Wednesday, May 31, 2023

What's Happening Here

Posting about places we've gone to on road trips is fun, but here's what's been happening at home in Nashua, NH. (There will be a few more posts about our recent anniversary road trip.)
On Monday, there was a parade down Main Street in observance of Memorial Day. It's never a long parade and participants included high school and middle school marching bands, boy scouts, veterans groups, and (of course) politicians. Attendance was surprisingly larger than in previous years spoken from our experience in attending the annual Memorial and Veterans Day parades.
The nearby town of Hudson, NH, has its annual flag display on the town square which we passed by several times last week. It will stay up through the July 4 holiday, hopefully escaping any gusty winds.
Nashua is the only city in the U.S. that hosts an annual international sculpture symposium. This year, sculptors are representing the U.S., Israel, Poland, and Iran.
Work is continuing on four sculptures that will be placed in and around the city with completion set for this weekend. The materials in use are marble and granite. Onlookers are invited to watch the sculptors. They are working outdoors at the Picker Artists studios, an artisan cooperative of nine artists in 12 studios that's within walking distance of the mill apartments. (Spoiler Alert: A future post will have more information on the Nashua symposium.)
It seems that spring took quite a while getting to Nashua, NH, however, within the past few weeks, flowers have been blooming in the garden at Le Parc de Notre Renaissance Française (informally called the French Park or Renaissance Park) near the mill apartments.
This public garden is tended to by neighbors on our apt floor. Their gardening efforts are appreciated by everyone who spends time here. More flowers will be in bloom in a few weeks.
These beauties were in bloom around the mill apartment grounds within the past few weeks.
A definite sign of warmer weather is the increase in
Canada Goose on the Nashua River. This week, there were several families with 3 to 6 goslings in each. Watching them is entertaining as the young ones practice flight maneuvers on the river. However, the presence of so many often makes walking an exercise in dodging substantial droppings along the river walk. 

Unfortunately, many people toss bread products, as unhealthy for goose as for humans. Geese consistently fed bread become malnourished, filling up on junk food and neglecting natural food sources. Extreme cases can lead to a condition known as angel wing which can leave the birds unable to fly. For anyone tempted to offer food, better choices are birdseed, lettuce or other greens, foods just as nutritious for humans.
An evening of severe downpours resulted in this colorful sunset across the Nashua River. The building is Lofts 34 another apartment building that's not connected with the mill apartments. 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Friday Funnies

This lineup spotted recently in a downtown Nashua, NH, parking lot gave another meaning to a well-used term, Waiting for a Pickup.
If you can think of any other ones, feel free to add yours in the comments, as always.
In answer to a blogger's question, I don't know WHY there were so many pickups in a row. 
No special event was happening, so perhaps just coincidence or a parking pattern?

Enjoy the U.S. Memorial Day Weekend
There's a farmer's market opening & parade here

Thursday, May 25, 2023

We Celebrated in PA

It's been a while between blog posts and also blog visiting.
The reason is that we've been absent on a(nother) getaway.

More specifically, a road trip for our 26th anniversary, not our wedding date, that's in August. This getaway celebrated the anniversary of our first date in May 1997 — Yikes, 26 years ago!

One thing missing (purposely) on this trip was my notebook computer. Quite honestly, being offline for a while was refreshing. (I'll try catching up on your most recent posts ASAP.)

What we did . . .
As the post title said, we went to PA where we rode trains in Reading and Jim Thorpe, PA; toured an indoor auto consignment mall in Morgantown, PA and a unique 50s muscle car museum in Intercourse, PA; visited with youngest granddaughter and family (including a new grand puppy) in Lancaster, PA; and connected with friends in NJ and PA.

All that activity will not be included here. There's enough for future posts as long time blog readers know my penchant for lots of background on our getaways—maybe too much.

