Welcome to the Blog of the Bennington, New Hampshire Historical Society. Our aim is to preserve and promote the history of Bennington, incorporated in 1842. Our history goes back further than that, to the First Nations people who’s village was along the banks of the Contoocook River 9,000 years ago and the Europeans who moved into the area in the late 1700s. Since then, much has occurred around the Great Falls of the Contoocook, and the Historical Society will tell you about it in this blog. The purpose of this blog is to take the history to the people, wherever you are. Should you find yourself in the area, visit the Historical Society, pictured above, located at 38 Main Street, Bennington, NH. From May to October, the museum is open from 10 am to 1 pm. If you have any inquiries, you may phone 603-588-4871.
The Bennington Historical Society was established in 1984 to collect and preserve antiques and literature that pertain to the history of Bennington, NH. As the collections grew, the Society needed a home for these historical items. The Town gave the Society a building that was originally built in 1852 as a ‘pest house’ for the Town of Bennington to isolate those who were suffering from the small pox pestilence. The building was later used as a ‘tramp’ house, jail house, and then storage for the fire station. After lots of fund raising, community suppers, raffles, and auctions, the Society was able to purchase a plot of land from Monadnock Paper Mill. In July 1992, Ron McClure and Donald Glynn organized the move of the building to the former Woods-Kimball Cutlery Shop site at 38 Main Street. Restoration started immediately. This was the beginning of a new landmark for the Society and the Town of Bennington.
Since this time, the Society has added the belfry and bell, and two additional museum rooms were added thanks to the generosity of Pearl Walker. Her gifts made the additions possible, reflecting her fondness for Bennington.
Following years of research and planning, in 2010, the Historical Society celebrated Bennington’s downtown district as being listed on the State and National Register of Historic places in New Hampshire. The three-year project included cataloging and describing 137 historic buildings, sites, and structures in the downtown village district. These histories will be digitized in national records and will be histories that will never be lost.
The Society continues to accept donations of historical significance for the enjoyment of future generations. We are also accepting new members. Please call the museum if you have any historical artifacts would like to donate or if you would like to join the Historical Society.