HISTORY OF CLAREMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE
“CLAREMONT (Settled 1762; 1990 population: 13905). Named by Gov. Benning Wentworth to honor his cousin, Lord Clare, whose English estate in Surrey was named Claremont Castle. Sullivan County's only city, Claremont was first settled by Moses Spafford and David Lynde, two Connecticut grantees. The oldest areas are west of downtown Claremont whose early development was tied to the water power potential of the Sugar River and along which textile, paper and machinery mills were built, many of which remain today. The river--its total fall through the town is 250 feet--flows from Lake Sunapee emptying into the Connecticut at West Claremont. Although Claremont is best known for its industrial heritage, in the mid-1800s it enjoyed the reputation of being the best farming town in New Hampshire.”
"Claremont is part of New Hampshire's School Administrative Unit 6, or SAU 6. Stevens High School is the city's only public high school, and is located on Broad Street, just a few blocks from City Hall. Stevens High School named after Parren Stevens of Claremont. Stevens donated lots of money to build Stevens High School . Claremont Middle School, the city's only public middle school, is located just down the street to the south.
Claremont is home to three elementary schools: Maple Avenue School, Bluff Elementary and Disnard Elementary. Also located in town are St. Mary's School, a private, Catholic school, and the Claremont Christian Academy, a private, parochial school offering education through 12th grade.
Three elementary schools — North Street School, Way Elementary and the West Claremont Schoolhouse — were shut down, Way becoming home to several luxury apartments and North Street turned into offices.
The city's opportunities for higher education include a branch of Granite State College, a branch of the state community college system (River Valley Community College), and a Vocational Center. Additionally, Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university, lies approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the north in Hanover, and Keene State College, one of the major state schools, is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south. Colby-Sawyer College, Landmark College, Vermont Law School, and branches of the Community College of Vermont are all within an hour's drive.
In March, 1989, the Claremont School Board voted to initiate a lawsuit against the State of New Hampshire, claiming that the state's primary reliance upon local property taxes for funding education resulted in inequitable educational opportunities among children around the state and a violation of their constitutional rights. Following a lawsuit and a series of landmark decisions, the New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed. The suit, which became known as "The Claremont Decision", continues to drive the statewide debate on equitable funding for education; and Claremont continues to play a primary role in this legal challenge"
"A commercial area known as Washington Street is Claremont's primary commercial district. An Italian Renaissance-styled City Hall faces Broad Street Park, a rotary-style town square. This square connects Washington Street, Broad Street, and Main Street, each branching into different portions of the city. Broad Street Park contains war monuments to World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and Freedom Garden Memorial dedicated to the victims and families of September 11th. The park is also home to a historic bandstand, which primarily serves as performance space for the Claremont American Band, a community band with roots in the 1800s. Parallel to Broad Street lies Pleasant Street, which was once a thriving commercial zone.
A number of mill buildings dot the city center, along the Sugar River, and several attempts have been made at historic preservation of some of them.
To the north end of the town lies the Valley Regional Hospital, an out-patient resource of the popular Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of Lebanon, NH.
On the southern artery out of Claremont, Route 12, was the large William H. H. Moody horse-farm, having five large barns (the last of which burned in 2004), which once hosted several hundred imported horses on over 500 acres (2.0 km2). Its Victorian farmhouse stands at the top of Arch Road. A multi-hundred-acre plot of land was donated by Moody to the city of Claremont for a city park, the entrance of which is on Maple Avenue; facilities include tennis. A lone access road leads through a coniferous forest to the top of a hill, maintained as a large field by the city, with a large, open-air stone structure suitable for picnics. The park has several miles of interconnected walking trailways; several of these trails terminate at the Boston and Maine Railroad."
In 1877, William H. H. Moody, a native of the town, by reason of impaired health, caused by too close application to business as the head of the shoe-manufacturing firm of Moody, Estabrook & Andersons of Nashua, and having acquired a considerable fortune, retired temporarily from the firm and turned his attention to the restoration of his health by out-door-exercise. He returned to Claremont, bought what had been known as the Mann farm of eighty-seven acres on the Charlestown Road, a little more than a mile south of the village, and immediately began the erection of fine buildings, upon high ground, overlooking the village, commanding a view of a large extent of surrounding country, and improving his land by ditching and other means employed by good farmers with ample means. The house is large, substantial, and elegant-two stories with Mansard roof, wide piazzas and verandas on three sides, and elaborately finished and decorated inside. Near to it is a neat cottage for the superintendent of the farm and stables. The buildings, about a hundred rods west of Charlestown road, are reached by a winding avenue on either side of which is a row of rock maple trees. The grounds in the front of the house are ornamented by evergreen and other trees and shrubs, giving the place a picturesque appearance.
