HSCC's Winter/Spring Featured Exhibit
The Power of Water:
A History of Water Powered Mills in the Monadnock Region
EuroAmerican settlers arrived in Keene, known then as Upper Ashuelot, in the spring of 1735 to begin clearing land and build farms to support their families in the new township. During a town meeting held in the following September, the proprietors appoint a committee to lay out a road to "the Saw-mill place" and offered 100 acres of land and 25 pounds cash to any person or persons who would build a saw mill. John Corbet and Jesse Root accepted the offer and agreed to have the mill in operation by July of 1736. At a town meeting held in September of 1736 another committee was appointed to "agree with a man to build a grist-mill" and to offer up to 40 pounds as an encouragement.
The offer of land and cash incentives to build a saw and grist mill were viewed as essential to the proprietors for the growth and development of their new community. Powered by water, these first mills were located on Beaver Brook just north of the village.
Keene's first saw and grist mill were among the first water powered mills in the region, and were followed by hundreds of other mills over the next 150 years. The history of these mills, their operation, the products they made, and the people who worked in them is the focus of the exhibit.
The "Power of Water" is a collaborative exhibit by the Monadnock Historical Societies Forum, and will be on view until June 29, 2013 during regular museum hours. This exhibition has been generously sponsored by the Connecticut River Bank, Monadnock Paper Mills, Harrisville Designs, Inc., and Ashuelot River Hydro, Inc.
Call for Entries
64 Miles: The Ashuelot River Art Exhibition
HSCC is seeking artists to take part in a 2013 summer exhibition about the Ashuelot River. The exhibition will celebrate the river's variety of locations, its change of seasons, and its diverse aspects such as history, landscape, recreation, and environment. The artwork will be hung in a way that conveys the flow of the river through the seasons along its 64 miles from Pillsbury State Park to the Connecticut River in Hinsdale.
We expect the exhibition to capture a sense of place as well as artistic excellence. Artists are invited to submit two or three works created within the last 18 months. There will be a registration fee of $25 for the juried exhibition, and artists will agree to contribute 25% of proceeds from sales to the Historical Society.
"64 Miles" is scheduled to open July 19, 2013 in HSCC's Exhibit Hall. The exhibition will pay homage to the largely overlooked Ashuelot River as the great natural resource that it is to this region. For further information or a registration form, please contact Kathy Schillemat at the Historical Society by Email or at 603 352-1895.
Please click 64 Miles for a PDF registration form.
The Historical Society offers at least two temporary feature exhibits each year. These exhibits tend to focus on Cheshire County history, yet often include traveling exhibits from other state historical societies and museums that share pieces of our history in Cheshire County.
July 2013 - September 2013 - 64 Miles: Ashuelot River Art Exhibition
November 2013 - June 2014 - Wright's Silver Polish
July 2014 - September 2014 - White Mountain Art
November 2014 - June 2015 - Cheshire County During the Civil War
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