We have been waiting to share this wedding on the blog & website for a while now, but Lisa and Andrea have been enjoying the adventures of life such as honeymoon, a big move to Maine, and then oh yeah that little thing called the Bomb Cyclone! We finally had the opportunity to reconnect to recap the weekend.

This wedding was spectacular on so many levels, but the deep personal connection between the couple and their guests was oh so obvious! We will never tire of a good laid back, authentic wedding that truly reflects the couple and their union. These two joyful ladies created a warm and welcoming weekend escape that their family and friends won't soon forget. They were the first couple to sign their marriage license during the ceremony, and the setup was absolute perfection! Take a look at some snapshots as seen through the eyes of Channing Johnson; their photographer...and check out the full album on our site here! 

Read on for some thoughts from Lisa & Andrea. 

"We received endless compliments from our guests about the venue. From the onsite rehearsal dinner cookout through the reception, people were at ease and in awe of the space. It makes a huge difference knowing you don't have to set up and take down everything in one day and I think our guests picked up that we were relaxed and stress-free because of that. I could go on and on." 

"You, Mary and Ed were incredibly supportive throughout he entire process. I never felt bad reaching out or that I was inconveniencing you in any way, which is important when planning a wedding remotely."

"Having access to the venue was crucial and we loved having the unique experience of seeing The Preserve evolve. I know it personally made me feel more connected to the property."



If you are anything like us this time of year is a blur. The hosting, the celebrating, the shopping, the wrapping, and oh yeah the decorating! If you are in need of some quick last minute decor inspiration to impress those guests look no further. It doesn't take much to make your home look perfectly polished for the holidays! Cheers! 


It doesn't take much to make your front porch look festive. Use what you've got such as a a sled, skates, a sign, anything winter related could work. Use greenery or even a tree to set the stage, lights not required! We love a good natural tree. 



Have some extra ornaments lying around? Toss them in unique vessels, clear vases, wood boxes, trays, bowls, the list goes on. It's quick, easy, and adds a bright and shiny touch to any room. 



A warm fireplace and a glowing tree go a long way in setting the mood. 



Create a warm and cozy holiday look with accent pillows, and a basket of blankets. Your guests will appreciate the seasonal and warm accent decor. Happy Holidays from The Preserve! 




There are moments in our lives that define us, moments so vivid that just recalling the event brings you back to that instance in time. We believe that these moments mold our character, and shape our purpose and path in life. We are defined by how we react to these moments and rise to the challenges they present.

For the Preserve Family that moment was the total loss of the Hayford Barn on the night of Nov. 12th. It had not only affected us but the local community that has enjoyed the facility for countless years, as well as all the couples who cherish the memories of their “special day” and the families that vacationed here for generations.

Sometimes it takes the worst to bring out the best in all of us, we have witnessed that from the overwhelming outpouring of love and support from everyone around us.

Now it is time to move forward. Just a week after the Fire Marshal was pouring over the charred timbers, unable to determine a cause, an excavator will begin the task of removing the debris to make way for a new structure. On Monday a design/build team complete with an architect will assemble onsite to begin the process of creating the new barn. A barn that will be old in style but new in technology and efficiency that will host weddings, events, and community gatherings for generations to come.

Until the new barn is in up and running we will host many “Best Day Evers” under a beautifully tented event space. We are so grateful and thankful that our 2017 through 2019 couples and their families have stuck with us and have showed their support for our rebuilding efforts. We look forward to delivering on our commitment to provide an incredible wedding weekend experience.

The Ice House Pavilion and Gazebo will be rebuilt and all accommodations in the Farmhouse and Cottages will be available. The new deck will have to wait until we have a barn to attach it to but will be also be completed.

We have learned that the Preserve is more than just a place to be married, hold a concert or community benefit. The Preserve has a soul and character forged by its 200+ year history. All those who have enjoyed it, have made it the legacy it has become. We look forward to continuing the legacy with wonderful families, brides, grooms, and the community. Our path forward is owed to all of you!


