×

Rindge’s 250th: A glimpse into the past

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • The Rindge Historical Society Museum houses a number of treasures, giving insight into the town's history. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, August 07, 2018 10:20AM

Searching for a glimpse into Rindge’s historic past? Look no further than the Rindge Historical Society Museum.

The museum – located in the Freeborn Stearns House at 24 School Street – is home to a number of treasures, all giving insight into the town’s 250 years of history.

“We have thousands of items, easily, between all of the artifacts, papers, photos and other things,” Rindge Historical Society President Karla MacLeod said, during a recent tour of the museum. “… you never know what you will find.”

The Rindge Historical Society is a nonprofit organization responsible for cataloging, maintaining and displaying historical town records and artifacts. The Society purchased its current property in 1994 to convert it into a museum. Prior to that, the collection was housed in the basement of the Ingalls Memorial Library.

The museum’s home was built circa 1815 by Freeborn Stearns, a farmer and blacksmith who relocated to Rindge in the early 1800s. The house was kept in the Stearns family until 1910, when it was purchased and modernized by Charles and Alice Hoyt.

The museum’s collection is a blend of agricultural and industrial artifacts, art, maps, books, photographs, war memorabilia and more. Some of the collection dates back to the 1700s.

Featured items in the museum include discharge papers of Eleazer Blake – a Revolutionary War veteran who later settled in Rindge – signed by George Washington and the hand-painted sleigh of William K. Dean, who was murdered in Jaffrey 100 years ago.

The collection was started with the efforts of Mary Lee Ware, a seasonal resident of Rindge who “took it upon herself to solicit donations of historical items from the town’s residents,” the Rindge Historical Society website says.

The collection is divided into smaller exhibits housed in different rooms in the house. One room features war memorabilia dating back to the French and Indian War, while another features various textiles.

Some of the rooms rotate collections. One currently houses items found throughout town with the use of metal detectors.

“We have a couple of people who go out consistently,” MacLeod said.

A set of 1700s cufflinks are her favorite items found so far, she said.

Prior exhibits include one on the town’s 50th anniversary, hats and Rindge being a destination town.

“Rindge used to be a place that people came to summer at,” MacLeod said.

The metal detecting exhibit is expected to be up at least until at least next winter.

In addition to showcasing the collection, MacLeod said the historical society is also working to conserve various historical documents.

Money raised from a monthly Open Mic night at the Rindge Meetinghouse helps to pay for the Society’s conservation efforts. To date, MacLeod said about $15,000 has been used for such purposes.

“It will probably never end,” MacLeod said, of the conservation efforts.

The museum is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can also arrange a time to visit the museum by appointment.