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

Holiday Hours: Closed December 23 through January 2, 2018

Hooked! Fishing in the Monadnock Region

Exhibit on view through May 13, 2017

Our new special exhibit looks at the history of fishing in the region’s abundant rivers, steams, lakes and ponds. Learn about the extinct silver trout once found in Dublin Lake and the region’s role in fish cultivation and stocking. See the first American book devoted to fly fishing and learn about prize fish caught here. A series of excerpts from the local newspapers dating from 1876 to the 1920s illustrate the kinds of fish found in the area and the sometimes shocking quantities taken from the rivers and lakes.

The exhibit features a variety of antique and modern equipment, fishing flies, books, artwork, and vintage images that illustrate the story of fishing in the region and the changes that have occurred over the years. Included are paintings by sporting artists Roger Blum and Aiden Lassell Ripley and the dramatic Salmon River Maple by quilt artist and angler Susan Damone Balch.

Join us on April 15 for a demonstration and workshop on spring fly ties suitable for the Monadnock region and on May 13 for a casting workshop and spring equipment tuneup. Both programs are presented in collaboration with Monadnock Trout Unlimited.

Click these links for more program information:

Spring Fly Ties on April 15   

Casting Workshop on May 13

The Monadnock Center museum is open Wednesday- Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $3 (free for members and children under 12).

The Monadnock Center is grateful to our exhibit lenders Ann Lord, Aleta Connell, Steve Millard, Larry Antonuk, Ken Callahan, Ed Henault, the Whittemore family, Susan Damone Balch, and Tim McMahon.

Hooked! was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Bellows-Nichols Insurance, Peoples United Bank, kaZing, and Peoples VC.


Our next special exhibit opens in June 2017:


The Monadnock Region 100 Years Ago

Our second special exhibit for the year looks back 100 years when Babe Ruth played for the Red Sox, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress, and the U.S. entered the Great War.

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture has a small but impressive collection of early American furniture and decorative arts on display in its museum. Illustrating New England furniture making from the 18th to the 20th centuries, the collection includes objects that were made, owned and collected by Peterborough residents and have been donated to the Center over the last 113 years.

Greenie RoomThree distinguished highboys are at the center of the collection. About 1915, Adele Foster Adams donated a circa 1760 mahogany highboy that was built by the Townsend-Goddard workshop of Newport, R.I. This fine example of the Townsend- Goddard style features an arched top with a broken scroll and slender cabriole legs terminating in elongated slipper feet.

The second highboy is by an unknown maker but has a strong Peterborough history having descended through the Wilson family, proprietors of Peterborough’s earliest tavern. Made of maple in a vernacular Queen Anne style, the piece was probably built in New Hampshire or possibly southern Maine. In addition to its fine proportions and beautifully executed shell carving, the highboy’s top molding ingeniously opens to reveal a hidden compartment.

Highboy The third highboy is a showpiece by the Dunlap workshop of New Hampshire. This highboy descended in the Morison family, one of Peterborough’s founding families. Built from maple and dating from about 1790, it features exuberant decoration including carved sunbursts, scrolls and a pediment with pierced basket weave panels. Similar examples of the Dunlap workshop are found at Winterthur, the Currier Museum, the New Hampshire Historical Society and Historic New England.

Other examples of 18th century furniture in the collection include two lowboys, a gentlemen’s desk of astonishingly large proportion, chairs and tavern tables. In addition, the Center has an impressive collection of tall case clocks including two examples by Simon Willard.

Among the items made in Peterborough are two Peterborough pianos made by Hagen & Ruefer between 1890 and 1900 at their piano factory on Depot Street. Additional “Peterborough Made” items are a collection of piano stools by the Briggs Piano Stool factory in West Peterborough and a delightful mahogany and chestnut dressing table made by cabinet maker Lorenzo Holt for his eleven year old granddaughter in 1866.

Monadnock Center Town AtticCome play in the Town’s Attic! The Attic is a hands-on exhibit room for families with activities designed to appeal to preschool and elementary school children. Try your hand at writing with a quill pen or making a rag doll. Look at 3-D pictures with a stereo viewer or explore a set of mini-exhibits on local history topics like the Civil War or the Mariarden Dance Theatre. Picture books (all with a history theme) are available for some quiet activity. New activities are added throughout the year, so there is always something new to try.

Preschool story times are offered periodically throughout the year in the Town’s Attic. Story time features the reading of a history-themed picture book and a related game or craft. Visit our events listings to find the next preschool story time.

Robbe Family KitchenThe Robbe Family Kitchen is a period room exploring the family kitchen in a typical 1785 Peterborough home. The kitchen displays cookware, tableware, lighting and accessories that would have been found in William Robbe’s home on Old Dublin Road. The table is set with pewter dinnerware and serving pieces. The fireplace is arranged with ironware that made it possible for Eleanor Robbe to keep her family well fed. A dresser displays the containers, tools and gadgets necessary for keeping house on an 18th century farm. Learn about the central role the hearth played in 18th century family life and explore the yearly rhythm of life on an early New Hampshire farm.

robbe kitchen implementsWilliam and Eleanor Robbe were like many of their contemporaries, being the children of Scotch-Irish immigrants who came to New England in the early 18th century. William’s father was one of the first settlers in Peterborough. The Robbes settled on Old Dublin Road building a home and farm on land next to the farm built by William’s brother Alexander. William Robbe was said to have special powers- visit the Robbe Family Kitchen to learn more!