Saturday, February 19, 2011

A tour....

In the picture above is Littleton NH's main street. It might not seem like much in comparison to so many other "city" main streets, but for me, this street is rich in memories.
My grandparents settled in Littleton after their two sons were born sometime in the late 1940's. My dad and uncle grew up there...in fact if you take a left just after the Jax Jr. theater, then hook a right when you hit Apthrope park and follow the road for about a 1/2 mile you'd come to the piece of property on Mann's hill that their house used to stand. I grew up spending much of my time at this house, and my grandmother, who had grown up with all sisters and given birth to only boys, spoiled her first grandchild, and only granddaughter, rotten. We used to walk down to Main Street in the summer, sometimes to get an ice cream, other times to view a matinee, or sometimes just to look in the windows of the shops. I used to hold her hand and skip or sing, and she would teach me rhymes or songs from her childhood. It was special time for the two of us, and it's why this main street remains so special to me even now.
This building has been in Littleton FOREVER. I remember being little and absolutely loving the columns...something about the way they seem to reach to the sky. Incidentally, my mom's family is related to the Thayer's...her grandmothers maiden name was Thayer. Thayer's Inn is probably one of Littletons oldest businesses. I know I don't remember a time that it wasn't there.
I had to put this in..although its a fairly "new" store...and I've only been in it a couple of times, it has the LONGEST CANDY COUNTER in the US..maybe even the world. Its HUGE. It's so huge it frightened me and my pancreas begged me to leave before it went into diabetic convulsions. They have every kind of candy imaginable to man. They even made it into the Guinness book of world records.

This is just an example of some of the old architecture on this street. When I was little this used to be a little nickle and dime store...I vividly remember there being a small display table with bins on it, and in one of the bins was a HEAVY metal horse. My grammie, who used to take me shopping every payday because...well..she could, bought it for me. I remember playing with that horse for HOURS.
The opera house. It used to house the town offices and police station. Until they had to remove the asbestos...now they're fixing it up and keeping it as a historical building for the town.
Lahout's ski shop. To get to my grandparents house from the town we lived in we had to turn right on the road that a runs next to this store. I used to get SOOO excited when I saw it's red paint because I knew we were almost there. Incidentally, this is the OLDEST ski shop in America..it opened its doors in 1920.


Oh! The ice cream place!! It opens in the spring. We used to walk down here and get dairy whips on weekends. I always got chocolate with sprinkles. Always.
The theater. Saturday afternoon matinees.....the one I remember the most? The Bad News Bears. Weird...I know.
Really bad picture of the library where I spent A LOT of my childhood (the truck refused to stop bouncing...I mean...really...I begged..it just bounced more...). The statue out front is of Pollyanna. Remember that Disney movie? The author of the book Eleanor H. Porter, was born and lived in Littleton. Pretty cool, eh?
I had to throw this in....my grandfather used to tell this story ALL the time...apparently there is a Littleton, MA. It's a big town. Much bigger than Littleton NH. Or at least it was back when the post offices were being built. The designs for the two buildings were sent to the wrong towns...so Littleton MA got the dinky post office and little Littleton NH got this behemoth of a building. I have no idea why they didn't look at the plans and say.."wow..that's a bit of overkill, dontcha think? Maybe we should see if there was some kind of mix up.". It's used as not only the post office, but it holds the court as well.
This is Chloe saying "Woman...would you HUSH...can't you see I'm EXHAUSTED!"
Anywway, that was your tour...I have a lot of really special memories that were built in that town. Oh! I almost forgot, in 2003 Littleton won the Great American Main Street award. It recognizes outstanding achievement in the revitalization of a Downtown. Pretty cool I think!

5 comments:

Chai Chai said...

Small towns are wonderful, maybe higher gas prices will drive folks to start shopping at "home" again.

Kimberly said...

OK, I want to do a tour, but do you guys really want to see Disney, Universal, and Sea World? LOL

Actually, we live in a historic area about 30 minutes NE of downtown Orlando. To get here, settlers had to take a flat bottom barge down the St. Johns River (that is one of the few in the world that flows north). Once on land, they were going through swamps on horse back, trying to avoid Seminole Indians. If you have read anything about President Andrew Jackson, then you know all about the bloody battles that went on here in FL. We still have the old hotel and numerous buildings that were built back in the 1870's, but that's about as old as things get here, unless you want to talk native. Maybe I will do a little history about my town. :)

Thank you for sharing, I really love history!!!

Stace said...

What I especially love about Littleton is that they let Walmart come in about 10 years ago...but they really worked at making sure that instead of destroying the downtown, it helped to revitalize it. They are proof positive that letting chain stores in doesn't necessarily mean that its curtains for all the mom & pop stores. Many of the stores that are still on that street have been there since I was young. Its just good to see a community pull together like that.

Chai Chai said...

Thanks for the update on the crow, not flying may be a problem if there are cats around. It is better to be the town with the stores than the town without. Nice to know your downtown is revitalized!

Gayle said...

Ummmm....hello? Get off Facebook and show me the farm! LOL :)