Hill

The parking area at the Hill Village Store is quite large, which is probably a good thing. From there, you can go into the post office or the store and you can read the historical marker, all without having to move your vehicle…

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My first thoughts after reading the marker was “Really!?!? They picked a town and decided to use it as a flood control area? Didn’t they care about the people living there? Why Hill and not neighboring Northfield or Andover?” Hoping to learn the answer to some of my questions, I ventured into the Hill Village Store. Inside, I met owner Gary Fouts. He was more than happy to give me an overview of the towns unique history. He said rumor has it, the decision makers, at the time, threw a dart at a map and that is how it was determined Hill would become the flood control reservoir for the Franklin Falls dam project. Not a very scientific method and probably just a rumor. He told me how to get to Old Hill Village and suggested I might encounter some of the ghosts said to still roam the old cemetery. I headed to what is now known as the Needleshop Brook Recreation Area to discover Old Hill Village…

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An eerie silence greeted me as I started down the path…

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And posted signs reminded me to share the trail…

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I wasn’t overly concerned about running into any snowmobiles or dogsled teams in early June, but I did keep alert, just in case. Needleshop Brook runs along side what I think is the old Route 3A. I began to see remnants of a village deemed suitable for destruction…

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Along the trail I began seeing wildflowers, some of which I had never seen before…

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And some old favorites…

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I also saw what I believe is a morel mushroom…

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By the time I reached the crossroads, the clouds had parted and the sun drove away the gloom. Sections of sidewalk still remain on Old Center Road and the markers give us a sense of place …

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As I walked down the path that was once Ferry Street, I couldn’t help but think about Hill Village in the 1930’s. What kinds of cars traveled this street? In 1936, a new Dodge could be had for a mere $640 according to The People History website. And Fashion in the 1930’s gives us an idea of what the ladies were wearing. I returned to the car to continued my tour of Hill with the echoes of the past mixing with the present day noise. I can understand why some say this place is haunted. I didn’t meet any ghosts in Old Hill Village, but if you are looking for ghosts, there are plenty of old cemeteries to wander through…

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Old Hill Village isn’t the only part of the town with inviting history. The town meeting house was built in 1848  and was restored by The Hill Historical Society in 1992

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The Hill Center Church was built in 1800.

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I’m sure if these old barns could talk, they would share their own version of Hill history…

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For once, the name of the road did not lead me astray. I did actually find a stone house on Old Stone House Road!

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But, it was the view that took my breath away…

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My final stop in Hill was a large beaver pond. I can’t imagine how long it took the beavers to build this dam…

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I kept hoping to see a moose walk out into the marsh created by the overflow from the dam, but no such luck…

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Until next week – keep exploring. You never know what could be in your own back yard.

 

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19 Comments on “Hill”

  1. Betty Pauwels July 13, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    One of my places to visit!!! You covered it all!!

    • Touring NH July 13, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Thank you Betty! Hill is beautiful. I loved walking the trail into Old Hill.

  2. Sue Slaght July 13, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    I had not realized about towns being relocated or just deserted when decisions were made to use the area for flood or dam control. Last summer we did a post on a lake near Banff that has a town at the bottom. It’s a popular scuba diving site now.

    • Touring NH July 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      I know of a few lakes with towns at the bottom of them here in the US. With Old Hill, it is only flooded when the dam is opened. I’m not sure how many times this has occurred, but I did find a few high water markers.

  3. marthaschaefer July 13, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

    Excellent! Both the commentary and you photos. I love that you don’t just take the sign’s word for the history but always explore a bit by asking the locals. Love the view from the stone house.

    • Touring NH July 13, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

      Locals always have the best “rumors” about a town. And they can definitely tell you how to find the best sights!

  4. New Hampshire Garden Solutions July 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    I love places like this. I’m going to have to get there!
    I hope the state or somebody paid for the relocation of an entire town. After all, it wasn’t the fault of the residents.
    The first wildflower is called fringed polygala and how you ever got such a perfect shot of both the flower and leaves I’ll never know.

    • Touring NH July 13, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

      I think the residents paid for the relocation. At least from what I gathered. Thank you for your praise of the image of the fringed polygala, luck had a lot to do with it!

      • New Hampshire Garden Solutions July 13, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

        That photo should be in a wildflower guide. It’s the best one I’ve seen of it!

      • Patricia Dempsey January 8, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

        Your flower shots are remarkably sharp and clear. Nice job! Some of the plant life in Old Hill Village may not be wildflowers but escapees from home gardens the residents had planted. I haven’t looked up the polygala yet but truly enjoyed the shot and thank the person who ID’d it for me/us.

  5. Jeff | Planet Bell July 16, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    That is really interesting. When I think of ghost towns in the US I think of gold mining areas in the west, not New Hampshire. Thanks for sharing.

    • Touring NH July 16, 2015 at 8:09 am #

      A:hover { COLOR: red } A { TEXT-DECORATION: none; COLOR: #0088cc } A.primaryactionlink:link { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:visited { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:hover { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e } A.primaryactionlink:active { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e }

      Several of the people I talked to swear Old Hill is haunted, perhaps I should have gone at night.

  6. Marie Keates July 20, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    There’s something enticing about an abandoned village but I’m sure it must have been hard for the town’s people to leave. I’d love to have a wander around there for sure.

    • Touring NH July 20, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Fortunately, the town folk didn’t have to go very far, but it must have been a bit sad.

  7. Will January 23, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    Welcome to Old Hill Village. Population : 0

  8. Katherine Draper September 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

    Eben and Rebecca Carleton are my ancestors!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A drive around Newfound Lake | Touring NH - October 12, 2015

    […] is worth the short detour to visit Profile Falls on the Bristol/Hill town […]

  2. Highlights from 2015 | Touring NH - December 28, 2015

    […] kept at it in July. I introduced Trouble, my newest Jeep and visited Freedom, Hill, Orange and […]

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