Program Schedule



All meetings are free and opened to the public with the exception of the June Reception which is for members only. 


Monday, October 16, 2023

6:30 pm

Topic:  "Late in Arriving, How Electricity Changed Rural NH Life "

Speaker:  Stephen Taylor

Location: Amherst Town Library

      Imagine a New Hampshire town where some people enjoyed the benefits of electricity – lighting at the flick of a switch and reliable heating controlled by a thermostat – while others lived with smelly kerosene lamps and smoky box stoves. In New Hampshire, during the first half of the 20th century, residents of developed communities enjoyed the transformative benefits of electric power while those in the sparsely populated regions lived and worked in conditions little changed from the 19th century.
     Join the Historical Society and the Town Library to welcome Stephen Taylor and his fascinating program on the early days of electricity in New Hampshire.
     It took the coming of the New Deal's Rural Electrification Administration and a determined band of farmers to overcome opposition from the established private utilities to create the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative in 1939. Despite labor and material shortages during World War II, within a decade, power came to almost all of the previously unserved areas of the state. For thousands of households, this meant relief from the drudgery of the wood-fueled cookstove, the washboard and the kerosene lamp. Reliable electric power similarly brought new ways of life to farmers and artisans. This program will explore how these developments changed civic and social life in New Hampshire’s countryside, and touch the ways the disparity of broadband access in the state today echoes these earlier struggles.

Monday, December 11, 2023

6:30 pm

Topic:  "The Historic and Ghostly Tales of Amherst"

Speaker:  Susanna Hargreaves

Location: Amherst Town Library, Johnson Room

      As a prelude to her upcoming book, Susanna will share some of the dark history and ghostly tales of Amherst gleaned from research and personal interviews.


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

6:30 pm

Topic:  "History and Restoration of Col. Robert Means 'Mansion House""

Speaker:  Bill Veillette

Location: Amherst Town Library

      Did you know that U.S. president Franklin Pierce was married right here in Amherst, and that the ceremony took place in a stately home that still graces the edge of our Village Green?
     Join the Amherst Town Library, the Historical Society of Amherst, and Bill Veillette, current owner of the Col. Robert Means ‘mansion house,’ for a fascinating program on the history, architectural features, and rehabilitation of a true Amherst treasure.
     Learn about the home’s long history and its many changes over the years, including its extensive restoration earlier this century. The Veillettes purchased the house in 1998, researched and planned its rehabilitation for 3 years, and did the work from 2001-2003.
     Along the way Bill learned much about colonial architecture—including our many modern misconceptions about the past. During the program he will also gently bust well-worn myths about "coffin doors," "Indian shutters," "widow's walks," and "exposed beams.


Monday, April 8, 2024

6:30 pm

Topic:  "TBD"

Speaker:  TBD

Location: Amherst Town Library


Monday, June 10, 2024

6:00 to 8:00 pm

Topic:  "Annual Membership Reception"

Location: Wigwam Museum

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