|Early 1960s - Christmas at the Family Home in Weirs Beach built by Byron Hedblom following his own designs. Today the former Hedblom home is a Bed and Breakfast - The Lighthouse Inn
A Home to Inspire Three Generations
Doris and Byron Hedblom built a strong and loving center for their large family. The physical manifestation of this was the family home which Byron constructed to his own specifications near Weirs Beach, in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
The house at the Wiers was built at the end of the war in 1945-46, and was initially used as a vacation home. The Hedbloms and their three girls, Dory, Janet and Carol, relocated from Boston and moved in permanently in 1952.
This extraordinary home - with its inspirations from naval architecture - became central to the memories of three generations. For children and grandchildren alike, the house on Scenic Road became the interior decor of memories and the surrounding 65-acres of fields and forests the familiar landscape of dreams.
The large living room had a cathedral ceiling, and a sit-in bay window that recalled the look-out from a ship's wheelhouse. An original wooden ship's wheel, brass binnacle, and other nautical touches throughout the room enhanced the effect.
Doris decorated beautifully, hanging blue Thai silk curtains which shimmered in the windows, and bringing home wonderful treasures from her travels, each with a story and a memory behind it. On the floor was an enormous elaborately patterned royal blue oriental rug, purchased during the Hedblom's travels. The walls were paneled with warm knotted pine throughout.
Later Byron, always looking for the next creative project, spiffed-up a basement family-room by painting a trompe d'oeil view of Portofino, Italy as though seen from a wheelhouse of an arriving boat, and adding circular port-hole covers to the basement windows.
Holidays at Meme & Dindy's
In this home, "Meme and Dindy", as they were nicknamed by their family, held grand family events. The focal point of the year was the Scandinavian style Christmas, with family presents exchanged on Christmas Eve beneath an enormous tree in the living room. Meme's christmas cookies, danish butter balls, and other Scandinavian treats would be served. On Christmas morning, children rushed out to the tree to find additional presents from Santa.
In the winter, the gentle slope of the meadows below the house were perfect for tobogganing. In spring and summer children played atop the three large boulders in the field, christening the rocks "The Mount," the Sophie C. and the Doris E, after the Winnipesaukee tourist vessels built by their grandfather and great-grandfather.
The forests surrounding the house were endlessly explored on weekends. Children and grandchildren brought home wild pets: newts, turtles and frogs from its ponds and streams. Deer could often be seen in the fields below the house.
An annual autumn ritual - traditionally undertaken by Byron with grandchildren in tow - was the posting of "No Hunting" signs on trees around the perimeters of the property.
|Byron Hedblom (at the base of the ladder) makes a rescue with the help of neighbor, Mount Washington Captain Bryan Avery
Sometimes, a cat, small animal, or overly adventurous child had to be rescued from one of the large trees on the property. Once a racoon fell into the space in front of a basement window, and Dindy, working in his basement workshop within view of the racoon, built it a special escape ladder.
On Easter, a big easter-egg hunt was organized in the fields below the house. A special large chocolate Easter Bunny could usually be found somewhere near the "Mount Washington Rock." Children's birthdays were celebrated with home-baked cakes and movies projected on a big screen in the living room.
Today "Meme & Dindy's House" on Scenic Road is a bed and breakfast, the Lighthouse Inn. We are very pleased that the owners have chosen to remember its architect and his shipbuilding heritage so well. The Lighthouse motif is a fitting reminder of the WWII tugboats built by Byron Hedblom, and named for Lighthouses.
We will be adding specific memories and photos from friends and family members as they become available. See the Memories page