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  • Abigail Castriotta

Gnome Doors of New London - Find all of them for a free ice cream!



Windy Hill Nursery Class has two resident Gnomes, Bob (left) and Cortland. They’re often found in the morning playing in various areas of the classroom with the children’s toys. They like to get into all sorts of mischief.

Bob and Cortland have been residents for two years and on January 6, 2020, when the Windy Hill Nursery Class returned to school from Holiday Break, they found that Bob and Cortland had left a letter. They said they had family and friends who were looking to relocate to New Hampshire. The only way Gnomes can relocate is if they find special doors. Doors made and decorated by children. They get placed at the bottom of trees in the wooded areas around town. Bob and Cortland knew many new doors needed to be made and asked the Windy Hill Nursery Class for help.

There are special rules for making Gnome doors. Bob and Cortland gave all the information in their letter. Doors must be made of wood and decorated with things found in nature, such as leaves, stones, branches, pinecones, acorns, shells, and feathers. The Windy Hill Nursery class, and their teachers Brenda White, Suzanna Brown and Karen Cook, were up to the task and took this job very seriously. They spent several days searching the 100 Acre Woods, Boulder Forest, and Mousey Meadow, collecting the materials they needed. These are places they have named over the years and visit often to explore and construct fairy houses and forts. Then they contacted Bob Brown, of the Conservation Commission, to ask him to cut door shapes out of wood.

With all the materials in hand the children got to work. They were so excited and very specific on how each door should be decorated and designed. They worked individually and in groups to make sure each door was beautifully ornamented so the Gnomes would love them and use them. Then they took the finished doors to Bob Brown so he could put a protective coating on the doors to shield them from the ever changing NH weather.


Bob and Cortland also explained that the doors will only open for the Gnomes who reside there. They use magic to seal the doors when humans are around for their safety. You see, Gnomes are actually very shy and don’t like to be seen, so if you find one of their doors, don’t try to open it! Just enjoy how it looks.

With the doors now in place, we’ve heard rumors that the Gnomes are moving in. The Windy Hill children are excited to hear that the Gnomes love the special doors created for their new homes. When you go out on the trails around town you will see them tucked away here and there.

As a fun project, children 12 years old and younger can win free ice cream if they can find all of the Gnomes doors on the town’s trails. Download the Gnome Door form from the NLCC web site [http://www.nl-nhcc.com/trails/nlcctrails.htm], check off the boxes as you find the doors, then drop off the completed form at the Town Offices or mail them to:

New London Town Offices

Conservation Commission

375 Main Street

New London, NH 03257

We ask the parents or guardians to take pictures of the kids as they find the Gnome doors, then share them with us. You can post to the NLCC Facebook page or the NL Rec. Department Facebook page. Adults can also work on winning their Trail Patch when looking for Gnome doors. The trail patch form can be downloaded from the NLCC web site:


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