New Boston Historical Society
New Boston, New Hampshire
Bob Todd and Cemetery Tour
Photo: Bob Todd rests during the October 2010 cemetery tour.

EVENT CALENDAR

Historical Society's next meetings and other Special Events:

All events are free and open to the public. This schedule is subject to change.

old mill and falls Thursday, September 14, 2017 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Growing Up in Riverdale – the little known corner of New Boston"
Speakers: JoAnne Hawkes Rumrill and Billy Boisvert
Stories of growing up in this historic village in the corner of New Boston, Weare and Goffstown will be illustrated with old photos.
(See our Riverdale page for more information about this village.)

Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:00 pm at the Historical Society
2017 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society includes the election of officers, a review of the past year and plans for next year.
Have you thought about volunteering at the Historical Society? We welcome your new ideas for preserving and sharing old New Boston's history!



(Scroll up for information about upcoming Historical Society meetings. Scroll down for a review of past meetings since we moved to our new museum in 2011.)


Past events

January 13, 2011 "New Boston Cemetery Tour"
Presentation: Video from the Hudson NH Community Televison (HCTV) program "Spektral Evidence".
In October 2010 we worked with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission to conduct tours of the New Boston Cemetery in support of the General John Stark Scenic Byway. Local reenactors who dressed up as famous New Boston citizens of the past included Gail Parker, Bob Todd, Keith Joyal, and Lisa and Dan Rothman. Jay Marden was also interviewed.

We thank the Brown family from Hudson, including Harry the narrator, for making this video available.

March 10, 2011 "Glass-Making in New Hampshire"
Speaker: Michael George - Glass Historian, Bottle Collector and Appraiser from New Boston
Michael described the history of glass-making in New Hampshire and how to identify and date bottles and glass. He brought interesting samples from his collection. There wasn't an empty seat in our new meeting room!

May 1, 2011 NBHS OPEN HOUSE
About 100 people visited our Open House and toured the museum. Thank you everyone!

See photos of the Open House on Flickr.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:30 pm at NBHS
"New Hampshire's Grange Movement: Its Rise, Triumphs and Decline"
Speaker: Steve Taylor, former New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture
Co-hosted with New Boston's Joe English Grange and sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
Another full house!

Photo from May 10 meeting
Tom Lazott and Dick Moody begin a meeting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011 7:30 pm at NBHS
"New Boston & the Railroad"
Speaker: David Woodbury, Train Enthusiast and former New Boston selectman
Why was a railroad built from Goffstown to New Boston? We learned the real story from David, whose antique passenger car was a McCurdy Road landmark until David finished its restoration.
The Historical Society regrets that we ran out of chairs for this well-attended meeting. Our New Boston Railroad page has been updated with information from David's presentation and the discussion which followed.

Thursday, September 8, 2011 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Antiques & Antique Collecting"
Speaker: Donna Welch, proprietor of From Out of the Woods Antique Center

Photo from September 8 meeting
Donna Welch shares her love of antiques.
(Photo and video by Bill Wynne of GoffstownToday.com)

Donna is a licensed auctioneer, appraiser, columnist and lecturer. She provided us with a new appreciation for Antiques and Antique Collecting, and demonstrated how she appraises the value of antiques, using treasures brought by some of our audience. Donna's passion for antiques was inspiring!

Click on the video by Bill Wynne to see Donna's entire presentation. Bill used four video cameras and spent five hours editing this production to its 67-minute length.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Annual Meeting"
Election of Officers & Business Meeting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011 1:00-4:00 pm at NBHS
"Holiday Open House"
NBHS members and visitors came for refreshments, music and conversation by the warmth of the fireplace.
We thank Betsy Whitman for playing the piano and leading us in song!

Thursday, January 19, 2012 7:30 pm at NBHS (postponed from the 12th due to weather)
"An Armchair Tour of New Boston Village"
Speaker: Dick Moody, NBHS president
Dick led us on an illustrated tour of New Boston village from the comfort of our warm Historical Society building - no snowshoes were required. We learned some of the history of the oldest buildings in our town center and the people who lived and worked in them.
We appreciate the stories contributed by some old-timers in the audience, and we hope Dick can be convinced to present more of his research in the future.


Civil War display at WFL Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:00 pm at the new Whipple Free Library
"Granite State Sacrifice during the American Civil War 1861-1865"
Speaker: Steven Robert Closs, researcher, author and member of the Civil War Round Table of New Hampshire. (This presentation was co-sponsored by the Whipple Free Library.)