Our first destination, after a NJ overnighter and dinner with family, was Reading, PA, and our first train ride. Pennsylvania has a rich railroading history. The Reading Railroad (pronounced Redding) was once one of the largest and most influential railroads in the world. It began in 1833 as the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad as one of the first U.S. railroads and primarily hauled coal from anthracite coal mines in northeastern PA to Philadelphia. At its peak, the railroad had over 1,500 miles of track. 

Anyone who has ever played Monopoly may recall it's also the first railroad square in the game. By 1871, the Reading RR  had nearly cornered the lucrative coal market. Small by total mileage, it was the largest corporation worldwide by revenue due to its large mining operations. But, the need for this commodity declined after WWII ended. The railroad ran passenger trains, primarily in eastern PA and NJ, but ended operations in 1976 and sold most of its operations to Conrail.

Reading Outer Station, Pottsville, PA
In 1983, the privately held Reading Blue Mountain and Northern Railroad (RBM&N)  began operations providing freight cargo service mainly for anthracite coal. Then, the railroad began passenger train service over a short portion of track with day excursions to various parts of PA. 

In May 2017, the RBM&N company began offering a round-trip excursion from the Reading Outer Station in Pottsville, PA, outside Reading, to Jim Thorpe, PA, using refurbished Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs). These cars were built by the Edward G. Budd Company  in the 1950s for railroad commuter use. The Budd Company, began in Philadelphia, PA, in 1912, and manufactured steel automobiles, passenger rail cars, and other transportation products.
Budd Rail Diesel Cars run by the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad
The Budd Rail Diesel Car, Budd car or Buddliner is a stainless steel, self-propelled diesel railcar. Between 1949 and 1962, 398 RDCs were built for passenger service in rural areas with low traffic density or in short-haul commuter service. They were less expensive to operate than a traditional diesel locomotive-drawn train with coaches and remain in service in the U.S., and several other countries as well.

The RBM&N Railroad owns and operates three self-propelled RDCs (9166, 9167 and 9168). The 9167 and 9168 cars are full coaches and the padded seats flip to face whichever direction the train is traveling. We could see everything, coming and going.

Our destination was Jim Thorpe, PA, which began as the village of Coalville in 1815, named as it was near a major anthracite coal seam which drew miners. Coal from the area fueled an expanding railroad system throughout the region. In 1918, Coalville was renamed Mauch Chunk, a Leni Lenape Indian name for a nearby mountain which means "Mountain of the Sleeping Bear."

Jim Thorpe
By the 1950s, when coal was no longer in demand, it devastated the economy of the town, once considered one of the richest in America. Some enterprising residents began a fundraiser asking others to contribute A Nickel-a-Week to save the town. By 1954, $30,000 had been raised and what happened next is how it was renamed after the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal for the U.S., who later became a professional athlete, but was not a native of PA and never lived in the state.

After Oklahoma, his native state, declined to erect a memorial, his widow, Patricia, struck a financial deal with Mauch Chunk officials to honor her late husband and his sports accomplishments. Thorpe's remains were relocated from Oklahoma and are now interred in a mausoleum just outside the town. The plan was to use Thorpe's fame to attract tourists, but while it received much national press, it didn’t immediately draw tourism to the former coal town. That took years of promotion. 
Final resting place of the town's namesake, Jim Thorpe
Today, visitors come to ride the tourist trains, view the area's natural beauty and view the unique historical architecture in the town, which includes Victorian, Federalist, Greek Revival, Second Empire, Romanesque Revival, Queen Anne, and Romanesque styles. 

