Blow-Me-Down Farm

Blow-Me-Down Farm Collage 1600x1200
NPS Photos

History

The 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.

Access

Public 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.

Future

In accordance with a Site Management Plan completed in 2012, the park has been working to prepare the Farm for use and occupancy. New water and septic systems have been installed to service all habitable buildings. The park has also focused much of its rehabilitation efforts on the Dance Hall which has received significant exterior repairs, new paint, and a new roof. Interior repairs are slated to be completed in a few years.

For the other buildings on the property, 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 that has been based in the Upper Connecticut River Valley since 1984, 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, 2018, and 2019, all of which were highly successful. Opera North has developed plans for the renovation of the Casino house to support their summer performances which are under review by the National Park Service prior to a lease being signed.

Last updated: November 27, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

139 Saint Gaudens Road
Cornish, NH 03745

Phone:

603-675-2175

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