Almost 60 people heard Steven commemorate the contributions and valor of the many Granite Staters who fought in the American Civil War, 150 years ago. He mentioned some of New Boston's Civil War veterans.

The Civil War display at the library included some of Dick Moody's collection.

Boston Post Cane Thursday, March 8, 2012 7:00 pm & 7:30 pm at the Community Church

At 7:00 pm there was a special ceremony in which The Boston Post Cane was awarded to Howard Towne, New Boston's oldest citizen, with posthumous recognition of Ella Daniels. The following presentation began at 7:30 pm:
"The Great Sheep Boom and its Enduring Legacy on the NH Landscape"
Speaker: Steve Taylor, former New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council

In a brief 30-year period in the early 19th century the New Hampshire countryside became home to hundreds of thousands of sheep. Production of wool became a lucrative business, generating fortunes and providing the only era of true agricultural prosperity in the state's history. It left behind a legacy of fine architecture and thousands of miles of rugged stonewalls. Farmers overcame enormous challenges to make sheep husbandry succeed, but forces from beyond New Hampshire were to doom the industry, with social consequences that would last a century.

Thursday, May 10, 2012 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Gougeville - Paper Mill Village: the Seat of New Boston's Industrial Era"
Speaker: Bob Todd, Vice President of the New Boston Historical Society
Gougeville and Paper Mill Village were in the southwest corner of New Boston, near where Lyndeborough Road meets the Second N.H. Turnpike. Bob shared the history of the mills and industries which once thrived there, and his theory that the area may once have been called "Gorgeville" after the rocky gorge in the south branch of the Piscataquog just upstream of the mills.

New Boston Bulletin Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:30 pm at NBHS
"The Importance of a Local Newspaper"
Speaker: Brandy Mitroff, Editor of the New Boston Bulletin
"A local paper helps a town in many ways besides dispensing news, it gives character and tone to a place… and strangers take note of its influence."
This quote is taken from an article written in The New Boston Argus on January 28, 1893.
The same can be said about our current local paper, The New Boston Bulletin, 120 years later.
Brandy discussed the inspiration for her community newspaper, and shared some stories from its 14-year history.
She explained how her monthly publication schedule lets her provide a different perspective for news, and why she doesn't publish the Bulletin on-line.

The special exhibit for July included samples from some of New Boston's newspapers like the Argus, the Community Bulletin and the Better Times.

Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Sprightly Steps: New Hampshire Contra- and Square-Dancing Traditions"
Speaker: Adam Boyce, 10th generation Vermonter and fiddler
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
Every town has some sort of dance history. From fancy balls or cotillions to kitchen junkets or "tunks", people of all ages fell victim to the strains of the fiddle upon their souls. Old time dancing is nearly extinct, but a few practitioners are keeping the old styles alive. Some live fiddling accompanied this lecture.

Adam told us that this was the last time he would give this presentation, as his new focus will be Living History presentations. He made this evening extra-special for an appreciative New Boston audience.

Thursday, November 8, 2012 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Annual Meeting"
Election of Officers & Business Meeting.

The last Historical Society meeting of 2012 was our Annual Meeting.
Dick Moody was re-elected President, Betsy Whitman is the new Vice-President, Lisa Rothman is now the Secretary with Tom Lazott as Vice-Secretary, and Jay Marden continues as Treasurer.
Jim Dane and Bob Todd joined Nonah Poole on the Board of Directors. We thank all volunteers for their service!

Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:30 pm at NBHS (repeated February 21 at the Community Church)
"250 Years in 50 Minutes"
Speaker: Dan Rothman, Website Editor for the New Boston Historical Society
New Boston celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2013, and there will be many community events all year long. The Historical Society kicks off this anniversary year with a fast-paced illustrated review of the town's colorful past. This history includes floods and fires, scandals and success.

Monday, February 18, 2013 3:00-5:00 pm at the new Whipple Free Library
"Founder's Day Tea"
New Boston was incorporated on this date exactly 250 years ago. Sean Hunter and Bryan Henderson helped us re-enact the signing of the charter in 1763. We enjoyed a special video about the history of New Boston.
"American Spirit in New Boston" was filmed in 2008 by 5th grade students at New Boston Central School under the direction of the Artist in Residence. The students worked with the Historical Society to research town history and interview town residents. Then they made the 28-minute film, including historical reenactments, short interviews and animations with cannon fire and galloping horses!

