KINSHIP

The Town that Protected Salinger

J.D. Salinger’s neighbors in Cornish were the author's chief co-conspirators in keeping him out of the public eye, often misdirecting visitors into the weeds when they asked where Salinger lived. "This beautiful spot afforded my husband a place of awayness from the world. The people of this town protected him and his right to his privacy for many years," said Salinger's wife Colleen. A neighbor and friend Peter Burling called the author's secret address "one of the most enjoyable municipal conspiracies ever," and said that everyone got wrapped up in the joke of where to send "the annual parade of English majors" seeking a few words with Salinger. In Cornish, Salinger found the privacy he sought. "He was the type of individual where, if you treated him like he was everyone else, he would tend to open up a bit," said Cornish-native Mike Ackerman, who runs the Cornish General Store. Salinger participated in activities like roast beef suppers at Hartland Congregational Church's, movies at Dartmouth College, and visits to the Hanover's Howe Library to read.