Our Country Inn’s history dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Wealthy Englishman Isaac Van Horn had already amassed a fortune developing land in Florida. He had also captured the heart and hand of a beautiful debutante. In 1904, with Madeline by his side, he visited the Squam Lakes region and became enchanted with the beauty of New Hampshire and the Squam Lakes Region. He had long held a dream of building a stunning mansion, high on a hill. He was particularly taken by Shepard Hill with its spectacular vistas of the White Mountains and majestic pines. A decisive man, he purchased the land immediately and began construction on short order. No expense was spared in bringing artisans and craftsman from around the world to make the couple’s new home a breathtaking setting. The English Manor was completed in 1907 and, to celebrate, the Van Horns hosted the first of many elaborate parties. It was quickly recognized as the showplace of the New Hampshire. Sadly, the happy times would not continue as Madeline suffered a premature death. Broken hearted, Isaac could not bear living in the same house that had given he and Madeline so much happiness. In time, Isaac remarried. The second Mrs. Van Horn was an urban socialite with no desire to live in such rural seclusion as The Manor in New Hampshire. She ultimately persuaded Isaac to abandon his dream home.
Since that time the property has changed hands many times, experiencing a variety of incarnations as retreats or resorts. At one point, in the 1940’s, the property was purchased by Harold Fowler, a renowned photographer. He converted the mansion into the Holderness Photographic Colony. During that period it was a vacation center for amateur and professional photographers. Since the late 1950’s the property has operated as an inn under various names. The inn’s stature has grown steadily since then, aided substantially by the movie On Golden Pond, the investments of the previous owners and the quality of our loyal guests.
A love affair began the Manor on Golden Pond, and since then owners and guests have each had a love affair with this beautiful mansion and its beautiful setting.