Thursday, March 14, 2013 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools: the Romance and the Reality"
Speaker: Steve Taylor, former New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
Hundreds of one-room schools dotted the landscape of New Hampshire a century ago and were the backbone of primary education for generations of children from the early 19th century onward. These schools are revered in literature and lore, but were beset with problems, some of which are little changed in today's education environment. The greatest of these issues was the method of financing the local school and the vast differences in ability of taxing districts to support education. Other concerns included teacher preparation and quality, curriculum, discipline, student achievement and community involvement in the educational process.

At this well-attended meeting, Steve Taylor explored the lasting legacies of the one-room school era and how they echo today.
See also our One-Room Schoolhouse page for information about New Boston's eighteen District Schools and the Village School.)

Founder's Day celebration
Sixty people joined us for the Founder's Day Tea on New Boston's 250th birthday. (Photo by Kerri Kelley)

Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New Hampshire's Involvement in the Civil War"
Speaker: Steve Bunker, author and historian
Steve Bunker is a member of the Maine Civil War Roundtable and his presentation began a Civil War commemorative weekend in New Boston. Steve's special interest is the role of the cavalry in the Civil War.
After the meeting, our visitors went across the street to the Historical Society museum to view the special exhibit of Civil War artifacts which will be on display now through the summer. Some highlights of this exhibit may be seen on our Daily Life of a Civil War Soldier page.

Civil War reenactment

Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, 2013 on the softball field by the Town Hall
"Civil War Living History"
A Civil War encampment followed Steve Bunker's presentation. There were infantrymen camping in their tents and drilling on the parade ground, plus units of cavalry and artillery. Volunteers from the Historical Socity in their hoop skirts told stories of women who served as spies or dressed as men to fight.
School hours on Friday (8:00 am to 2:00 pm) were set aside for the students of New Boston Central School to visit the encampment. There were cavalry charges and musket and cannon fire.
(See the Civil War encampment 2013 photo set on Flickr.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
"New Boston House Tours" ($)
The House Tours were a huge success, with 250 visitors! The weather cooperated: the rain which made everyone's garden bloom more beautifully than ever stopped just before the day of the tours. Special thanks to the seven families who opened to the public their historic homes, to the 60 volunteers who served as tour guides, and to Gail Parker and Lyn Lombard for organizing this event!

Open House - July 7, 2013 Thursday, July 4, 2013 10:00 am High Street to the 4-H Fairgrounds
"Fourth of July Parade and Celebration"
The New Boston Artillery Company marched in the parade with its Molly Stark Cannon and Bob Lapointe of the Fire Department drove a team of horses towing the Constitution #2 hand tub. Phil Lavallee and Diane Sawyer from the Historical Society created a parade float with the Tavern Carriage which was driven by Jim Dane, with passengers Betty Poltrack, Verna Elliot and Lisa Rothman. Other history-themed parade floats included J.R. Whipple's Creamery, a One-room Schoolhouse, Andy's Drive-In, "New Boston Rocks!" (Frog Rock and Sunday Driver Rock) and two floats recreating the Great Fire of 1887.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 1:00-4:00 pm at NBHS
"Historical Society Open House"
Posters, photographs, and other memorabilia from New Boston's past 4th of July celebrations were on display.

Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"How to Research Your Family History"
Speaker: Christine Sharbrough, Archivist and Genealogist
Christine led us through a genealogical case study geared to those who have never researched their family history but have always wanted to start. Christine described "free" and "fee" resources and provided tips, tricks and handouts to help us on our genealogical journey.

Christine Sharbrough is a Certified Genealogist and has held many positions as a professional genealogical researcher. She is a Trustee and Archivist at the Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum in Arlington, Massachusetts and the Head of Reader Services at the Chelmsford Public Library.

**NEWS FLASH** The Historical Society and the Friends of the Whipple Free Library have purchased a trial subscription to Ancestry.com, the leading website for genealogical research. This subscription is accessible only from computers at the Whipple Free Library, at no cost to you. Click here for a printable PDF of "Using 'Ancestry Library Edition' at the Whipple Free Library" for instructions. We offered a brief workshop on July 29 which can be repeated on demand. You may view a two minute video about Ancestry Library Edition or more detailed videos on YouTube. We will renew this subscription in 2014.

Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Frontier History of New Hampshire - Beyond Boundaries, circa 1700-1850"
Speaker: David Stewart-Smith, historian
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
The northern frontier of New England was a risky place. Maine was nearly lost due to a series of Indian wars. New Hampshire had only succeeded in settling the coast - the interior was still Indian country. As the frontier moved inland, both settlers and Indians found that their cultures had changed. While the rest of New England focused on Atlantic trade, a small group of settlers and Indians exchanged goods and life ways on the frontier.

David Stewart-Smith is a scholar of Scottish and Pennacook descent, and serves as a historian for the New Hampshire Intertribal Council. His interests and research on Indian archaeology and history in New Hampshire span more than 30 years.
(See our Early Years page for stories from when New Boston was a frontier town.)

Big Bus tour 2004 Sunday, October 6, 2013 departing 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm from the Town Hall parking lot
"Bus Tour of New Boston" ($)
Speaker: Bob Todd, New Boston Historical Society
The Historical Society once again rented a big tour bus to wander the back roads of New Boston. Our tour guide was Bob Todd, a native of New Boston and a columnist for the New Boston Bulletin. Bob entertained us with stories from New Boston's past where they happened.

This photo was recycled from our 2004 tour as we forgot to take pictures in 2013. Fortunately, none of us have aged very much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:30 pm at NBHS
"Annual Meeting"
Election of Officers & Business Meeting.
The last official Historical Society meeting of 2013 was our Annual Meeting. There was no presentation on a historical topic.

Sunday, December 15, 2013 2:00-4:00 pm at NBHS
"Holiday Open House"
We shovelled the sidewalks so people could come to our annual Open House for refreshments, music and conversation by the imaginary warmth of the fireplace, which we could not light this year. There was a special exhibit from Bob Todd's collection of farm tools used at the Todd Homestead over the past 150 years, and the Moodys prepared an exhibit of antique lighting. We took a picture of musician Betsy Whitman but she hasn't changed a bit from the Christmas 2011 photo above.

house on Clark Hill Road Thursday, January 9, 2014 7:30 pm at NBHS
"How Old Is Your House?"
Speaker: Dick Moody, NBHS president
A question we often hear at the Historical Society is "when was my house built?"
To help you answer that question, Dick Moody explained the various ways to determine approximately when an old house was constructed, such as researching deeds and tax records, studying old maps and architectural styles, skimming old newspapers, and poring over photographs.

Do you recognize the house in the photograph? It still stands at the bottom of Clark Hill Road just above the antique shop that was Heidi Palmer's realty. The sleigh and barn are gone now.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Cannon Shenanigans & New Hampshire's Muster Day Tradition"
Speaker: Jack Noon
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
New Hampshire's Muster Day tradition ended in 1850, as did some of the related localized rivalries that involved the stealing of cannons. Muster Day was a day of drills, marching, and sham battles for local militias in NH. This spectator event was accompanied by entertainers, vendors, gamblers, and a great deal of alcohol. Throughout 19th century NH, demand for cannons for Fourth of July, election celebrations, demonstrations of civic pride, and for the sheer cussedness of making noise, often exceeded supply. Various town and regional rivalries sprang up over the possession of particular cannons and were constant headaches for local authorities. Jack Noon explored the vestiges of this tradition that survived well into the 20th century.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New Boston Cemetery Art"
Speaker: Anna Rothman
Let's take a close look at the artwork on the slate and marble gravestones in New Boston's cemeteries. How did symbols and styles change over the centuries?
New Boston native Anna Rothman performed cemetery research for the Lewes Historical Society and wrote her thesis about British cemeteries in post-colonial India. She was one of the technical advisors for our cemetery web page. Anna's cemetery art presentations have been well-received at several Boston-area pubs. The May 8th presentation in New Boston was her first in front of a sober audience.

Old Timers' Day Sunday, June 22, 2014 2:00-4:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Old Timers' Tales - Memories of New Boston"
Moderator: Lee Nyquist
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in New Boston forty years ago or even fifty or sixty years ago? Over 60 people came out on a splendid summer afternoon for a special event: "Old Timers' Tales - Memories of New Boston".

Some long-time residents of New Boston shared their memories of what the town was like in the 1930s through 1970s. During this time there were fewer than 1,000 people living in New Boston, we had our own High School, and farming was still an important industry. What do our older citizens remember about school, social life, sports, entertainment, local businesses, the 4th of July and winter time?

