Programs

Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, unless otherwise noted, at 7 p.m. at the Pittsfield Historical Society Headquarters, 13 Elm Street in Pittsfield. The January meeting is the Society’s Annual Meeting and is held on the 2nd Tuesday of that month. There are no meetings in February-April, July-August, and November-December.

2019 Program Schedule

Click for the 2019 Program Schedule 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019
A Walk Back in Time: The Secret of Cellar Holes*

Have you ever wondered about cellar holes? Those indentations that may be the remains of an old building your parents or grandparents told you about. Northern New England is full of reminders of past lives: stone walls, old foundations, a century-old lilac struggling to survive as the forest reclaims a once-sunny dooryard. What forces shaped the settlement, and later the abandonment, of these places?
Adair Mulligan, our guest speaker, will explore the rich story to be discovered in what remains behind. She will describe how one town has set out to create an inventory of its cellar holes, piecing together the clues in the landscape.
The program is made possible through the New Hampshire Humanities.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Alice Brown Tales of New England Life

This program, presented by the Pontine Theater from Portsmouth, highlights Alice Brown’s regional stories of the idyllic New England life which were published from 1895 to 1910. Alice Brown, a native of Hampton Falls, wrote short stories that portray the simplicity and goodness of country life with an emphasis on small-town interests and regional dialects.
After her death in 1948, Alice Brown’s vibrant regional writing faded from local and literary memory. However, a resurgence of interest in overlooked women authors of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has prompted recent reprinting and reissues of numerous of Brown’s regional short story volumes, bringing her to the spotlight once again.
Pontine Co-Directors, Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers, have selected three of Ms. Brown’s evocative tales to bring to life on stage: Farmer Eli’s Vacation (1895), Gar-dener Jim (1910), and A Poetess in Spring (1910). Each story introduced a cast of colorful characters portrayed by Gathers and Mathews through storytelling and the use of Victorian-style Toy Theatre figures created by Greg Gathers.

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019
Cruising New Hampshire History

Michael Bruno, author of Cruising New Hampshire History, a book on New Hampshire’s iconic roadside historical markers, will present the story behind some of these markers.
As a young adult, Michael stopped at the historical markers that dotted the Granite State highways while riding his motorcycle. He found each of the markers intriguing with their unique story. Now more than thirty years later, Michael has embarked on a project to visit and to provide expanded information regarding each of the 255 historical markers that are currently exhibited along the highways in the Granite State. These roadside historical markers commemorate significant events and individuals from the first settlers arriving in 1623 to notable individuals who helped define what New Hampshire is today.
His presentation is geared towards the history of the NH Historical Marker program, how he came about the idea of the book and some local marker information specific for our community. He will entertain any audience questions. He will have books available for sale, cost $20, and will be happy to autograph them as well.
This program, presented by the Pontine Theater from Portsmouth, highlights Alice Brown’s regional stories of the idyllic New England life which were published from 1895 to 1910. Alice Brown, a native of Hampton Falls, wrote short stories that portray the simplicity and goodness of country life with an emphasis on small-town interests and regional dialects.

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019
New Hampshire On High: Historic and Unusual Weathervanes of the Granite State*

Weathervanes: functional and decorative. This program on weathervanes, presented by Glenn Knoblock, offers a fun and engaging look at the historic and unusual weathervanes found on New Hampshire’s churches, town halls, and other public buildings from earliest times to the present. Highlighted by the visual presentation of a sampling of the vanes found throughout the state, this descriptive and informative program will trace the history of weathervanes, their practical use and interesting symbolism, as well as their varied types and methods of manufacture and evolution from practical weather instrument to architectural embellishment.
Glenn Knoblock is an independent scholar and author of fifteen books and over 100 articles. He is also the author and historian on projects relating to Northern New England bridges, New Hampshire cemeteries, and brewing history, and African-American military history.
The program is made possible through New Hampshire Humanities.

