Having a gallery in a small town can be challenging. To start with, there aren't a lot of people in Hamilton, Massachusetts. It's a small, rural town about 28 miles northeast of Boston, with a population of just under 8,000 people. We don't get the kind of traffic that galleries in more urban settings get. And we found that it can take a bit of time to convince people that it's worth walking through our doors and checking us out. But once they do, more often than not they come back again and again, and they spread the word.
So despite our rural location, after seven years, we have a wonderful ever-expanding group of loyal customers. We know many of them by name and often get to know them as friends, too. We talk about art, family, gardens, our favorite places to walk, and animals. Hamilton is a community that loves animals—dogs, cats, horses, chickens, ducks, goats, cows—all the animals that share our homes and barns with us. And then there's the wild animal stories we love to exchange, about our searches for the snowy owls that winter in the dunes at nearby Crane's Beach, the hawk fledglings that learned how to hunt in the woods behind the gallery, the owl on Bridge Street, the coyotes at Appleton Farms, and much more.
Hamilton, like many small towns, has a strong sense of place, and the community's love of animals and nature is a big part of what defines Hamilton for me. After years of living and working here, I feel like I have come to know and deeply appreciate this place and the people I have met here, and I couldn't imagine a more perfect location for True North.