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The Haunting of Hibbard House

Breakfast room at Hibbard House, Bath, NH /
We came, we stayed, we’re coming back. Congressman Harry Hibbard turned down a seat on the US Supreme Court to live here. Some say he still walks the halls of his Federalist mansion. His friend President Franklin Pierce visited, back when Bath, NH was in its hey-day. Today it is far off the beaten path, which is exactly what we like best.




Exploring Historic Bath, NH

"You’ll love the place," Tim told us. "It’s haunted."

That’s pretty much all we knew about the Hibbard House when we packed the dog into the car and headed toward Franconia Notch for the weekend. A few Xeroxed pages from Tim’s web site told us more. The Federal style house has six bedrooms, five baths, dining room, parlor, breakfast room, library, backyard porch, a good-sized kitchen, a big barn and garden. The place used to be a gay bed and breakfast. Then it was a straight bed and breakfast. Then it was an Italian restaurant. Today the owner, Susie Harvey, just rents it to friends. Tim Dubuque, my former webmaster, is one of Susie’s friends.

"Almost everyone who stays there has some strange story," Tim said. "Bizarre things go on there. My wife and I heard knocking inside a bureau drawer. Somebody smelled cigar smoke. People feel things in the night. One family said they would never go back."

Covered Bridge in Bath, NH / J. Dennis Robinson (c)

It was an odd way to pitch a vacation house, but I admit, the hook was in. We would have the whole historic haunted place to ourselves.

The little town of Bath, New Hampshire is just a speck on the map, a mere bend in Route 302 between Woodsville and Lisbon at the edge of the White Mountains. The road snakes along the Amonoosuc River where miners once panned for gold and copper.

Bath’s Lower Village gets two ticks in most tourist guides, one for the Brick Store, known as the oldest country store in the nation. Behind the store is the longest covered bridge in the state, a wooden one-car structure first built in 1832 that spans 365 feet across the river to West Bath.

The directions we got from Tim sounded like a wry bit of Yankee humor. "The house you want is right next to the burned out Colonial Inn. That’s right next to the Bath Fire Station," he said as if no joke was intended.

Parade passing Hibbard House in Bath, NH / (c)

CONTINUE Haunting of Hibbard HOuse 

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