Having a liking for horses, Mr. Moody turned his attention to breeding blooded stock for trotters and gentlemen's driving horses, and effected barns, sheds and other buildings for that purpose. There are the three barns, one hundred by fifty feet, and one hundred by thirty, and forty by eighty, and twenty-five box stalls, under the same roof, each twelve by fifteen feet, well-lighted and aired for brood mares. At the south side of the road to Claremont Junction, tow miles from the village, he has a park of thirty acres, with a tight board fence, eight feet high on the highway: stables for the accommodation of thirty horses, with running water at convenient points, and a track on which the horses are exercised by careful and experienced drivers. It is named Highland View Park. The track is sixty-five feet wide, the ends thrown up one inch to the foot; twenty thousand cart loads of earth were moved in grading of it, and it is as level, hard, and perfect as money and skill engineering could make it.
Mr. Moody's stock horses are among the best blooded animals in the country, with undoubted pedigrees. In 1893 he had in all -stock horses, brood mares, and colts of all ages - one hundred and fifty head. His ambition is to have not only the most complete and best equipped horse breeding establishment in New England but the best blooded stock on the country. He is at work with this end constantly in view, and is not far from its accomplishments.
From time to time Mr. Moody had added to his original purchases several different tracts, some of which have good buildings upon them, and has now six hundred acres, all connected. This land has been vastly improved by blind ditching and tile draining, removing all loose stones, great and small, and generous fertilizing. A notable thing about he place is a all on the west side of the Charlestown road, extending from his south line to his north line, at Draper Corner, made with stones taken from the land. Many of the bowlders (spelled this way in the book) were too large to be removed by ordinary means without being broken up or split. This being done they made good face wall, which was skillfully laid. It is four feet wide on the top, is sunk into the ground two or three feet, and six feet high above the surface.
To supply his buildings with an abundance of pure water, with head sufficient to carry it forcibly to desired points, in 1892. Mr. Mood sunk into a hedge back of the higher than the top of his house, an artesian well six inches in diameter and one hundred feet deep. The water is forced into a large reservoir by means of a pump attached to a Gem wheel, operated by a windmill, and from this reservoir in pipes to places where it is desired.
After a few years Mr. Moody almost wholly recovered the health and vigor of his early days, and resumed his former place in the shoe firm, from the profits of which he derives an income sufficient to enable him to carry forward his Claremont projects. The most of his time winters he spends in Boston, where the first has an office and warehouse, and the summers he spend upon his farm, going occasionally to Boston. He has an efficient and trusty superintendent here who attends to everything in his absence.
The Hotel Moody structure was built by the famous Boston architect Hira Beckwicth in 1892 and purchased by William Moody in 1895, it was run as one of the states most prominent hotels through the 1960's.
Today, the Moody Building and the Moody Mansion of the Charlestown Rd. in Claremont are owned by the same proprietors for the second time in a hundred years - Tony Zullo and Andrew Dauphin from the Zullo/Dauphin Group. They were written up in a recent issue of Soonipi Magazine.
Currently we have for rent a 12 room office suite which includes a Presidents suite. The offices in the Moody Building are filling up fast . Prices range from $300 a month for individual offices up to $1500 a month for a full office suite.
On February 13, 1907, Claremont Savings Bank was chartered by an act of the General Court (Legislature) of the State of New Hampshire. The Bank opened for business on April 15, 1907, at the corner of Tremont Street and Tremont Square in Claremont. The original Corporators were James L. Rice, Leonard Jarvis, Hermon Holt, Thomas W. Fry, James E. Ellis, O. Duane Quimby, Henry K. Tenney and Henry C. Hawkins who was the original Treasurer of the Bank. Mr. Hawkins served in various capacities for 64 years until his death in 1971 at the age of 93.
The Bank grew slowly through World War I, the 1920s and the Great Depression. Total assets were $680,200 in 1938. By June of 1953, assets reached $4.8 million and the Bank was servicing more than 4000 customer accounts. Growth of the Bank continued to accelerate after World War II. By 1963 assets had doubled, by 1967, tripled; and by 1970 assets had quadrupled to over $23.7 million. During 1984, the asset size passed $100 million; in 1999 it passed $200 million, and in 2006 is passed $300 million.