Past Programs

2018 Programs

Interesting Features of New Hampshire Barns
Early Woodworking in Pittsfield Part 2
Concord Coaches
Images of Historic Pittsfield

2017 Programs

Early Woodworking in Pittsfield
“The Shakers” in New Hampshire
History of Globe Manufacturing
New England Barn Talk

2016 Programs

History of the Town Clock, by Harry Vogt
The Blueberry Express, by Elizabeth Dimmick
Trekkers and Tree Lovers, by Kevin Martin
Cider-New Hampshire’s “Official” Beverage, by Laurie Houle

2015 Programs

In the Good Old Summer Times, by Board of Directors
History of the Pittsfield Players, by Maureen Van Horn, Maye Hart, and Meggin Dial
Tour of Pittsfield in the 1980s, by Jonas and Elaine Glidden
Memories of the Canning Factory

2014 Programs

History of N. H. Indians, by John Moody
The History of Cinema in the Granite State, by Jeffrey Klenotic
The Old Man of the Mountain and Franconia Notch, by Maggie Stier
The Roosevelt Funeral Train, by Carl E. Lindblade
Show and Tell, by the Society

2013 Programs

Trash and Treasure, by Frank Eaton
History of Pittsfield Aqueduct, by Cedric Dustin, III
Readings of Poetry, by Sharon Olds
That Reminds Me of a Story, by Rebecca Rule
The Life of Vaughn Blanchard, by Larry Berkson

2012 Programs

Creating a Time Capsule, by Mark Wallace
Ferdinand F. French, by Paul Gauvreau
History of Fiddle Contests in New Hampshire, by Adam Boyce
George E. Freese, by Larry Berkson
History of the Congregational Church, by Reverend David Stasiak
A Taste of Life in the 18th Century, by Sabra Welch

2011 Programs

Mary Wheeler, by Larry Berkson
Franklin Pierce, by Peter Wallner
Tour of the Douglas Towle property, by Douglas Towle
History of Old Home Week, by Gary Crocker
History of the Pittsfield Fire Department, by Fred Okrent
Pittsfield’s Economy: Past, Present and Future, by Mat Monahan

2010 Programs

Warren Chase, by Larry Berkson
Past and Future of the Josiah Carpenter Library, by Harry and Leslie Vogt
Pittsfield’s World War II Veterans, by Larry Berkson and Robert Moulton
Pittsfield’s Early Schools, by Robert Moulton
Art Work of a Local Painter, by Gene Matras
Covered Bridges of N. H., by Karl Olsen

2009 Programs

A Brief History of Maxfield’s Store, by Larry Berkson
Recording Your Family History, by Marilyn Thyng
The American Revolution in America, by Thomas Graham
Edmond J. Stapleton, III, by Larry Berkson
Olde School Memories, by Harriet Ames and Robert Moulton
Life and Times of Charles Durgin, by Timothy Patterson
The Washington House, by Theresa (Drouin) Riel

2008 Programs

George Robert Drake, by Larry Berkson
Experiences of World War II Veterans, by four veterans
Haunted Houses of Pittsfield, by William Provencal
Pittsfield’s Civilian Contribution to World War II, by Larry Berkson
Jesse James and His Relationship to Pittsfield, by Larry Berkson
Pittsfield Street Names, by Robert Moulton
The Civil War, by Tim Patterson

2007 Programs

 The Art of Building Stone Walls, by Daniel Schroth
Hall of Fame Induction of Idella Genest, by Larry Berkson
Tour of Sanborn Mills, by Colin Cabot
Tour of the Old Meetinghouse Cemetery, by Larry Berkson
Old Home Day Parades, by Gilbert Paige
Bataan Death March, by Mike Pride
Shaker Village, by Ralph Van Horn

2006 Programs

Life of a Soldier in Vietnam, by Leon Bly
NH Native Indians, by Tim Patterson
Early Scenes of Pittsfield, by Gilbert Paige
NH Fire Towers, by Frederick T. Hast
Camp Graylag, by Susan Geib

2005 Programs

Genealogy, by Hal Inglis
One Brigade Surgeon’s Point of View, by Dr. Robert Zahn
The Suncook Valley Railroad, by Noland and Naomi Avery
Charles H. Green, by Larry Berkson
New Hampshire Barns, by John Porter
Pittsfield’s Shoe Industry, by Larry Berkson

