Cornish New Hampshire Small Town Charm Historic Attractions
Cornish is a small rural town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. For a little town population wise, the population was 1,640 at the 2010 census, Cornish boasts a lot of charm and country attractions including has three covered bridges, including one of the the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world.
Cornish, a town of about 1,700 on the banks of the Connecticut River, has two general stores, a post office, a church and miles of pines, oaks, farmland and rolling hills. The town has long been a summer haven for artists and writers, a solitary escape in the woods.
Cornish, New Hampshire was established in 1763 as “Mast Camp” because it was major shipping point for tall mast ships that floated down the Connecticut river from early English settlers. The town officially incorporated in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, it was named for Sir Samuel Cornish, a distinguished vice-admiral of the Royal Navy.
The beauty of the area later attracted artist and eventually Cornish became a well-known summer resort for artists and writers. Seeking a studio away from the summer heat of New York City, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens began coming to Cornish in 1885. Artist friends followed him, transforming the area into a popular artists’ colony.
“Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger famously became a recluse and moved to Cornish to escape his own notoriety in a home in Cornish. Locals protected his secrecy from adoring fans who sought the author out in rural New Hampshire. Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.
“Nobody conspired to keep his privacy, but everyone kept his privacy — otherwise he wouldn’t have stayed here all these years,” said Sherry Boudro of nearby Windsor, Vt., who said her father, Paul Sayah, befriended Mr. Salinger in the 1970s. “This community saw him as a person, not just the author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’ They respect him. He was an individual who just wanted to live his life.”
Every the August Cornish hosts the Cornish Fair , a classic country fair since 1950. The agricultural fair is a true country fair with fruits and vegetable exhibits, horse and oxen pulling, lots of animals, crafts, children’s activities and rides and more.