History in the Monadnock Region… and a New Look at an Old Book

Recently a friend of ours gave us a small book, simply titled “Monadnock Region in Southern New Hampshire” published by the Monadnock Region Association. Although I can’t find any date for the publication of the book itself, the map in the back is dated 1938. The first pages read: “Inviting you to visit and to live in the Monandnock Region ‘Land of New Hampshire Charm’.” In flipping through the book, it is fun to look at the old pictures and read about the towns, from Alstead to Winchester and everything in between. 

The page on Peterborough mentions the MacDowell Colony, the Boston University Sargent Camp, the American Guernsey Cattle Club headquarters, and the Peterborough Library, the world’s first tax-supported library, established in 1833, as well as manufacturing and recreational pursuits. It highlights the town’s devotion “to the expression of the arts” with a balance “maintained with agricultural, industrial and commercial interests”. The description still rings pretty true today!

When I saw the upper photo of Mount Monadnock and Dublin Lake in the book, I realized we had one just like it from our hike on Beech Hill in 2016. The trees have grown in a bit so you can’t quite see as much of the lake but it must have been taken from close to the same spot!

On a broader scale, the Monadnock Region abounds with history and we are lucky to have many historical societies that help share the big stories and the lesser-known ones. They feature lectures, events, and presentations, and their many collections provide a wealth of information for those doing research. Our own local society, the The Monadnock Center for History and Culture, has a calendar full of exhibits and events to enjoy. Current exhibits include “The Art of Handwriting” (through May 25, 2018) and a photo exhibit at the Peterborough Town House called “Buildings for a New Century” featuring photos taken during the construction of the Town House and Historical Building a century ago.

In Keene, the Historical Society of Cheshire County has a new exhibit, “Marketing Monadnock” (February 9 – May 5, 2018), focused on how Mount Monadnock has been used to market the businesses and character of the region. The Society is also the steward of the Wyman Tavern (built in 1762), one of the most important historical buildings in Cheshire County. The Wyman Tavern is open during the summer months for tours and events.

For a full calendar or additional information on their events, please see the websites for the historical societies:

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture, Peterborough

Historical Society of CheshireCounty, Keene