This White Mountains home is on a high, open pasture just north of New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch. The view from up there is simply breathtaking! When we wake up in the early morning,” said owner Catherine Dowd to us during our recent visit with her and husband Jim Knee at their mountain home, “we’re always […]
By The Yankee Moseyer
Feb 25 2015
This White Mountains property features open land, old stone walls, and lovely views of Mount Lafayette.
This White Mountains home is on a high, open pasture just north of New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch. The view from up there is simply breathtaking!
When we wake up in the early morning,” said owner Catherine Dowd to us during our recent visit with her and husband Jim Knee at their mountain home, “we’re always entranced by the lovely alpine glow that permeates everything around us here at that hour.” She added that they’re often aware of it again at sunset.
We were sitting at their kitchen table next to spacious windows overlooking open pastures with old stone walls heading here and there (there was once a farm here) and, of course, that wonderful panoramic view of Mount Garfield and Mount Lafayette. Their two horses, Pumpkin and King, were munching grass near their three-stall barn (with its own well, electricity, and security system; there’s also a separate three-car garage on this 16-acre property). We could also clearly see the slopes of Cannon Mountain, where Olympian Bode Miller learned to ski. (His mother would drop him off there many winter mornings—starting before he was old enough to go to school!) Catherine and Jim ski there, too, as well as at Bretton Woods, Wildcat, Loon, and other mountains nearby.
To visit with Catherine and Jim, we’d just come up through Franconia Notch, one of our favorite drives in all of New England. So spectacular. We even stopped where we always used to stop to view the Old Man of the Mountain. But he’s been gone since May 2003. We gazed up to where he used to be.
“When we had this house built [designed by well-known architect Robert Knight] back in 2001, we thought we were going to live here forever,” Catherine mused as we sipped coffee the morning we arrived. “But we’ve begun to realize that there are different stages of life, and, at our age now, we’ve come to feel we’re a bit isolated up here.” Their four boys (from previous marriages) are grown and on their own, and while Catherine has already retired as an R.N., Jim is becoming a bit weary of his 84-mile commute to his financial consulting business in Concord, New Hampshire. They already have a house there to which they’ll move (with Pumpkin and King, of course). So they’ve reluctantly decided to sell. Price: $599,000.
When we’d first driven up the steep dirt road to this place, the house seemed small to us—probably due to the overpowering view. But it’s not. It has eight rooms on three floors, including a large living room with fireplace, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a modern kitchen with beautiful soapstone counters, and a surprisingly lovely living area for guests or children on the lower floor, outside which are beautiful rock gardens. And everything was built to the highest quality. For instance, the decking on the front and screened-in side porches is mahogany. There are pine bead-board ceilings in the master-bedroom suite. The living-room fireplace is of Vermont marble. And all the interior doors came from the historic Mount Washington Hotel, made available during the recent renovation there.
Before finally heading back home through the Notch that day, we meandered over to the barn, built around the same time as the house and garage, so that we could pat Pumpkin and King and admire all the ribbons on the wall outside their stalls, which they’d won at the Vermont Classic Horse Show in Lyndonville during the past few years.
Oh, yes, there was one more thing we simply had to do: visit Polly’s Pancake Parlor over in nearby Sugar Hill. Can you believe that the same family has been flipping pancakes there since 1938? And they serve ’em (as well as other breakfast stuff) all day. Let’s just say we weren’t disappointed.
Next time we’re up there beyond the Notch in those gorgeous New Hampshire mountains, we’ll plan to stay long enough to experience Catherine’s “alpine glow.” Oh, sure, there are probably those who say there’s no such thing. But we believe.
For more information, contact Heidi Boedecker, Caldwell Banker Linwood Real Estate, 2019 Main St., Franconia, NH 03580. 603-823-8895 (office), 603-986-8389 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org