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" Bringing the Presence of the Past into the Present "
New Hampton Had a Train Wreck?
Although I grew up in New Hampton, I do not recall hearing about two locomotives involved in a head-on crash in our town. A stereoscopic card on eBay, with its faded image of the wreckage of two locomotives, led to many questions. These were quickly answered by a framed collage hanging on the wall of the New Hampton Historical Society Museum. Local resident Volker Antoni, through photos and text, narrates the story of The Railroad in New Hampton, including the collision. The following information is from Volker’s work.
On May 8, 1882, through an error of the dispatcher, the daily local from Plymouth to Concord collided with a cattle train out of Vermont. While most of the crew members were able to jump free before the crash, there were two fatalities. One was William Abel (1834-1882) of Bridgewater, an English immigrant who owned a knitting machine factory in Laconia, and the other was Hiram Jones (1832-1882), a horse drover from Barre, VT. Volker concludes, “The conductor and as such, the person in charge of the passenger train was Thomas Robie (1830-1893). Passengers referred to his train as ‘Robie’s Train.’ He was a New Hampton native. Twice-daily on his route he passed the Robie family homestead and farm on the east side of Winona Road at the intersection of Straits Road and extending down to the Fogg’s Road Station.”


½ of a Stereoscopic View Card found on eBay. The photographers, C. F. Bracy of Ashland and C.H. Colby of Meredith took several photographs of the wreck from various perspectives – all of which were sold to the public! Lake Winona was once “Long Pond.”
All aboard, indeed! For more information on the history of the town, please visit the New Hampton Historical Society website at
Kent Bicknell
Historian, NHHS
April 9, 2019


Other Connections to our Town's Rich History....

Main Street - U.S. Cavalry enroute from Fort Ethan Allen VT to Portland ME
1798 Receipt for a Town House pew
New Hampton Town House
86 Town House Road

New Hampton Town House
Also known as the Center Meeting House, Old Meeting House
New Hampton, NH was incorporated on November 27, 1777.  By 1797-1798 the townspeople were already considering the construction of a meeting house.   At the annual town meeting in March of 1798, the voters of New Hampton decided to erect a meeting house.  Two more town meetings in April and September were required to settle all of the details of the building project.  But, the building was ready for use by the next annual town meeting in March of 1799.  It is believed that the architect/builder was Samuel Kelley, one of the town’s first settlers.  The New Hampton Town House began as the meeting house for the Town of New Hampton, serving both for religious services and town meetings.   The Town House stands on the town common on a 5.5 acre town owned lot at the northeast corner of Town House Road and Dana Hill Road, considered to be the “Center”.   This location was referred to as the “Town Common”, the “Center” and is now known as the “Old Institution”.

Click here for more on its history.
Click here for some interior and exterior photos.

Stage Curtain Restoration, 2014
A hundred years ago, grand drapes and painted backdrops were the primary artistic feature of the cultural life of almost every village and town in Northern New England and were found in town and grange halls, theaters and opera houses.

Click here for further information including photos of the curtains and biographies of the artists who painted them.

Click here for the Survey & Treatment Proposal for the Ives curtain - the Grand Drape Advertising Curtain depicting the covered bridge that once spanned the Pemigewasset River in the vicinity of the present Route 104 bridge.

Click here for the Survey & Treatment Proposal for the Thompson curtain - New Hampton Town House.
Supported in part by a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts
and the National Endowment for the Arts.