Our Town Moderator Lee Nyquist led the conversation among our special guests who included Andi Card, Alice Curtis, Jim Dane, Willard Dodge, Verna Elliot, Jerry Kennedy, Clem Lyons Jr., Bob Todd, Frances Towne, Howard Towne and Al Woodbury. Walter Kirsch Jr. and Jan Nixon also shared memories. (Photo of Al, Frances and Howard by Andi Card)

Thursday, July 10, 2014 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England"
Speaker: Thomas Hubka
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council

Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn
Drawing from Mr. Hubka's book

You've read the book - now listen to the author.
"Big house, little house, back house, barn" - this rhythmic cadence was sung by 19th-century children as they played. It also portrays the four essential components of the farms where many of them lived.
Through architecture unique to northern New England, this illustrated talk shows how farmers converted their typical separate house and barns into connected farmsteads. Mr. Hubka's book has become one of the standard works on regional farmsteads in America.

cellar hole Thursday, September 11, 2014 7:30 pm at NBHS
"A Walk Back in Time: The Secrets of Cellar Holes"
Speaker: Adair Mulligan
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council
Northern New England is full of reminders of past lives: stone walls, old foundations, a century-old lilac struggling to survive as the forest reclaims a once-sunny dooryard. What forces shaped settlement, and later abandonment, of these places?

Adair Mulligan explored the rich story to be discovered in what remains behind. Ms. Mulligan has been a part of an ambitious project of the Lyme, New Hampshire Historical Society to locate and document their town's many cellar holes. She related how a group of volunteers sought state archeology experts to guide them to preserve these sites. This research can help landowners know what to do if they have archaeological sites on their land and help stimulate interest in a town's future through its past. Useful forms mentioned in the presentation may be downloaded from lymehistorians.wordpress.com/cellar-holes/.

Thursday, November 13, 2014 7:30 pm at New Boston Historical Society
"Annual Meeting"
Election of Officers & Business Meeting.
The New Boston Historical Society focuses on the past, except for this one meeting when we think about the future. What projects and programs should we plan for the next year? We elected officers for the new year (see the About us page). Everyone enjoyed Dick & Betsy's special exhibits: "Antique Tableware" and "Haymaking".

Sunday, December 14, 2014 2:00-4:00 pm at New Boston Historical Society
"Holiday Open House" in the Wason Memorial Building
This was a wonderful opportunity for those interested in New Boston's past to view our exhibits in a festive atmosphere. The new special exhibit "Then and Now" showed dozens of ordinary household items from today paired with their antique predecessors.
The fireplace was lit and Betsy Whitman led us in singing Christmas carols. Our special guests The Henderson Family Singers performed at 3:00 pm.

Thursday, January 8, 2015 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New Boston during the American Revolution"
Speaker: Dan Rothman, website editor for the New Boston Historical Society
What was life like in New Boston during the American War of Independence? Have you wondered: what did New Boston women do while the militia marched off to capture the Molly Stark Cannon? Was every New Boston man really a true patriot, or did many people remain loyal to King George III? What provoked a fight between Patriots and Loyalists on top of Joe English Hill?

Friday, January 16, 2015 7:00 pm at the Whipple Free Library
"The How and Why of Civil War Reenacting" presented by Austin Clark
See the library's Perspectives Program page for details.

Friday, February 20, 2015 7:00 pm at the Whipple Free Library
"Contra Dancing in New Hampshire, Then and Now" presented by Dudley Laufman
See the library's Perspectives Program page for details.

NBHS yearbook Thursday, March 12, 2015 7:30 pm
at the New Boston Community Church
"Memories of New Boston"
Speaker: Bea Peirce, long-time New Boston resident

Bea (Byam) Peirce will share her memories of New Boston in the 1940s and 1950s: growing up on the Byam farm on River Road, going to the New Boston High School, and playing on the ballfield next to the Town Hall.

Bea raised her family in New Boston and has worked at the Whipple Free Library for quite a few years.

In this yearbook photo, Bea is in the center of the front row. The High School was behind the photographer, where the Fire Station now stands.

Thursday, May 14, 2015 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Poor Houses & Town Farms: The Hard Row for Paupers"
Speaker: Steve Taylor, NH Humanities Council
From its earliest settlements New Hampshire has struggled with issues surrounding the treatment of its poor. The early Northeastern colonies followed the lead of England's 1601 Poor Law, which imposed compulsory taxes for maintenance of the poor but made no distinction between the "vagrant, vicious poor" and the helpless and honest poor. This confusion persisted for generations and led directly to establishment in most of the state's towns of alms houses and poor farms and, later, county institutions which would collectively come to form a dark chapter in New Hampshire history. Steve Taylor will examine how paupers were treated in these facilities and how reformers eventually succeeded in closing them down.

