History of 532 Canaan Street

A historic property with unlimited possibilities awaits you in Canaan, New Hampshire, in the heart of rural New England.

Historic 532 Canaan Street would make a charismatic and idyllic bed and breakfast in classic New England style; a retreat center for those looking to reconnect with nature; an event space for fairytale weddings and parties. What do you envision?

Early 1800s

Gilman’s Tavern

Built for Joseph Weeks, Gilman’s Tavern, a colonial stagecoach tavern, consisted of the main Greek Revival-style building and neighboring barn. Later, it was known as Dole’s Tavern.

Canaan was an important stop on the Underground Railroad in the 1800s.


Early 1900s

“The Switzerland of New Hampshire”

Around 1890, the Weeks family gave the property to their son William Hinckley, who turned the property into a popular New England summer destination called the Hotel Lucerne.

From the 1890s to the early 1900s, under various proprietors, the Hotel Lucerne was expanded to its current footprint: over twenty guestrooms, two large parlors, a wrap-around porch, grounds for tennis, croquet, and golf, and swimming and boat access to Canaan Street Lake on the property’s edge.

In Hotel Lucerne’s heyday, it was a popular summer vacation destination and stop along the carriage route from Boston to Montreal.


In the 1940s, the hotel was converted into the first campus of the Cardigan Mountain School (an all-boys day prep school). From the 1970s to 1999, it was the campus of Canaan College, and tiny liberal arts college.

1940s

Cardigan Mountain School
Canaan College


In recent years, the Historic 532 Canaan Street has served as a private residence.

Learn more about Canaan’s history and culture from WCVB Channel 5 Boston.

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