New Hampshire was one of the original 13 colonies. This distinction means that there are lots of historic places and buildings in the state. Here are some historical sites in New Hampshire that you might like to visit.
Hannah Dustin Memorial: Boscawen – a historical site in central New Hampshire
The Hannah Dustin Memorial, originally erected in 1874, now stands in the small town of Boscawen N.H. Hannah lived from 1657-1737 as a wife to Thomas Dustin, and was a mother to nine children. In March of 1687, the colonial town of Haverhill, Massachusetts was invaded by a tribe of Abenaki Indians. Though her husband and eight of her children escaped the invasion, Hannah, along with newborn daughter, Martha, and Nurse, Mary Neff, were captured by the tribe. It was in what is now the town of Boscawen, New Hampshire where Hannah defeated the Abkenaki’s therefore regaining her freedom and earning herself the title of the first American heroine to have a statue erected in her honor. You can read more about Hannah’s triumphant story in the park where her memorial stands.
Hours of Operation: Open year round
Endicott Rock: Weirs Beach-Laconia, New Hampshire
If you are ever in and around the Weirs Beach area, perhaps catching some rays or swimming, be sure to check out the Endicott Rock statue. This historical landmark features inscriptions of the initials of many infamous New England commissioners. There’s John Endicott, the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Edward Johnson, one of the founders of Woburn Massachusetts, and Simon Willard, a commissioner of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The men were sent on behalf of Massachusetts in 1652 to mark the boundary line between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As the northern source of the Merrimack River, the men (with valuable guidance from local Indian tribes) decided Weirs Beach was this boundary point. A long history followed the establishment of Endicott Rock, including disputes between Massachusetts and New Hampshire on borders and claiming territory. The monument is located on a patch of land right along the water with ample space to enjoy a picnic lunch or take a boat ride past.
Hours of Operation: Open year-round unless otherwise posted. During the off-season (winter months) the park is not staffed and access to comfort stations is restricted.
Taylor Mill: Derry, New Hampshire
Dating all the way back to 1805, this “up and down” sawmill was originally owned and operated by Mr. Robert Taylor who bought the property in 1799. Ernest Ballard later took ownership of the property in 1930 and began rebuilding the mill. The mill was eventually donated to the state of New Hampshire after Ballard’s death in 1953. The Taylor Mill is now located in what is known as Ballard State Park in Derry, New Hampshire- once home to a thriving milling industry. Feel free to bring a kayak or some fishing poles with you on your visit, as many of the locals use the nearby dam for such activities!
Hours of Operation: Check website for current dates
Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
In the year 1741, Mr. Benning Wentworth became the first Royal Governor of New Hampshire. Wentworth originally rented a brick residence (now known as the Warner House) also in Portsmouth. However, the colonial assembly rejected Wentworth’s plea to purchase the home. He therefore established his own outstanding 40-room mansion situated along the banks of a harbor in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He lived as a widower in the mansion for most of his life, but remarried in 1760 at the age of 54. His controversial marriage to his 23-year-old servant even inspired poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Benning Wentworth died in 1770, but Lady Wentworth continued living in the mansion with her next husband. She even entertained President George Washington at the mansion during his visit to Portsmouth in 1789! This authentic historical landmark is virtually untouched since its days in the 1700’s; little change has been made to the original structure. Upon stepping into the mansion, you can see what it would have been like to live as an aristocrat in the colonial era.
Hours of Operation:Check website for seasonal hours of operation
The Millyard Museum: Manchester, New Hampshire
This must-see Manchester attraction is home to rotating exhibits, artifacts, and murals all depicting the life and establishment of Manchester as New England’s largest planned city. The museum’s permanent exhibit Woven in Time: 11,000 Years at Amoskeag Falls tells the story of Manchester through the ages, from the Indian tribes who fished there, to the stories of cotton makers during the Industrial Revolution, and beyond. Take a walk under the Museum’s recreated arches of Elm Street and experience all the hustle and bustle that made this location such a popular spot back in Manchester’s beginning days. There are always new exhibits circulating in and out of the Museum further exploring life in the Manchester mill yard. Some of which include People You Should Know featuring paintings of past Manchester dwellers, and New Hampshire Landscapes featuring landscape paintings from Manchester and other New Hampshire areas.
Hours of Operation:
10:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday through Saturday
The Isles of Shoals: New Hampshire Seacoast
These islands (there are 9 in total) were originally settled by the famous Captain John Smith in 1614. They flourished as a prominent fishing community for some time, but most inhabitants later vacated the island upon threats from British attacks during the Revolutionary War. Each Island comes with its own interesting backstory. Perhaps one of the most enticing of these stories is that of Edward Teach and his supposed buried treasure. The Isles of Shoals are said to have been the site of various shipwrecks during England’s exploration days. A wreckage off one of the isles left only one survivor-Mr. Edward Teach, better known as Captain Blackbeard. Blackbeard honeymooned on the Smuttynose Island for some time with his 14th wife, Mary Ormond. Though promising to return, Blackbeard abandoned his new wife and sailed off leaving her desperately waiting for his return. Mary stayed on the island until her death, not going a day without looking for and hoping that her ruthless husband would return to her. Islanders say that when leaving the shore at night you can still hear Mary’s ghost call out “He will come back.” So whether it is buried treasure, a classic ghost story, or a scenic island tour you are searching for, on the Isles of Shoals there’s a piece of history around every corner.
Hours of Operation: Due to the isles’ seasonal operation, hours vary weekly. Before planning your visit call (603) 431-5500 to listen to the office’s automated system of the most up-to-date hours.
Live in Historic New Hampshire
Looking for an apartment home in New Hampshire? Red Oak Apartment Homes has properties in many locations throughout the state. Check out our available apts here.
Love history? Red Oak Apartment Homes has properties in Boscawen, Laconia, Derry, Milford, Merrimack and Manchester not far from these historical sites!
Southern New Hampshire and the city of Manchester are great places to live.