Across the Connecticut River from Vermont, Lancaster (pop. 3,509) is a market town that was first settled in 1764. Through Lancaster US-2 becomes Main Street, lined with dozens of attractive old homes and churches, a cemetery on a knoll to the north, and on the south side a redbrick courthouse that dates from 1887.
The mountaintop estate of the man who saved New Hampshire’s forests from the lumber industry has been preserved 4 mi (6.4 km) south of Lancaster via US-3 as John Wingate Weeks Historic Site (10am-5pm Wed.-Sun. June-Oct., $5), complete with a tourable mansion and an observation tower giving grand views of Mt. Washington and Vermont’s Green Mountains.
If you weren’t thrilled by the modern bridge that carries US-2 into Lancaster, there are two historic covered bridges in Lancaster that will renew your appreciation of civil engineers. Five miles south of US-2 via Hwy-135 the Mt. Orne covered bridge spans the Connecticut River to Vermont, while just east of US-2 in Lancaster village there’s the nifty 94-ft-long (29-m) Mechanic Street Covered Bridge that spans the Israel River.