Points of Interest

Situated in the "Heart of New England," the Monadnock Region is the perfect base from which to explore New England's many scenic, recreational and historical points. Easy day trips can be made to most of the popular destinations in the Northeast. Check with the local Chambers of Commerce for details on these and other points of interest. There is much history to be experienced, many things to see, things to do, and places to visit in the Monadnock Region.

Keene is the center of the county and the county seat.

United Church of Christ (1786-88), Central Square. (National Register)

Colony Block (1870), Central Square, is a fine example of a commercial city block. It is Second Empire Victorian style and includes the office for the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce. (National Register).

Ashuelot River Park is a 46 acre park donated to the city in 1960 and placed in preservation. It has gardens and wooded areas along the Ashuelot River for walking, running, and cycling.

Two Arch Stone Bridge (1840), Upper Court Street, was built without mortar and is sustained by its arch of stone.

Horatio Colony Museum (1806), 199 Main Street. This Georgian style home houses the collection of Horatio Colony (1900-1977), grandson of Keene's first mayor. He traveled worldwide collecting artwork and treasures from Americana to Oriental.

Wyman Tavern (1762), lower Main Street, is a Georgian style wood frame home owned by the Historical Society of Cheshire County and retained as a period house museum. In October 1770, the trustees of the newly formed Dartmouth College met in the north front parlor for their first meeting. In 1775, Keene's patriots met here to commence their march to Lexington, MA. (National Register).


Historical Society of Cheshire County Archives, lower Main Street in an Italianate brick mansion built in 1870.

Elliot Mansion (1810), Main Street. This is one of several Main Street homes that became part of Keene State College and care has been taken to retain its historical character. Of special note is the mural in the front foyer, painted by Barry Faulkner, a Keene native who gained national status as an artist. His work can be seen in several buildings in Keene, at the National Archives in Washington, DC and the entrance to Rockefeller Center in New York City. (National Register)

Walpole Village center with its village green surrounded by homes with a mix of Georgian, Federal, Greek, Revival and eclectic styles of architecture. Near the village center is the Walpole Academy (1831), that houses Walpole's archives and museum. (National Register)

Park Hill Meetinghouse, Westmoreland. Construction began in 1762 and was completed in 1779 in its present location atop Meetinghouse Hill. It is one of the loveliest meetinghouses in the county. It has four columns, thirty feet tall and eighteen to twenty inches in diameter, that were hand turned from local trees. The steeple includes a bell cast by the Paul Revere Foundry (National Register)

Chase's Mill (1884), Mill Hollow, East Alstead. Works as it did in 1884, all machinery run by water includes large table saw, jointer and wood planer.

Stone Arch Bridge (1863), Gilsum, is one of the few remaining dry-laid bridges (no mortar), which spans the Ashuelot River (National Register)

Stone Arch Bridge, Stoddard, twin arch bridge built without mortar.
Swanzey Historical Museum, West Swanzey, houses an authentic stagecoach and restored Amoskeag steam fire pumper.

Swanzey Historical Museum, West Swanzey, houses an authentic stagecoach and restored Amoskeag steam fire pumper.


Veteran's Memorial Hall (1837), Richmond. Built for the Universalist Society as their meetinghouse, the dedication was given by Hosea Ballou (1771-1852), an influential leader of Universalism who was born in Richmond. (National Register)

Amos Blake House (circa early 19th century), Fitzwilliam. Home of the Fitzwilliam Historical Society and Museum, it is the house and law office of Amos Blake (1836-1928). Displays include schoolroom, general store, physician memorabilia, and military artifacts.

Second Rindge Meetinghouse (1797), Rindge. The largest meetinghouse in northern New England. The steeple is short in proportion to the rest of the building. Legend is that it was deliberately shortened to accommodate the fire department. The hand pump used to fight fires was unable to produce a stream of water above the weather vane, so the townspeople cut twelve feet from the steeple. (National Register)

Center Cemetery (1770), Marlborough. This is also the old center of the town and affords a wonderful view of Mt. Monadnock.

Jaffrey Historic District, Jaffrey Center, 36 significant dwellings, includes Meetinghouse (1775), Little Schoolhouse Museum (1822), Melville Academy (1833), and the old burial ground behind the meetinghouse where three of Jaffrey's most prominent citizens are buried: Amos Fortune, Hannah Davis and Willa Cather.

Harrisville Mill Village, Harrisville. The only surviving unaltered 19th century industrial community in the United States. Survives as a perfect example of early industrial architecture for textile mills. (National Historic Landmark)

FALL FOLIAGE TOURS

Searching for a good foliage route to take in the Monadnock Region is like searching for a good wine in France - you can't go wrong. Here are just two of many tried and true routes, however, that will give you about 40 miles each of excellent views and good Monadnock hospitality. Consult with your host for other fine tours.

