The Hancock Inn

New Owners Make Changes While Embracing Tradition



Nestled in the heart of New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region is the town of Hancock. Founded in 1779 it was named for John Hancock who, only three years earlier had served as President of the Continental Congress and was the first Signer of the Declaration of Independence. By 1789 the town began to grow slowly and, that same year, Noah Wheeler opened the doors of his inn to guests who were “seeking bed and board.”  Nearly two and a quarter centuries later, Mr. Wheeler’s Hancock Inn is the state’s oldest and sits at the heart of a sleepy town that has changed little since. In fact, every building on Main Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The inn’s newest owners, Jarvis and Marcia Coffin, were living in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Jarvis operating a successful internet advertising and sales business, when they learned that the inn was for sale. “We had privately been discussing what we would do after my current business had run its course,” says Jarvis, a former Old Greenwich resident. “Then the inn came onto our radar screen and we said, “why not?”

With family ties to the Hancock area, the Coffins acquired the 13-bedroom inn in August of 2011 with no hospitality experience to speak of. “We got up to speed very quickly,” said Marcia. “We even visited other area inns to get a feel of how they operated.” Within a year, the Coffins’ hard work has paid off. The reception room, once set for additional dining, has been returned to traditional use; comfortable and period furniture allows guests to relax or to be welcomed by front desk clerk, Leslie Hartwell. A back room, once used as an office and gift shop, has been transformed into the Tavern which seats 25 for cozy dining and, at one end there is a stunning new bar. The adjacent outdoor patio serves a dozen guests for meals on clear summer nights. The formal dining room and the more private Webster Room remain as they were: traditional dining amongst colonial furnishings, period decorations and oil paintings.

“We are committed to top-of-the-line cooking and comfort food,” said Marcia, “as such we needed to upgrade the kitchen to reflect this.” Out went old equipment replaced by new. Chef Robert Grant, who served in the same capacity under the former owners, now cranks out more sumptuous fare including local cheeses and crab cakes to start to entrees like Brown Sugar Duck Breast, Shaker Cranberry Pot Roast or a traditional New England Clam Bake. Decadent desserts include a Flourless Chocolate Torte and Crème Brulee Trio. Andrea Molnar, Head of House, manages an attentive wait staff.

Residing at the rear of the inn, the Coffins, who refer to themselves as “resident innkeepers” have made this a family affair. Son Nathan, a Bucknell freshman, helps out on breaks from college and niece Eliza serves as an assistant summer hostess. Word of mouth and selective marketing have resulted in steady business. “The object of the game is to delight our guests,” said Jarvis. “They always seem to leave with a smile. I guess it’s working.”

Hancock Inn, 33 Main Street, Hancock, N.H.; 603-525-3318; www.hancockinn.com

Autumn Activities near Hancock, New Hampshire

  • Climb:  Mt. Monadnock; most climbed mountain in North America (Jaffrey and  Dublin).
  • Visit:  The boyhood home of Samuel Wilson known as “Uncle Sam.” (Mason).
  • Shop:  At the Peterborough Basket Company famous for its Nantucket baskets. (Peterborough).
  • Experience:  An auction at Cobb’s Antique Auction House. (Peterborough).
  • Tour:  The Shaker Village. (Canterbury).
  • Reflect:  At Willa Cather’s gravesite. (Jaffrey).
  • Watch:  Jonathan Gibson produce world-class pewter at Gibson Pewter. (Hillsborough).

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • Information Fair

    2014.09.16
     @ YMCA

    Our Annual Information Fair - This event showcases non profits , community businesses, schools and  services in the Greenwich...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Isaia Fall Trunk Show

    2014.09.19
     @ Richards

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Nam Cho Trunk Show

    2014.09.20
     @ Richards

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • Puttin’ On The Dog Festival

    2014.09.21
     @ Roger Sherman Baldwin Park

    Puttin’ On The Dog Festival Greenwich, Connecticut the place to be on September 21st for dogs and their owners...

  • Candy Fairies Book Reading

    2014.09.21
     @ Imagine Candy

    SCARSDALE, NY, Imagine Candy brings the acclaimed children's author Helen Perelman, the writer of the wickedly sweet Candy Fairies book...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • Chizi's Tale Book Launch Party

    2014.09.21
     @ Tudor Investment Campus

    You and your family are invited to join Diane's Books of Greenwich and TUSK USA to celebrate the launch of Chizi's Tale: The True Story...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • "Israel and the U.S."

    2014.09.22
     @ New Canaan Library

    The public is invited to attend a World Affairs Forum Great Decisions event featuring Seth Anziska, Columbia University. Mr. Anziska will speak...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Fashion Day Out
    September 13, 11am to 6pm
  2. American Red Cross: Red and White Ball 2014
    NetJets Hangar at Westchester County Airport
  3. Twelfth Annual New York Smile Event
    Cipriani Wall Street
  4. Stars of Greenwich
    Meet the founders of the Greenwich International Film Festival
  5. 5 Key Pieces To Buy Now
    Buy now and wear all season