Some of the unique architecture in Jim Thorpe, PA
The historic buildings in Jim Thorpe feature very unique architectural details. The chimney pots, spirals and decorative gingerbread work are wonderfully preserved examples of late 1800 to early 1900s architecture. The town has been dubbed The Switzerland of America, a nickname derived from its picturesque scenery, mountainous location, steep hillsides, and narrow streets.
Train station in Jim Thorpe, PA, built by Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1888
Shortly after disembarking from our first train ride in Jim Thorpe, we boarded another train.
In 2005, after a railroad bridge was completed across the Lehigh River, a new passenger train operation and sister company to the RBM&N Railroad began and was named the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway. Trains operate from the vintage station formerly built in 1888 and operated by the former Central Railroad of New Jersey station. (We appreciated the connection to our home state.)
The 1-hour, 16-mile round-trip followed along the Lehigh River over bridges through Glen Onoko into Lehigh Gorge State Park. Most trains are diesel operated and the railroad primarily uses passenger coaches built as early as 1917. There are indoor seats in traditional train cars and open-air cars with bench seating. We opted for the open-air car which provided better views and let us walk around the car to see both sides of the track.
Most of the trip is within Lehigh Gorge State Park along tracks once owned by the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The D&L Canal Trail runs adjacent to the track and we saw many people walking and biking on this popular rail trail.
Franklin Street Train Station, Reading, PA, circa 1930s (online source)
Riding on trains wasn't all we did for our celebration. We dined in a former train and later bus station in Reading, PA. The Franklin Street Train Station was built in the 1920s as a stop along the Reading Railroad shipping and passenger Main Line to Philadelphia. It closed when diesel service was cancelled, remaining vacant. In later years, the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority (BARTA) acquired and refurbished the building, then converted into a bus depot.
Bus service at former Reading, PA, train station (online source)
However, after bus service was discontinued because of low ridership, the building sat empty and abandoned. Damage from vandals, fires, and bird decimated the building over 40 years. Exterior stone walls were covered in graffiti, windows were broken or missing, wood rot was extensive, plaster was damaged from a leaking roof. The original train station benches were long gone and debris littered the building.
Exterior view of Saucony Creek Brewpub
It wasn't until 2017 that the vacant building was revived to host showings of This Is Reading, a site-specific installation that blended live performance and visual media to present a visual narrative about the city. In 2018, Saucony Creek Brewing Company leased the facility and opened a brewpub restaurant in July 2019.
Interior View of Saucony Creek Brewing Company
The building is impressive and retains the feel of a classic train station with high ceilings and large windows. Rows of benches, like those that would have been used by waiting passengers 90 years ago, are the anchors of the dining area. None of the original benches or any remnants still remained in the building. The bench reproductions were based on historic photographs.

Norfolk Southern trains frequently use the former Reading Railroad tracks. On hearing the train horn, diners are encouraged to clap loudly until they have passed. We kept up that tradition too and clapped when a train passed. And, to answer a question in a fellow blogger's comment, the food was good. We went for an early dinner before more folks starting arriving after 6 pm.

We enjoyed ice cream on the trip; after all, it was a celebration !
After we returned home, catching up on things have kept me busy. This weekend hopefully will provide some catch-up time for blog reading.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Friday Funnies

Signs always fascinate me because of what they read and the wording used on them to convey a message. For example, this one where apparently nothing less would do:
It made me wonder if using words like completely or totally would have had the same effect. But then they might have been harder to understand and longer as well.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Happy Mother's Day 💐 to those celebrating on Sunday

Thursday, May 11, 2023

We've Been Moonlighting

No, we haven't been working at a side job or any job for that matter. 

The moonlighting in the post title refers to Moonlighting, the 1980s television show which starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. It had a two-hour debut on ABC on Sunday, March 3,1985 and was later shifted to Tuesday nights at 10 pm.

Seasons 1 & 2 DVD
Full disclosure, we never watched the weekly show years ago, and so were never avid followers. That said, this past week, we've been viewing a library borrowed DVD set of seasons 1 and 2, and nearly 40 years later finding it funny and absurd.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the show (there may be some)Shepherd and Willis, played private investigators who began working together after top model Maddie Hayes was stripped of her financial assets by her unscrupulous accountant who cleared out his office and skipped town. 

