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

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

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  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
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  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
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    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...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Flinn Gallery Art Opening

    2014.10.30
     @ Flinn Gallery 2nd floor

    FLINN GALLERY Opening Reception 'IN FOCUS' Thursday October 30, 6 - 8pm Seven artists share their visions - Carolyn Conrad,...

  • IMAGINE CANDY- SWEET TASTINGS!!!

    2014.10.24
     @ Imagine Candy

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  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Harvest Fair and Gift Show

    2014.11.01
     @ Second Congregational Church

    Event Will Include Hay Mazes, Games, Crafts, Food, Holiday Shopping The community is invited to a Harvest Fair and Gift Show on Saturday, Nov....

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01
     @ Latin Moves Dance Studio

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Lynne Scalo Design Opening

    2014.11.05

    Please join Lynne Scalo, Greenwich Magazine and athome Magazine to celebrate the Greenwich showroom opening of Lynne Scalo Design Cocktails...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show

    2014.11.06
     @ Hyatt Regency Greenwich

    Breast Cancer Alliance to Host Branching Out, Coming Together, Aspiring to a Cure 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show: November 6,...

  • Free Screening of Documentary ' Children of the Inquisition'

    2014.11.06
     @ Bush-Holley House

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  • P.A.L.S. 2nd Annual Soarin' Soiree~ November 7, 2014

    2014.11.07
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    You are invited to join our State Senator, L. Scott Frantz and our First Selectman, Peter J. Tesei, for an awe-inspiring evening to benefit Patient...

  • John Hardy Event

    2014.11.08
     @ Bloomingdale's

    John Hardy One of a kind. One at a time. Each by hand. Bloomingdale's is inviting YOU to meet the head designer Guy Bedarida as he presents...

  • Olivine Gabbro Opening

    2014.11.08

    Olivine Gabbro invites you to join them for their Opening Party! DJ | Cocktails | H'Orderves | Gift Bags Made to Measure Beautifully...

  • Meet Joshua Safran, Author of "Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid"

    2014.11.11
     @ YWCA Greenwich

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  • Markham Roberts: Decorating the Way I See It

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