few strides to the West and you'll find Stella's Italian Kitchen & Market waiting for you with open arms much like an Italian grandmother might display, her smile and embrace a sure sign of vibrancy and life.  Stella's is alive with great Italian meals any day of night of the week.  Their sandwiches and pizza are also "at the ready" should you choose to do dome take-out fare that's equally as good should you decide to eat in the lovely dining room or at the beautifully worked and finished wooden bar.  A gallery of ever-changing art also graces the dining area, for an atmosphere and experience that will delight your palate and your senses.

Stella's. Is your mouth watering yet? Come. Eat. Enjoy!

Yet 20 or so more strides to the West brings you to Long River Gallery & Gifts, a gem of a place that showcases local artists and artisans, and the fine art and craft they produce in the region.  If you think this is just another gallery, think again.  There are over 190 locally (and world-class) artists and artisans whose work shows here each day.  Many of this work is shown outside the region, the state, and the country in some cases.  Artists and artisans choose to live in the Upper Valley region for the lifestyle it affords them to pursue their artistic passions with abandon and a heightened sense of the nature that imbues much of it. There is no place better to see art that this small gallery that's been ongoing for 25 years.  Well, almost.  It does now have a sister gallery in White River Junction, VT with some of the game, and many new artists, also from the region.  The great Upper Valley/Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee region is where world-class art makes life worth living.  

Framed sewing by Shari Boraz of Hanover, NH. Extraordinary. World class. Amazing and powerful.

Torn paper collage by Barbara Newton of Lyme, NH. Lamp and hand-painted shade by Ken Blaisdell of White River Junction, VT. You can beautify your home and your life with a visit to Long River Gallery in Lyme, NH or White River Junction, VT.

Want to get married in a uniquely special place?  Try the Dowds' Country Inn, or The Lyme Inn.  They'll work with you to make your special day as memorable as a Norman Rockwell scene, or a Currier and Ives print.  The only exception is that it will be three-dimensional and visibly vibrant on the day you choose, then forever thereafter it will live on in your memories.  And Lyme's a place you can come back to at any time of year to re-experience your most memorable moments and discover new ones.  Dreams, large and small, are made here in little Lyme, NH.  It's a town that grows in the hearts and minds of everyone fortunate enough to touch it, if even albeit briefly.

Dowds'.  Charming and friendly any season of the year.  Extraordinary weddings happen here, as well as at The Lyme Inn.  Book your space now before everyone else flocks to Lyme!

On January 26th, Lyme town volunteers will host the Lyme Winter Skating Olympics for all Lyme families with children.  Hours are from 10 AM to 4 PM.  The Lyme Inn, the Lyme Country Store, and the Latham House Tavern will offer Lyme Winter Olympics Specials with breakfast specials at The Lyme Inn, lunch and dinner specials at Latham House Tavern, and all day long hot dog and hot cocoa specials at The Lyme Country Store.  Visitors are always welcome.  Come for a day of fun and fine food.  Once you get a taste of life in Lyme you'll be back for more in no time!

Lyme celebrates the birthday of a 2nd grader with others from the Lyme School 2nd grade class. Photo of January 7, 2017. The ice is soon nice. It'll make you feel like a kid again. Come join our skating fun in the center of town, within an easy walk of restaurants, a fine art gallery, the country store, snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, and lots more!  Is this for real?  Pinch me!  Yes, it truly is...

If you're passing through on your way to or from the Dartmouth Skiway, located on a lovely set of slopes just a few miles east of the Lyme Town Common, stop in at any of our wonderful eateries, the Lyme Country Store, or Long River Gallery & Gifts for a set of experiences that will make you feel like life, once again, is on your side, well worth living, and more than just another day.  You'll find thrilling and adventurous ways to relax, slow down, enjoy the beautiful landscape and townspeople, then breathe in some crisp northern New England winter air and feel really, really good again.

Lyme. So very fine a place for weddings and memory-making, conferences and celebrations, adventures, graduations, and whenever you need to slow down and need a relaxing vacation.

Ahhhh, just maybe your time.  For more information, contact the writer...his information is below.


Don't ever miss another post. Click here to sign up for an email alert each time Dave Celone publishes a new piece on the And do Click here to see his previous post about Windsor, VT and "Windsor Station.  A Charming Evening Out."  It's another great place to try out when you're out and about.

Dave Celone is not this exceptionally beautiful hand-woven wall hanging of hand-dyed wool by Doug Masury of Henniker, NH. Though he'd love to see this piece hanging in a museum given its quality and vibrant sense of motion, texture, and color.  This and other large-scale weavings by Doug may be viewed at Long River Gallery's White River Junction, VT space at 49 South Main Street.

Instead, Dave's a writer who likes to share information about his life in the Upper Valley on a host of topics ranging from food and beverage to art and craft. Dave is a freelance writer, poet, visual artist, art gallery curator, and consultant for the education industry. He co-manages Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH and its new gallery space in White River Junction VT with his wife Lisa where over 175 local artists and artisans show their work. The new gallery is at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction between The Junction Frame Shop and The Hotel Coolidge. Dave is also principal of Advancement Consulting Services offering higher education institutions and private secondary schools global best practices and unique ways to increase alumni giving and involvement through programs that develop relationships and value holistically. His "virtuous circle" model on developing fundraising programs, and his strategic program development centered around "treating students like alumnae/i and alumnae/i like students" have gained favor among development industry professionals and higher education leadership on multiple continents. Dave is former director of development at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and former co-executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. He may be reached via email at: Please feel free to add your comments below. Dave will respond.



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