We adore couples that add a little twist to the traditional when it comes to their wedding day design. Rick and Sara totally nailed the combination of feminine elegance with that little added cool factor.  It was the first wedding of the 2017 season, and WOW did they knock it out of the park.

The bride Sara planned every last detail down to the names of her signature cocktails. You will see how she contrasted antique blush tones with metals, blues, and grays, for a truly a stunning combination. And lets not forget the Mother of the Bride in this wedding, seriously how gorgeous is she in that full length beaded gown? She is proof that brides don't have to be the only stylish lady at a wedding. We took the time to interview the bride about a few details of the weekend, here is what she had to say....we love her advice to future couples! 

Your wedding was visually stunning, if you had to describe your wedding day style/look in a few short sentences what would it be? 

When I found the dress, a year before the wedding, it inspired my vision for the wedding.  The tulle wedding dress was ivory on the top with a high neckline and intricate beading in ivory and silver throughout, the bottom of the dress progressed to an antique blush.  We wanted the wedding to feel warm, whimsical and romantic , our color palette was ivory, green, metals, and blush, since my dress was blush the groomsmen wore blush ties with their grey suits, the bridesmaids wore convertible soft tulle blue dresses made by jennyyoo which made my dress stand out and they had blush and ivory florals.  The flowers really showcased the whimsical vibe I envisioned, and the lighting made it very romantic, we also wanted personal touches and style everywhere.  We had custom signage everywhere, signature drinks named after our pups, and custom sneakers for the groomsmen, the font we chose was a mix of cursive and more casual font to blend everything together.  


What did you love most about being married in the Spring? 

We met in the spring, so getting married during that time of year just felt right.  Rick's family is from Northern California and he grew up in the mountains, we were really grateful to have the scenic mountain views in New Hampshire.  We loved that this was a destination wedding for everyone, and that we could all spend the weekend together.  It completed the feeling of togetherness and warmth that we wanted to feel during our wedding.


Do you have any planning advice for future couples that are recently engaged? 

Stay true to what you envision and do not compromise just because it may not be the easiest or most traditional route.  It is your wedding and you both should be happy and have it represent you as a couple.  Having a long weekend away was amazing but it did add more work for me as the bride since I had to figure out where everyone would be sleeping and where I wanted everyone to get ready etc. but it was really worth it for the experience that we got to have with our families, plus the ease of having everyone on site was amazing.  

We are both very creative people, so it was important for me to find vendors that got our unique style and vision but to also to let them do what they do best and not to micromanage them. I think this made them more excited about our wedding because we collaborated and they could be creative too.  The flowers turned out way better than I could have imagined, and I think that freedom was a big contributor to the final look.

Another huge piece of advice is to be in the moment and let go of all of the planning once the wedding is upon you, you planned everything to the best of your ability, you got the vendors that you love, so it is time to trust them and have fun!    


Looking back on your wedding weekend what moment and or moments stick out in your mind? 

There are really so many.  When couples ask us what moment we appreciate the most, Rick and I agree.  The Preserve is such a unique venue, there is so much character inside and outside the Inn.  One place in particular was a bar in the inn, that is so special.  I arranged with the caterer to have signature drinks and every hors'devours waiting at the bar in the inn for just the two of us right after the ceremony.  I asked our bridal party to lead every guest to our cocktail party while we shared the intimate moment alone as a just married couple.  We were able to talk about the ceremony and share in the special feeling of being married now.  It was really special and important because after that we were talking with our friends and families for the rest of the night.


For the full gallery click here. And check out the incredible vendor team that made their dream day a reality. 


Photographer | Thuy Pham 

Florist | Moonset Farm

Catering and Event Rentals | Peppers Artful Events

Event Lighting | CJC Event Lighting

Calligraphy and Signage | Alli Breslin   (     

Wedding Planner | The Bride    

Brides Dress | BHLDN

Head Piece | Alice & Mae 

Earrings | Holly Yashi

Rings | Blue Nile & Longs Jewelers 


Manners Monday seems like an appropriate name for this blog post! We get so many questions about wedding etiquette and "standard" protocol that we decided to weigh in on some of the unspoken rules of weddings and events. Starting with wedding gifts. We've never been sticklers for hard and fast rules, but everyone knows that good manners never go out of style. 

