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
288 Shaker Road, Canterbury, NH
Our Mission:Canterbury Shaker Village is dedicated to preserving the 200-year legacy of the Canterbury Shakers and to providing a place for learnin... Read More
298 US Route 4, Boscawen, NH
Hannah Duston Memorial was erected in 1874 and is the first publically-funded statue in New Hampshire. Located on a small island at the confluence ... Read More
131 North Road, Franklin, NH
The Daniel Webster Birthplace is associated with the birth and early childhood years of Daniel Webster, one of our country's most respected orators... 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
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
30 Park Street, Concord, NH
We love New Hampshire. And, we've been saving its history for nearly two centuries. Since 1823 the New Hampshire Historical Society has been prese... Read More
49 South Main Street, Suite 100, Concord, NH
Mission & History:Our Mission: The mission of the League of NH Craftsmen is to encourage, nurture and promote the creation, use and preservatio... Read More
503 Endicott Street North, Laconia, NH
History of the Lake Winnipesaukee MuseumThe Museum’s property is itself an historic landmark and represents an era which changed the way Amer... Read More
1 Depot Street, Warner, NH
Our History:Alderic O. “Dick” Violette entered the telephone business on April 1, 1946 after returning from serving in the Army during ... Read More
18 Highlawn Road, Warner, NH
Mission:Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, Education and Cultural Center, is dedicated to connecting people of today with 20,000 years of ongoing Native ... 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
447 National Highway Route 4A, Enfield, NH
Enfield Shaker Museum Mission The mission of the Enfield Shaker Museum, a not-for-profit educational institution, is to foster public knowledge and... Read More
Harvey Road, North Sutton, NH
The Muster Field Farm Museum was established for educational purposes to promote and encourage the history of New Hampshire agriculture and early a... Read More
77 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH
Our Mission:The Wright Museum educates present and future generations about the impact and continuing relevance of the contributions of the America... 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
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
200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH
The Millyard Museum is housed in Mill No. 3 at the corner of Commercial and Pleasant Streets in the historic Amoskeag Millyard. The Museum features... 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
395 Blondin Road, Manchester, NH
About Us: Conceived jointly by then Council Commissioner Max I. Silber and Daniel Webster Council Executive Lawrence L. Lee, the museum was engine... Read More
56 Wentworth Farm Rd, Wolfboro, NH
At Governor Wentworth Historic Site, explore the remains of an extensive northern plantation built just before the outbreak of the American Revolut... Read More
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