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The History of Pierce's Inn

Pierce's Inn was built in 1947 by Bob Keene, Dartmouth Class of '30. Bob wanted a weekend getaway from his New York City life as professional photographer. In the early goings, before and during the building of the Inn, they had army surplus tents set up on the property and all their city friends flocked to the compound to hang out! Tired of hosting a nonstop flow of friends, Louise Keene felt it was time for a little compensation from these folks. A porcelain pig was the original cash box and the concept for the country inn was in place. Keene's Lodge was open for business soon after. Some of the early clients were skiers who came up to take part in the Ford Sayre ski schools held at the college slopes. Seeing this, Bob and Louise decided to build their own ski hill on the back hill! The 900' rope tow was installed in 1949. Skiing and the "ski school" (camps for flat lander kids during school vacations) became a significant aspect of the business.

The Keene's ran the lodge for 10 years until 1959 when they sold it to the Damian's who ran the lodge for one year. In 1960, the Ashley's bought it and operated the inn as the Ashley House for 10 years. In 1971, Reg Pierce (Dartmouth '46) and his wife Nancy bought the Inn and changed the shingle to read "Pierce's Inn". Reg and Nance had frequented the place for Reg's class reunions and were ready for a change from their suburban life of Greenwich, CT. Reg resigned from his Madison Avenue job and moved the family to NH.

Pierce's Inn was a popular spot for various Dartmouth group functions such as class reunions, team banquets and retreats. In the summer, weddings and family reunions kept the Pierce's busy. In the winter, they continued with the ski school and ski weekends with the Pierce brood of 7 children providing ski instruction. The rope tow was removed in 1980 when it became too much up-keep and liability insurance costs went through the roof. The rope tow is gone, but the trails are cleared, and friends, family and guests enjoy hiking up and skiing down.

In the fall of 2002, Reg and Nance sold the business to their youngest daughter Cindy and her husband Bruce Lingelbach. Reg and Nance moved into the chalet next door and handed to the reins to Bruce and Cindy who had three very small children at the time. Sadly, Reg passed away in 2003, but big Nance is still next door charging around town, working at the senior center, playing tennis and bridge and keeping an eye on things here at the Inn.