The "rules" of modern wedding etiquette and gift giving are constantly changing with the times. Let us help you put your best foot forward with the modern take on the DO's & DON'TS of gifting. 



Say yes to the group gift. 

Many couples say that this is their favorite type of gift to receive. It's thoughtful, and often helps lighten the financial load on a big ticket item the couple really wants.  

Find out where the couple is registered.

With so many registry options out there, couples are getting more and more adventurous with their registry picks. Find out where they are registered and stick to the gift registry when selecting something for the couple. 


PS - we love ZOLA for wedding registries. It truly is the registry that offers it all, including but not limited to...adventure experiences, kitchen appliances, bed & bath items, furniture, outdoor gear, and even allows guests to give cash if they so choose. ZOLA also carries many brands that our couples adore such as Calaphalon, Safavieh, Ralph Lauren, Kitchen Aid, and Backcountry. 

Write a thoughtful note. 

Most couples will hold on to their favorite wedding cards and look back on them for years to come. Take the time to craft a heartfelt message to the couples. Maybe include how you met them, advice for the future, funny memories, the possibilities are endless. Keep it authentic! 



Stress over budget.

The old "spend enough to cover the cost of your plate" is exactly that....old. If you were lucky enough to snag a spot on the guest list you are clearly near and dear to the couples heart. Spend what you feel is appropriate, the bride and groom will just be happy to have you present on their day. 

Wait to send or purchase a gift.

Purchase early to allow ample time for shipping and delivery. If for some reason you missed the window of opportunity to send a gift prior to the wedding, try to get a congratulatory gift to the new couple within two months of the big day. 


We hope these tips will help you navigate the art of gift giving during the upcoming engagement and wedding season. Cheers! 


Need some inspiration for your upcoming terrifyingly chic halloween bash? Look no further, our ideas will ensure your guest have a wicked good time! 


Lighting is everything! Too bright and your sure to kill a spooky party vibe, make sure interior lights are on a dimmer and go crazy with the exterior lights. Flooding your home in a spooky color really sets the scene. 



Stick with a simple color palette, and it doesn't have to be traditional orange and black.  In fact selecting even just one focus color can create a sophisticated feel. Select shades of green to create a creepy crawly feeling.  

Image: Readers Digest 

Image: Readers Digest 


Look to nature for inspiration by incorporating seasonal and darkly hued fruits. Tres chic, and edible! It's a win win! 



It's more than just decor....consider different sensory elements of the party. Food plays a major role in setting the spooktacular scene. Serve food that is simple, primitive in nature, and of course wickedly delicious. 

Images: Bon Appetit

Images: Bon Appetit


We are now Wedding Wire Rated!

Reputation is everything, that's why we're happy to announce that we've earned the WeddingWire Rated Bronze badge! Feel free to browse some of the kind words other couples have left about their experiece at The Preserve. 

Words cannot adequately express how much my husband and I loved getting married at the Preserve at Chocorua. It is the most stunning property, with so much rustic New England charm, all thanks to the hard work of the wonderful owners Mary, Ed, and Samantha. From the moment I first called to inquire about touring the property, right through every step of our wedding weekend, they were so communicative, kind, and thoughtful. They listened to every detail so attentively, fielded every question with such patience, and each time I visited the property made me feel so at ease in the midst of what was otherwise a pretty stressful cross-country wedding planning process. 

Our friends and family loved the cottages and rooms in the inn where they got to stay during our celebration, and we loved having our closest friends and family members right there on site with us for our whole wedding weekend! The property offers such a diverse array of spaces for all types of events, large or small, indoor or outdoor, in any weather. We loved getting creative and trying to plan things that would show our guests each of the amazing spaces that the Preserve has to offer!

I could go on and on, but even as I write this I begin to tear up. In short, Mary, Ed, Samantha, their whole team, and the magic of the Preserve itself helped to create the wedding of our dreams, and we could not be more grateful. If you are looking for an intimate, flexible, personalized, cozy New England venue experience, the Preserve is the absolute best there is.


