Construction at Steele Hill Resorts began in the year 1938 using felled trees from the Great New England Hurricane, considered to be the most destructive storm to strike this region in the 20th century. The hurricane was formed from a tropical cyclone developed in the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 1938. Although construction began in the mid-1930s, the history of our property started long before the building of the resort began.
Steele Hill is set amongst 500 acres of unspoiled fields and hardwood forests. Within that land, we have three major hiking trails which include ponds, fields, possible animal tracks or sightings, and during this time of year, beautiful foliage providing various brilliant fall colors along the way. If you begin the Red Trail by the West outdoor tennis courts, you will find yourself curving through the woods on a slightly downhill hiking adventure that is a little over a mile long. Once you arrive towards the end of the Red Trail, there will be a wide-open field on the right with a stonewall tucked along the edge of the tree line still in sight. When you walk towards the wall you will notice there is a cemetery tucked in the back of the field behind the rock walls.
The Joseph Leavitt Burial Ground is the largest of two cemeteries located onsite at Steele Hill Resorts, which dates back to the early 1800s. The oldest headstone in this particular graveyard is over two centuries old with the date 1818 engraved upon it belonging to Abner Kimball. The majority of the headstones at the cemetery are legible with the youngest to be buried at the location being only three months old. A local man named John Douglas Crawford was sent to Germany in 1946 to be a liaison medical officer for the Office of Military Government. John unfortunately had to leave his pregnant wife, Caroline, home in the United States. After giving birth to their daughter Margo, Caroline had set out to visit John so he could meet his daughter for the first time. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to meet his daughter or the chance to see his wife again as their plane crashed into a ridge line on a windy night departing from Newfoundland. Both Caroline and Margo share a headstone onsite. The most recent headstone was added in 2014 and belongs to Lola Rose Cutillo. Her husband, Ralph Cutillo, former president of Steele Hill Resorts, has his tombstone sitting adjacent to Lola’s.
While some guests enjoy the peaceful solitude of the graveyard, others find the experience a little eerie especially during the twilight hours of these late fall nights. For those who appreciate a good scare and are looking for more, consider joining us at our second annual Haunted Hike taking place on Saturday, October 26th this year! Open to the public, the hike is $10 for adults and $5 for children with all proceeds donated to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Norris Cancer Center in memory of our dear friend and coworker, Jan McLaughlin. Included in the donation price for admission, visitors can enjoy a festive hayride up to Steele Hill’s haunted Yellow Trail. Brave the ghouls and goblins along the 0.8 mile trail of terror and finish off the evening with a variety of family-friendly activities including face painting, a warm fire pit, games, crafts, a make your own caramel apple station, and seasonal refreshments.