19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 

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Archives Research is now by appointment only. Please contact us at (603) 924-3235 to schedule an appointment.

Peterborough History

History Baskets
By June 26, 2014 Read More →

History Baskets

This ash wood lunch basket is an example of the long tradition of basket making in Peterborough. Beginning with Amzi Child’s basket shop in 1854, Peterborough has been manufacturing baskets continuously for 153 years.   This basket dates from about 1910 and was probably made in Henry Needham’s basket shop on Depot Street.  The foundation […]

The Peterborough High School Class of 1911
By June 10, 2014 Read More →

The Peterborough High School Class of 1911

Congratulations to the Contoocook Valley Regional High School class of 2014! Now, let’s take a look at some graduates from 100 years ago. The Peterborough High School class of 1911 stopped their sightseeing to pose for this group portrait on a Washington DC street. At the turn of the century, it was thought that a […]

The Movies in Peterborough
By June 2, 2014 Read More →

The Movies in Peterborough

In 1937, Peterborough Gem Theater produced these movie posters featuring Cary Grant, Tyrone Power, Irene Dunne, Frances Farmer, and 1936 Olympian turned actress Sonja Henie.  These posters were recently donated by the Rindge Historical Society and are now a part of the society’s theater collection. The movies in Peterborough date back to 1912 when C.K. […]

Along the River: Settlement in the Contoocook Valley
By May 27, 2014 Read More →

Along the River: Settlement in the Contoocook Valley

Through the end of the year, the Monadnock Center is celebrating the 275th anniversary of Peterborough’s settlement in 1739. This week we open a special exhibit, Along the River: Settlement in the Contoocook Valley. We hope to see you at the exhibit opening on Friday, May 30 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit features […]

Decoration Day
By May 21, 2014 Read More →

Decoration Day

Peterborough School children placed flowers and sang songs at the Village Cemetery in May 1899. The occasion was Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day. The holiday can be traced back to the end of the Civil War when communities began commemorating those that were lost in the War of Secession. Many communities claim to have […]

Peterborough’s First Movie Star
By May 6, 2014 Read More →

Peterborough’s First Movie Star

Peterborough has had many brushes with Hollywood celebrity over the years.  A scrapbook in the Monadnock Center’s archives reveals the story behind a young Peterborough woman who acted in early motion pictures. This publicity photograph of Hilda White and her co-star in the 1918 film, My Four Years in Germany, is among the letters, news […]

Fanny Smith: A Peterborough Abolitionist
By April 30, 2014 Read More →

Fanny Smith: A Peterborough Abolitionist

With a big nose and corkscrew curls, Fanny Smith may not have been the prettiest or most fashionable of Peterborough’ 19th century ladies but she played a role in one of the most important social movements in town and the nation before the Civil War. Fanny Smith (1780-1858) was an unmarried woman, known to be […]

Slavery in Peterborough
By April 23, 2014 Read More →

Slavery in Peterborough

Like today, early Peterborough inventoried the assets in town for tax purposes – the dreaded tax valuation. This inventory dated from 1780 to 1793 details the town’s taxable assets including acres of orchards, arable land, pastures, horses, oxen, etc. A document like this could be just a curiosity- wow, there were 337 cows in Peterborough! […]

Peterborough in the Past
By April 18, 2014 Read More →

Peterborough in the Past

This slideshow was prepared by the Monadnock Center for the 2014 Peterborough Vision Forum. It was designed to provide an overview of population, demographic, and business trends over the course of Peterborough’s history.  

James Cross – Clock Maker
By April 14, 2014 Read More →

James Cross – Clock Maker

Sometimes an antique can present a mystery.  This banjo clock is signed on the face “James Cross Peterborough.”  But when Jennie Scott gave this clock to the Peterborough Historical Society in 1952, the early collection record had a note, “no definite information about Cross as a clockmaker has been found.” Who was James Cross?  Was […]