Well hello again! We've been busy bees these past few months with weddings, events, and updates on the property! Here's a peek at some of the highlights.... 

1. The Best of Instagram....ya'll double tapped this photo the most! 

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2. We've got an amazing new product line to share WITH guests. WEDDING GOERS will enjoy Beekman made in The USA products of lush, warm amber tones. Honey infused formulations, perfected by nature and thoughtfully prepared by the experts at Beekman 1802. 

beekman bro.jpg

3. The barn entry got and upgrade! Bye bye screen door. 


4. We've had some stellar weddings going on! 

As always, check back often and follow us on instagram, facebook, and twitter for real time updates and photos! 


It's no secret that summer is one of the most popular times to tie the knot. The long hours of sunlight, warm days, and cool nights make it an ideal season for your nuptials. Hosting an unforgettable summer soiree is easy as 1, 2, 3, with these tips! 


Help keep your guests comfortable by offering program fans pre-ceremony, and a cool refreshing cocktail afterwards. 


Save your guests from sitting out in the heat by opting for a sunset ceremony when things cool off a bit, and then celebrate with an evening reception. 

Kara Pearson Photography 

Kara Pearson Photography 


Last but not least, choose a fun, refreshing, and thoughtful dessert station. Check out a few of our favorites. Can you tell we totally dig a good dessert? Happy summer! 


This People of the Preserve installment holds a special place in our hearts. We did a write up on this fantastic couple before they were married, and now here we are coming full circle! This June bride was the epitome of elegance and grace. When the weather didn't necessarily cooperate she refused to let that ruffle her wedding day feathers, and chose to embrace with a warm and cozy barn ceremony. 

What did you look forward to most about having your wedding at The Preserve?

The thing I looked forward to the most was getting to marry the love of my life in my dream wedding location with my family and friends.

What do you think was the most unique part of your wedding?

The most unique part of our wedding was that all of our family and friends helped us make our special day. My aunt catered the wedding, my friend was the DJ and the officiant was Luke's uncle! 

What was your first dance song?

Our first dance song was L-O-V-E  by Nat King Cole.

Would you share your favorite photo of the day with US? There were so many, we couldn’t pick, so we want you to pick.

In one word, close your eyes and what is the first word you think of when you think of your wedding?

The word I thought of was Perfect :)

Thank you Liz & Luke for sharing such a special day with us, and as always to our followers be sure to "like" us on Facebook & Follow us on Instagram for the most up to date info on all our happenings! 


What does it take to get a published feature on a nationally known wedding blog? A lot of hard work, an "A" team of vendors, and some jaw dropping images that you just can't look away from! 

Before all the pretty images come to the surface A LOT of unglamorous (is that a word?) work happens behind the scenes, in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the shoot. Here is just a glimpse of our little world and the behind the scenes action! 

First: We road trip to the location! New Hampshire here we come! As many of you know Mary & Ed are on site day to day, and Samantha is very much behind the scenes answering calls, composing contracts, creating and executing marketing material, and ensuring that photo shoots go off without a hitch! Banks (2) and Penn (6months) were along for the 23 hour ride! 

Next, we prepped photo shoot props and styled rooms. No pillow was left unfluffed, no bed skirt was left untouched. 


Model prep, photographers on site, we are ready to roll! Oh and yes those are two babies on the living room couch enjoying Sesame Street & munching on what I'm sure are sugar filled snacks while mom works! Real life folks! 


And the styling begins...


Some outside shots from the day. Every single one of the vendors involved braved the frigid temperatures to capture just the perfect shot! 


And the final product...

We hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek behind the scenes of a styled shoot. All of the fantastic vendors are listed blow and you can find the post from Cake & Lace here. 




A spring wedding; just picture it... pretty pastels, peonies, light and refreshing food and beverage options...there are so many reasons to get married in spring. Here are a few of our top reasons to consider a spring wedding. 