2004 Programs

100th Anniversary of Danis Market, by Joe Danis|
Fifty Years of The Suncook Valley Sun, by Arthur and Elsie Morse
History of Pittsfield’s Fire Chiefs, by Larry Berkson
Pittsfield’s Poor Farm, by Larry Berkson
Postcards of Pittsfield, by Joan Riel

2003 Programs

Scrapbooking Your Family, by Debra Kardaski
Civil War Veterans of Pittsfield, by Paul Oman
Dedication of Archives to Ruth Cram, by Larry Berkson
Colored Map of Pittsfield, by Wayne Gallop
Pittsfield’s Mica Mines, by Larry Berkson
Leavitt’s Cider Mill, by Laurie Houle

2002 Programs

The Great Fires of Pittsfield, by Larry Berkson
The Pittsfield Fire Department, by Frederick Hast
Mustered! Foot Soldiers of the 12th, by J. P. Fayhe
Changes in the Pittsfield Fire Department, by Lenny Deane
General Harrison R. Thyng, by James Thyng
The Osborne Pottery Works, by Louise Osborne

2001 Programs

The Congregational Church, by Rev. Charles Morgan
The Baptist Church, by Robert Moulton
The Calvinist Baptist Church, by Larry Berkson
Notable Women of Pittsfield, by Larry Berkson
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, by John Kost
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, by Marion Knox
Christian Science Church, by Arlene Martin
Slides of Old Photographs of Pittsfield, by Gilbert Paige
History of Lionel Trains, by Allen Warden
The History of Indians in New England, by Jere R. Daniell
The Pittsfield Players, by Cedric Dustin, III

2000 Programs

 History of Suncook Leathers, by David Ossoff
A Brief Enuf Look at Jocky Fogg, by Elsie Morse
Reverend Joseph Harvey, by Deborah E. Woods
Remembering World War II, by Robert Moulton
The Story of Amos Tuck, by Larry Berkson

1999 Programs

 Pittsfield’s Dams, by Larry Berkson
Guns of the Civil War, by Robert Moulton
Dr. George G. Wilkins, by Larry Berkson
Frederick Douglas’s Visit, by Cedric Dustin, III

1998 Programs

The Romance of the Family Farm, by Ronald Jager
The Concord Coach, by William Copley
Pittsfield Weaving, by Gilbert Bleckmann
Slide Pictures of Early Pittsfield, by Gilbert Paige
New England Mill Towns, by Jere R. Daniell

1997 Programs

Daniel Webster, by George A. Moore
Pittsfield Cemeteries, by Larry Berkson and Edward Cantara
Pittsfield’s Most Notable People, by Robert Moulton (a continuation)
The Pittsfield Fair (a repeat), by Larry Berkson
Pittsfield Academy and Early Schools, by Larry Berkson and Robert Moulton
Pittsfield’s Early Parades (a continuation), by Gilbert Paige
Number Please. N. H. in the Pre-dial Era, by Judith Moyer
Pittsfield’s Trucking Industry, by Robert Moulton
Revolution Comes to N. H., by Jere R. Daniell

1996 Programs

The History of Pittsfield Aqueduct, by Cedric Dustin, III
The Pittsfield Fair, by Larry Berkson
Pittsfield’s Role in the Civil War, by Robert Moulton
Early Pittsfield Parades, by Gilbert Paige
The Sunset League, by Robert Moulton
Pittsfield During the Great Depression, by Robert Moulton
Pittsfield’s Most Notable People, by Larry Berkson and Robert Moulton

1995 Programs

 The Dustin Family of Pittsfield, by Cedric Dustin, III
The Pittsfield Canning Factory, by Sabra Welsh
The Old Meetinghouse Graveyard, by Jeffrey Salisbury
The Shoe Industry, by Robert Moulton
Shaker Village, by Michael Pugh
Covered Bridges of New England, by Richard Roy
Hosted the New Hampshire Graveyard Association