No tears for Maddie who still had an upscale home, pricey car, lots of clothes, and several business, which she learns were money-losing ventures maintained as tax write-offs. Her lawyer advises her to dump them as she's (that's right) out of money. The City of Angels Detective Agency is one of those businesses to be shed, until David Addison, a wisecracking investigator who has been running it persuades her to run it. Since she's already the boss, she agrees and renames it the Blue Moon Detective Agency after a shampoo brand she famously advertised during her career. 

The show opened to critical acclaim, became a hit and developed a cult-like following. Shepherd and Willis were called the Tracy/Hepburn equivalent of the 1980s. Even though the concept of them as case-solving detectives was an odd pairing which, in turn, became a big part of the show's appeal. Their love-hate relationship and snarky comebacks kept viewers watching this trend-setting show that merged drama, comedy, mystery, and romance. 

Moonlighting was never meant to be taken as a serious detective show. It's so far off that mark. There was never any reference to David Addison's investigative training or experience; Maddie Hayes work experience was in modeling. Despite being embezzled, she dresses well, maintains an upscale lifestyle, and drives a late model BMW. It's not a depressing lifestyle in the least.
Promotional photos of Moonlighting stars, Willis & Shepherd (Internet sources)
The show has been compared to screwball classic films by Howard Hawks and Preston Sturgis. Photos of the show leads focused on the physical attraction between Willis and Shepherd. By comparison, photos from the earlier screwball comedies were much more modest.
Scene from The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice episode
As well as being credited with helping Willis become a star, the show gave Shepherd’s career a needed boost. The 30-year old Willis was one of 3,000 actors who tested for the role of David Addison. The role of Maddie Hayes was written specifically for the 35-year old Shepherd, who didn't even screen test for the role. She was often shot with diffusion lenses to look as leading ladies did in 1940s films.

Allyce Beasley, Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis
Yes, cases were solved within the hour-long show, but how that happened was where the fun always came in. There's a lot of fast talking banter and very loud dialogue between the two leads, sometimes it's was hard to keep up. The cast also included Allyce Beasley as a quirky receptionist (Agnes DiPesto) who answered the office phone in rhymes. It was fun, but also very annoying.

After a couple of years, production was affected because the main stars took time off for feature films. Willis became a major star after the first Die Hard film. Original episodes became sporadic and viewers never knew until tuning in whether or not they were going to see a new episode or a rerun. 

Moonlighting drew its highest viewer rating on March 31,1987, when, in a bid to resurrect interest, David and Maddie finally consummated their long-standing love-hate relationship. The episode pulled 44 percent of the TV audience, outpolling the Academy Awards show. But, afterwards, ratings plunged, as critics and audiences left for other prime-time programs.

After five seasons and 67 episodes, the show ended on May 14,1989. The actors reportedly were not working well, viewers lost interest, and those all-important ratings dropped.

Curious, as always, to learn more, I read that back then Moonlighting was one of the most expensive series on TV, costing on average about  $1.6 million per episode. ABC covered the cost since the network owned the show and it was more profitable than if the series was owned by a separate production company. Because of scenes in which both actors simultaneously talked so long, scripts were two to three times longer than that of a similar hour-long drama.

Episodes were shot in 12 to 14 days, nearly double the usual 7 days for an hour-long series. At times, dialogue was written hours before shooting, scenes were filmed days before airing. There were many delays; the series never hit the usual 26 episodes per season.

It had a unique feature as when Willis and Shepherd would look directly into the camera and talk to the audience, a performance convention called breaking the fourth wall, and it was fun to watch. In this convention, an imaginary wall separates actors from the audience. The audience can see through the wall, but the convention assumes the actors continue as if they cannot.

To date, Moonlighting has not moved to any streaming platform. The show has only been released on DVDs for home media use. Update: a blogger friend emailed to let me know that episodes can be viewed on YouTube, if anyone is interested.

Why? It's been caught up in music rights issues. If music is involved in the production of a TV show or movie, lots of folks want more dollars from streaming rights.

