White Goose Inn Bed and Breakfast - Orford, New Hampshire, NH - White Mountains - Appalachian Trail
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Inn History

Inn Porch picture: Orford, New Hampshire is tucked cozily among the rolling hills and scenic country roads of northern New England. For those who wish to travel back in time, Orford has become a reminder of a simpler and more peaceful era.

Colonial and Federal structures graciously line Main Street with their timeless beauty, a constant reminder of the community's living history. The White Goose Inn, formerly the Sawyer-Cutter House, is no exception.

The history of the inn begins with King George III's granting of Orford's charter and the beginnings of the settlement of the Upper Connecticut River Valley.

The Orford Town Charter, part of the "Wentworth Grants" named for New Hampshire's royal governor Benning Wentworth, was granted in 1761. The Orford Grant was named for Great Britain's first prime minister the Earl of Orford, Roger Walpole.

One of the original "fort towns" strategically placed by the British to control French and Indian uprisings on the Connecticut River, Orford was first settled in the summer of 1765 by Thomas Sawyer and his two eldest sons Edward and Johnathan. During that time, the three men set about clearing the fertile river "flood plain" at the site of the present brick house. That fall they returned to their homestead in Hebron, Connecticut to await the arrival of spring and their permanent move to Orford.

Inn Garden picture: In June of 1766, the entire Sawyer family returned to Orford. It was on the inn's present site that Edward Sawyer began construction of the white, wood framed back ell which would serve as a home to his wife, Hannah, and their children and which would inaugurate the beginning of the current structure. In 1788, the house was sold to Edward's brother Johnathan, a graduate of Dartmouth College, and until the property was purchased in 1831 by Cyrus Cutter, it was allowed to fall into disrepair by its many owners.

A tanner by trade, Cutter was prosperous enough to build the present brick addition, in 1833, while still in his mid-thirties, a tremendous accomplishment for that day and age. Although he had become a according to the local minister, Cutter died in 1853 at the age of fifty- five. The Cutter House passed to Abigail Cutter, who in turn sold the property.

Another major addition was made to the house in 1853 when Elliot P. Johnson constructed the "Colonial Revival" circular porch across the front and northern sides. Because of this porch, which encircles a large elm tree, the Inn has remained well known with the residents of Orford and the surrounding communities for the past 100 years. Although the tree was cut off at the roof line twenty years ago, with only the trunk remaining visible inside the porch, old-timers still think of it as the "house with the tree growing through the roof.."

Since the late 1960's, the house has been undergoing careful modernization. Past owners have transformed the Inn into a comfortable twentieth century dwelling, looking toward the future but never straying from the building's unique past.  






On the Connecticut River, near Dartmouth College,
Gateway to the White Mountains and Appalachian Trail

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White Goose Inn Bed and Breakfast - Orford, New Hampshire, NH - White Mountains - Appalachian Trail
Marshall and Renee Ivey
422 Rt. 10
Orford, New Hampshire (NH) 03777