Free Admission Weekend at the Currier Museum of Art
Waterville Valley Resort Fall In

Primary Tales: How Ike Brought Curious George to New Hampshire in 1952


Waterville Valley, N.H.-Back in the infancy of the New Hampshire Primary, there was a midnight vote in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, capturing national attention in 1952. In that very first New Hampshire Primary about a dozen voters cast their votes at midnight, giving the majority to Dwight Eisenhower


The Waterville Valley Primary had garnered national media attention and attracted a pair of unlikely tourists. H.A. & Margret Rey, authors and illustrators of the Curious George books, took the train up to see Democracy in action – as refugees from the Nazi’s march across Europe they had a special appreciation for voting. If the primary was the attraction, the Reys were drawn to Waterville Valley because H.A. was revising his popular Astronomy book The Stars: A New Way to See Them and needed a place away from the glare of city lights to do observation. In 1958, the Reys constructed a summer cottage in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. They quickly fell in love with the tiny town and spent the next twenty summers there, writing, drawing, and charming the community.


H.A. was a Renaissance man, versed in history and natural history. Margret was a potter, photographer and expert gardener. Locals and visitors were drawn to their little home—now known as the Curious George Cottage—which soon became an intellectual and creative center for the town, and best of all, provided the magical opportunity to watch children's book authors at work. Children would come and watch as H.A. drew new adventures for George or his other characters. At other times, H.A. would take the children on nature walks and delight them with his talent of throwing his voice.


The Rey Center honors the legacy of Margret and H.A. Rey, children's book author and illustrator of the Curious George series, Whiteblack the Penguin, and The Stars: A New Way to See Them. The Rey Center has a new observatory in Waterville Valley, from which stargazers will have an exceptional view of the heavens.


Waterville Valley was designed and planned specifically as a self-contained, four seasons resort. Today in addition to its world-class ski area, Waterville Valley Resort has award-winning tennis courts, golf, hiking, biking, lodging, cultural activities and summer theater, an indoor ice rink, boating, a skate park, and a host of outdoor activities. Dining options include traditional favorites and elegant dining. For more information, call 1-800-GO-VALLEY or visit /