Resources: 20th Century

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Railroads and Economics

Grades 3-5. Mini Unit. This unit of study focuses on the economic impact of the railroad. Students learn about local and national history of the railroad and how it fundamentally changed the way business was conducted. They learn essential vocabulary and develop...

Kingsbury Toys for Boys and Girls

Grade School, video.  The story of how toys came to be made in Keene, NH, from the 1890s-1940s.  Introduction by Jennifer Carroll, Director of Education, Historical Society of Cheshire County.

Toy Manufacturing in Cheshire County

Middle School, High School.  Online exhibit reveals technological innovations in Cheshire County, NH, the history of childhood play in America, the impact of popular culture on industry, and how both national and international forces impacted the toy industry.  Toys...

History of the Jewish Community

High School. From Peddlers to Shopkeepers to Professionals:A History of the Jewish Community in Cheshire County.  The story of Jewish immigrants to Cheshire County, New Hampshire, at the turn of the 20th century.  Learn about Jewish presence in our communities and...

Meet Elizabeth: a 20th Century Abenaki Story

Grades: K-3.  In this 7-page booklet, students learn about a local Abenaki family's story.  Elizabeth Sadoques grew up in Keene, NH, as a child in the early 1900s. Her story is multi-generational and linked to her family's culture.  Questions at the end test students'...

Women’s Suffrage

Grades: 4-8, Primary Source Packet. Did you know?!  Famous suffragist Susan B. Anthony spoke in Keene on two occasions.  This packet contains 12 original newspaper articles, transcribed, a timeline of NH voting rights history with emphasis on the Monadnock region, and...

Local Immigration History- the Finns of Cheshire County

Grades: 6-8, 9-12. Lessons (2). Students will learn about local immigration history by analyzing primary sources pertaining to the Finnish community in Cheshire County. These lessons are made available to teachers for free thanks to the support of the Finlandia...

Jennie B. Powers, local Progressive Era reformer

Grades: 9-12. Mini unit outline with links to a short film, documents and photographs. This unit asks students to define a progressive, in terms of the early 20th century definition.  They will analyze the life of Jennie B. Powers, agent for the Keene Humane Society,...

Local News and the Progressive Era

Grades: 9-12. Lesson.  Students will use Keene Sentinel articles and other historic documents to study progressive era reform movements at the turn of the 20th century.  Articles show both what was happening in the Monadnock region and local response to national...

Caring for Pets

Caring for Pets Grades K-3.  Lesson.  In this 8-page colorful booklet, students learn about wants vs. needs of animals and humans and the responsibility involved in caring for pets.  This lesson introduces students to the role of humane societies in our community and...

Horses in our Community’s Past

Grades K-3.  Primary Source Packet.  12 enlarged historic photographs of Cheshire County scenes that contain images of horses.  Students will note the various ways in which horses were a vital part of our town's economy and culture.  Works well with Lesson: Caring for...

Western Abenakis, the Sadoques Family

Middle School & High School.  Primary source packet.  Contains historic photographs representing four generations of the Sadoques family of Keene.  Students will note an Abenaki presence in the Connecticut River Valley region that persists today. Each photograph...

The Ghost Army in World War II

Middle School. High School.  Film.  During World War II, a hand-picked group of American GI's undertook a bizarre mission: create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the Nazi German Army as their audience.  The US 23rd Headquarters...

An American Nurse at War

High School. Film.  This award-winning documentary honors women's service to their country and chronicles the heroic experience of nurse Marion McCune Rice of Brattleboro, Vermont. Rice's story is told through her own photos as well as written accounts by wounded...

The Farmer is the Man

High School. Film. The Farmer is the Man. Available on DVD or Vimeo.   The Farmer is the Man documents the joys, challenges and viability of farming in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire in the mid-to-late 20th century.  While it is clear that farmers wish to...

Trolleys, Trains, and Flyers

Middle School, High School. Film. Available on DVD or via Vimeo Stories from Keene residents who remember the days when Keene was a railroad center. Interviews with Ernest L. Bell, Sally Bell, Donald Carle, Philip H. Faulkner, Jr., Judy Hall, Margaret Hanrahan, Robert...

Flannels to Fuses

Middle School, High School. Film. Available on DVD or via Vimeo For over 100 years, textile mills were the foundation of the industrial economy in the Monadnock region. These were the cotton and woolen mills located at various sites such as Harrisville, Jaffrey, Troy...

The Great Hurricane of 1938 (in Keene)

Middle School, High School. Film. Available on DVD or via Vimeo Keene residents who experienced the hurricane which struck Keene, NH on Sept. 21, 1938 share their stories in a series of interviews. This film includes historic film footage and photographs at the scene,...

Lost Boundaries

The story of fair-skinned African American family, the Carters who move to Keenham, New Hampshire.  Parents Scott and Marsha decide to 'pass' as white and lead a successful life in town until World War II when an investigation reveals the family's black heritage. ...

Here I Am, Send Me

Middle School, High School. Film. Available on DVD or via Vimeo In the spring of 1965, Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a twenty-six year old student at an Episcopal seminary became one of the many young Americans who answered the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr's call to help...

Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve

High School, Film. Available on DVD or via Vimeo How does a teacher training school in rural New Hampshire transform itself into a leading public liberal-arts college? This documentary chronicles Keene State's rise from Keene Normal School, founded in 1909, to an...

Our Finnish Community

Grades 3-6.  Touchable Artifact Kit.  A collection of Finnish objects, children's literature, musical instruments, and music CDs related to Finnish culture in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire.  This wonder box comes in an old suitcase, allowing kids to imagine...

Logging & Woodworking Industries

Grades 3-6.  Primary Source Packet. Designed to help students understand one of the most important industries in the region.  This packet contains enlarged photographs depicting lumber-related industries in Cheshire County. Images range from the harvesting of trees to...

Transportation Over Time

Grades 2-5. Primary Source Packet. 10 historic transportation photographs allow students to visualize the evolution of transportation in Cheshire County over the last century.  Students can identify the forms of transportation covered, technological developments,...

Keene’s Central Square

Grades 2-5.  Primary Source Packet. Photographs of Keene’s Central Square, between 1858 to 1980, illustrate the ways in which a community changes over time.  Students will also see the development of technology, architecture, transportation, clothing and other aspects...

Abenaki Culture Post-European Contact

Grade 3-5.  Touchable Artifact Kit.  Reproductions of European trade items and Native-made objects, used by the Abenaki people during the 17th-19th centuries.  Teacher guide and activities included with Wonder Box.

World War I

High School.  Touchable Artifact Kit.  Artifacts,  historic photographs, and the transcribed diary of local soldier Arcade Joyal combine to illustrate the impact that World War I had on local residents in the 1910s.