Franconia’s Frost Place offers glimpse of poet’s pastBy KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader May 24. 2018 8:09PM
For those tired of holiday crowds and traffic this weekend, there’s a historic gem in Franconia with the majestic view that’s opening for the season and could give some travelers a welcome respite.
It’s the Frost Place Museum, which for five years served as the year-round home for renowned poet Robert Frost and his family.
“After the first World War broke out that was when he left England in 1915 and moved to Franconia,” said Paige Roberts, assistant to the director of the museum.
“He and his family lived here from 1915 to 1920 and then he came back and summered in the house for 19 years until his wife, Elinor, died, in 1938.”
This Frost property for some may be less known than the Frost Farm in Derry where a younger man wrote many of the poems that would later make him a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
The Franconia compound includes self-directed tours of the circa-1850’s house, a quarter-mile poetry trail that goes through the woods of the property and the Henry Holt Barn that serves as a gift shop.
Part of the house has been turned into a museum.
Frost Place will be open daily through Monday of Memorial Day weekend, 1-5 p.m. each day. It remains open into October.
Museum tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 students over age 12. Anyone under that age gets in for free, Roberts said.
People entering the museum can tour rooms where Frost lived and wrote and it features rare first-edition signed copies of his works and family photographs.
“On this weekend we usually have a decent amount of people though it depends on the weather. We often do have folks call ahead and say they will be coming to visit but we get a lot of people who are up here, come upon this oasis and stop for a while.” Roberts said.
Those visiting can see apple orchards Frost tried to cultivate.
“He definitely was a much better writer and teacher than he ever was a farmer,” Roberts said.
The property includes unforgettable views of both Mount Lafayette and Cannon Mountain.
“We have many people come by just to take in the scenery,” Roberts said.
The museum is located at 158 Ridge Road in Franconia which is about 1.5 miles off of Exit 38 on Interstate 93.
Roberts said what’s unique is this offers a glimpse into the life of a literary icon before he struck it really big.
“When he lived in Franconia, he was still a family man, all of his kids were living with the couple, he was in his 40’s,” Roberts said.
“He would take these long walks to Bethlehem and Littleton and often would talk about interacting with people in the post office. He was involved in the community and even later in life after all his years living in Vermont, he would always come back here to visit.
“He clearly loved Franconia.”