Bruce, another visitor, and I lunch at Sanborn Mills Farm where the restored buildings, well-trained animals, and inviting gardens are the stars. Head chef Kelly Fahey is in the background.

It's hard to know what’s most enchanting about Sanborn Mills Farm in Loudon. Is it the lovely garden beside the restored 1800s barn? Is it the working gristmill? Or the water-powered sawmill? Perhaps the sum of all the parts is the magic of Sanborn Mills Farm. That is the magic of serenity and joy.

The farm was founded in the 1770s by John Sanborn, who fought in the Revolution. John's son Edmund built the sawmill and gristmill, where farmers brought bundles of wheat or oats to be ground. While waiting for the miller to finish, the farmer could have his ox or horse shod at the blacksmith shop next to the gristmill. The shop also sold hinges, ax heads, or anything metal. Across the road, the sawmill cut logs used to frame barns and build houses.

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