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Fencing in Sandwich

Town Pound
On the Road in Sandwich, NH

Everything in Sandwich, NH seems to be neatly organized behind a fence or stone wall. The most common are flat-topped picket fences, painted white, but supported by upright blocks of granite. At times the rough-hewn granite posts are connected by chains. Other fences made of wood are grayed and broken almost to pieces. But everywhere, ruined or new, there is that Yankee sense of order in the midst of the wilderness.

 

We first discovered Sandwich, as does most everyone, during its annual October Fair when the town is awash with people. But that lasts only three days and the Sandwich we found this year was the sleepy village on the edge of the Lakes Region that its residents adore. The population doubles in summer from 1,200, but Sandwich is no small town – 100 acres, most of it rolling hills and deep woods and, so far, all but unspoiled.

There are two places to eat downtown, one in a former hotel, another in the only grocery store. Besides the tennis courts, with both stone wall and fences, and the fairgrounds, also surrounded by a steel fence, there is not much to see. Once you’ve visited "The Industries" craft shop, taken a book from the library, toured an excellent historical society and seen the town hall – then it’s back to bike rides and your jigsaw puzzle and a hidden array of walking trails. That’s the way people like it.

There are two lovely white churches downtown. And you’ll find a reconstructed Revolutionary era "town pound". There is, of course, Squam Lake near by, and the bustle of Ossippee. This is a town that boomed early and had faded by the Civil War, only to be revived by tourists coming to the Lakes in the mid-20th century. Some fascinating old buildings survive and others stand nearly in ruins, including a shingled windmill near what looks like an ante-bellum plantation.

And each has its fence. Always a fence, in a town that has aged better than most and – knock on wood – avoided the creeping sprawl now swallowing much of New Hampshire. It’s the perfect place to write a novel in – or about. And judging by the number of out-of-state license plates, that’s exactly what some people are doing

All photos by J. Dennis Robinson

Sandwich, NH

Center Sandwich, NH

Store in Sandwich, NH

Fence in Sandwich, NH

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