Historical Society of Cheshire County – Institutional Summary
- Founded in 1927, it is the only county-wide historical society in New Hampshire, serving 23 towns.
- To collect, preserve and communicate the history of Cheshire County.
Governance and administration
- The Board of Trustees consists of 18 members representing towns across Cheshire County.
- There are six staff members and 135 volunteers.
- The headquarters are in an 1870 Italianate structure with an exhibit hall, a research library, permanent exhibit space, a museum store, several offices, a warming kitchen, climate-controlled storage space for the Society’s collections, and houses the Jonathan Daniels Center for Social Responsibility..
- The Historical Society owns and operates the Wyman Tavern (built in 1762) as a period house museum and living history venue.
- The Historical Society the 1839 brick Bruder House adjacent to the Wyman Tavern functions as a welcome center and educational venue.
- The Historical Society is one of New Hampshire’s most important research centers for regional history and genealogy, housing one of the state’s most extensive collections of primary sources.
The Historical Society has collected more than 300,000 items for historical research and educational use.
- Strengths of the artifact collection include 18th and 19th century furniture and accessories, New Hampshire made glass and pottery, Kingsbury toys, regional art, and southwest New Hampshire Civil War artifacts. Strengths of the archival collections include 18th and 19th century Cheshire County newspapers, hundreds of regional maps, 20,000 Cheshire County photographs, and 425 record and manuscript groups of original documents. Topics that are well represented in the manuscript collection include the Civil War, women’s history, religious history, business history, and agricultural history.
- The Historical Society has 575 members. Last year 13,200 people attended public programs and events. The Historical Society offers over 150 programs per year including school tours, teacher workshops, living history events, festivals, walking tours, summer camps, exhibits, films, lectures, and even “pop up museums.”