“It is hard to imagine but it was just a year ago, in September 2015, that Lois Scribner and Howard Moffett closed the sale of 2 Baptist Road in Canterbury. Lois had moved to Canterbury two years prior to be with Howard, who had retired from law practice at Orr-Reno in Concord, and was now elected a state representative. Lois sold her house in Arlington, Massachusetts, a process that had taken all summer and turned into a real nail biter. T
The idea of turning 2 Baptist Road into a bed and breakfast guest house germinated during weekly visits to the Canterbury Community Farmer’s Market. Canterbury residents universally responded positively to the idea. In the heat of this dry droughty summer of 2016 it is now hard to remember the winter of contractors commitments and the excitement they took in their work. Led by Mark Hopkins, historic house specialist in Canterbury, they uncovered old posts and beams, worked on reorganizing and insulating the original attic, rewired nearly all the rooms, inserted new plumbing to allow for 4 bedrooms each with its own ensuite bathroom and shower.
Lois had been working on the history of past owners and worthy citizens of Canterbury in the 18th century and planning to name rooms in the guest house for some of those lesser known, but significant people. Reverend, and later Honorable Abiel Foster, Congregational minister, Patriot during the Revolutionary War, Justice of the Peace, State Representative, President of the NH Senate, and Congressman, who gave twenty five years of his life to public service was an obvious choice.
Naturally the first owner of the historic house, Reverend Frederick Parker, also from Massachusetts, and a post-war minister in Canterbury, had to be included. He served the town for 11 years until his untimely death in 1802. In the future his wife, the remarkable Susannah Foster Parker will have a room named after her.
For now, the third room is named for an influential Shaker Eldress, Mary Whitcher, grand-daughter of the original Benjamin Whitcher who donated his 100 acre farm to the newly-forming Shaker community in Canterbury in the last years of the 18th century, at the same time as Parker was trying to hold a small Congregational community together and Foster was busy in the Senate and Congress. Mary’s legacy lives on in her Shaker Housekeeper book, a copy of which guests can peruse when they stay.
Several months were also spent researching and pursuing the relevant licensing both at the town and state level. That process was finally completed with in late August, about 10 days before the scheduled Open House! Lois joined the Chamber that same day! And now, having had some ‘experimental guests’ in July, Lois is open to welcome ‘real’ guests during fall and winter. For further details, see the video booklet made by Kathie Fife, Photographer in Canterbury, and visit www.canterburycenterbedandbreakfast.com
Photo credit: Kathie Fife