1. Budget budget budget.

March, April, and May are often considered "shoulder months" for many venues and you will likely find them willing to be a bit more flexible when it comes to pricing and packages. You can often times get the most bang for your buck during the spring season. 

2. Tent anyone?

Unlike the chilly fall or winter seasons, spring is a fantastic time for a tented reception. Did you know that we host tented receptions on property at no additional fee? Just ask! 

3. Fewer conflicting events.

Spring time is not as chalk full off other commitments like summer and hoiday seasons can be. Guests don't have as many obligations to other events such as other weddings, graduations, vacations, etc. 

4. Colorful flowers and foods. 

Spring is the beginning of the blooming season, vibrant flowers are beginning to arrive, and fresh colorful produce has begun to make its was back into the local catering rotation. 

5. Umbrellas. 

Spring showers. It can be a bit of a risk to get married outdoors during the rainy season but we think the photos are totally worth it! 

Image Credits | WeddingParty by WedPics 


On the eve of Super Bowl we thought it fitting to post a blog about "how to tastefully incorporate sports into your reception." Many couples have strong ties spanning the generations to their beloved sports teams. Some of our couples have even met on the playing field! So it goes without saying that sports can play a big role in our lives. We have come up with a few fantastic ways to give a nod to all things sports during your special event or reception. 



Display your guest seating cards on a perfectly manicured section of grass. Color, texture, fun! 


Elevate the traditional tailgate setup by incorporating unexpected pieces in a fun way. Don't just serve ice cold beer, serve it out of the back of a vintage truck. How fun is that? 

Image Via | Southern Weddings 

Image Via | Southern Weddings 


Incorporating fun tailgate foods into the reception is a given. We love a "mini" anything, but these crispy loaded mini hasselback potatoes are sure to be a winner! 




A nod to your favorite team (THE PATRIOTS OF COURSE) on game day can easily be accomplished through a fun dessert or a Grooms cake. 


Have a safe, happy, and fun Super Bowl! Go Pats! 


Today's person of the Preserve is a man of few words, with loads of talent! How we stumbled upon a gem like Mr. Jim Greene is a story of pure happenstance, it's funny how life sometimes has impeccable timing. Without Jim Greene, (Project Manager) there is no way this sprawling property would be where it is today. His carpentry, handyman skills, and his good ole Yankee work ethic make Jim an irreplaceable member of our team. Here is what Jim had to say during his interview...

What was your project at The Preserve today?

Replace the Great Room ceiling.

What do you like best about being a steward to the Preserve? 

Working with Ed.

What had been your favorite project to date?

"The Barn doors, they are pretty nifty." Jim and Ed repaired the old barn doors on the back side of the barn and made them completely functional again. We agree...pretty NIFTY! 

Where were you and your wife married?

We had a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception at her parent’s house in Holderness, NH

How long have you been married?

Forty Two Years

What is at the top of your bucket list to do with your wife?

Hayford barn doors that Jim brought back to life. 

Hayford barn doors that Jim brought back to life. 

Travel back to England.

Advice to our newly married Preserve couples?

Remember these things, It takes two to tango. You have to always give and take, but most of all remember; behind every good man is a better woman. 


A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Chinook, who at one time was the most famous dog in the world, will be held Jan. 13-15 at Camp Cody in Freedom. Also the New England Sled Dog Club (established in 1924) will host one of the oldest sled dog races in the country. The event, hosted by the Tamworth Outing Club, will be held this winter on Lake Chocorua on the weekend of Feb. 4-5, the same weekend as the Remick Country Doctor Museum's annual winter carnival.

Enjoy this read on one of the most beloved breed of dogs, and the rich history of our area. Be sure not to miss the sled dog action this winter! 

Left, Arthur Walden's team of Chinooks in North Conway. (Courtesy photo)

Left, Arthur Walden's team of Chinooks in North Conway. (Courtesy photo)

Right, Chinook and team at Wonalancet. (Courtesy Perry Greene Kennels)

Right, Chinook and team at Wonalancet. (Courtesy Perry Greene Kennels)

Celebration of 100th anniversary of Chinook’s birth planned in January


(Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series on Chinooks in honor of the breed's 100th anniversary.)

