Beautiful Upper Valley homes and gardens--always a treat to sneak a peek, and even more fun with a little history to enliven the experience. The 9th Annual House and Garden tour sponsored by the Norwich Historical Society (June 23, 3:00 to 7:00 pm) offers a different twist from past years. All 6 homes featured on the tour are centrally located on Norwich's Main Street, allowing more time for viewing and lessening the previously-required driving time to and from the various sites. Come on your own, or bring family and friends.
"A Stroll Down Norwich's Historic Main Street" includes the town's oldest residence (1773), two stately Federals (1821, 1825), two Greek Revival capes (1808, 1840) and one Victorian (1907); the gardens and sanctuary of St. Barnabas Church will also welcome visitors.
The Historical Society emphasizes that while the homes' interiors have seen changes and updates, the exteriors have altered little and have maintained important architectural features. On June 13, Dartmouth architectural historian Marlene Heck will present "Why Old Houses Matter: What Architecture Can Tell Us About Norwich's Past" (7:00 pm at the Historical Society) to give some context to the June 23 tour.
The Hatch fireplace
Odanaksis, a well-known Upper Valley cohort of en plein air painters, will be setting up their easels at the tour homes and bringing their completed works to a reception at the Historical Society from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. If touring homes and gardens makes you hungry, the Norwich Inn and Carpenter and Main Restaurant will be offering dinner discounts to tour-goers. Both restaurants are located on Main Street and are themselves located in historic buildings.
Tickets ($25, or $20 for NHS members, kids under 12 free if accompanied by adult ticket holder) are available at the Norwich Historical Society, 227 Main Street, on June 23, and may be purchased in advance there or online at http://www.norwichhistory.org.
(Featured photo, top, is artist Susan VanNatta of Odanaksis. All photos courtesy of the Norwich Historical Society, used with permission.)
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