Gilsum Historical Society Museum

The Historical Society Museum
Gilsum, NH
by Ann Mullins Tindall

In 2004, members of the Ware Family Association visited the Gilsum Historical Society Museum, a large square building located on the Main Street of the village. Betty Pratt, president of the Society, opened the museum for us. Ware house owner David Dauphin, vice president of the Gilsum Historical Society, accompanied us to the Museum. The second floor exhibition area included displays of photographs, quilts, and even a bank of post office boxes and the stamp window that had been used at an earlier time in the Gilsum Post Office. Both David and Betty enjoyed telling us about the efforts to add to the Museum’s collection of items dating from the early history of the town.

The location of the museum is the same as that of the Methodist Meeting House that was built in 1848. In 1876 it was sold to the town and used as the Town Hall. A fire destroyed much of the building in 1910, and it was rebuilt as it is today. Many town events including graduations have been held there over the years. In 2001 the town deeded the building to the Historical Society to be used as a museum.

After leaving the museum, we walked down the street to the fellowship hall of the Congregational Church where several women who are members of the Gilsum Historical Society had prepared a wonderful lunch. Although the weather outside was damp, the atmosphere inside was bright and welcoming. We sat around a large table, and enjoyed talking with present day Gilsum residents as we ate. It was a pleasure to visit with them and hear about their commitment to preserving local history. They made us feel very welcome in the town of our ancestors and we will not forget their generosity.