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In the spring, New Hampshire’s many sap houses hold sugaring-off open houses. In summer and early autumn, New Hampshire is home to many county fairs, the largest being the Hopkinton State Fair, in Contoocook. New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is home to many summer camps, especially around Lake Winnipesaukee, and is a popular tourist destination. The Peterborough Players have performed every summer in Peterborough, New Hampshire since 1933. In the fall New Hampshire is host to the New Hampshire Highland Games. New Hampshire has also registered an official tartan with the proper authorities in Scotland, used to make kilts worn by the Lincoln Police Department while its officers serve during the games. The fall foliage peaks in mid-October. In the winter, New Hampshire’s ski areas and snowmobile trails attract visitors from a wide area. After the lakes freeze over they become dotted with ice fishing ice houses, known locally as bobhouses.


Many novels, plays and screenplays have been set in New Hampshire. The state has played other roles in fiction, including:

New Hampshire born Daniel Webster is a prominent figure in Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story entitled The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937), about a New Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the devil and is defended by Daniel Webster.

Peterborough is the inspiration for the town of Grover’s Corners, in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town (1938).

The novel Peyton Place (1956) was inspired by the town of Gilmanton.

John Knowles based the DevonSchool in A Separate Peace (1959) on PhillipsExeterAcademy in Exeter.

The prep school in John Irving’s The World According to Garp (1978) was also based on PhillipsExeterAcademy. Irving’s stepfather was a faculty member at the school, and Irving is an alumnus; New Hampshire settings are common in his works.

The Hotel New Hampshire (1981) by John Irving is a coming of age novel.

New Hampshire resident and author Jodi Picoult writes many of her novels taking place in small towns in New Hampshire


Bob Montana, the original artist for Archie Comics, attended ManchesterCentralHigh School for a year, and may have based RiverdaleHigh School in part on Central.

Al Capp, creator of the comic strip Li’l Abner, used to joke that Dogpatch, the setting for the strip, was based on Seabrook, where he would vacation with his wife.

 Film and television

DartmouthCollege is said to be the inspiration for the film Animal House (1978), as one of the scriptwriters, Chris Miller, studied there.

The character of Josiah Bartlet, President of the United States on the television series The West Wing, was depicted as a two-term New Hampshire governor.

The film On Golden Pond (1981) was filmed and takes place in New Hampshire.

The film What About Bob? (1991) takes place primarily in New Hampshire but was actually filmed in Virginia.

The film Jumanji (1995) with Robin Williams, was filmed in Keene.

The film Live Free or Die (2006) was filmed in Claremont.

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