As the Bank’s customer base increased, so too did the number of employees and the types of services offered. To meet the expanding demands, construction of a new facility on the southwestern corner of Broad and Pine Streets began in July 1954. On May 5, 1955 the Bank moved into its new quarters and reopened for business on May 7th. At this time the Bank utilized only one-third of the building.
As the customer base, service offerings and employee population of the Bank continued to escalate, more space was needed and, in 1974, an ell was added to the building. Continued expansion through the sixties and seventies gave way to many structural changes within the organization. In 1978, in response to increased needs of the public and internal efficiency, the Consumer Credit and Mortgage Loan Departments were consolidated and renamed the Lending Department. These departments were located on separate floors of the Bank until 1981 when the tenants moved from the second floor of the building. The Lending Department, in its entirety, moved to the vacated premises.
1977- First Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) installed at the Main Office named “Monty”
1980 - New generation of ATM installed at Main
Office and Charlestown “Charlie” as a remote service unit at the corner of River and Main Streets.
1981 - ATM “Connie” was installed in a limited service branch at Power’s Country Store.
1981 - A full service Washington St. Branch opened with ATM “George”
1983 - Charlestown ATM location converted into a full service branch.
1983 - Personnel were trained and licensed as Registered Representative to provide brokerage services at the Main Office.
1986 - Purchased #2 Middle St. - Sears Roebuck store.
1987 - Purchased #8,10,12 Middle St.
1988 - Purchased #16 Middle St.
1988 - The Bank opened a limited service branch on Maple Ave. in a joint venture with Jiffy Mart. At the same time, an ATM named “Sugar” was installed.
1989 - “Beau” became the next member of CBS’s ATM family located at Nova’s (Now Wade’s Place on the Main St. Extension in West Claremont.
1989 - The Washington Street branch had an addition for customer service offices.
1991 - #2 Middle Street was renovated for the Bookkeeping and Now Departments.
1993 - The Cornish Branch was moved from the country store to a wing on the building at 12 School Street.
1995 - The Bank purchased the Gerrity Lumber on Maple Avenue and constructed a new branch. The Jiffy Mart location was abandoned and the new office opened on February 28, 1996.
1997 - The Bank had purchased and swapped land in Charlestown in 1995 and a new branch was constructed where the Trolley Stop Restaurant had stood. On January 21, 1997, the new full service facility at 135 Main St. with the bank’s only drive-up ATM.
1997 - The Bank installed new computers with Open Solutions Inc. software to run the entire Bank.
1998 - Voice Response telephone banking was added.
1999 - Check imaging was introduced.
2000 - The Bank added online banking through the Internet.
2002 - All six ATMs were upgraded to current models of NCR machines and online real-time ATM transactions were started.
2003 - The Washington St. branch was renovated with larger lobby and safe deposit boxes.
2004 - Construction started on new Main Office building.
2005 - Staff moved into the new headquarters in December, 2005, with its new drive-up ATM and Internet Cafe.
This story is from http://www.flowofhistory.org/profiles/index.php
HANDS-ON HISTORY: Engaging Students in Primary Research
An Interview with Stevens High School Teacher Nancy Lewis
By Susan Bonthron
Claremont, New Hampshire, is one of those red brick towns often found in the post-industrial New England landscape. Characterized by large, often abandoned 19th-century buildings that once housed busy mills and factories, they exude an aura of bygone prosperity. Stevens High School history teacher Nancy Lewis felt that Claremont suffered from a negative self-image that her students reflected and internalized. Nancy hoped to change their perspective by "looking back" through a hands-on exploration of local history. Serendipitously, the history department at Stevens was looking for more electives to offer. Having just completed her own research project on the Industrial Revolution—after attending the Flow of History 2005 Summer Institute—Nancy volunteered. Based on her research, she developed a course that worked with primary documents related to industrial history.
"It fit in with my own interests and dovetailed with the school's interest. The Flow of History Summer Institute provided the initial spark for my work, but the drive to teach it was my own curiosity about Claremont.
"I had a nine-week quarter of 85 minutes a day to teach this unit as an elective," Nancy explained. "Eleven students chose to take the course—some because they were interested in history, others because they wanted to study with me. They were a mostly motivated group—and the less motivated ones quickly rose to the challenge. So much of what we did was hands-on."
History teacher Nancy Lewis (right) poses with her students.
"I brought in a funky box of rusty parts I found in a friend's old barn and asked the kids to identify them. There were old tractor parts, springs, parts of the barn door rollers, and a few fake artifacts. Their assignment was to tell the part's function, what materials it was made of, what was movable, what it fit into, and where it would have been found in 1860. They weren't allowed not to answer; it was preferable to make something up—in other words, guess—rather than say nothing at all.
