‘Along the River’: Exploring the past

The opening of a new special exhibit, “Along the River: 18th Settlement in the Contoocook Valley,” is planned for Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture.

Explore what life was like for the Contoocook Valley’s first settlers, who came to this area in the 18th century. It shows how the settlers, mostly immigrants from Scotland and Northern Ireland, found a land of unbroken forest and transformed it into a landscape of tidy farms. Through maps and artifacts, the exhibit examines daily life on these early homesteads and the ways the farmers not only provided for their own needs but also produced goods for the markets in Boston.

Among the 18th century artifacts on display is a spectacular red cloak made of wool from sheep raised by Mary Wilson, the proprietress of Peterborough’s Wilson Tavern. She dyed, spun, wove and stitched the wool into this cloak. Also included is a burl wood bowl, a prized possession that the Holmes family carried to the colonies from Scotland. The bowl is purported to have been made in the year 1500.

“Along the River” will be on view through Nov. 29.

The exhibit opening is free and open to the public. Wine and light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit will be open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Museum admission is $3 and free for Monadnock Center members.

For more information on the Center’s exhibits and programs, visit or call 924-3235.

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