TAMWORTH — A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Chinook will be held Jan. 13-15 at Camp Cody in Freedom. Chinook was born on Jan. 17, 1917 at the 1,300-acre Wonalancet Farm and Inn owned by Arthur Walden and his wife, Kate. And like Walden, he would come to occupy an important part in the history of sled dogs, racing and exploration.
Chinook dog owner Bob Cottrell of Freedom, director of the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room and a past director of the Remick Country Doctor Museum in Tamworth, says that the event is being organized by the Chinook Owners Association and is expected to draw Chinooks and their owners from all over the Northeast for a variety of outdoors activities and programs on the history of the Chinooks, who are the state dog of New Hampshire.
Cottrell delivers lectures around the state for the New Hampshire Humanities Council on Chinook history and says that Walden played a major role in sled dog racing history by helping to organize the New England Sled Dog Club in 1924 and in bringing the oldest continuing sled dog race in the country to Tamworth that same year. The event, hosted by the Tamworth Outing Club, will be held this winter on Lake Chocorua on the weekend of Feb. 4-5, the same weekend as the Remick Country Doctor Museum's annual winter carnival.
Cottrell says that he and his wife, Debra, have owned their Chinook, Tug, who is registered as Mountain Laurel Tamworth Tugger, since they acquired him as a puppy in 2005.
Cottrell says that Tug now weighs about 90 pounds, which is very close to the weight of Chinook in his prime. In fact he is from the direct purebred line of Chinook's DNA and was obtained by the Cottrells with the help of Rick Skoglund of Perry Greene Kennels of Waldoboro, Maine, who has worked to preserve the breed and Chinook's original bloodline.
Skoglund wrote a history of the breed in which he says that in 1896, Walden, the 24-year-old son of a Boston minister, left Wonalancet, and his job as farm manager of Katherine (Kate) Sleeper's Wonalancet Farm, and headed to the gold fields of Alaska.
Skoglund writes "Driven by his sense of adventure, he took every job that came his way: prospector, logger, stevedore, river pilot; and the job that he was most taken with, "dog punching" (hauling freight by dogsled). Walden returned to Wonalancet six years later, and in December of 1902, he and Kate Sleeper married. Walden had dog sledding in his blood, but quality sled dogs were not available in New England, so he brought a variety of dogs to Wonalancet and began breeding for dogs that possessed his ideal combination of strength, endurance, speed and good nature.
"He desired a friendly, gentle dog that had tremendous power, endurance and speed. Walden purchased a mastiff-type dog named Kim that was a stray from Danvers, Massachusetts. He later bred Kim to Ningo, a direct descendent of Admiral Peary's famous Greenland Husky lead dog Polaris. Three tawny colored pups were whelped on Jan. 17, 1917, and named Rikki, Tikki and Tavi after Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Rikki produce those traits which Walden desired and was later renamed Chinook in honor of a wonderful lead dog Walden had left behind in Alaska. Tikki was later renamed Hootchinoo."
Chinook grew to be a massive 95- to 105-pound animal. During the early 1920s Chinook was bred to German and Belgian shepherd working types and perhaps other husky-type dogs. The offspring were then bred back to Chinook to found the breed known today as the Chinook.
Skoglund wrote "With Chinook's offspring, Walden was finally getting the quality of dogs that he was accustomed to working with. In 1920, his new line of what he called "Husky half-breds" made their debut at the Gorham, New Hampshire, Winter Carnival. Walden began to seriously promote dog sledding for draft, recreation and sport. Racing in New England started a year later when Walden began promoting freighting by dogsled to the woodsmen as a faster, more economical way to move supplies to their logging camps. Walden convinced W. R. Brown's paper company of Berlin, New Hampshire to sponsor the first Eastern International Dog Derby in 1922 in part to encourage more people to breed quality sled dogs in the region. Four teams competed in this 123-mile race, Walden, with Chinook in lead, won easily."
The race generated international publicity and was on the front page of The New York Times, making Chinook the most famous dog in the world at that time.
Skoglund wrote "In 1923, a distemper outbreak in Chinook Kennel took its toll, and Walden lost his entire 1922 winning team, except for Chinook himself. Walden took two years off from racing to concentrate on breeding another competitive team, but never stopped supporting the sport. In 1924, the New England Sled Dog Club held its organizational meeting in Arthur Walden's home, and elected Walden its first president. The club is still actively promoting sled dog racing today. In 1925, Walden returned to racing with a young but promising team of Chinook's sons, and proclaiming his Chinook-shepherd crosses as his ideal for strength and stamina. The popularity of Walden's "Chinook dogs" was growing; and, boosted by his January 1926 win at the Poland Spring, Maine, race, interest was such that Walden was beginning to sell a few matched teams of his dogs to other racers as well. In March of 1926, Walden and his team set out on an adventure that he had been considering for years, but which most people considered impossible: the first ascent of Mount Washington by dog team. While turned back by a blizzard on the first attempt, Walden and his team, with old Chinook in lead again, and accompanied by several newspaper reporters and photographers, successfully made the 8 miles to the summit in eight hours' time.
"Among the racing community Walden's dogs' popularity was short lived. After gaining recognition for their part in the 1925 Nome Serum Run, Leonhard Seppala and 40 of his Siberian Huskies left Alaska and embarked on a national tour. Seppala's tour landed in New England in late 1926 for the winter's race season. In January 1927, while at the Poland Spring, Maine, race, Seppala's Siberians proved themselves much faster than anything New England had to offer and they gained instant popularity. Seppala established a breeding kennel in Maine to supply his Siberian Huskies to the racers in New England." But that wasn't the end of the line for Walden, who turned his attention to a new venture, Admiral Byrd's Antarctic expedition, which will be detailed in the next installment.

