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Antrim Town


Antrim Town Hall is located at 66 Main Street, Antrim, NH 03440; phone: 603-588-2969.

Beginnings [1]

The Town of Antrim had its beginnings in the mid-18th century and, after the Revolutionary War, the population began to expand rapidly. For the next few years, the town remained a farming community of families of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Four cemeteries that are no longer in use, but which are maintained by the town, provide a visual source of information about life in the early days. The oldest cemetery was established in 1785 next to the first meeting house on Meetinghouse Hill. That building no longer stands, but a plaque just south of the cemetery marks the site.

In 1826, a new church was built at the base of Meetinghouse Hill on what is now Route 31, and the Center Cemetery was established across the road from the church. A year later, the residents of East Antrim built a church and a cemetery on Elm Avenue, not far from Route 202. Part of the original meeting house was brought down to Route 31 and incorporated into a town hall. The building is now owned by the Grange. The Center and Over East churches have long since been destroyed, so the cemeteries and the Grange Hall are the main relics of Antrim's early settlement. A few residences from this period are still in use.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were responsible for marking several places of historical interest, including the Town Pound on Old Pound Road. This is a small fenced-in area where lost animals were held, waiting for their owners to reclaim them. In 1922 the DAR, in response to a request made at Town Meeting, installed a marker at the top of Depot Street near the spot where Antrim's second family, the Aikens, lived. The plaque lists all the men of Antrim who met at James Aiken's home and marched to Lexington, Massachusetts, to fight in the first battle of the American Revolution in April, 1775. The memorial to that muster is on the property now owned by Edmond Hebert.

The Soldiers' Monument on the Antrim Baptist Church's common was given by the local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post in 1892 and commemorates soldiers of all American wars up to and including the Civil War. The church unanimously voted permission to place the monument at this site.

An 8-foot high, 15-ton boulder, moved from Gregg Lake Road to the James A. Tuttle Library lawn in 1922, displays a bronze tablet with the names of Antrim's soldiers who fought in World War I. In 1953, an all-out community effort resulted in the construction of the Antrim Memorial Gymnasium on School Street. Local businesses contributed generously and citizens worked in a variety of ways for many months to create a much-needed building, dedicated to the soldiers of World War II. The gymnasium is now jointly managed by the town and the Contoocook Valley Regional School District, but it should be remembered for its original purpose as a memorial building for community use.

The bandstand in Memorial Park off Jameson Avenue, erected in 1994, is a symbol of the architectural growth of Main Street that took place a century earlier. Next to the bandstand are memorial tablets, including a tablet with the names of Antrim's soldiers who fought in World War II, which was moved from the Memorial Gym. There are also tablets for the Korean and Vietnam soldiers. These were erected by the American Legion.

Goodell Company, a cutlery manufacturing firm, was the main source of employment in the town from 1875 through much of the 20th Century. The large brick factory buildings on South Main and Water Streets are the standing reminders of this period and are now used for several small businesses.

Antrim also boasts a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The former Flint Estate, which was used as the administration building for the now-defunct Hawthorne College, was selected for the registry to acknowledge its historical value to the region. The building is once again a private home.

The town has a rich tradition of cultural arts. The Antrim Historical Society maintains a museum on the second floor of the James A. Tuttle Library, housing an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, manuscripts, and print materials covering the town's 250 years history. The historical group also is planning to place a permanent marker off Route 202 near the Hillsborough town line on the site of a cabin occupied by Phillip Riley, Antrim's first settler.

Founded in 1984, the Antrim Historical Society is dedicated to:

  • Researching and preserving Antrim's history, past and present.
  • Presenting programs of historical interest.
  • Accessing and cataloging archives and artifacts in the historical room at the James A. Tuttle Library.
  • Providing historical assistance and resources for the schools.
  • Preparing exhibits in conjunction with programs and community interest.

  1. Town of Antrim, New Hampshire, Antrim Master Plan: Historic and Cultural Resources, 2010, www.antrimnh.org, accessed June, 2011.
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