It was the summer of 1973 when Grant Dowse and Pegge Kirschner first discovered flannel sheets. While vacationing in Denmark they decided to make a quick trip to England. Having left all their camping gear behind, they made a few purchases to make “car camping” bearable. One of the items was a cotton flannel sheet that would change their lives.
The sheet was so cozy that they brought it back home to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Eventually they tried ordering something similar from an American mail order company and were disappointed to receive a synthetic imitation of what they had grown to love.
Wanting to share the heavenly warmth of English flannel with the rest of the United States, they decided to start a mail order business. In 1976, working out of their small cottage in the woods, they mailed their first catalog — a tiny brochure with flannel swatches. They named the company “Garnet Hill” after the rise of land behind their home.
Almost immediately, orders began rolling in. Within six months the business had outgrown their little cottage and a gambrel-roofed building was erected on Main Street in Franconia. This original structure is still at the center of the main office building that we occupy today.
Over the years Garnet Hill has expanded far beyond cotton flannel sheets (although we still love them!), yet carries on in the same spot, with the same view of the mountains and the same reverence for the comfort of fine fibers.