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Life In The Upper Valley: Larry Kilian Captures This Special Region In Photographs

Mar 17, 2024 06:25PM ● By Katherine P. Cox Photography By Larry Kilian
When Larry Kilian and his wife moved to the Upper Valley in 2021 from Boston, they quickly fell in love with the area, its residents, and all the region has to offer. Originally from Canada, he’s lived all over the world, but finds that the Upper Valley “has it all,” as he says. A photographer, Larry has captured images of the region in a gorgeous book of photographs that highlight the scenery and sights that are familiar and beloved to residents and visitors alike. Life in The Upper Valley features “26 Reasons to Love It.” From Scenic Mountain Lakes (number 26) to Awesome Coffee Shops (number 20), Historic Covered Bridges (number 14) to Superb Scenery (number 1), there are shoutouts to many local favorites that will resonate with anyone who knows the Upper Valley.   

What brought you to the Upper Valley?

We were living in Boston to be near my daughter and grandchildren, and my daughter got a job offer from Dartmouth and moved up here with her husband and kids. We came up here in the spring and looked around with them. It was mud season, not the best time to be here—but we thought it was a pretty nice place to live. We realized you have everything you need here—stores, restaurants, it’s all here. It has all the advantages of living in a small New England college town, so we opted to come up here.

What are the advantages of living in the Hanover area?

This is a wonderful area if you like the outdoors. You’ve got mountain biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing as well as downhill. You’ve got great health care, a great lifestyle, and it’s a great place to raise a family. Moving up here from Boston is the best thing that could have happened to my grandchildren. We love it here.

What do you love about the Upper Valley?

One of the things I couldn’t put in the book was the people. One of the real reasons we love it is the people here. They’re down to earth, friendly, and there’s a sense of community. We had only been living here a couple of months and I was in a coffee shop in West Leb, in line, and the woman in front of me ordered her coffee and turned to me and said, “What do you want?” I was just having a cookie. She told the cashier to put it on her tab. I was in disbelief. It made me feel welcome and had an impact. The quality of life here is great. 

How did you settle on the 26 places you highlight in your book?

Anytime you live somewhere (we’ve lived all over the world and are from Canada), there are always certain things that stand out in an area that are personal. The list is made up of things that are important to my wife and me and what we like about living here. The real estate fellow who sold us our condo saw the book and said, “You captured the spirit of the place pretty well.” It’s the independent coffee shops and unique kinds of places like My Brigadeiro. Lou’s is a landmark. And you have artisans like Simon Pearce. Hanover is obviously a charming town, and the Dartmouth campus is beautiful. We have good medical care here. These are things that resonate with us. I suspected that things that resonated with us as new residents would resonate with other people. It’s my list, but people can relate to it.

What prompted you to do this book?

I don’t make a living from photography. It’s a hobby. When we were living in Belgium from 2002 to 2007, I published a book there that I sold to the American Women’s Club of Brussels. There was an expat community there and I did a similar kind of thing—took pictures of things we appreciated about Belgium and made a book out of it. I gave one to a friend of mine who was moving back to the States and he said, “You should sell these” to people of the expat community who wanted a memory of their time in Belgium. We have a lake house in Canada where we spend our summers, and I did a book on our lake. When we moved here, because photographing and capturing the beauty of the area is something that I do, I decided I’d do one for the Upper Valley.

Do you have favorite spots in the region you like to photograph?

There are so many great spots. There’s a spot I like to go to get sunrises that is on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River a little outside of Woodstock. It’s a beautiful spot—a country road at the top of a mountain. (It’s captured in the Superb Scenery section at the end of the book.) The Collette Trail out of Enfield has wonderful waterfalls that I’ve taken quite a few pictures of. I get in my car and drive all over just taking pictures. I’m an explorer. I like to go different places and find things. I’ll take my camera with me and I’ll go out for a full day.


To get a copy of Life in The Upper
go to and click on the bookstore tab. Copies are
also available at Oodles in White River Junction and the Bank Street Gallery at AVA in Lebanon.  


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