The Top 15 Historical Sites in New Hampshire!

Michael Crichton once said that a man unaware of his history is like a leaf who doesn’t realize he belongs to a tree. Discover the branches of your past by visiting the most important historical sites in New Hampshire. From living history museums to military installations, the Granite State has no shortage of fascinating heritage to share with modern residents. From the colonial endurance of surviving our wicked wilderness to the development of our incredibly rich contemporary culture, endless educational wonders await curious minds. 

1. Historic District, Harrisville, NH

The Harrisville Historic District is an exceptionally preserved mill village, and one of the best opportunities in the state to glimpse our industrial past. Covering 200 acres, with a total of 135 buildings, Historic Harrisville is among the most well preserved areas of the country. Once a bustling hub of ironwork, grist and flour milling, and fabric manufacturing, a trip to Harrisville transports you to another time. Much of the area dates to between 1820 and 1870, a time when the entire economy of New England underwent enormous social and economic change. 

2. Jackson House, Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth’s Jackson House is the oldest surviving wood framed house in the state, built on 25 acres in 1664. A visit to Jackson House not only exposes the earliest iteration of American architecture, but also stylistic variations from other past decades as the Jackson family built multiple additions.

3. USS Albacore, Portsmouth, NH

A U.S. Naval Research vessel, the USS Albacore was used to test experimental maritime technology. Now, the Albacore is on dry land and open to the public. Take a self-guided tour and listen to recordings of former crew members detailing life on board, a stunning glimpse at life undersea. Although the submarine force of the United States Navy accounts for just 2 percent of enlisted members, it has historically provided exceptionally victorious service, as well as some of the highest casualty rates. Because of these factors, research boats like the Albacore have played a critical role in increasing the safety protocols for our brave servicemen. A trip to the USS Albacore is a perfect way to teach both children and adults about our naval and maritime history. 

4. The Enfield Shaker Village, Enfield, NH

Home to the largest Shaker Dwelling House ever constructed, this Enfield site is not to be missed. An incredibly rich history of Shaker culture is presented through art, furniture, and lifestyle, as well as craft demonstrations and concerts. Get lost in history and spend a day wandering the village and learning about our local social and religious heritage. 

5. The Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH

Portsmouth is home to a world-renowned living history museum known as Strawbery Banke. With its earliest building dating to 1695, Strawbery Banke boasts 39 impeccably-restored structures that preserve the historic Puddle Dock neighborhood. Renowned gardens representing 400 years of varied horticultural technique, as well as traditional boat builders performing demonstrations, allow the visitor to feel completely immersed in colonial-era New Hampshire.

6. Lockhaven Schoolhouse Museum, Enfield, NH

Another great site for exploring the daily life of a New Hampshire past is the Lockhaven Schoolhouse Museum in Enfield. A one-room schoolhouse built in the 1850s, Lockhaven preserves our early educational history. The Lockhaven Schoolhouse Museum is a particular point of pride given New Hampshire’s early participation in widespread education. 

7. The Fort Constitution Historic Site, New Castle, NH

In 1791, New Hampshire gave a parcel of land to the United States Military. This peninsula on New Castle Island had housed the colonial Fort William and Mary, as well as a lighthouse, both critical to the wellbeing of the colonists. The military repaired the fort and expanded on its original footprint, renovations that were completed in 1808 and which resulted in Fort Constitution. Today, the base has become something of a park, and is open year-round to the public for recreation. The ruins of Fort Constitution are viewable, and provide a wonderful starting point to teach children about our rich, revolutionary history. 

8. The Old Meeting House, Sandown, NH

The Town Hall of Sandown, New Hampshire, is one of the best-preserved meeting houses in the state, and perhaps the country. In an embrace of New Hampshire’s self-governing spirit, Sandown has conducted its most important business in the house, and the history inside the structure is almost palpable. Here, divided men debated whether or not to agree to the proposed United States Constitution. Votes were cast for President George Washington, and municipal ordinance was developed into the complex system that stands today. Truly a hub of its community, the meeting house served as town church on Sundays, and hosted local groups and the town government in between. Visit Sandown’s Old Meeting House for a special glimpse into the pieces of New Hampshire past that forever remain the same: Self-government, community, and self-sufficiency. 

9. The Zimmerman House, Manchester, NH

The Zimmerman House holds the honor of being the only structure in New Hampshire designed by world renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and being the only one in all of New England to remain open to the public. Built in 1950 for the Zimmerman family, Wright designed all aspects of the house including the interior and decor. The house is generally closed for the winter season and accessible only through tours organized by the Currier Museum of Art.  

10. The Epic of American Civilization, Hanover, NH

In the basement of a Dartmouth College library, a priceless piece of art history sits unassumingly. A 24-panel mural, called “The Epic of American Civilization,” depicts the settling of the Americas, their development, and the impact of war on their societies. Painted by social realist painter Jose Clemente Oroszco in the 1930s, the mural was designated a National Historical Landmark in 2013, and is a point of extreme pride for both Dartmouth College and the State of New Hampshire. 

11. Saint Gaudens, Cornish, NH

Cornish was once home to one of the most famous American sculptors of all time, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Public monuments, relief sculptures, even American coins were created by Saint-Gaudens in his home studio. Tour his former house, his artist’s studio, and the impressive English-style gardens located on the grounds. 

