Exploring for Food and Fiber

Yesterday, Colette and I explored the countryside for food and fibers.  Specifically, we were headed to Harrisville, New Hampshire.  The draw to Harrisville was two-fold.  Firstly, it is the town that Tasha Tudor used as the inspiration for her story “Corgiville Fair” (and its sequels), and being a big fan of Tasha Tudor, I wanted to see it for myself.  And secondly, I wanted to visit the fiber studio in that town about which I’ve heard so many amazing things.
Inadvertently taking the long way to get there, we were very hungry for lunch once we finally arrived. The only place to get food was the Harrisville General Store, which was a nice blend of deli-grill and general store.  And, yes, Colette is sporting a new hair style!

She order the burger, and I had a BLT.  It was just a humble BLT, but it was simply the best one I’ve ever had!  Fresh summer tomatoes, baby romaine, local bacon, and rye bread…yum!!!

Fortified with tasty, warm food, we set about on foot to explore the quaint and peaceful small town.  Harrisville was, and IS, a mill town, and as such, it needs water for power.  The local lake was lovely and still on this quiet, cool summer day.

Some of the original mill buildings.  The second one is still in use, and I’ll take you for a look inside in a bit.

The town is filled with lovingly kept historic homes and buildings.  A clear pride of ownership and devotion to preserving the past is evident.

This house had a fabulous old gas lamp. I wonder if it’s still operational?

Then we headed for the mill that is still operating, Harrisville Designs.  Their website had this interesting little tidbit:
“Woolen yarn has been spun in the water powered, brick mill town of Harrisville since 1794. This small village is nestled in the Monadnock Highlands of southwestern New Hampshire and is the only industrial community of the early 19th Century that still survives in America in its original form.
In 1977, the Department of Interior designated Harrisville a National Historic Landmark.”
Water flows beneath the mill (when the gates are open) and powers the equipment inside. (Actually, I guess I am uncertain if they still use the water power for the inside equipment.)

Time to go inside…

Harrisville Designs offers a wide variety of fiber products and classes.  Knitting, weaving, felting, spinning…they do it all!  And they make and sell looms too!

I do believe I might want to come back someday and take one of their 1-hr. weaving classes, just to see if I like it.   To read more about Harrisville Designs, click here.


  1. Harrisville looks like a nice town and your daughter's hair cut is very pretty. I have read Corgiville and enjoy Tasha Tudor's pictures a lot.

    Kate, what made you all move to NH? I am so curious. I have a dream of one day living in a place with four seasons.

  2. That's a great question, Missi. Maybe someday soon, I'll do a whole blog posting on the topic. Watch for it! But the short answer is that my husband was at a point where he wanted to change jobs, and the timing was just right, and opportunities opened...so here we are!


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