This home opens the doors to our past and the people who have come before us. Inside is a blend of old New England and new architecture; colonial artifacts sit alongside historic items unique to the story of the people of New Hampshire.
Once inside you will learn how The Bridges House was used in the past and how it is used today. There are objects of great interest and stories that bring this wonderful home to life.
A historically and architecturally significant home built in 1835, The Bridges House is located in East Concord, New Hampshire. The house is listed on both the New Hampshire and the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bridges House serves as the setting for many official state functions held by the Governor. Conferences are held here with legislators, civic and business leaders, and visiting dignitaries from around the nation and the world. The public is welcomed to the house for events such as holiday tree lightings, concerts and tours as well as backyard summertime outings.
The Bridges House property dates back to the 1600’s. It was originally owned by Revolutionary War hero Joshua Thompson. In the 1700’s, the property was owned by Ebenezer Eastman. Mr. Eastman was a successful businessman whose ferry business across the Merrimack River helped develop Eastman Village and East Concord. Later that century, a family of stonecutters lived at The Bridges House. Some of their handiwork is still seen today in the house’s foundation.
Some time between 1837 and 1843, Charles Graham built the current house. The house was likely the talk of the town because of its rare brick and Greek revival style. In the mid-1890’s, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Bath bought the property. The Bath family lived here for a few generations.
The Bridges family purchased the home from the Bath family in 1946.
Styles Bridges was a self-made man and legendary politician who lived in this home with his family. He was a well-known and respected political leader in New Hampshire, serving as New Hampshire Governor from 1935 to 1937 and US Senator from 1937 to 1961.
Styles Bridges never forgot his roots. First and foremost, he was a gentleman farmer. At one point, the property was a working farm with vegetables and livestock.
But don’t underestimate this farmer from New England. Not only did he serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee, he was also deeply involved in the Manhattan Project, the development of the atomic bomb used to help win World War II.
Perhaps one of his most impressive lasting legacies is his link to our First in the Nation Presidential Primary. While New Hampshire was already first in line, but not quite the “must-visit” state we have now become, Senator Bridges invited his friend and fellow Republican candidate Dwight Eisenhower to kick off his presidential campaign in New Hampshire. That informal invitation turned out to be a highly covered media affair and was the first true “star status” visit by a presidential hopeful.
Senator Bridges briefly ran for President himself; however, his campaign did not last long and he withdrew from the race.
In 2004, former First Lady Susan Lynch launched an aggressive effort to restore, preserve, and update the landmark, in order to share this unique treasure. “Friends of Bridges House” was created and has raised private funds for repairs and renovations.
“I want to do so much more; develop gardens with young people, and build a guest house for visiting dignitaries. My long-term vision for The Bridges House includes concerts, art exhibits, and perhaps special displays of the work of local furniture masters and artists. This home should show off everything that is good about New Hampshire, so that people can understand what our state is all about. The Bridges House is a simple but elegantly styled home, which reflects the heart and soul and spirit of its people.”
Many of the improvements and renovations to the property are the result of the passion, dedication and incredible talent of a team of designers and contractors who volunteered to roll up their sleeves and create this “show home.”
The recent restoration of The Bridges House creates a true connection to its storied past. The work and improvements reflect the ownership of past families, while drawing a meaningful connection of the families who congregated here years ago.
Contribute to The Bridges House and help preserve a piece of New Hampshire history