That wasn't an issue when Moonlighting first hit TV screens according to series creator and producer Glenn Gordon Caron: When we made Moonlighting, television shows didn't typically use pop music. It was really just us and Miami Vice. So when deals were made for the music, no one anticipated streaming. In order to exhibit the show [on streaming], the owner of the shows, now the Walt Disney Company, has to go back and make deals for all that music – and they've resisted doing that for six or seven years now. 

Since that's not expected to be a quick process, it means that Moonlighting most likely won't  be available for streaming anytime soon. That means you'll have to borrow or buy the DVDs.
Moonlighting Seasons 3, 4 and 5 (final season) DVDs
But, if you're a fan, good news is that Moonlighting is available on DVDs; bad news is that the DVDs are costly—Amazon has Seasons 1 and 2 for $69 and prices for the remaining series go upwards to $120 for Season 5; the pilot episode goes for $89. 
Moonlighting Show Pilot DVD
Is the show worth watching? Yes, because as illogical and absurd some most of the episodes are, we've been laughing and they're funny vs. violent. However, once we've watched Season 1 and 2 DVDs we won't go out of our way to watch the remaining seasons. 
The Moonlighting theme song was co-written by Lee Holdridge and jazz singer Al Jarreau, who sang it at the show's start. In 1987, it reached #1 in the U.S. For anyone who needs a Moonlighting fix, this video has the show theme and episode scenes. Enjoy.

Your turn—any memories of a favorite show, and, if so, would you watch it again?

Friday, May 5, 2023

Friday Funnies (Not)

While trying to come up with a clever photo caption, two thoughts came to mind . . .

Stopping to smell the flowers or Let sleeping giants lie (wherever they choose to do so)

Photo taken at ArtYard gallery, Frenchtown, NJ, on our recent road trip

Feel free to add your own and be as descriptive as you possible, the more words, the better. For the poets among us, William Wadsworth's poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, best expressed the joy of seeing daffodils.

Mea Culpa, because fellow blogger, Sandra, asked and I should have learned more before posting today. The artist is Ledelle Moe and this artwork is part of Monuments, a permanent installation of five works spread across four locations on the ArtYard campus on Front St in Frenchtown, NJ. The massive recumbent figures are fragile and built of welded steel, cement and soil from the locations of their construction. This work, part of the Erosion series, was influenced by elements of graveyard statuary from cemeteries in MD and VA. It contains sand and soil from both sites.

As an update to the Say More, Please post from earlier this week, blogger has still flagged some older (and shorter) comments as Spam, but not as numerous as last weekend. These false flags as blogger AC called them were all "set free" and will continue to be liberated as needed.

Thanks to everyone who shared their own experiences and frustrations with Spam (or not) comments. Blogging remains enjoyable for me; I plan to continue, despite the annoying hiccups. 

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo today

Thursday, May 4, 2023

If We Don't Have It

Store motto at Dan & Whit's, VT
. . .You Don't Need It !

That's the motto posted at Dan & Whit's general store in Norwich, VT. It can be found on items throughout the store, from clothing to shopping totes.

For over 100 years, this store has been as much of a fixture as an iconic New England church steeple.

Norwich, VT, was settled by land grantees from Norwich, CT in 1761 which explains its name. This small New England town (pop. under 4,000) is one of the wealthiest towns in Vermont. It's home to many professors who teach at Dartmouth College, just across the Connecticut River in Hanover, NH. 

Dan & Whit's store is an integral part of the town and it's located in the center of town, as downtowns go, this one is small. There's the Norwich Post Office, the Norwich Bookstore, the Norwich Fire Department, and the Norwich Inn where we stayed (more on the inn later)
Dan & Whit's General Store, Norwich, VT
Everyone who lives or visits Norwich most likely has shopped here. Years ago there were up to five general stores in town, today just Dan & Whit's remains in the same Main Street location since 1891. It's served many purposes in that time—a bank, town hall, and the local post office. The Merrill family, its previous owners, ran it for three generations. In the 1930s, Dan Fraser & Whit Hicks began working there; 20 years later when the Merrills decided to sell, Fraser and Hicks purchased it in 1955. 