Thursday, July 9, 2015 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New England's Colonial Meetinghouses and Their Impact on American Society"
Speaker: Paul Wainwright, NH Humanities Council
New England's colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities. Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition" meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.

Boston cream pie Thursday, September 10, 2015 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"A Slice of Boston History: Curious Tales from the Annals of the Omni Parker House"
Speaker: Susan Wilson, Hotel Historian
The Parker House is one of Boston's most famous hotels and is the home of the Parker House roll and the Boston cream pie.

Susan Wilson first came to New Boston to research J.R. Whipple's Valley View Farm, because J.R. owned this hotel and supplied it from his farm via the New Boston Railroad. Susan told us stories of some of the famous people linked to the hotel, including Emerson and Thoreau, Charles Dickens, Ho Chi Minh, John F. Kennedy, John Wilkes Booth, and Mark Twain.

After Susan's presentation, we enjoyed a half-dozen Boston cream pies made by New Boston bakers, some of whom had never made a Boston cream pie before!

Thursday, November 12, 2015 7:30 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Etched in Granite" presentation and the 2015 Annual Meeting
Speaker: Mj Pettengill, Author and Historian
Mj Pettengill's historical novel, "Etched in Granite", was inspired by the author’s discovery of a pauper cemetery in Carroll County, New Hampshire where there are 298 numbered gravestones. It was her mission to give voices to those silenced, to evoke images where they have been erased, and to replace the numbers with names.

Sunday, December 13, 2015 2:00-4:00 pm at New Boston Historical Society
"Holiday Open House" in the Wason Memorial Building
The fireplace was lit and the amazing Betsy Whitman led us in singing Christmas carols. Our special guests were The Whipple Free Ukesters; considered by many to be New Boston's finest ukelele ensemble.

New Boston Air Force Station Thursday, January 14, 2016 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"The History of the New Boston Air Force Station"
Speaker: USAF Sgt. Lea Musiol
In 1942 the U.S. Army Air Corps requisitioned thousand of acres of land in New Boston, Amherst and Mont Vernon for use as a bombing range to train its pilots.
After World War II and the Korean War, the site became a Satellite Control Facility and the Air Force Space Command assumed control of the installation.
Sergeant Lea Musiol told a standing-room crowd about the history of NBAFS and what it's like to work at the station today. The photo is from our Joe English page.

Thursday, March 10, 2016 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Memories of New Boston"
Speaker: Wayne Daniels
Wayne Daniels shared his memories of growing up in New Boston, which he says was "like Mayberry R.F.D."
Wayne remembered biking all over town with his buddies, fishing out of the windows of the old tavern, riding pigs at Newty Smith's farm, swinging on a rope in the Apple Barn stable, jumping into the swimming hole, and riding for hours in the bucket of Bill Mason's loader.

Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair Thursday, May 12, 2016 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"New Hampshire’s Long Love-Hate Relationship with Its Agricultural Fairs "
Speaker: Steve Taylor, former New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture (rescheduled from July)
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council and New Boston Truck and Equipment

The first agricultural fair in North America was held in Londonderry NH in 1722, and it became a wildly popular event lasting for generations until it came to be so dominated by gambling, flim-flam and other "scandalous dimensions" that the legislature revoked its charter in 1850. Steve Taylor discussed the ups and downs of the fairs down through years and how public affection for rural traditions helps them survive in contemporary times.

Mrs. Clark of Goffstown recognized her son John (second from the right) in this undated photo of the Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair when it was held in the field next to the New Boston Town Hall. Donna Towne says that John Byam is the young man to the left. Who are the other people?


Woody Woodland Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"An Evening with New Boston’s Favorite Announcer"
Speaker: Woody Woodland
You may know the Reverend Robert "Woody" Woodland as the voice of the 4th of July parade, as the minister of the New Boston Community Church, or as a radio sportscaster with a distinctive voice. Woody is also very interested in history, and he shared some of his favorite stories from our town, state and American history.

Topics included New Boston’s 4th of July parade, Who was Lucy Hale of New Hampshire? and What you don't know about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Woody's presentation was followed by an old-fashioned slide show of New Boston’s 4th of July parades from 1955 – 1964.

