PO Box 755
Franconia, NH 03580

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Sugar Hill Historical Museum


Garden lovers are treated with a flower-filled hour of delight at the Sugar Hill Historical Museum’s 2024 Garden Lore Exhibition in the heart of Sugar Hill, NH. In collaboration with the White Mountain Garden Club and efforts of the club’s vice president, Dorothy Quinn, this year’s museum exhibit also highlights the White Mountain Garden Club’s centennial year.

Garden lore, floral house décor, and ladies’ fashion have come together for this year’s memory-evoking exhibition. In the main room, a luncheon table set for ten guests holds a massive cut crystal bowl overflowing with a colorful floral display. This lead crystal bowl and stand, originally owned by the Winterbotham family in Sugar Hill, were donated to the museum by Alice Poole.  At the table, each guest’s place is set with a unique charger plate painted by lifetime Sugar Hill resident Essie Serafini, former owner of the Homestead Inn.  Polly’s Pancake Parlor loaned the set of red chairs.  Luncheon guests are dressed to represent ten decades of summer fashions.

This year’s exhibit includes displays of vases, floral china and textiles, and garden tools plus signs, seed packets, and  ads.

The John E. Bigelow Gallery in the main building guides visitors through the history of North Country inns. In this cozy fireplace room, visitors will find maps and curios revealing locations and souvenirs of the heydays of summer inns. In one corner stands a large spinning wheel with a basket of wool ready for action. In the same corner is a collection of children’s toys and furniture.

In the Carriage Barn, visitors will discover a vast collection of tools and their histories along with the carriages. Visitors can inspect a mountain brake for six (a gift from the Sunset Hill House),  an Irving Fisher clock,  a hearse,  a ‘trap’ for two, and the original Benjamin Morrill tower clock of the Sugar Hill Meeting House built in 1830.

The full White Mountain Garden Club’s 100th birthday history display, including books written by club members, is set up in the Carriage Barn. The Club participates in regional civic beautification, conservation, and education, and annually presents events throughout the community. For years, the club has designed, planted and maintained the Sugar Hill, Franconia, Whitefield, and Lancaster bridge flower boxes.

The White Mountain Garden Club opened the season at Sugar Hill’s Richardson Library in June with a display of the full history of the club presented by Cecilia Blewer, a multi-generational member of the garden club and resident of Sugar Hill.  Garden club events of the season included a presentation in June by conservationist and author Doug Tallamy and a private tour of Felsengarten, the summer home of their founders Rose Fay and Theodore Thomas.

The John E. Bigelow Gallery displays the history of North Country inns with maps and curios of the heydays of the summer inns.

Sugar Hill visitors and residents are invited to become members of the museum and to participate in the Sugar Hill Museum’s Maple Leaf Fundraiser for the Red Barn Project by purchasing maple leaves at $10 each to bring the Red Barn Project to fruition.

The museum, located on Main Street in the heart of Sugar Hill, is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. until October 14. Admission is free, and memberships and donations are welcome. Special tours can be arranged during the season. Please contact Curator-Director Kitty Bigelow at 603-823-5275. For more details, you can find the museum on Facebook at Sugar Hill Historical Museum, and visit the website here.

Located beside the Sugar Hill village green (across from the old post office), this museum includes information of this scenic hillside town from 1780 to the present. Our campus consists of two barns, one main building, and the Reid-Burpee house adjacent to the Carriage Barn. The Carriage Barn is filled with tools, horse-drawn carriages, folk-style paintings of old Sugar Hill, and a Benjamin Morrill tower clock. The second barn, the Sleigh Shed, displays a vast and growing collection of historic public signs and sleighs, including one sleigh from the Bette Davis estate. It also garages the 1939 Ford fire Truck #2 given to the newly formed sugar Hill Fire Department in 1948 by Henry Crapo. This Ford truck, originally a farm truck, was retro-fitted by the firemen. When the museum is open, the fire truck magically appears on the front lawn.

The main building contains extensive photograph archives, a local history and genealogy library, the Cobleigh Tavern public room, a gift shop, and a unique main gallery exhibit that changes annually to reflect the history of sugar Hill’s people and places.


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1380 Sugar Hill Rd, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, USA
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