Both men ran the business until the 1970s, when Whit sold his half of the business to Dan. The name stayed and Dan's sons, George and Jack, took over in the 1970s. They're still the principal owners and visit often, now the third generation of the Frasers runs the day-to-day operation. 

Like other independent country stores in New England (there's still others) shopping at Dan & Whit's is a unique experience, like going back in time. 
Housewares, dairy products, canning goods and canned foods
Inside, there's groceries, produce, local dairy products, canning items, housewares, clothing, toys and even flowers or firewood. If you're hungry, there's also a deli and meat counter, pre-made salads and sandwiches, pizza, and even take-out sushi.
Sandwiches, groceries, and produce
The exterior isn't fancy with gas pumps out front. Self-service pumps became a gas station standard years ago, but until 2012 gas pumps here were maintained by a service attendant When an underground tank needed replacement, it was time to replace the pumps, but the store's gas provider could only provide ones with credit card slots. One good thing is the changeover helps prevent non-paying drive-offs to the tune of up to $100 a day. Before, some motorists would fill up and leave while the attendant was inside running a customer's card.
Bulletin boards in front of store
There's no eye-catching window displays. Several bulletin boards hold postings from various community groups in no specific order. If it's posted, someone might read it.
Directory on back door 
The real experience is where the general market ends and you go through an unmarked door behind the meat counter to enter the real general store. 
Some of the thousands of items found in Dan & Whit's 
Here's where you'll find thousands of items, some of which are listed on the Hardware Department door. There's hunting and fishing gear, dog treats, livestock grain, gardening tools, snow shovels, work gloves, socks seasonal items, flower pots and soil, hoses, grill supplies, baskets, canning supplies camping gear, fencing, screens, axes, sledge hammers and firewood.
Vintage screw cabinet and scale at Dan 7 Whit's
This store is such a community staple that when the pandemic hit and help was hard to find, residents came to help out. Local professionals including a business man, doctor, teacher, professor, therapist, and nurse helped the store stay open for business.
A general store can't match a big box store where things will cost less. But, there won't be as much genuine affection, and some fun too, in the shopping experience. That's what a store like Dan and Whit's still has to offer everyone who comes in.
The Norwich Inn on Main Street, Norwich, VT
Our road trip to Norwich, VT, was a 90 minute drive from Nashua, NHWe stayed here at the Victorian-style Norwich Inn on downtown Main Street. Set back from the street, the inn has three buildings that accommodate 40 guest rooms; 17 are housed in the Victorian mansion, which has a lounge, dining room and pub. The large covered porch has rocking chairs that have been used by many visitors over 226 years.

Moose head at Norwich Inn
Entering the inn's back door, we were greeted by this guy with a bird friend. According to a small plaque, this moose met his demise in September 1924. He's been at the inn many years.

The Norwich Inn was built in 1797 by Colonel Jasper Murdock as a private residence considered one of the state's finest. Colonel Murdock ran his home as the Norwich Inn, a stagecoach tavern that hosted travelers on the coach road heading north from Boston to the White Mountains. In 1801, it  became the Curtis Hotel owned by Eleazer Curtis. 

In July 1817, the fifth U.S. President James Monroe took a summer trip through New England and stopped at the inn. According to the inn's history, he had dinner and spent time meeting town citizens before leaving. While Monroe had a short visit, the hotel gained bragging rights as the first Vermont lodging establishment to have hosted an American president.
The Newton Inn, Norwich, VT

Its next owner, local resident Lewis S. Partridge, a member of the Vermont Militia, named it the Union House. 

