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flag  History of Keene, New Hampshire, USA

Journey back in time to Keene, New Hampshire, USA

Visit Keene, New Hampshire, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Keene, New Hampshire, USA - First Congregational Church Erected 1786 - Moved in 1828 - Enlarged in 1860

Keene, Cheshire, New Hampshire, USA

Keene was named for Sir Benjamin Keene.
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

The community was granted as "Upper Ashuelot" in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher to 63 settlers who paid five pounds each and whose properties were assigned by lot. Settled after 1736, it was intended to be a fort town protecting the Province of Massachusetts Bay during the French and Indian Wars.
kids.kiddle.co

The movie "Jumangi" was filmed in Keene.




There is MUCH more to discover about Keene, New Hampshire, USA. Read on!

Keene Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

First Congregational Church
Erected 1786 - Moved in 1828 - Enlarged in 1860
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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First Congregational Church
Erected 1786 - Moved in 1828 - Enlarged in 1860
Court Street
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Court Street
Hotel Ellis
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Hotel Ellis
Cheshire House
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Cheshire House
B. & M. R.R. Yards
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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B. & M. R.R. Yards
High School and Armory
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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High School and Armory
The Square, 1907
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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The Square, 1907
Factories and Freight Yards, 1908
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Factories and Freight Yards, 1908
St. Bernards Catholic Church, 1908
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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St. Bernards Catholic Church, 1908
Elliot City Hospital, 1909
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Elliot City Hospital, 1909
The Saturday Auction, 1910
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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The Saturday Auction, 1910
Cheshire County Jail
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Cheshire County Jail
Lancaster Shoe Company's Factory
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Lancaster Shoe Company's Factory
State Normal School
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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State Normal School
Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
New Depot, 1910
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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New Depot, 1910
Y.M.C.A.
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Y.M.C.A.
Principal's Residence, State Normal School, Keene, N.H.
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Principal's Residence, State Normal School, Keene, N.H.
Boston & Maine Railroad Station
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Boston & Maine Railroad Station
Fire Station
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Fire Station
Main Cutting Plant of the Victoria White Granite Company
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Main Cutting Plant of the Victoria White Granite Company
Central Square
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Central Square
Surry Road, 1937
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Surry Road, 1937
Main Street looking North, 1940s
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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Main Street looking North, 1940s
County Court House
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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County Court House

Discover Keene: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1812 - May 4 - A foot of snow fell near Keene, NH

WeatherForYou.com
1822 - Tavern Fire
Keene, (N. H.) June 1. FIRE. - The inhabitants of this village were alarmed on Monday night, about 11 o'clock by the flames bursting through the roof of the large three story Stage-Tavern-House, owned by E. Parker, Esq. and Mr. Timothy Hall, and occupied by Mr. George Sparhawk. Before a sufficient number of the citizens could be collected to work the principle engine, all expectation of saving the building thus enveloped, was lost, and every effort was directed to stop its further progress, and rescue from the flames as much of the furniture and other property in the house, as possible. As the fire broke out in the upper story or garret in the S. W. corner of the house, the store of Mr. L. Weelock, situated only 20 feet south, was at first most imminently endangered. Providentially, the air was very still, and before the heat became excessive, that exposed, was covered with blankets, and kept perfectly soaked with the engine. By this time the air was in motion, and the flames had... Read MORE...

1839 - Keene
Keene, New Hampshire
Chief town of Cheshire county, is one of the most flourishing towns in N.H. It is 80 miles W.N.W. from Boston, 60 S. from Dartmouth college, 43 S.S.E. from Windsor, Vt., 40 W. from Amherst, and 55 W.S.W. from Concord. The soil is of various kinds, and generally good.

Ashuelot river has its source in a pond in Washington, and discharges itself into the Connecticut, at Hinsdale, 20 miles distant from Keene. Keene has been called one of the "prettiest villages" in New England, and president Dwight, in his travels, pronounces it to be one of the pleasantest inland towns he had seen. The principal village is situated on a flat, E. of the Ashuelot, nearly equidistant from that and the upland. It is particularly entitled to notice for the extent, width, and uniform level of its streets. The main street, extending one mile in a straight line, is almost a perfect level, and is well ornamented with trees. The buildings are good and well arranged; some of them are... Read MORE...