"This was the hook. There was no textbook." Nancy borrowed teaching materials from a variety of sources, including the books, documents, and Internet sites (such as the U.S. Patent Office). She started the course by talking about life before the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the beginnings of capitalism and mercantilism. The class spent a week on the English Industrial Revolution, then shifted to America, talking about who lived here, what resources were here, the education level of the population, and the population explosion. "We looked at the big-name inventors such as Sam Slater and Eli Whitney. I took them to Lowell on a field trip, where we went on boat ride up the canal."
"…how much was Eli a great inventor and how
much was he just a great self-promoter?"
"Within three weeks we narrowed the focus to New England. We started with the idea of interchangeable parts by reading what Ed Battison (founder of the American Precision Museum) had written about the myth that Eli Whitney had invented the first interchangeable gun parts. I posed a series of questions via a worksheet to determine the different perspectives that the history books may offer. We all like heroes, but how much was Eli a great inventor and how much was he just a great self-promoter? Eli Whitney came to life this way and kids responded. 'The hero becomes human'-my students loved this.
"We talked about the early machine-tool industry in Windsor and the whole idea of interchangeability and precision machining. I brought the class to the American Precision Museum with a treasure hunt I designed. It worked well because I had them not only focus on the machinery, but also look at how beautiful these huge machines were, how much care was put into their making." Nancy asked her students to sketch anything they saw in the museum. "They could choose a part of a machine, a whole machine, the building itself-whatever they wanted. They went for the machinery."
Finally, Nancy brought the focus down to Claremont itself. "Our final project was a Walking Tour of Claremont." She explained to her students that their work would be a foundation or building block for the future, realizing that they wouldn't be able to complete and publish an entire walking tour in the time they had available. She explained to them that whatever they did would be produced electronically so that it could be tweaked.
"A 'side trip' on their walking tour was the postcard project. I wanted them to do photo analyses of change over time, exploring questions about how technology changes the landscape, and then project what they learned into the future. I supplied photos."
Nancy found a great source searching online one night. "I typed in 'Claremont New Hampshire photographs' and found a lot of postcards for sale through EBay. I copied and pasted the images." She also visited Colin Sanborn, the town historian, and scanned his collection of postcards. She purposely found photos of the same places that showed change over time.
Postcards turned out to be some of her most useful primary documents. The students filled out "Photograph Comparison Logs" into which they pasted copies of the photographs they were comparing. They had to identify the photo's source; note any inscriptions; identify the date and location and what factors they used to determine these; and describe the technology in evidence ("What tools, modes of transportation, communication or power are visible?").
Nancy then had students use GPS equipment and a digital camera to try to locate the spot and record what the scene from the postcard looks like today. "They loved this. The school is in the middle of town, which helped." Their final task for the comparison work was to fill out a "Photo Analysis" form where they identified differences in the landscape over time and tried to imagine and describe "the sights, sounds, and smells the first photographer might have experienced that would not be present when the shutter clicked on the later image." They also analyzed the permanence of the changes they identified, the site's significance, and their own questions about the photographs.
"This project prepared the students for their own primary source research. It got them looking at their own town in a different way. Colin Sanborn gave them a walking tour of the industrial part of town. We also took a field trip to Fiske Library, where Colin showed students how to use microfiche to find all the birth and death records, census reports, and most importantly, newspapers from 1810 to about 1890.
"Colin has a large collection of articles written about Claremont, as well as the 'official town history.' The students learned how to use directories that were used by the Post Office. These, it turned out, provided lots of interesting data. They were a great resource.
"With Colin's permission, we also went to the historical society. There they did primary source documentation and analysis. We used a modified version of the National Archives 'Analyzing Documents' sheet. This is where students found a deep interest in the lives of people long gone, reading their words in their spidery handwriting, wondering about who made these documents and why."
"It's the search itself that makes the learning
so rich, and that's what I saw in my kids."
Filled with questions and curiosity, the students returned to the classroom and went online to ancestry.com. "We did data mining, producing graphs of immigration to Claremont, finding out who came here when and why. As a class they decided which information they found might be relevant to a walking tour product. They were eager to share what they had learned with the public."
What Nancy took away from her experience teaching this course—more than just how to access and analyze documents—was "how vital learning history is when you don't open the text to page 310; instead, you say 'Where can I get this information?' It's the search itself that makes the learning so rich, and that's what I saw in my kids. The room would get totally silent and they're looking at old documents and the documents smell like dust, and they stay focused."