After his 1886 death, Dr. W.S. Bowles became the next owner and it became the Newton Inn. It was destroyed in a December 1889 fire that began in a neighboring store, consuming it, the town post office, and several structures. Innkeeper Bowles, rebuilt in 1890 on the foundation of the original structure. The new Newton Inn resembled a Victorian structure with a wraparound porch and central turret.

In 1920, Dr. Bowles sold the inn to Charles and Mary Walker, who restored its original name. Although Prohibition had just started, the Walkers ran a tavern and, according to local legend, “Ma” Walker, served bootleg whiskey in the inn's cellar. A hotel register from the time features cartoons of Dartmouth students with mugs held high. A famous Dartmouth graduate, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was a frequent patron. When Charles died, Mary ran the inn until the mid-1930s when health issues forced her to sell. Guests have reported seeing her spirit in the dining room, dressed in a black formal gown. 

During its years of various ownership, structural changes were made to reflect trends of the day. Porches were enclosed and towers were removed. In 1991, new innkeepers began restoring the building to its earlier splendor as a landmark in the center of Norwich. Renovations included the reappearance of the central cupola and reconstruction of the front porch.
Jasper Murdock's Alehouse at the Norwich Inn
The inn's brewing traditions returned when a microbrewery was opened in a former livery building. In 1993, Jasper Murdock's Alehouse began producing English-style ale and a flagship ale, Whistling Pig Red Ale. About 200 barrels of beer are crafted annually and sold exclusively at the pub and it's one of the smallest U.S. breweries.
Dining room, back entry and staircase at the Norwich Inn
In 2006, the inn changed owners again and was bought by a Potomac, MD, couple who stayed there while visiting their Dartmouth College son and considered buying the property. There was just one hitch, it wasn't up for sale. That said, discussions were held and the inn once again had new owners. They were on-site during our visit, we were told, by the full-time innkeeper, Dave.

As you'll find in most historic hotels, the bathroom is much smaller than those in a modern lodging. If you choose a room in the historic Main Inn, it is not handicap-accessible. There is no elevator. You'll get exercise using the stairs, which are carpeted and nice to look at and Dave will help out with luggage.
Seating areas at the Norwich Inn
Just off of the dining areas is a Victorian-style living room complete with overhead chandeliers and a fireplace that was lit every evening during our visit. The room has comfortable seating to sit and enjoy a good book, chat or play a board game.
King Arthur Baking Company headquarters, Norwich, VT
No visit to Norwich, VT, would be complete without stopping at King Arthur headquarters, the flagship campus for all things about baking. We watched artisan bakers in the company bakery, browsed the extensive store, and had lunch at the onsite cafĂ©. We also spoke to folks who had travelled from PA and WI to attend some of the baking classes.
King Arthur store and bakery products
The company was founded in 1790 in Boston, MA, by Henry Wood who was an importer and distributor, originally of English-milled flour. Over the following years, it changed owners from Wood to Benjamin Sands and in 1895 was organized as a joint-stock company, named Sands, Taylor & Wood Company after the owners: Orin Sands, Mark Taylor, and George Wood (no relation to Henry Wood).

In 1896, the company introduced a new brand of premium flour that was called King Arthur Flour. It was so named after George Wood attended a performance of a musical, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The new flour was introduced at the Boston Food Fair in September 1896 to commercial success which has continued to this day.

The company became an employee-owned business in 1996 and has been 100% employee-owned since 2004. It's been named one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont annually since 2006. 

In July 2020, King Arthur Flour changed its name to The King Arthur Baking Company Inc. to reflect products and services other than flour, which include baking equipment, baking mixes, and cookbooks through its catalog, website, and at its flagship store. The logo was changed from a medieval knight riding a charger to a wheat-themed crown.

The re-branding was launched several months into the Covid pandemic, as retail flour sales exploded and people started home baking. King Arthur's flour sales in March 2020 were nearly 20 times above that of the previous year. That's a lot of dough (flour and dollars)!

Yes, I was one of those home bakers who used King Arthur brand exclusively, and still do.