I came across a series of postcards–“The Antlers Tea Room, Wonalancet, N.H.” they read. One shows a rustic log cabin in a clearing, the second apparently the inside of the same building with a collection of thin, antique furniture, a lamp and a stone fireplace. A guitar rests on one of the wooden benches. As for the ‘antlers’ part of the name, one of the chairs in the photograph appears to have pokey antler arm rests. Possibly the unseen remainder of the room had actual antlers hanging on the walls.
The Antlers Tea Room and Gift Shop was part of Wonalancet Farm, owned by Kate Sleeper (later Kate Sleeper Walden). In 1890 she purchased the property and opened it up for guest lodging. A United States Post Office was established in the village in 1893, with Kate the first postmaster. Postal authorities at the time feared there would be confusion between the post offices of “Birch Intervale” (as the area was then known) and “Intervale” (another place just above North Conway). They urged a name change, and Birch Intervale was renamed Wonalancet.
Kate Sleeper and helpers sorted and distributed the town’s mail from the building then known as Antler’s Tea Room. This building and the post office was a center of community activity–where friends gathered, visited with neighbors, bought stamps and waited for mail. [see May 1988 Wonalancet Outdoor Club newsletter]. Kate was a remarkable lady for many reasons, and more than for being married to Arthur Treadwell Walden. But that is another story, and I will soon be devoting an entire article to Kate herself.
According to Bob Cottrell of the Tamworth Historical Society, this building still exists and is used for special occasions and artist and writer retreats.