Photo of Woody Woodland announcing the 2013 Fourth of July Parade courtesy of the New Boston Bulletin

Thursday, September 8, 2016 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Discovering New England Stone Walls"
Speaker: Kevin Gardner, author of "The Granite Kiss"
** Sponsored by the N. H. Humanities Council and French & Rising Funeral Home
The New Hampshire landscape is dotted with stone walls, built by hard-working farmers who cleared the granite-filled land for pastures and livestock. It is estimated that New Boston alone has over 400 miles of stone walls. How were stone walls built, and how did styles and techniques change over time?

Kevin Gardner explained how and why New England acquired its thousands of miles of stone walls. As he spoke, Gardner built a miniature tabletop stone wall using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.

Sunday, October 2, 2016 2:00-4:00 pm at 96 Scobie Road, New Boston
"Open House - Hundred Acres Monastery"
New Boston's famous "Hundred Acres Monastery" is now a private home, and its current owners, Noel Sagna and Kary Jencks, hosted an Open House to benefit the New Boston Historical Society.
The Sagna/Jencks house dates to the late 1700s, when it was built by Livermore Langdell who operated a nearby saw mill and gristmill. Father Paul Fitzgerald established a monastery in the house in 1965 as an experiment in Christian living. For the next 26 years Father Paul welcomed people to his home for masses, food and lodging. He wrote: "We think we fill a need for many of our contemporaries by providing a place of withdrawal from the hustle and press of the everyday world."
We recorded visitors' memories of life at the Monastery and stories of the house before it became a monastery. A transcript may be found on our Memories of New Boston page.

Thursday, November 10, 2016 7:00 pm at the Historical Society
2016 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting of the Historical Society included the election of officers, a review of the past year and plans for next year. Debbie Harpe shared with us what she learned in a day-long seminar about Textile Preservation.
We regret that the presentation "How New Boston Roads Got Their Names" will not be offered; this question will remain unanswered.

Holiday Open House - Betsy W Sunday, December 11, 2016 2:00-4:00 pm at the Historical Society
"5th Annual Holiday Open House"
We enjoyed your company by the fireplace with refreshments, music and conversation. Our pianist Betsy Whitman led us in singing Christmas carols. This event was one of Nonah Poole's favorites.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Moved and Seconded: Town Meeting in NH"
Speaker: Rebecca Rule, author and humorist, NH Humanities Council
Rebecca shared stories of the traditions and history of the Town Meeting. Afterwards we watched a 1986 video documentary of one of the last real New Boston town meetings.

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Songs of Emigration: Storytelling Through Traditional Irish Music"
Speaker: Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki, NH Humanities Council
Using traditional music played on the fiddle and guitar, Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki shared stories of the adventures, misadventures, and emotions experienced by Irish emigrants to the U.S.

Thursday, May 11, 2017 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"They Called Her Cate"
Speaker: Polly Cote - great granddaughter of Cate Loring Langdell
What was it like to live in New Boston in the 1800s? Local author and historian Polly Cote shared stories from her great-grandmother's diaries.

Hannah Catherine Loring kept a diary from age 22 until her death in 1930 at age 89. Cate, who married Zaph Langdell of New Boston, also lived in Amherst and Francestown but Mrs. Cote spoke mostly of Cate's years at her father's New Boston farm on Clark Hill Road from 1859 until 1868.

In her illustrated presentation, Mrs. Cote shared stories of Cate and Zaph's day-to-day life on the family farm, what became of Cate's diaries, and the process of writing her book, "They Called Her Cate". Some of the actual diaries were on display.

Rogers' Rangers Thursday, July 13, 2017 7:00 pm at the New Boston Community Church
"Robert Rogers of the Rangers – Tragic Hero?"
Speaker: George Morrison - historian, researcher, and teacher

Robert Rogers of Dunbarton NH commanded the famous Rogers' Rangers during the French & Indian War in the 1700s, when New Hampshire was still a British colony plagued by Indians armed by France. To fight and win, Major Rogers developed tactics for guerilla warfare that are still used today by the U.S. Army Rangers. The novels and movies "Northwest Passage" and "The Last of the Mohicans" were inspired by the exploits of this brave and resourceful man.

Who was this American hero, and why did he fight for the British instead of the United States in the Revolutionary War? George Morrison described the exciting but tragic life of Robert Rogers and his portrayal in literature, film and television.