Dense forests and difficult access from few public roads make it easy to get off radar in the place whose motto is ‘Live Free or Die’
By Sarah Kennedy New York 3 July 2020 • 5:53pm
Ghislaine Maxwell could not have chosen a better spot than Bradford, New Hampshire for the hidden location of her house Tuckedaway. Known as the ‘Granite State’ for the local psychology as much as the landscape, New Hampshire is a live- and-let-live place whose motto is ‘Live Free or Die’.
Locals are famed for their quiet resilience, indifference to high-net-worth visitors and cool welcome. Apart from a nod, diners in the Appleseed Restaurant in Ms. Maxwell’s new home town of Bradford won’t have second-glanced the international jet-set’s most wanted if she happened to blow in for a burger.
The town of Bradford is located along the southern end of Lake Todd. New Hampshire could be compared to the British Lake District, only with more greenery and far fewer tourists. Bordered by the Northern Appalachian Mountains, many of the lakes in the state are private, meaning that only those with homes on the shores can use them.
Dense forests and difficult access from few public roads make it easy to get off any kind of radar. Adirondack-style homes like Ms. Maxwell’s, purchased for $1,070,750 in December 2019, are quaintly called cottages and camps thanks to their rustic, wood-built frames and open-plan design.
Ms. Maxwell’s home is a modern take on the rugged look, featuring a prerequisite 4 bedroom minimum and barn-style living room. The only cottage-like accoutrement to the house is the name – ‘Tuckedaway’, carved into a stone by the secure iron gates.
If there is such a thing as an American aristocracy, New Hampshire is its go-to spot for winter skiing and summers on the lakes. Holiday home owners hail from the worlds of finance, medicine and tech in Boston, many from New England’s oldest families. Their children attend the summer camps dotted around Lake Winnipesaukee, mixing with peers from as far south as New York and Pennsylvania.
New Hampshire’s summer camp-and-club lifestyle is sent up beautifully by local boy Adam Sandler in movies like Happy Gilmore and Grown Ups. The area breeds salty American comedians and writers including Seth Meyers, Sarah Silverman and going back further, J.D Salinger.
Holiday activities on the lakes are simple, from crawfish dipping to kayaking and possibly water skiing, though power boats and jet skis are forbidden in most places. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney famously shot himself in the foot metaphorically over July 4 weekend 2012 when he and his wife Anne were photographed on their jet-ski, too obviously enjoying the billionaire lifestyle.
At a time when Romney was attempting to promote social and welfare issues on the campaign trail, political pundits in the US still hail this photo as Romney’s downward turning point. New Hampshire is politically important as the place where the first primary elections for US presidential candidates are held. The state is home to political bigwigs including Republicans Romney and Kelly Ayotte.
Although the fashion scene is definitely not happening, strike out on a direct route east from Ms. Maxwell’s home in Bradford and you arrive at Kennebunkport, seaside location of the Bush family compound. A discreet haven for boat lovers. John Travolta, Susan Sarandon and Martha Stewart have had homes there in recent years.
When we say boats by the way, we mean sailing boats such as the True Love from High Society, rather than the fiberglass mini-hotels bobbing about on Long Island Sound. Membership of the Kennebunk River Club for tennis and dining would be the holy grail for a home-owner new to the area. Though not, obviously, for Maxwell.
Possibly the only risky issue security-wise for those like Maxwell seeking a luxurious hideaway up north is staff. Live-in is pretty much the norm north of New Hampshire state capital Concord, with most homes keeping a chef, ground maintenance workers and a housekeeper. The very limited dining-out options are for basic, traditional diner fare. Organic fruit and veg are plentiful though, so the right chef could work wonders. It’s all a very long way from the Manhattan jail where Maxwell is currently residing.
for the love of christ…. I don’t know where to start