Pelham Historical Society building awaits date with history

By John Toole jtoole@eagletribune.com

PELHAM, N.H. — The Historical Society hosts an event today as a remembrance of the Civil War, as it awaits a possible date with history of its own.

The National Park Service is reviewing whether the society’s home at 5 Main St. belongs on the National Register of Historic Places.

The former town library building was built by Pelham’s Civil War veterans in the late 1800s as a memorial to their war.

The state Division of Historical Resources has recommended the building be included in the register. The nomination has been pending since March, along with one for the Salem Common Historic District.

“This building is a bunch of stories, is what it is,” Historical Society president William T. “Spike” Hayes said. “The building has an interesting history.”

About 115 years old, it was built by the George M. Cole & Company of Lawrence for about $4,000. The building still has the original slate roof, brick walls, granite foundation and exterior woodwork.

Besides the building itself, there are treasured historical artifacts inside.

A musket carried by a thrice-wounded Civil War veteran is displayed there. There are signs of where a bullet struck the weapon.

There is an American flag that flew over New Orleans during the war. A collection of letters home from another Civil War veteran, Charles William Hobbs, details his wartime adventures.

All represent the beginnings of what Hayes hopes will become a museum.

People who attend the presentation today will get a chance to see the building.

The Historical Society, along with the Pelham VFW, are hosting Civil War historian and author Steven Robert Closs.

The building opens at 6 p.m. The presentation by Closs will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. A social hour will follow the presentation and be held across the street at the VFW Post.

About civilwarweek

Member - Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force, Civil War reenactor and historian since 1993, holds Bachelor's Degree in History from Concordia University-St. Paul, currently pursuing Master's Degree in History at St. Cloud State University and is author of the forthcoming book, "Muskets and Memories: A Modern Man's Journey through the Civil War."
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