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The Fells, Newbury

4.6
#60 of 118 in Parks in New Hampshire
Garden Nature / Park
The Fells, also known as the Hay Estate, was originally the summer home of John Milton Hay, a 19th-century American statesman. It is located in Newbury, New Hampshire, on New Hampshire Route 103A, 2.2 mi (3.5 km) north of its junction with New Hampshire Route 103.HistoryJohn Hay served the United States in various capacities in a career that lasted over 40 years. He was Abraham Lincoln's private secretary during the Civil War and later a diplomat and a journalist. He became United States Secretary of State in 1898, serving in that position until his death in 1905.In the late 1880s New Hampshire farms were becoming less profitable, due to more Western competition. As a result, the state of New Hampshire stepped in and encouraged America's wealthy elite to buy up the farms and keep them afloat. In 1888, Hay bought along the shore of Lake Sunapee, with the hope of establishing a summer colony for his group of friends, known as the "Five of Hearts". After Henry Adams' wife, Clover, committed suicide, Hay reconsidered those plans. Instead, he used the land as a retreat to put distance between him and the stresses of Washington. Hay named his property "The Fells", a British term for a rocky upland pasture, due to his Scottish ancestry.
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62 reviews
Google
4.6
  • Our first time here. Very IMpressed. Costs $10 pp but so worth it. A Kind and very informative gentleman in a little structure tells you all about all the trails, The gardens and The lake. Along with ...  more »
  • The Fells was the home (estate) of John Hay, who was Abraham Lincoln's personal secretary and then served in many Republican administrations in the following years. He was Theodore Roosevelt's Secreta...  more »
  • I have been there several times as I live nearby. Wonderful walking through the woods, gardens and the trail along the lake. The gardens are especially lovely when in bloom and the outdoor exhibit of ...  more »
Google
  • Our visit provided a fascinating history lesson about Abraham Lincoln, the role of the 19th century New Hampshire estates, how the railroad helped New Hampshire, and then Hay's career in Washington. The photo of Ambassador Hay at a London reception with Queen Victorian that he was one of her favorite guests says it all. The house and grounds are in immaculate condition. The staff are well schooled and great hosts and hostesses. We intend to visit again.
  • Interesting old house, decent tour. Nice grounds to walk around.
  • Wonderfully preserved historic site and artist friendly!
  • We had a delightful day exploring the amazing gardens at The Fells. Would definitely visit again when we are back in the area.
  • Love this place.