Bob Cottrell and Tug. (Courtesy photo)

Bob Cottrell and Tug. (Courtesy photo)


Today on the blog we bring you a woman of many many talents...Miss Neysa Packard. She is hands down one of the most gracious hostesses we know. She and her husband Kimball of The Farmstand Bed & Breakfast were the very first folks to give us a warm welcome here in Chocorua! We are totally in love with their stellar wedding photo! Her dress could easily be worn today, classic, simple, elegant, and those on trend long sleeves...check it out! 

How did you find your home in Chocorua? 

We found it through Zillow. We had lived in the Valley before as owners of the Eagle Mountain House in Jackson 1982,1983 and 1984. We loved it but wanted to be on the southern end so we could get into Boston as we used to spend a lot of time there. As it turns out we have only been back once in the past year.

What made you pick Chocorua / Tamworth? 

We knew Tamworth as Kimball went to school with George Cleveland and we were good friends of Fred and Ramona Stafford that owned your property back then. We visited as many times as our schedule would allow. When our life turned up-side-down last year and we decided to make a change in our lives and lifestyle.

How long have you been making Gingerbread Houses? 

I started making gingerbread houses 40+ years ago as family gifts for Kimball's cousins and my sister and brother's families. At first it was only 6 houses. It grew to 15+ houses and I was holding down a full time job so I decided to start the family tradition of a gingerbread house decorating party. It has been going on now for 40 years and is the way we kick off the holiday season just after Thanksgiving. Every year I make a few to sell at the local Farmers Market and such. It was all by word of mouth and I have some regular customers.

How did you learn to build these houses? 

I learned how to make gingerbread houses from a previous employer and still very good friend, Judy Kitzmiller Schenk back in 1976. We mixed the dough to make one house each. She guided me through the whole process. I was hooked and there was no turning back.

Where did you get your Gingerbread recipe? 

Kimball's cousin, Arthur DeAngelis owned an Italian bakery in East Boston which had been passed down through his family. He had an employee, Billy, that gave me this recipe when he learned that I made them once a year, turning the Italian bakery into a German bakery for just one day. The recipe he gave me made dough for 30 houses. At one point I was doubling the recipe! 

What day and year were you married? 

