HistoryThe property now known as Blow-Me-Down Farm was first settled in the 1770’s. In 1882 Charles Beaman, a New York City lawyer and patron of the arts bought the property he renamed “Blowmedown" after the nearby brook. Beaman immediately began building his "Blowmedown" cottage, a three story barn, and continually improved the farm adding several buildings and houses. He developed orchards and gardens and had considerable livestock. He also bought the land to the east that is now the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Beaman leased this property to Augustus Saint-Gaudens and his family, who came to Cornish for the first time in 1885 at Beaman's invitation.
Beaman continued to buy properties in Cornish, later selling many of these properties to friends and artists attracted to the area, leading to the organic creation of the Cornish Art Colony. In 1926, a fire destroyed the main house and one of the many property buildings was renovated as the main dwelling. The Farm remained in the Beaman family until 1950. The property changed hands several times over the next 40 plus years and was subdivided into a number of smaller parcels. Many of the farm buildings were also moved to other sites.
The Blow-Me-Down Farm property was eventually purchased by the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, a non-profit operating partner of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. In 2010 the 42.6-acre Blow-Me-Down Farm was transferred to the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. A local farmer grows corn and hays the fields.
AccessPublic access to Blow-Me-Down Farm is by ranger-guided tour or special use permit only. Tours are offered monthly in the summer, and periodically during the winter months. See the park Calendar for information about the next available tour.
FutureIn accordance with a Site Management Plan completed in 2012, the park has been working to prepare the Farm for use and occupancy by updating water and sewer infrastructure. The park is also working to engage partners to help meet our vision for creating a National Park for the Arts at the Farm. Opera North, a non-profit performing arts organization based in the Upper Connecticut River Valley for 36 years, has expressed interest in entering into a lease with the National Park Service for using a portion of the farm and its buildings for performances, offices, and rehearsal space. They tested their proposal with celebrations and performances during the summers of 2017 and 2018. Both events were highly successful. As of the autumn of 2018, Opera North is in the midst of developing a more concrete proposal for its footprint at the farm. Their proposal and plans will be shared with Town of Cornish officials, the New Hampshire State Historic Preservation Office, and other entities before being reviewed and approved by the National Park Service.
Last updated: October 5, 2018