Friday, January 15, 2016
Only Henniker On Earth
I first met the town of Henniker when I was twelve years old. My older brother had enrolled as a freshman at the young New England College and my family made a day trip in the early fall to visit him, 1958.
It's a peaceful little town, so it was a logical choice for the setting of my novel, Schmuel's Journey. The peace and quite is often disturbed a bit by the college students, but, otherwise, it really is peaceful. New England College opened its doors there in 1946. Henniker and I got started at about the same time.
The town is named after Sir John Henniker, a London merchant who had shipping interests in Boston and Portsmouth. Currently, there are just under five-thousand residents. The countryside is beautiful and a river runs through it, as you can see in the picture. That's the Edna Dean Procter Bridge, a solid stone arch bridge built in 1835. Looks like something out of ancient Rome.
Among the notable people who have spent time in Henniker is actress Geena Davis, who attended NEC. Henniker can also claim fame as the place where the game of paintball was invented.
The town offers skiing at Pats Peak, canoeing and kayaking in the Contookcook River, great foliage viewing in the fall and all the activities of New England College. If, for any reason, you needed to go on the lamb and hide out in plain site, this might be the town for you.