• Joe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #95: Three Chimneys Inn and ffrost Sawyer Tavern, Durham


ffun times with ffriends

It's the oldest building in Durham and one of the oldest in New Hampshire, built in 1649 by entrepreneur Valentine Hill. Hill owned more than five hundred acres where the Oyster River falls into the Mill Pond, including a sawmill and gristmill. There's no truth to the rumor that some of my older Durham Rotary friends assisted in the original construction.Just kidding fellas! The Three Chimneys Inn became the home of the Durham-Great Bay Rotary Club when the Acorns Restaurant at the New England Center closed up shop. It would never be quite the same for the club, but not for a lack of the historic and welcoming environs of Three Chimneys.


I have fond recollections of those breakfasts, and dinners in the ffrost Sawyer Tavern with Melissa and Matt Carlyon and other Durham friends. Mike Proulx will remember the retirement sendoff there for beloved SAF Treasurer Don Harley. Speaking of the Tavern, I've spent some time looking into why George ffrost, who bought the property in the 1800s, insisted on spelling his name with two lowercase f's. A Dutch affectation? A persistent misspelling? Inquiring minds want to know.

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