What is a Lyceum?  The first Lyceums were in ancient Greece, made famous by none other than Aristotle.  The idea -- a public lecture space where knowledge of arts, letters, philosophy and science are dispensed freely and for free -- could be seen as blueprint for the American colonial experiment, so it should come as no surprise to that the movement resurfaced hundreds of years later in 19th century, here in New England.

The old Tamworth General Store was built in 1826 – the same year the American Lyceum movement began.  Thoreau passed by here in 1858, stayed at a nearby inn, possibly stepped through our very door. We made some changes since then.

The Tamworth Lyceum serves breakfast and lunch made with local New Hampshire ingredients (including bread made from Tamworth Distilling’s spent grain), as well as coffee and baked goods and a selection of beer, wine, and grocery items. It has become a de facto town center, a place where both Tamworth residents and visitors come together over food and drink as well as culture. Performances by local musicians and touring bands, along with song circles and community meetings all keep the ideals of the original Lyceum movement alive in Tamworth. If Thoreau passed through these doors today, we think he’d be pleased with what he was saw.

A Gift From Tamworth Lyceum Icon

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