1854 - Keene
Keene, a beautiful post-village and seat of justice of Cheshire county, New Hampshire, is situated on the left bank of the Ashuelot river, and at the junction of the Connecticut River railroad with the Cheshire railroad, 93 miles N. W. from Boston. It is remarkable for the extent, width, and uniform level of its streets. Maine street, extending a mile in a straight line, is almost a perfect level, and handsomely ornamented with shade-trees. Besides the county buildings, the village contains 4 or 5 churches, 2 banks, and several fine schools. Three newspapers are issued weekly. The inhabitants are noted for their enterprise, and are extensively engaged in the various branches of trade and manufactures. Population of the township in 1840, 2010; in 1850, 3392.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1854 - Storm
THE STORM of last week was very severe with us, but much more so in other parts. At Manchester several unfinished buildings were blown down. At Keene and in that vicinity much damage was done. - Several barns and sheds were unroofed, chimnies and trees were blown down. At Northumberland in this State, according to the Lancaster Democrat, the gale was tremendous. The bridge across the Connecticut covered, and 300 feet in length, was literally lifted up and set down upon the river below, where it still furnishes a convenient crossing for foot passengers. Chimnies, fences, barns, sheds, were blown down, and other damage done.
The Farmers' Cabinet
Amherst, New Hampshire
December 14, 1854
1865 - Destructive Fire at Keene, N. H.
KEENE, N. H., Oct. 21. - About twelve o'clock on Thursday night fire was discovered in the rear of Richards' block, which was soon communicated to two blocks north of this, and owned by Colony Brothers. As soon as it was discovered that these three buildings could not be saved, a wooden building owned by Hon. T. M. Edwards, and occupied by the Post Office, was torn down, to prevent the flames from operating. The principal sufferers by the fire are: - George H. Richards' building, valued at $12,000, and insured for $5000; Colony Brothers' building, valued at $15,000, and insured for $8000; T. M. Edwards, owner of the Post Office building, loss $1000; J. B. Knowlton, hardware dealer, loss on stock, $6000, of which $3000 were insured; J. K. Stone, 6000 bales of wool, insured for $4000; French & Sawyer, photographers, loss $2000, and not insured; Clark Farrar, fancy goods, loss $800; not insured. Three blocks of builders were destroyed, and nothing was left standing between the Cheshire... Read MORE...

1867 - Another DESTRUCTIVE FIRE in KEENE.
On Monday afternoon of this week Keene was visited by a conflagration which in the amount of property destroyed, and in detriment to the manufacturing and laboring interests of the place, was by far the most disastrous of any which our citizens have ever experienced. The flames broke out at about half-past four o'clock, and in less than as hour and a half, the entire group of shops, store houses, dry houses, &c., &c., with only one exception, situated on the south side of Mechanic street, together with Mr. Prindell's dwelling house, and that of Mr. Kidder on the opposite side of the street, and Mr. Bridgman's barn, were smouldering[sic] mass of ruins. The fire originated in Nims & Crossfield's engine house, where it is supposed that a puff of flame from the fire under the boiler set fire to some waste which was lying near, and from thence the flames spread with almost incredible rapidity throughout the whole building and to those adjoining. So rapid was the spread of the fire that... Read MORE...

