A Travellerspoint blog

September 2020

Pollyanna Days in New Hampshire - Visiting small towns

View One More Time - New Hampshire on littlesam1's travel map.


I saw the movie Pollyanna starring Haley Mills at the movies in 1960. I was eight years old. I loved the movie and was so sad at the ending. SPOILER ALERT - The cheerful Pollyanna falls from a tree and can not walk at the end of the movie. Haley Mills starred as Pollyanna and won a special childrens Oscar for the movie. Pollyanna was always the optimist. Pollyanna had been taught by her father how to play the "glad game", in which the goal is to find something to be glad about whether it's a disappointing Christmas gift or a life long illness.

If any year needed a Pollyanna attitude it's been 2020. And little did I know at the beginning of this year that I would end up in Littleton, New Hampshire the home of the author of Pollyanna. Mark and I had big travel plans for 2020. We were planning a trip to Sweden in the spring to visit Mark's cousin. And hopefully a trip to New Castle, England for a meeting with our Virtual Tourist friends. And maybe even a fall trip back to our beloved Hawaii. Instead we were hit with Covid and quarantines. And then my daughter lost her job due to Covid budget contraints. And a few weeks she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. So Pollyanna, where is the glad game in all of those? There was not a lot to be happy about presently.

Then the good news amidst the quarantine blues started to appear. My younger daughter who had also been unemployed for almost a year received a job offer in Boston. So she and her wife put their home on the market. Packed up their belongings, three dogs and three cats, and moved from Atlanta to Boston in the heart of the quarantine. About a month later my older daughter was offered a temporary job in New Hampshire. The company set her up in a fully furnished log cabin isolated on a dirt road in the northern New Hampshire town of Lancaster. The thought of her moving there for six month with the recent Crohns disease diagnosis certainly was not the part of any glad game for me.


I traveled to New Hampshire with Katie the last part of June for her job interview. I had only been to New Hampshire one time previously and that was almost ten years ago. Little did I know that this year I would end up in New Hampshire three times including the job interview trip. I also had no idea that Mark and I both would fall in love with New Hampshire.

We loved the cabin. It was large and accommodating. The views from the side porch were breath taking. We got watch the early morning sun rise over Mount Washington. And then in the evening we got to see the beautiful sunsets as well.


We got to visit two beautiful little towns on this trip. Littleton and Meredith, New Hampshire. Littleton calls itself "The Glad Town" because of it connection to the author of Pollyanna. And it truly is a glad town. There is a memorial to the character Pollyanna in front of the library. The crosswalks all have Pollyanna emblems painted on them. They instruct you to stop, look, and wave. . And the minute you step off the curb all the traffic stops for you and you really do feel like smiling and waving.


We took turns posing with the Pollyanna statue. It was a vacation after all and we were tourists kind of, although Katie is now a resident.


I was in such a Glad Game mood I even posed with the umbrella's at the Pollyanna Gateway.


I visited Littleton on all three of my trips to New Hampshire this summer. Why three times to the same little town? Well other than it being the "glad city" it also has a brewery that I really liked a lot. Perhaps one of my favorites I have ever visited. It's the Shilling Brewery. It's located in an old mill sitting on a hill over the Connecticut River. Now here is a glad game face with one of their excellent beers.


They also had excellent wood fired pizza and one of the best pretzels anywhere.


And there was plenty of out door seating for a safe and social distancing experience.


Littleton is large by northern New Hampshire standards but in reality it is only a town of 5,920 people. So it's truly a small town. But there is a lot to see and do there on a visit.

You can take a leisurely stroll along the Connecticut River.


Take photos of the beautiful covered bridge.


You can visit the Guiness Book of World Records longest candy counter at Chutters General Store


Try some Poutine made from french fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. It tastes a lot better than it sounds.


Or you can just be a nasty tourist and leave your Covid mask on a table for someone else to clean up for you.


If I returned to New Hampshire again any time soon I would go back to Littleton. I enjoyed it that much.

I want to mention another small town in New Hampshire also. Meredith, New Hampshire. It's about 45 miles south of Littleton.


Meredith is a small resort town. It's a little larger than Littleton with a population of 6,241. It is located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. I mention it along with Littleton because it is the home to another fictional hero of mine. The author of the Archie comic books lived in Meredith, New Hampshire. And there is a statue to commemorate Archie in the town square. We saw this online and I said I have to go see this. I loved the Archie comics as a preteen. The statue of Archie sets on bench staring across the street to the work shop where he was created.


The lake area is beautiful. There are several bars, restaurants and hotels in Meredith. We were there on a warm sunny day and the lake front was crowded. For social distancing precautions we did not visit any of the bars or restaurants while there. But I would like to return and check some out after we are over this Covid mess.

There are some fun sculptures along the water front also.


I will be writing more about our time in New Hampshire. I never thought of it as a vacation destination. But Covid and Pollyanna's Glad Game changed my opinion.

Here I am back at home. Writing my blog and wearing my Pollyanna Glad Game tee shirt for inspiration. Take that Covid.


Posted by littlesam1 11:50 Archived in USA Comments (17)

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