12. The Franklin Pierce Homestead, Hillsborough, NH

Visit the childhood home of America’s 14th president, Franklin Pierce, built in 1804. The home not only offers insight into the early life of our former Commander in Chief, but is an impeccable preservation of early 19th century life in New Hampshire.  

13. The Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, Portsmouth, NH

This 40-room mansion in Portsmouth was once home to New Hampshire’s first royal governor, Benning Wentworth. On the shores of Little Harbor, this mansion became the epicenter of social and political life in New Hampshire, as Wentworth also worked out of the home. To add intrigue, the mansion was later sold to J Templemen Coolidge III, trustee of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Thanks to Coolidge’s involvement, the house was transformed into an artistic oasis, and played host to such creative giants as John Singer Sargent and Edmund Tarbell. Adding to the special nature of the mansion is its singularity: The Wentworth-Coolidge House is the only standing home of a royal governor of any of the original colonies. 

14. The Cog Railway, Mount Washington, NH

As the first mountain climbing train in the world, Mount Washington’s Cog Railway is a special piece of railroad history right in our own backyard. The track was completed in 1869, and provided a path for “Old Peppersass,” the original train. Take a three-hour tour on the cog railway, 6,288 feet straight up the side of Mount Washington, and learn about this important piece of transportation history. The railway itself is a National Historic Engineering Landmark, and often considered one of the best stops in the White Mountains. 

15. Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm, Tamworth Village, NH

Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm is a unique way to explore all aspects of our predecessor’s lives—social, medical, agricultural, culinary, and domestic. As the only country doctor museum in all of New England, Remick is a stellar, all-encompassing way to teach children and adults about our collective heritage. Hands on learning is made a delight on this 200-year-old village farmstead. With events year-round, including Maple Sugaring, an Ice Harvest Winter Carnival, and Nights at the Museum, it is easy to find something the whole family can enjoy. 

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
182 Central Avenue, Dover, NH
About Us:The Woodman Museum is operated by the Trustees of the Annie E. Woodman Trust a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation. Contributions to th... Read More
30 Academic Way, Durham, NH
The Museum of Art is the New Hampshire Seacoast's premier art museum a center for the visual arts where visitors gather to enjoy changing exhibitio... Read More
One Governors Lane, Exeter, NH
Located in historic downtown Exeter, the American Independence Museum comprises the 18th century Ladd-Gilman House, Folsom Tavern, and over an acre... Read More
14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth, NH
History & Mission:Visitors to Strawbery Banke have the opportunity to experience and imagine how people lived and worked in this typical Americ... Read More
6 Washington Street, Dover, NH
The Met is an interactive children's museum serving Derry and surrounding commuities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Our mission here is to est... Read More
110 Daniel Webster Highway, Lincoln, NH
History:In 1928 Florence and Ed Clark opened a roadside attraction for White Mountain travelers in Lincoln NH. "Ed Clark's Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch," ... Read More
150 Ash Street, Manchester, NH
Mission Statement: The Currier Museum of Art is committed to providing stimulating, diverse, and enjoyable encounters with original works of art an... Read More
6 Washington Street, Dover, NH
Hours Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday 12-5pm Our Mission: Actively engage families in hands-on discovery Our Vision: To inspire all to be... Read More
1401 Route 117, Sugar Hill, NH
Mission: Our purpose is to be an educational resource for the public through research, study, collection, preservation and exhibition of artifacts... Read More
503 Endicott Street North (Route 3), Laconia, NH
About Us:To preserve and promote the history and heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee.The Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit or... Read More
18 Highlawn Road, Warner, NH
Mission The mission of The Nature Discovery Center is to develop awareness and appreciation of the natural world and the environment through the M... Read More
695 North Main Street, Laconia, NH
The Laconia Historical and Museum Society is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of all aspects of the history of the City of Laconia,... Read More
1305 White Mountain Highway, Milton, NH
The Farm Museum consists of two adjoining farmsteads on Plummer's Ridge in Milton, New Hampshire. The historic Jones Farm and the Plummer Homestead... Read More
399 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH
About Us:The New Hampshire Boat Museum is an educational organization focusing on the boating heritage and life on the lakes and rivers of New Hamp... Read More
629 Hollow Road Route 145, Stewartstown, NH
About Us: The Museum is a historic homestead & settlement portraying one family's life from the 1830's to the 1980s. The house, barns and out-... Read More
455 Old Mountain Road, Moultonborough, NH
History: Tom and Olive Plant’s mountaintop estate "Lucknow", built in 1913-1914 high in the Ossipee Mountain Range with a breathtaking vista ... Read More
26 Mulberry Street, Claremont, NH
Mission: The Mission of the CHS is to promote the history of Claremont through the presentation of lectures and events. The Society is also commit... Read More
6034 East Wheelock Street, Hanover, NH
Statement of Purpose: The purpose of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is to inspire, educate, and collaborate with our academic and broa... Read More
14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth, NH
About Us Strawbery Banke is about connecting with the past. Visitors to Strawbery Banke have the opportunity to experience and imagine how people l... Read More
Canaan Street, Canaan, NH
The Canaan Historical Society works to preserve the history of Canaan, New Hampshire, and to educate the community about Canaan's past. The museum... Read More
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