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I’d love to introduce you to my dear friend Dana Schwartz and her 1763 Major John Gile House, in Nottingham, New Hampshire. When Dana called to tell me all about the fabulous house she had found, it sounded too good to be true! And then she followed up with photos of the amazing details from her new old house, I couldn’t wait to see Dana and her fabulous find for myself. I also felt that the Nora Murphy Country House readers would want to visit  as much as I did.  So when it came time to plan the next Holiday magazine, it was only natural to head north and visit Dana!

You see, Dana and I met a few years ago at Ethan Allen, where Dana held the position of Director of Web. We realized quite quickly that we must be long lost sisters from different mothers (I always say this jokingly) since we loved all the same things: antique houses, flea marketing at The Elephant’s Trunk, entertaining, gardening, and totally immersing ourselves into our homes. All in all, Dana is a kindred spirit and a fellow country house lifestyle lover.

Dana is a woman very much in her career life. Defined by innovation and modernism, she also adores a more simple, rustic way of life – a bit of a contradiction for her. She cherishes everything old (feeling like an old soul herself) and finds this to be the perfect balance to a busy career.

Dana grew up living outside of New York City, and her family’s vacations were always a northern destination: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. As an adult, she settled in New York’s Westchester County and spent much of her time commuting into the city. With life being so busy, she welcomed a few transitions into country life – first, renting a quaint little boat house in South Salem, New York, and then purchasing her first antique home on a lake in New Fairfield, Connecticut (this new old house needed work and turned into a 7-year labor of love!).

When Dana was ready to make her next career move, she knew in her heart that she needed to head further north into New England, and found the perfect grand historic house – the 1763 Major John Gile Homestead on 3 acres nestled on a quiet wooded road. The moment she stepped in the house, it felt like home. Now as the head of Ecommerce at ECCO Shoes (a global family-owned company in New Hampshire), Dana knows that this move ended up being the perfect balance to a more relaxed way of living. She’s found just the right place to thrive – a beautiful part of New Hampshire with mountains, lakes and the seacoast – not to mention she happily moved to one of the antique capitals of New England!

Her children are her two beloved newfoundlands, Tugboat and Barkley. Tug and Barkley have taken wonderfully to the old, worn and wonderful wide board wood floors of The Major John Gile House. They go with the flow and enjoy living in antique homes…especially if they’re nestled by a fire. Dana is in the process of writing a children’s book, Tugboat and Barkley take New Hampshire, the story of embracing change and never being scared of it – all from a dog’s perspective.

More power to you Dana!

To read more about Dana and her fabulous New Hampshire country house, go to our newest issue, A New Hampshire Christmas 2014: www.NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com

Love, Nora


  1. Tricia S. on May 3, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    This was fabulous ! Thanks so much for sharing your friend and her journey (and her gorgeous house !) It is fun to see how some folks can still whole heartedly embrace the peace and joy that historic homes and lifestyles bring while still balancing the best that innovation allows us. It doesn’t have to be an either/or – we can have our cake and eat it too !! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Pam Nickerson on June 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Hello!I have just discovered your page!I have been going through the book Old Homes Of New England and fell in love with The Major John Gile House-I own a 1790 home here in Nova Scotia and would like to paint it this color!Would you be able to help me out or point me in the right direction please??Thank you sooo much
    Pam Nickerson-The Old Meeting House Antiques

    • Nora on June 28, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Pam! So happy you found me! Thank you! I will contact Dana, the former homeowner of the Major John Giles House and see if I can get that paint color info for you.

      Have a great day Pam! Love, Nora

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