Hollis, New Hampshire
As with many of the towns on the New Hampshire border with Massachusetts, Hollis is rapidly changing from mixed-use farmland (apple orchards, corn, pumpkins, and other vegetables) to a bedroom community for the many commuters who work in Massachusetts but choose to live in tax free New Hampshire.
With a median income of around $90,000, Home prices reflect some of the highest in the region, but the town has been able to control growth and development without sacrificing the scenic roads, rural neighborhoods and colonial charm for which it has always been famous. Housing styles range from quaint New England Colonials to newly constructed executive homes to horse farms.
Hollis has a number of town traditions and celebrations characteristic of old New England towns. Because several farms in Hollis grow strawberries, every June, the town holds its annual Strawberry Festival on the Common to celebrate its successful harvest. Hundreds of tourists descend on the Common to enjoy games and music, and plenty of strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, and innumerable other strawberry desserts.
The Hollis Historical Society stimulates interest in the history of Hollis, acquires and preserves memorabilia as well as running two museums in the historic town centre which includes a church, the Hollis Social Library as well as a local convenience mart.
As the oldest public building in town built in 1859, the "Always Ready Engine House" is now a museum located in the center of town.
Given the many apple orchards in the own, there is the annual Apple Festival in the fall, where apple desserts and festivities are equally abundant. There is also a popular apple pie contest.
The most popular Hollis tradition is Old Home Day, which is held on a Saturday during September. There is often an Old Home Day Dance the Friday night before that is very popular with students on Nichols Field. There are often carnival rides and attractions set up the night of the of the dance in preparation for the following day. On Old Home Day itself, there are dozens of booths and pavilions set up like traditional New England fairs, including old-fashioned games, animal demonstrations, live music, and plenty of food. Many of the pavilions are sponsored by local organizations, schools, and teams. Weather permitting, there are often hot air balloon rides and an evening "balloon glow" where the balloons are grounded and lit up from the inside. The day concludes with a fireworks show. Fireworks are also set of on the Fourth of July at Nichols Field as well.
Schools in Hollis, New Hampshire, which are shared with neighboring Brookline, include this new high school building which opened in 1996 and a renovated junior high school. With education being a high priority for residents the town has realigned its elementary schools for grades K-6.
Silver Lake State Park on Route 122 offers a beach and swimming lessons during the summer months and town lands provide trails for hiking, cross-country skiing and horse riding. The sandy 1,000 ft beach curves along the 34-acre Silver Lake.