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Belmont Historical Society




The Belmont Historical Society is a non-profit, 501 C(3) organization run by volunteers and funded by annual membership dues, donations and proceeds from various fund raisers.


In 1727 Belmont was originally chartered as part of Gilmanton and eventually became Upper Gilmanton in 1859.

The name of the town was changed to "Belmont” in 1869 and the Belmont Historical Society was formed 100 years later on the anniversary.

For four decades, Belmont Historical Society Members and friends have volunteered energy and time to preserving our special places and stories. Saving and adapting the Belmont Mill for a new community life is just one difference that the local Society has made.

Presentations are free and open to the public and refreshments are provided. The facility is handicapped accessible.

Help keep Belmont's history alive and bringing historical programs to the community.  Membership form.


2017 Programs

The Historical Society will be hosting several interesting programs in 2017.  Be sure to mark your calendar and join us!

The Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking?
Tuesday, May 16th, 7pm
Belmont Corner Meeting House, 16 Sargent Street

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Presenter Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called "founders," the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned. 


2016 Programs

Be sure to join us for our exciting 2016 Programs.  See our upcoming Schedule of Programs and Meetings.  "Keeping Our History Alive!"


Program - Benedict Arnold, Patriot or Traitor - September 20th, 7pm, Belmont Corner Meeting House - On Tuesday, September 20th, at 7 PM, George Morrison, will present the program, "Benedict Arnold, Patriot or Traitor.” While we all think we know the story of Benedict Arnold, the American Revolutionary War general who fought for the Continental Army and then defected to the British in 1780. While many of us know him only as a traitor, in this program Morrison will discuss how Benedict Arnold risked his life and fortune for American freedom in numerous courageous exploits between 1775 and 1778, when the dream of independence was at its most fragile. In doing so, Morrison takes us along an interesting journey through New England, the Quebec Province, and New York exploring many historic and modern images, all while helping his audience better understand Gen. Arnold, his sacrifices, his frustrations and why he chose the path he did. This program is funded by New Hampshire Humanities. 
Belmont Historical Society hosts program on Benedict Arnold, patriot and traitor  9/7/16 Sun
Belmont Historical Society presents talk on Benedict Arnold on Sept. 20 9/2/16 Citizen

Program - Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn - July 19th, 7pm, Belmont Corner Meeting House
Be sure to join us for this great program on Tuesday, July 19th, 7pm, Belmont Corner Meeting House, 16 Sargent Street.  Prof. Thomas Hubka, will present the program, "Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: the Connected Farm Buildings of NE.” This program is funded through NH Humanities and is an illustrated talk that focuses on numerous case studies of farm building arrangements and discusses how and why farmers in NE (during 1800 to 1900) converted their typical separate house and barns into connected farmsteads. Prof. Hubka's discussion, follows this movement and demonstrates that the average NE farmer was motivated into developing this style of architecture as a means to supplement farm income, as they were in competition with farmers in other regions of America, who had better soils, longer growing seasons and fewer rocks to clear. Prof. Hubka’s award-winning book on the subject of connected farm buildings will be available for those wishing more in-depth information regarding the historical development of connected buildings in New England.  More Info...

Belmont Historical Society program will focus on connected farm buildings  7/6/16 Sun

Program - Old Worsted Church - May 17th, 7pm, Belmont Corner Meeting House
The program is titled "Legends, Mysteries, and Memories of the Old Worsted Church” in Canterbury, NH, and is being presented by Mark Stevens, a Licensed Land Surveyor, history buff, and Canterbury native, who came across the remains of the Canterbury structure and decided to look into its history.  Mark spent several years interviewing people who remembered the Old Worsted Church and its caretaker, Sara Harper Monmouth, as well as collecting old photos, letters, newspaper clippings, journal entries, and documenting the memories & legends he encountered.  More...   This should be a very interesting program, with local interest;  we hope to see you there.  The program is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be provided.


Belmont Historical Society presents talk on Canterbury's Old Worsted Church  Citizen 5/9/16
Belmont Historical Society to present talk on "Old Worsted Church" May 17  Daily Sun 5/6/16

 


Funding by the "Humanities-To-Go" Program and presented in cooperation with the NH Humanities Council.


2015 Programs
The Belmont Historical Society events during 2015 included great programs such as "The Shaker Legacy" and "Discovering New England Stone Walls".  

Funding by the "Humanities-To-Go" Program and presented in cooperation with the NH Humanities Council.

Program on "The Shaker Legacy" in Belmont on May 19  Daily Sun 5/8/15
Belmont Historical Society hosts talk on "Shaker Legacy"  Citizen 5/9/15
Belmont Historical Society hosting program "Discovering New England Stone Walls" Winni Echo 9/10/15


2014 Programs
The Belmont Historical Society held programs presented with funding from the NH Humanities Council. 

Colonial Meeting Houses in New England

On September 19th, Paul Wainwright presented "New England's Colonial Meeting Houses and Their Impact on American Society". New England’s colonial meetinghouses embody an important yet little-known chapter in American history. Built mostly with tax money, they served as both places of worship and places for town meetings, and were the centers of life in colonial New England communities.  Using photographs of the few surviving "mint condition” meetinghouses as illustrations, Paul Wainwright, a well known photographer,  tells the story of the society that built and used them, and the lasting impact they have had on American culture.  

In colonial New England, there was little distinction between faith and community. Meetinghouses were built by the communities, usually but not always through taxation, and these were used for both religious worship and town business. They were the central focus of the community, and were an important point of contact for all.

While most colonial meetinghouses that are still standing have been extensively renovated to meet the needs of their owners and the styles of the times, a few have not been substantially changed at all, and are fascinating glimpses into our history.  
Historical Society discusses importance of colonial meeting houses.  
Citizen 9/12/14 
Importance of Colonial meetinghouses discussed in Belmont  Citizen 9/24/14

2012 Programs
Belmont Historical Society welcomes author Michael Tougias to present Indian wars of New England  9/8/12 Citizen
 

2009 Programs

2009 Events Program