The Historic Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Sold

Gilmanton—According to Frank Roche of Roche Realty Group in Meredith, the historic Temperance Tavern in Gilmanton Corners has recently been sold. Christina Day and Joe MacDonald of Roche Realty Group represented the Sellers in the transaction, and Lynn O’Connor of EXP Realty represented the Buyer. 

 

Built in 1793,  the Temperance Tavern is an elegantly restored 14-room 18th-century colonial with a two-story attached carriage barn built from the planks of the King’s Lumber. It includes six working open hearth fireplaces, Indian Window shutters, and original period stenciling by Moses Eaton throughout.

 

This architectural treasure has a rich history that started as an important way station for 18th-century travelers. The tavern, which once served as the town’s post office, circuit courthouse, Masonic lodge, and the ballroom was divided into rooms for boarding students from the prestigious Gilmanton Academy (circa 1850), which is now the Town Hall for Gilmanton. Gilmanton Academy was a feeder school to Dartmouth College. For over 100 years, it served as the stagecoach stop on the Canada to Dover Road Public Stage Coach Line. The Tavern’s gravity-fed spring supplies water; a 17th-century battle between Native Americans and early settlers was fought over the rights of usage. Today, the spring provides the tavern with exceptional pure drinking water.

 

Throughout its history, the tavern’s casual, friendly atmosphere has witnessed the presence of countless visitors, including Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place, who lived nearby in the town. Frank Roche personally sold Grace Metalious’s home twice. Judge Bernie Snierson in Laconia was Grace Metalious’s personal attorney, and Attorney Snierson represented our Real Estate Firm at the time.  If walls in the tavern could talk, it would be an interesting story. The book and the following television series showed the scandalous nature of Peyton Place, which was Gilmanton in the book.

 

In 2003, Bob and Becky Ronstadt purchased the historic structure and provided a solid stewardship of the property for the past 21 years. Over the years, The Ronstadts have utilized the property in varying ways, including operating The Journal of The Print World there, a publication devoted to antique and contemporary works of fine art on paper. The gallery in the Pub Room displayed all types of fine artworks. They also operated Temperance Tavern Country Foods with its expanded lines of jams, jellies, preserves, marinades, salsas, etc. Ronstadts’ most recent venture was to reopen the tavern and pub with fine appetizers, lobster ravioli, gumbo, and other fine dishes to complement the historic preserved bar. 

 

Most importantly, guests and tavern patrons loved the relaxed pace and historic atmosphere of the tavern, which has wide planked floors, beams, aged wooden millwork, and a homey feel throughout its 6,494 sf. of living space with 6 extraordinary fireplaces. 

 

The Ronstadts commented, “Our experience over the years is that it’s really magical; it fosters creative thinking.” The Ronstadts moved for decades following Bob’s career, first in business and later in academia at Boston University. Bob published a thoroughly researched book on college selection and college funding issues that I found very authoritative and insightful for future college students and their parents. Both Bob and Becky are active in non-profit activities. Bob coached tennis and has spent much time consulting with graduating high school seniors on their future educational and college choices. 

 

As the Ronstadts pass the baton of stewardship forward in retirement, they wanted to ensure that the centuries of charm that have seen a myriad of uses would continue. We thank the Ronstadts for their stewardship in preserving the Temperance Tavern’s history. 

Are you looking to sell commercial real estate in NH's Lakes Region?

For over 40 years, the name “Roche” has been a leading force in Commercial Real Estate sales throughout the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Our team has vast experience in all phases of commercial property, business sales, and project development. Over the years, our interplay with developers, local planning boards, and end users has given us the practical hands on knowledge that can give you the service and results you demand and deserve.

The approach that we use is one of interdisciplinary practice. Our agents have local knowledge and are well networked in the area. A number of our agents had previous careers in the areas of public accounting, finance, banking, construction, project management, retail establishments, restaurant and hospitality, utility companies, development, management consulting, and business owners. We each handle all kinds of real estate transactions, and by doing so have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can’t be duplicated. Click here to view our Significant Sales Report

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