New Ipswich Historical Society

23 Main St

New Ipswich, NH 03071


Summers in New Ipswich Past


In 1914, Dr. Charles Henry Chandler wrote glowingly about the changes in the town, especially with regard to summer and summer entertainments:

Our fathers, unwittingly it may be, chose a beautiful situation for the town of their care and hope. Standing nearly at the base of the foothills, it combines the power and majesty of the hills with the charm and beauty of the river and the plain. When during the latter part of the last century dwellers in city homes learned the value of country life in the summer, New Ipswich thus received her full share of guests. It is said that one year there were six hundred summer so journers in town. Families who came here repeatedly became so attached to the region that they purchased houses or farms to be occupied in summer as homes. Thus a new element came into our social life, and the young people must be amused. A croquet ground was laid out in the Barrett meadow, of such excellence that it received complimentary notice in the New York Independent ; tennis courts were laid out in the same field; bath-houses built at the river. Most important of all was the organization of the Souhegan Country Club. In 1899 eight men bought the Jonas Woolson huge chimney, and the steep and narrow stairs; otherwise it has been modernized most tastefully. The men's room is fitted up in the fashion of an English grill-room. The view from the lookout is one of the finest in this town of glorious views. There are golf links and a tennis court. The clubhouse is open for the entertainment of members and their friends every Saturday during the summer, and daily through the month of August, and is a delightful social center. There are more than one hundred members, including people of neighboring towns, and others who are interested in the life of New Ipswich. The owners are Edward O. Marshall, Ralph E. Parker, Frank W. Preston, and John Preston, of New Ipswich ; Frederic W. Ely and Herbert J. Taft of Greenville; Simpson C. Heald of Wilton ; and John W. Bemis of Temple. (Chandler, History of New Ipswich, 1914: 148-49).

Souhegan Country Club
The Souhegan Country Club, around 1900.

Summer visitors have enjoyed the delights of New Ipswich for more than a century. Although the croquet court and tennis court have long since disappeared from the Barrett meadow, the Country Club celebrated its 100th summer in 1999 and members still gather every other Saturday evening all summer to enjoy each other’s company over dinner.

Here are more photos of summer fun in New Ipswich.


Recent Acquisitions

 See what items have been donated to the Historical Society recently. If you can add any information about any of these, email us at


Center Village Historic District

 The Center Village of New Ipswich is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. If you want to see some of the houses included, as well as a map of the District and a complete listing of all properties included, go to our new Center Village Historic District page.


New Ipswich in the Civil War

 During the American Civil War, New Ipswich people served both on the battlefield and at home. One resident, Lydia Clark O'Bear, even wrote a book about the contributions of townsfolk to the war effort. For more information, see our new Civil War pages.


Photo of the century: Our forebears


NI Historical Society 1906
NI Historical Society 1906

The Way We were, 1906 Group photo of the Historical Society, taken in 1906.

The photo was labelled "Cranford Company, 1906."

Does anyone know what that was, or where this picture was taken?

Back row, l to r: Hattie McKown, Prof. Poore, Abbie Phelps; 2nd row: Abby Beard, Mrs. Samuel Thayer, Ettie Taylor, Miss Marie Lindberg (a teacher), Annie Thayer, Miss Lee, Ella Walker, Lizzie Crowell; kneeling: Arthur Thayer, Edna Hudson.

Contact US

For more information about membership, programs, or research inquiries, please contact us at or call John Rosenfelder at 603.878.3487.

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