Littleton, New Hampshire, is a small town located on route 302 close to the Vermont border. On a recent exploration adventure, my wife and I decided to stop there and see what we could discover.
Driving into town we noticed banners hanging from many of the light poles along the main street. The banners showed the silhouette of a girl with her arms flung wide with the slogan ‘The Glad Town'. How much more welcoming a banner could you have than that? We would later discover that Littleton was the residence of Eleanor H. Porter, the author of “Pollyanna”. ‘Be glad’ is the name of a game that Pollyanna plays that helps her and many of the characters in the book brighten their lives. The whole town exemplifies this motto.
Our first stop was to the library, which displays a statue of Pollyanna right out front. The Littleton library is a Carnegie library. I had never heard of these before but apparently Andrew Carnegie funded thousands of libraries all around the world. Not only is the architecture of the building beautiful, but their art collections is amazing. A local resident, Daniel C. Remich donated a collection of paintings from his collection to the library. If you enjoy traditional paintings, take the time to stop in and look around. You would have to go to a museum to see paintings like this on display.
After the library we decided to walk around town. As we strolled the Main Street, we came across a colorfully painted piano. On the cover was a sign proclaiming, “Be Glad Make Music”. The public is being invited to play these instruments whenever the inspiration strikes. We would find pianos all over town. Local artist painted the pianos colorfully, and with playful designs. a guitar with the same logo sat ready for playing in the doorway of a local business.
Just when we thought Littleton had shown us everything, we were pleasantly surprised to see there was more. Along a walkway, close to where we parked the adventure mobile, several unusual sculpture caught our eyes. Turns out these were not only sculptures, but musical instruments that anyone could play. A series of xylophone inspired instruments were permanently installed along the river park. No one could pass them by without playing them, including us. Selfies and posed photos of people playing the instruments happened continuously.
Littleton has shown us what a community inspired by literate and music can become. Discovering Littleton reminds me of a quote by Mark Twain,
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” I like to think I’m attempting to live up to this quote.