Canterbury Shaker Infirmary // 1811

Constructed in 1811 as a guest house for the Canterbury Shakers, this beautiful structure follows the Georgian, center-hall residential floor plan constructed in the Federal period. Shaker records indicate that in 1849, the building was converted to an infirmary and the next year, the roof was tinned and the portico over the front door, called a “jet” by the Shakers, was added. After 1892, the first floor housed the nurses’ quarters, pharmacy, nurses’ sitting room and office and the dentist’s office. Upstairs, the patients’ rooms were fitted with lavatories and running water. The attic was used to store medical supplies and as a mortuary. All for the growing Shaker community here. Following the death of the last nurse in 1937, the building ceased to be used as an infirmary and was used as living quarters for sisters.

Canterbury Shaker Bee House // 1837

The original purpose served by this small clapboard building in the Canterbury Shaker Village, built in 1837 and measuring just 12 x 25 feet is subject to some debate, although it was definitely used as a drying house. Early writings indicate it was built as an apple-drying house while others state that the original purpose was to dry lumber. The present off-center gable-roofed cupola on the gable roof served as a ventilator. In 1865, the building became the headquarters of the bee keepers of the local Shakers.

Canterbury Shaker Ministry Shop // 1848

Located just east of the Meeting House at Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire, the Ministry Shop was used initially as a workshop and after 1878, as sleeping quarters for the Ministry, who resided in the Meeting House until that time. Embellishment on the exterior is limited to a door hood over
the recessed entrance, but the proportions and simplicity of the building really shine. The building is currently used as public exhibition space for the museum, and features a historically appropriate paint scheme!

Canterbury Shaker Dwelling House // 1793

The second oldest purpose-built building in the Canterbury Shaker Village (after the 1792 Meeting House), is the dwelling house, constructed in 1793. The T-shaped structure was expanded numerous times and contains 56 rooms. The structure is the largest in the village and is notable for the large domed cupola, housing a Paul Revere bell. The first floor contained the village butcher shop, bakery, communal kitchen and dining room. For many years the second floor consisted of four bedrooms, two for elders and two for the sisters and the brethren. The third floor is also devoted to dwelling rooms. The Dwelling House was the residence of Canterbury’s last remaining Shaker sister, Ethel Hudson, who died in September 1992, the 200th anniversary year of the founding of the Canterbury Shaker community.

Canterbury Shaker Meeting House // 1792

The Canterbury Shaker Village was one of two Shaker communities existing in present-day New Hampshire (the other being Enfield Shaker Village, featured previously on here). In 1782 Israel Chauncey and Ebeneezer Cooley from the Mount Lebanon village of Shakers traveled to Canterbury and converted several prominent figures of the community by convincing some of the Christian farmers that the Shaker way was what they had been seeking. Among those converted to the Shakers, the Whitcher, Wiggin and Sanborn families, donated land to house the Canterbury Village community of Shakers and the Canterbury Village was founded in 1792, led by Father Job Bishop. The village expanded over time, and in 1803 there were 159 members in three families. Nearly fifty years later in 1850, the site contained 3,000 acres with a community of 300 housed in 100 buildings!

The first building of the Canterbury Village was the Meeting House. The Gambrel roofed building was constructed by members in reverent silence and supervised by Moses Johnson (1752-1842) who served as master builder of seven Shaker meetinghouses all over the Northeast. Inside, there were two stairways, one for men and one for women, located in the northwest and southwest corners of the building, each easily accessed by separate entrances, which led brothers and sisters from the first floor meeting room to the second story sleeping lofts.

In 1992, Canterbury Shaker Village closed, leaving only Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village open as a functioning community. There are apparently only two active Shakers left in the country, both at Sabbathday Lake in Maine. Many other villages like Canterbury, have been converted to museums, which give historians and the general public a great insight into how these places have functioned.

Mathes House // c.1835

Benjamin Mathes built this stone home around 1835 for his family, of the same stone he used to build a store across the street. The Federal/Greek Revival building has amazing granite quoins (stone blocks at the corners) and lintels (blocks above the windows). Even though there are later alterations, including the bracketed door hood and massive central dormer at the roof, the home remains one of the most visually stunning buildings in town.

Willey Hotel // pre-1822

Originally an old tavern/inn, this wood-frame building in Newmarket, NH, was built for a member of the Rundlett Family who settled in town from nearby Portsmouth. The old building was known as Rundlett’s Tavern for a number of years, later renamed the Washington House, and eventually Silver’s Hotel by 1870. Under owner Joseph B. Silver, the Federal style building was updated with Victorian-era flair, marketing to visitors of town who had business with the Newmarket Manufacturing Company across the street. After Silver died in 1898, the building was purchased by George H. Willey and renamed the Willey Hotel/Willey House. He oversaw renovations in the 1920s to give it the Colonial Revival appearance we see today. The building is now apartments.

Newmarket Manufacturing Company Complex // 1823+

In 1823, the Newmarket Manufacturing Company built its first mill along the Lamprey River, dominating the waterfront and the economy of Newmarket, New Hampshire. Harnessing water power at the base of the falls, the cotton textile manufacturing community grew to include seven textile mills, with factory buildings, a machine shop, office, storage buildings, and corporate boarding houses; totaling some 140 buildings in all. During its peak production, 700 employees made up to 300,000 yards of cotton products each week, and 2.7 million yards of silk cloth each year. The mills operated continuously at this site until 1929 when a dispute between mill owners and workers erupted leading to their closure. Between 2010 and 2012, eight large mill buildings within the Newmarket Manufacturing Company property underwent a conversion to mixed use, including residential, retail, and office units, thanks to Historic Preservation Tax Credits, and many professionals who worked together with the vision to see such a large project through. Today, the complex is a excellent case-study on the power of adaptive reuse and historic preservation.

Murray Store // c.1825

Arguably the cutest little store in Newmarket is the Murray Store, right on the town’s vibrant Main Street. The brick building is one of the earliest such structures on the street and is a great example of a narrow Federal style building with a lunette in the gable end. The structure was built before 1830 and was occupied by a Ms. Charlotte Murray as a millinery (women’s hat store). Main Street USA! What is your favorite Main Street in New England?

Granite Engine Fire House // 1853

In 1852, the Newmarket Manufacturing Company, who operated a massive mill complex along the Lamprey River in Newmarket, realized the need of adequate fire service to protect their investments and goods. They leased land on Main Street to the town and funded a new fire station, providing engines as well that could be pulled by horse to fires in town. The old station is a surviving landmark in town and retains much of its architectural integrity.