Bethel is pure New England, a town with white clapboard houses, white-steeple churches, and a mountain vista at the end of every street. The campus of Gould Academy, a college prep school founded in 1836, anchors the east side of downtown. In winter this is ski country: Sunday River, one Maine’s big ski resorts, is only a few miles north in Newry. Bethel WinterFest is usually held in February. On the third weekend in
July, Mollyockett Days, which includes a parade, fireworks, and frog-jumping contest, honor a Pequawket Indian renowned for her medicinal cures in the early days of white settlement.