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Our Story

The Inn at Thorn Hill in the winter

The History of Thorn Hill

Entry sign and light post in winter

Tucked away in the great White Mountains of New Hampshire, our hidden gem holds history in every stone hand placed on the porch, to each sparkling wine glass that hangs above our tavern. Established in the late 1800’s, Thorn Hill Inn has offered a cozy luxury experience to guests spanning over 90 years. We have committed to upholding its tradition, heritage and rich antiquity as its charm continues to inspire our community and our guests. We build on the opulent legacy of Thorn Hill everyday with each traveler creating new memories. It is with pride we share the brilliant history of the Inn at Thorn Hill.

Thorn Hill Inn was originally only a small piece of a larger property purchased by Katherine Wormley. Katherine became most noted for her work during the Civil War. She was a noted author, translator and dedicated her life to the prosperity of those in need.

Katherine was a nurse during the war and started numerous non profit organizations to benefit soldiers and their families in need. A true visionary in constant service of the less fortunate, in 1861 she organized the local Newport Women’s Union securing a government clothing contract providing employment for the wives and daughters of soldiers. She then joined the hospital transport service volunteering to care for the sick and wounded on ships through the Virginia peninsula. Later, her novel The Other Side of War would recall her experiences including an interaction with President Lincoln. Once returning home, she accepted the position of Lady Superintendent of Lowell General Hospital. After the war Wormley concentrated on charity. One of her most prominent achievements was founding the Newport Charity Organization Society in 1879. She also founded an industrial school for girls and was the director and financial supporter until it became part of the Newport’s public school system in 1890. 

Antique portrait photo of a woman
Old red book

She had befriended a french writer early in her life and is well known in the literary world with her  work translating French letters. She took a particular interest in Honore de Balzac and dedicated her life from the early 1800’s until the end of her life working with that author. She wrote “A Memoir of Honore de Balzac” and “La Comedie Humaine” which included 40 volumes. Katherine spent her last years in Jackson, New Hampshire on Thorn Hill. 

Katherine had purchased most of the property on Thorn Hill and commissioned what would become one of the most successful architecture firms in American History to design and create a year round home at the top of the hill. Stanford White the famous architect created two homes. One at the top of Thorn Hill, and one close to the town of Jackson. Katherine would reside in the home built near the town for her last years. Upon her death, an arrangement had been made years previous between her and the house keeper that the residence would be left to the staff and small increments had been taken out of their earnings.

The Inn at Thorn Hill entry sign and exterior in winter