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The Tartan Fox Inn at the Meadmere


Built in 1832, the Inn of the Tartan Fox was a large homestead in Swanzey New Hampshire. The original owners were Benjamin and Abbie Meade and the property came to be known as Meademere.


Their daughter Annie married Perley Safford on Christmas day in 1905.


Perley and Annie had two children, Franklin and Norma. Perley Safford was an avid horse trainer as well as the inventor of SAFFORD COLIC CURE which he sold on a regular circuit from Keene NH to Maine and Boston MA during the summers for ten dollars a week.


Later, he owned the first Ford Dealerships in New England with garages in Keene and Claremont NH.


Perley  also dabbled in the hospitality business, owning Safford Inn on the corner of Main and Water Streets in Keene. He built Safford Park on Route 12 so he and his son Franklin could train their trotters. Franklin become the leading sulky race driver in the United States three times in his life and was elected to the Harness Hall of Fame in Goshen NY. Safford Park was later donated to the Cheshire County Fair Association.

Today many activities are held there, including the annual flower show, home show, demolition derbies and the county fair.


Their daughter Norma attended Syracuse University where she majored in Art. She taught two years in Johnstown NY before returning to Keene. She became Chairman of the Keene High School Art Department on 1950.


She was a prolific painter of florals and nature; often inspired by the natural beauty and dozens of varieties of unusual naturalized perennials, pines and ponds that surround the property. Her paintings have become an important part of the history of Cheshire County and are valued pieces of many area collections.


Norma was brave as well as artistic. When a large fire destroyed the expansive barns on the property, Norma helped save many of the racehorses by leading them to safety.


After that, she developed a fear of fire and had the fireplaces in the house closed off. Two fireplaces have been restored and are now in working order.


The remains of one stone fenced barnyard can be seen next to the garage, which was a part of the main barn.


The Safford home has always been a place of natural beauty, with its bountiful flowers in naturalized settings, its pond lilies and many species of birds. In the past, swans have hatched their babies under the willow trees.


Norma retained ownership of the house and remaining ten acres until 1998 when the previous Innkeepers, Wayne and Meg purchased it. They restored over the years to reflect the style of the Arts and Crafts Period when the house underwent extensive renovations.

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