Tour #1: Once Around The Mountain

Starting from Peterborough, take Route 101 west for 5 miles to Route 137. Turn left on Route 137 heading south to Jaffrey. In Jaffrey, there are plenty of reasons to get out and stretch, including the Civic Center Exhibits, the Amos Fortune Home, and the old Red Schoolhouse that has been beautifully restored.
Next head west on Route 124. This road, more than 12 miles of scenic splendor, will bring you along the southern edge of Mt. Monadnock to the town of Marlborough. It rises over fair-sized hills and dips into beautiful lowlands. When you reach Marlborough, turn right onto Route 101, heading east; although this is a main highway, it skirts lovely Dublin Lake, and bisects Dublin.
If you still have time, turn left 2 miles east of Dublin on Route 137. This will bring you to the picturesque village of Hancock. Continuing through Hancock, Route 137 connects with U.S. 202. Turn right on 202 for a relaxing and scenic ride back to Peterborough.

Tour #2: The River Valley Run.
This journey will take you from Keene on the old Walpole Road. From the center of Keene, head north on Court St. for approximately 3 miles. You will come to a traffic light and should continue straight through that intersection. Following the Old Walpole Road approximately 12 miles will bring you into the stately, picture-perfect town of Walpole. Be sure to stop and see the local Historical Museum.
Just west of Walpole, is the main highway, Route 12. Four roads from the center of town will bring you to Route 12, within one mile. Turn left on Route 12 for about 5 miles to Route 63. You will bear right on Route 63 for approximately 11/2 miles, until you reach a road on the right, River Road. By following River Road for approximately 7 miles, you will be meandering along the beautiful banks of the Connecticut River. It will eventually connect with Route 9, a major highway. Turn left on Route 9 for a quick 10-mile return to Keene, past Spofford Lake.

Covered Bridges

Covered truss bridges, such as you will find in NH, are composed of a roadway braced on each side by a wooden truss and a roof. It is the truss-work that is protected by the siding and roofing. The reason for covering the truss-work: wood lasts longer when protected from the weather. It is very rare to find two bridges alike, since each bridge was designed for a specific situation. As you travel over them, notice the variety in the truss designs - Town, Burr, Haupt, Howe, etc. Each is a masterpiece of engineering; each is designed to exploit the best properties of the wood.
In the area, you will find five bridges readily accessible.

Ashuelot (upper village), in Winchester, spanning the Ashuelot. Built in 1864 (National Register), this bridge is an elaborate 160-foot two-span Town lattice type bridge with sides unsheathed.

Coombs, in Winchester, also spans the Ashuelot. This Town lattice bridge, 118 feet in length, was built about 1837. Stone abutments without mortar support it. (National Register)

Thompson, spans the Ashuelot in West Swanzey. Zodac Taft built this beautiful 133-foot two-span Town lattice design with a center pier in 1832. (National Register)


Sawyer's Crossing, in Swanzey, spanning the Ashuelot. This 159-foot two-span Town lattice design was originally built in 1859. (National Register)

Slate Bridge in Swanzey. The bridge name originates from the Slate family who lived on a farm along the river north of the bridge. It is the second bridge on this location, the first having been built around 1800. On March 8, 1993, the Slate Bridge was destroyed by fire. The bridge was rebuilt in 2001 with the help of fundraising efforts.

Carlton, in Swanzey, spanning the Ashuelot (south branch). This 60-foot Queen post type bridge joining East and Center Swanzey, is one of the oldest bridges in the area. (National Register)

These 5 covered bridges are located on side roads off Route 10 between Keene and Winchester. A special covered bridge sign on major highways will aid you in finding all covered bridges.

Other Points of Interest

Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond - Keene State College - 229 Main Street - Keene 603-358-2168

Sharon Arts Center - 475 Rt 123 - Sharon 603-924-7256

The MacDowell Colony - 100 High Street - Peterborough 603-924-3886

Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery - Keene State College - Wyman Way - Keene 603-358-2720

Aquarius Fire Museum - Peterborough Fire Department - 16 Summer Street - Peterborough 603-924-3211

Cathedral of the Pines - 75 Cathedral Entrance - Rindge 603-899-3300

Fitzwilliam Historical Society - Fitzwilliam 603-585-7742

Franklin Pierce Homestead - Hillsborough 603-478-3165

Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies - Keene State College 603-358-2490

Walpole Historical Society - Main Street - Walpole 603-756-4861

Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music - East Sullivan 603-847-3371

Peterborough Players - Middle Hancock Road - Peterborough 603-924-9344

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