Harrisville, NH

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Raining today, the landscape in transition, a tattered patchwork of rusty matted leaf debris and splatters of dirty snow. The sap buckets have been pulled from the woods and the back roads are a maze of deep canyons and giant frost heaves. Mud, the season in New England that falls between winter and spring.

In search of dry roads for a walk last week, I detoured through historic Harrisville. Just off Route 101 in New Hampshire, between Keene and Peterborough, a short drive on a paved country road. A mill town preserved from demise by town residents, a designated historic landmark. In operation since 1794 as a sawmill and gristmill, and later as a textile mill with the construction of the rail line in the 1870’s, the former mill buildings are now home to workshops and studios. Anchoring the town is the general store (offering groceries, tasty café and deli fare, with an emphasis on local ingredients and home-made goodness), and Harrisville Designs, a mecca for fiber artists and crafters. Majestic red brick and stone buildings hug the in-town hills and waterways, a former industrial community that survives in its (mostly) original form. Perfect for a mud-free walk, and a much-needed dose of color.


  1. Elin..thanks so much for this little tour. I am sure I must have driven through Harrisville in the past. I obviously missed it. You got me with tasty cafe…and then mecca for fiber artists and crafters. I have a list of 101 things to do when I am living in New Hampshire during the summer months..I now have a list of 102 things to do. Thank you! 😉


    1. Thanks for popping by! The General Store is not fancy, but it has lots of character, with super friendly staff, and is well worth the short detour off the main road. 🙂



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