1890 - Three Fingers Mangled.
While jointing some heavy two-inch planks upon the buzz planer at Nims, Whitney & Co.'s, Thursday morning, Oscar H. Fay let his left hand slip from the work which he was holding. The fingers struck upon the planer knife and in an instant were terribly cut and torn. The small finger was severed below the second joint, the next one between the joints, and the middle finger was split or planed off so that the first joint will be stiff. Mr. Fay was taken at once to the office of Dr. Gleason and his hand was dressed by Doctors Gleason and Flagg. He will draw $25 a week from the Iron Hall during his disability.
New Hampshire Sentinel
Keene, New Hampshire
January 8, 1890
1895 - Keene
Keene, a beautiful city, the capital of Cheshire co, N.H., in Keene township, on the Ashuelot River, and on the Cheshire division of the Fitchburg Railroad, the Ashuelot division of the Connecticut River Railroad, and the Southern division of the Boston & Maine Railroad. It is 42 miles N.W. of Fitchburg, Mass., 92 miles N.W. of Boston, and about 50 miles W.S.W. of Concord. It is built on level ground, has wide and straight streets, mostly ornamented with shade-trees, and contains a court-house, 8 churches, 4 national banks, 2 savings-banks, a city hall, a high school, and a public library. One daily and 2 weekly newspapers are published here. Keene has manufactures of furniture, leather, pottery, chairs, woollen goods, bricks, and carriages. Pop. in 1890, 7446.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1916
Keene, a city, the capital of Cheshire co., N.H., on the Ashuelot River and on the Boston and Maine R., 50 miles WSW. of Concord. It contains a court-house, a city-hall public library, etc., and has railroad repair-shops, manufactures of furniture, leather, toys, chairs, woollen goods, matches, glue, boots and shoes, etc. Pop. in 1900, 9165.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
1968 - May 21 - WEKW TV channel 52 in Keene, NH (PBS) begins broadcasting

historyorb.com
2023 - Whether you're a resident or a visitor, there are plenty of places to go and things to do in and around Keene. Here's a list to get you started:
Explore Downtown Keene: Start your visit by strolling through the historic downtown area. You'll find quaint shops, local boutiques, and charming cafes. Don't forget to admire the beautiful architecture that lines the streets.

Visit Keene State College: Take a walk around the campus of Keene State College, which adds a youthful energy to the town. You can catch art exhibitions, performances, and events at the Redfern Arts Center.

Central Square: This is the heart of downtown Keene and a great spot for people-watching. It's surrounded by shops, restaurants, and often hosts local events and farmers' markets.

Colonial Theatre: Check out a show or a movie at the beautifully restored Colonial Theatre. It's a historic gem that offers a unique entertainment experience.

Cheshire Rail Trail: If you love the outdoors, don't miss the Cheshire Rail Trail. It's a scenic path for walking, running, biking, and even cross-country skiing in the winter.

Stonewall Farm: A visit to... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Keene Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Keene, New Hampshire, USA

We currently have information about 86 ancestors who were born or died in Keene.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Keene, New Hampshire, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Keene.

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Genealogy Resources for Keene

New Hampshire Newspapers

Our Keene Gift Ideas


Buy it NOW!New Hampshire Gift Idea - Apple Cider Donuts, Pumpkins and Maple Syrup - I Love New Hampshire! - Ceramic Mug 11oz NH Gifts

If you're a New Hampshire enthusiast or simply crave the cozy vibes of autumn, this Ceramic Mug is designed just for you. With its charming design featuring the quintessential symbols of fall in New Hampshire - Apple Cider Donuts, Pumpkins, and Maple Syrup - it's the perfect way to sip your morning coffee or tea while declaring your love for the Granite State.   Pinterest   

Buy it NOW!Train Enthusiast Gift Idea - Arrival of trains at base of Mt Washington, NH - Ceramic Postcard Mug 11oz

Captivating Design: Immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of the Arrival of Trains at the base of Mt. Washington, NH, captured in exquisite detail as featured in a postcard from over 100 years ago! The vibrant and high-resolution image wraps around the entire mug, creating a stunning panorama that evokes the nostalgia of classic train arrivals against the backdrop of majestic mountains.   Pinterest   

Buy it NOW!Proud Descendant of the USA Coffee Mug - 11oz Ceramic

"My ancestors came from the USA. That explains a lot about my love for Thanksgiving, parades, and believing that ketchup is a vegetable!"   Pinterest   
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Updated: 11/30/2023 2:17:14 PM