Chesterfield NH Historical Society
Chesterfield NH Historical Society

Historical Pictures

These are just a few of the older photos from our vast Historical Photographic Collection.  The rest of it is available for viewing during business hours or by private arrangement.  We greatly appreciate all the donations we have recieved.  If you have any "old" photographs of the Chesterfield, Spofford, West Chesterfield area, old being a relevant term,  please feel free to come by and share them with us.

 The Allegretto


Harry Thayer Kingsbury enjoyed building and constructed several steamboats for his family's use at their summer cottage on Lake Spofford.  The Allegretto sank sometime around 1887.  Annette Spaudling a frequent diver in Lake Spofford, recovered some of its artifacts.  On June 11, 2019, she presented the Chesterfield Historical Society with its anchor.  

Dedication of Memorial Plaque

Birthplace of Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone

August 25, 1948


The dedication was attended by three associate justices of the US Supreme Court, US Senator Styles Bridges, NH Governor Charles M. Dale and four ex-governors of the State of New Hampshire.  (Although the building no longer exists, the monument can be found at the Horseshoe Road entrance of Pisgah State Park.)


Blacksmith Shop

C. 1850

Built of seam-faced granite from nearby quarries, it was used by the Clark family until 1868.  In 1930, the building was painstakingly moved to

Storrowton Village Museum in W. Springfield, MA

and is still used as the museum blacksmith shop.



Chesterfield Academy

C. 1885

Academy was founded in 1790

(Chesterfield Elementary School present location)


The New Hampshire Register of 1810 lists the Chesterfield Academy as one of only twelve academies in the state.  Academies, private secondary educational institutions, were virtually the only means of obtaining a secondary education in New Hampshire at the time.
The Chesterfield Academy had actually, been founded in 1790 and was the first academy in this region of the state.  It had an excellent reputation during its early years, being ranked second only to Phillips Exeter.
Between 70 to 100 students were generally in attendance.  They were usually local residents, but many came from Vermont and Massachusetts.  The by-laws of 1806 set rules and regulations for the academy.  Tuition cost 25¢ per week and unexcused absences were to be punished by a 25¢ fine for each day absent.  Students were forbidden to use indecent language, to keep cards or dice, or to visit public houses.  They were also to keep themselves neat and clean and were not to dispute or contradict the principal.
Many students went on to distinguished careers after their stay at Chesterfield, including several who became prominent lawyers and doctors.  Some of the more famous graduates included Reverend Hosea Ballou, pioneer of Universalism; Dr. Horace Wells, inventor and pioneer in the field of anesthesia; famed surgeon Amos Twitchell; and Governor William Hale.
The school realized its greatest prosperity during the 1820s when Chester¬field was one of the leading towns in the county with two hotels, six stores, and a population greater than that of Keene.  Public high schools began to predominate in the middle of the nineteenth century, however, and academies began to lose their importance.  The Chesterfield Academy continued on for many years, but after 1850 it lost the previous prominence which had made it one of the most distinguished educational institutions in New Hampshire.

French & Sawyer stereoscopic view

Courtesy Laurence D. Colony III

Write up courtsey of the Historical Society of Cheshire County




Chesterfield Inn

c. 1930's

Main Street, Chesterfield

(Now the Chesterfield House)



General Store & Post Office

Main Street

West Chesterfield


Photo on loan by Beatrice Chickering


Keene/Spofford Lake Stage

at Lakeside

(Now Camp Spofford)

Spofford Lake

Early 1900's




Kneeland Tavern

Route 9, West Chesterfield

(Now The Chesterfield Inn which is still in operation)



The Lake House

Built 1831

Picture taken in the late 1800s

It is still on the corner of

Routes 63 & 9





It is in the process of becoming the Stone Tavern Musum

This is looking north from what is now Route 63 in the late 1800s.






The Mead Tavern


Built by Levi Mead in 1816

After his death it changed hands

many times, evenually

becoming sometime in the

1870s or 1880s

The Chesterfield Hotel




Chesterfield Hotel


(Mead Tavern)

Was located next to the present Chesterfield Post Office.

It burnt down in 1921.


Methodist Church

Center Chesterfield

Erected 1843

Photo prior to removal of upper portion of steeple.  It is now the Asbury United Methodist Church

Photo by Paul Penning




Pine Grove Springs Hotel

Became the Lake Spofford Hotel

(Burned down in 1961)





Pine Grove Springs Hotel

as seen from the lake in 1914


Prospect House

Built 1873, Burned c. 1895

Was Located off Route 9


J.A. French Photograph



Slade's Store - 1909


Built in 1820, remodeled c. 1880


Justice Harlan Fiske Stone

Pedestrian Bridge


Spans the Connecticut River between West Chesterfield and Brattleboro, VT.  Constructed in 1937 to replace the 1888 Suspension Bridge that was distroyed in the 1936 Flood. 

(The new Route 9 bridge on the right.)




Stone Store

Center Chsterfield

c. 1910 (Built 1849)

from the Jeff Barry Collection

Courtesy of Richard Mitchell




It was also the

Pennings Store & Post Office

Feb. 19, 1958





Present site of the Chesterfield Post Office with apartment above.


Town Hall


Center Chesterfield

c. 1910 (Built 1851)

(Center Cemetery behind and on right)

From the Jeff Barry Collection

Courtesy Richard Mitchell




2021 Town Hall Completed Renovation



Universalist Church

West Chesterfield


(Note carriage sheds in the background)

Myrtle Burnham Collection


Ware's Grove, Spofford Lake


On left, bathhouse and apartments

On right, dance pavilion and later, roller rink

c. 1930

Anthony Manch Collection


Print Print | Sitemap
© Chesterfield Historical Society