Sugar Hill, New Hampshire

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Sugar Hill is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 563 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 648.[1] Sugar Hill is a venerable resort community which overlooks the White Mountain National Forest, with views of the Presidential, Franconia, Kinsman and Dalton ranges.

Contents

History

This town is New Hampshire's youngest, incorporated in 1962. After considerable litigation, it was carved out of Lisbon to be an independent voting unit. The name Sugar Hill comes from a large grove of sugar maples in the hills.

With clean air and panoramic views from atop Sunset Hill Ridge of both the White Mountains and Green Mountains, the community became a fashionable Victorian resort. First attracted by paintings of White Mountain artists, the wealthy arrived by train to escape the heat, humidity and pollution of summers in Boston, Hartford, New York and Philadelphia. Several hostelries were built, including the Hotel Lookoff. But the grandest was the Sunset Hill House, built in 1880 after rail service arrived in neighboring Lisbon Village (Sunset Hill Station). With the longest porch on a single side in New Hampshire, the Second Empire hotel accommodated 350 guests and 300 staff. Patrons found amusement in the casino, bowling alley, or on carriage rides touring nearby Franconia Notch. Built in 1897, the 9-hole Sugar Hill House Golf Course, together with its 1900 clubhouse, are the oldest in the state and today listed on the National Register. Bobby Jones played the links.

With the advent of automobiles came a decline in grand hotels, however, as tourists were no longer restricted by the limits of rail service. The Sunset Hill House remained open until 1973, longer than many of its type in the region. But it closed at season's end, when the furnishings were sold at auction. The aging structure was demolished in 1974, although its annex survived and now operates as an inn of the same name.

The first resort-based ski school in the U.S. was opened at Sugar Hill in 1929 by Katharine "Kate" Peckett with her husband, Austrian ski instructor Sig Buchmayer, both important figures in the history of skiing. The same year, organized ski trains from Boston began running to the White Mountains.

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