Take A Step Back In Time with me and let me show you parts of my historic New England town. I’m sure you have all heard stories about a little red school house but have you ever seen one? I can walk to ours just as children did for many years in the past.
The first school house was built in 1780. It burned down and was rebuilt in the early 1800’s. I have peeked through the windows of this one room schoolhouse and I would love to be able to go inside as it still has some of its classroom desks.
As the little town grew over the years, a second school house was built in 1834. I have been inside this school during Old Home Day celebrations. It was built with a slanted floor like in a movie theater so that each child could see the front of the classroom easily.
In 1895, the town built a third school for grades one through eight. After 1939, the school was used as the town library and is now owned by the historical society and is used as a museum. Inside the museum, I found a copy of an early hand drawn map from the 1760’s.
As you know, our home is from the early 1700’s and there it was marked on the center of the map. It was owned at the time by Gideon Sawyer. It was originally built as a two over two, meaning two rooms on the first floor and two rooms on the second floor with a center chimney. We found evidence that the color it is now is very similar to the original color. Hopefully, previous owners would approve of our restoration of this lovely home.
Gideon Sawyer is buried in the first cemetery in town. Other people who have lived in our home are buried there as well but time has erased most of the names on the markers.
Across the road from the historical society’s school-house museum is the Sawyer cooperage shop where two brothers made barrel staves and ladder back chairs. The society has just had the building’s sills repaired which will help preserve the building.
Across from the cooperage is the Union church built in 1850 by the Union Religious Society. It was used on different weeks by Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists as none of them could afford to build their own church. It is opened several times each year for a service. The church has a kerosene chandelier which is still used at some evening services. We were invited by friends who had their wedding in this historic church and it was a lovely event.
The Webster stagecoach stop and store is the only documented example of a rural stagecoach stop in New Hampshire. Our town has worked very hard to preserve its history. They have had the wonderful building moved from the very edge of Main Street to across the road where it is safe from traffic. It has been restored by the same preservation contractor who did all the restoration work on our home.
Both the front and side entrance doors have faded blue and red original paint. The same colors were found in one of the rooms of our home under many layers of paint. You can just imagine what it must have looked like when new.
One of the most well-known and historical buildings in town is the old meeting house. It was a very dangerous journey to travel to church as attacks from Indians were possible. Some of the original families of Hawke partitioned the church in Kingston to let them build a new meeting house. After several years passed, they were allowed to build their own meeting house.
The meeting house is any interesting building that is opened once a year for a service during Old Home Days…a celebration held in many New England towns.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of the historic buildings in our small town. Travel the back roads of New England and you will find wonderful small towns that are treasured by the people who live in them and well as the visitors who discover them.