353 Main Street, New London NH


Current Use

  • New London Inn (Dan Wolf, Jason Rockwell, prop.)
  • Coach House (formerly Rockwell's)

Formerly

  • Hotel and innkeepers:
    • 200?-2010 — Bridget LeRoy
    • 19?? — Jeff (son of John, below) and Rose Follansbee
    • 1986 — John and Maureen Follansbee
    • 1978 — George Adame
    • 1976-1978 — John and Sally Biewener
    • 1967-1977 — Frank B. and Lois Conklin
    • 1939 -1967 — Wendell and Clara Hobbs acquire in December, 1939; later run by Mrs. Hobb's son, Joseph, and his wife, Edna Graves. Silhouette Beauty Shop owned by Mrs. Cora Gaudette, in 1950 in former Evelyn Wheeler space.[1] Clarence and Barbara Lull have haircutting and hairdressing shop under Inn, c. 1950.[2] In 1944 the Colby Bookstore, operated by C.J. Oliphant was under the Inn; it was later taken over by D.K. Sieburg and renamed the Village Studio.[3] Colby students also lived in the inn c. 1929.[4] The Dartmouth Lake Sunapee Regional Office was also under the Inn briefly.
    • 1918 -1939 — sold to Colby Academy for $7,900[5] ; Frank Gay is manager for first 10 years and the name reverts to "The New London Inn. In 1929 it is managed by Wendell and Clara Hobbs. 1928 Evelyn Wheeler opened beauty shop in rear of father, Eugene's, barber shop.[6] 1933 Harold E. Snow had shoe repair shop under Inn.[7] There was also a dress shop in the basement of the Inn by 1930[8] ; this may be the shop of Ernestine Housel, "with a very select line of sports wear and gifts."[9] In 1938 "the League of New Hampshire Arts and Crafts has opened a shop in the basement store of the New London Inn."[10]
    • 1917-1918 — owned by Michael P. Fitzgerald of Haverhill for 1 year
    • 1916 — Hotel managed by Hugh J. McKinnon who calls it "The Tavern." After Sargent's death in 1916, the hotel and 8 acres are auctioned.
    • Nichols leaves town by 1910, and hotel is under the proprietorship of Charles E. Glover briefly[11] ; shortly thereafter it was managed by Charles E. Shepard and is briefly called "Hotel Charles;" he advertises that an automobile garage is connected with it.
    • Circa 1903, Hotel is run by Sargent's son-in-law, Harry Nichols, who becomes a partner that year. Name changed to "New London Inn." Building includes a barber shop (Eugene Wheeler's from 1905-1940[12] ) and antiques store. Early 1900's Robert Todd had shoe repair shop under Inn (Squires, p. 117).
    • March 30, 1895 — Walter P. Sargent (known as "Pa" and descendant of Ezekiel's brother, John) buys and calls it "Hotel Sargent."
    • 1870-1895 — Herman J. Currier of Penacook and Concord, a photographer, buys home and turns it into hotel called "The Elms." It is open all year around. We read in Summer Rest for August, 1888, p. 15, "The Elms, with its repairs and new furnishing, its large and airy rooms, and its delightful shade, furnishes excellent accommodations for its guests and is now well filled." He had opened a livery stable in connection with the hotel by 1882.[13]
  • 1863-1870 — possibly Messer family
  • 1853-1863 — home of George W. Everett, who bought it with 6 acres. His brother, Abial, may also have been an owner, as they took out a mortgage on December 24, 1855[14] with the Warner Bank for 9 acres, with dwelling house, barn, and other building. George Everett studied law with Walter P. Flanders, and died in 1863 (in milita where he served as Major in the 9th NH Volunteers).
  • Homestead of Ezekiel Sargent (1773-1855) and first wife, Sarah Page (mother of first 8 children); second wife was Emily Adams (with whom he had 6 more children). House may have been built at time of first marriage in 1798, although the land (71 acres) was acquired from his father, Peter, in 1803. [Several accounts say house was built in 1792. Source?]

Building History

Built as a private home by Ezekiel Sargent c. 1792; continued as private home through other ownerships until 1870.

By 1870, the earliest known photograph of the building, when it became "The Elms" owned by Herman J. Currier, shows it was three stories high with a hipped roof. There was also a livery stable associated with it, perhaps in a separate building. In the newspaper "Summer Rest" for August, 1890, (p. 7) the building is described as having been made "still more beautiful and attractive than ever by a new coat of 'gold and white.' "

In Summer Rest for August, 1895 (p. 9), observing that the sign for "The Elms" had disappeared, noted that "after going thorough renovation within and without, Hotel Sargent appeared over the door." A double-level porch was added in front, and a long ell with connecting stables were built. The building was "entirely refitted and newly furnished."

In 1903 and 1904, Sargent made more extensive changes to the hotel, adding a large addition on the northwest end. The Odd-Fellows also had a hall there. Around this time, the building was painted dark green.[15]

When Hugh McKinnon operated the hotel in 1916, he advertised that it had 50 rooms, dining for 90, an open air cafe, and special opportunities in the winter for snow-shoeing, tobogganing, and ski parties.. He also installed electricity. The Odd-Fellows Hall was converted into chauffeur's headquarters. All vegetables used were furnished by the tavern farm [where?].

When Colby-Junior College was established in 1928, there were not enough rooms on campus for the first few years to house all of the students, and some stayed at the Inn.

In 1967, the Conklins made major renovations, with work by Clarence B. Granger and son. Architectural plans were done by Bill Pratt (Deerfield Academy's architect). Major changes included an entirely new kitchen at the rear of the building, a new ice cream and sandwich shop, remodelled guest rooms with private baths, and changes to the southeast facade of the building, facing the Adaemy Building.[16]

Stories & Trivia


Calvin Sargent, a New London realtor who had sold his business in 1941 at the age of 73, convinced the then owners of the Inn, Wendell and Clara Hobbs, to house and feed him for the rest of his life for a sum of $5,000. He lived until June 7, 1968!

Photos & Images


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New London Inn


The_Elms.jpg
The Elms

Hotel_Sargent.jpg
Hotel Sargent

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New London Inn

  1. ^ Squires, p. 117
  2. ^ Squires, p. 112
  3. ^ Squires, p. 117
  4. ^ Rowe, p. 380
  5. ^ Merrimack Co. deeds, V. 435; p. 592
  6. ^ Squires, p. 116
  7. ^ Squires, p. 117
  8. ^ Squires, p. 127
  9. ^ The Highlander for July 8, 1930
  10. ^ The Speaker, August of 1938, p. 1
  11. ^ Gulde, Souvenir Map & Real Estate Bulletin of the Central Lake Region of New Hampshire, 1910, p. 12
  12. ^ Squires, p. 112
  13. ^ Republican Champion, June 19, 1882, p. 1.
  14. ^ Merrimack Co. deeds, V. 128, p. 233
  15. ^ A postcard dated 1906 shows this color scheme
  16. ^ Written history by Frank and Lois Conklin