We were married at 11:00 am on July 5th, 1975 at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH. Originally I wanted to be married around Christmas in the evening in a small church with candlelight and snow softly falling to the ground that would not interfere with traveling to and from the event. Then I decided there was no point in pushing my luck. Kimball is born on Christmas and I was born on Valentines Day, so I thought it would be better to celebrate our special day in the summer. Because we had part of the wedding party coming from Michigan where we had gone to college, we chose the day after Independence Day as it gave us a long weekend to help everyone traveling.

What were the wedding trends when you got married?

Honestly, I like what I like and am not much at pay attention to trends. I had la long sleeved gown. When others were having large formal flowers, I went with a simple bouquets of yellow roses and daisies. Mine had additional White lilies and some small white waxy trumpet flowers.

Did you have a wedding song? 

We didn't have a song as we liked the Theme from Mash. The band didn't know it and my parents thought it was inappropriate so I passed on a song. I danced with my father to "Daddy's Little Girl".

What kind of cake did you have? 

I had a wedding cake made by the baker at the Monoosnock Country Club. It was vanilla cake and was decorated with daisies. We waited for the band to go on break and ran for the cake to cut it as I did not want anyone singing a song while we shared that special moment. There was no smashing of cake and most people didn't even get a picture because we were so quick.

How did Kimball propose? 

Kimball proposed just before Christmas while we were Christmas shopping for a watch for his father in a jewelry store in Wakefield, MA. 

Best advice to couples starting a life together? 

My advice is to never go to bed angry. Always work out situations that upset you by talking them out before your head hits the pillow. Remember that you are getting married because you want to spend time together; don't let life in the way of that. 


Here it is our very first installment of "PEOPLE OF THE PRESERVE"

With a full season under our belt we felt that it was important to showcase the people who have made this incredible journey possible. From our beautiful couples, to landscapers, the housekeeping staff, to the oil delivery man! Each and every person has invested in making this dream a reality, and each one has his or her own interesting story to tell. So here she is....Miss Sharon DeWees!

Shannon Preserve


Works with Ed and Gerry Phelps on a master landscape and hardscape plan for The 26 acres.  Maintains flower beds, window boxes and ALL of the gardens. 


Today she planted over 750 Daffodil bulbs for next year’s early brides. We think she will sleep well tonight after that work day! 


Sharon and her husband Harvey, a retired pharmacist have been Married for forty six years. Preserve couples take note of that! 

Sharon’s word of advice to our newly married couples...Communicate and Share your thoughts.

What do Sharon and Harvey now that Harvey has retired? They ride their Harley and they love to travel. They spend their winters in Sun City Arizona and spend summers taking their camper and traveling to places like Lake George, Bar Harbor, Pennsylvania, and Vermont .

Her favorite Number is 3. Three sons, three daughter in laws and three grandchildren. LUCKY 3! 

We so appreciate all the hard work Sharon does for us, and her investment in our story. Thank you Sharon. 


Engagement Photo Tips

It has been far too long since our last post! (sorry) With weddings and events winding down a bit between now and the holidays we are excited to dive back into our blog posts. We promise not to leave you hanging for that long again. So without further ado lets talk engagement photos! Are you taking your engagement photos soon? Already taken them? Here are some tips and ideas for you. 



This one is a given. We all love and cherish our four legged family members, make sure to include them in such an important photo shoot. We think this Preserve couple nailed it when it came to including their pup. 




Get a cute holiday shot during your photo shoot for all your holiday cards that you will be sending to friends and family. And bonus you have a cute holiday photo of your first "engaged couple" Christmas. 



Choose a location that creates an interesting backdrop and you are sure to capture some stunning images. Natural settings are always winners. Think lakeside, mountain top, beach, a forest setting, rolling fields, pretty much anything that creates additional visual interest. 

Last but not least HAVE FUN! Try and relax and be yourself, much easier said than done! Take this as an opportunity to really get to know your photographer and his or her style. Ask questions, be silly, be open to different ideas, and trust the professional you hired to make you look stellar in your photos!