Haverhill, New Hampshire

County: Grafton
State: New Hampshire
Population: 4665
Post Office: Haverhill 03765
Town Website:  www.haverhill-nh.com
Town Clerk:  Bette A. Polloch 603-787-6200   Office hours  M-F 9-4:30
Police Dept:  603-787-2222/2224   Emergency dial 911
Fire Dept: 603-787-6911    Emergency 911
School:  Woodsville Elementary School 603-747-3363     Haverhill Cooperative Middle School 603-787-2100    Woodsville High School 603-747-2781
Library:  North Haverhill Public Library 603-787-2542

The Town of Haverhill, New Hampshire occupies the northeastern corner of our region and is comprised of numerous villages and districts, some of which have their own governing body for strictly local issues. There are also 4 post offices.

It is home to the Bedell Bridge State Park, Black Mountain State Forest, Kinder Memorial Forest, and the Oliverian Valley Wildlife Preserve.

Center Haverhill
East Haverhill
Haverhill Corner (often just referred to as Haverhill)
Mountain Lakes
North Haverhill
Pike
Woodsville

Mountain Lakes District

District Website: Mountain Lakes
District Manager: Renée Cota (603) 787-6180 email
A four seasons community with two lakes and various recreation activities. District also manages the local water system.

Precinct of Haverhill Corner

Post Office: Haverhill 03765
Village Population: approx. 500
District Administrative Assistant: Alice Hodgeton (603) 989-5655 (Tuesday & Thursday 9am – 1pm) email

Once the terminus of the Old Province Road, Haverhill Corner is now lined with stately examples of Greek Revival, Federal, Georgian, and Victorian architecture overlooking the Connecticut River Valley from an elevation of 640 feet (200 meters).

Haverhill Corner is home to the Bedell Bridge State Park. It also is home to Alumni Hall, a place where history, culture, art, the land and community come together. Alumni Hall is dedicated to fostering the recognition and appreciation of local and regional heritage and resources, and is committed to the support and presentation of the fine and performing arts.

The precinct is responsible for local water, street lighting, fire department, and the commons.

Precinct of North Haverhill

Post Office: North Haverhill 03774
Village Population: 1244 (2003)
Historical Tour
North Haverhill is located on Route 10 between Haverhill and Woodsville along the Connecticut River valley in New Hampshire.

Nearby are several civic facilities including the Dean Memorial Airport and the Grafton County Administrative Offices and Courthouse as well as the Horse Meadow Senior Center.

The North Haverhill Fairgrounds host several major annual events including the North Haverhill Fair in July and the Whole Hog BBQ and Music Festival in August.

This area is a fertile interval that is still farmed by local families in the dairy business. Vast corn fields fill the valley with the White Mountains to the east and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the west.

Woodsville Fire District

Post Office: Woodsville 03785
Village Population: 1130 (2007)
Town Statistics: city-data.com
Wikipedia Entry: Woodsville, NH
Historical Tour
Woodsville is located where the Ammonoosuc River Joins the Connecticut River on the Vermont-New Hampshire state border. Once a major railway town, it still retains an active commercial strip along US Route 302 from the river to NH Route 10. Along this stretch of road you can find a variety of businesses serving the daily needs of its residents and those from across the river. On the 4th of July it is the route of the largest parade in New Hampshire.

Woodsville is home to Cottage Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital. The hospital has just over 250 employees, 37 active medical staff providers and 35 volunteers. As such, it is one of the area’s primary economic engines.

Woodsville is also the location for the (reputed to be) oldest covered bridge in the United States; this 1829 bridge has never been destroyed and rebuilt unlike many other such structures.

Historical Tour: Haverhill Corner

Known locally as Haverhill Corner, this is the historic center of the town of Haverhill. Founded in 1763, it became the terminal town for the Coos turnpike that, winding its way across the state from Portsmouth, was the land-based route for goods and people to make their way to the North Country.

Below the village flows the Connecticut River that, in those days, provided water transportation to the area. As a result of this activity, there were many taverns and large houses built in Haverhill Corner during the Federal period, 1790-1820. The distinctive double commons are bordered by sections of white board fence attached to granite posts added during the Civil War period.

Local lore claims that Haverhill was a terminal on the Underground Railroad during this period.

Ladd Street School

At the top of the slope on the left at the intersection with County Road is the Ladd Street School. Standing near where the school now stands was the Haverhill South Parish Church. Built in 1790, the very first church bell in the North Country was installed in 1802. Eventually the parish outgrew the church and built a new, brick one on Haverhill Common further south. The old church was torn down and its timbers used to build the present day Ladd Street School, which was completed in 1849.

Continue south on NH Route 10 past the junction with NH Route 25.

Page and Johnson Houses

Coming up the hill, you will pass on your left two houses of note. One, a 2½ story Federal built in 1815, belonged to John Page, governor of New Hampshire from 1839 to 1841, and the other, a Georgian next door built in 1769 by Haverhill benefactor Colonel Charles Johnson, is now the oldest house in Haverhill.

Continue to the intersection on the left with Court Street, which divides the north and south commons.

Historical Marker & Congregational Church

As you turn left on to Court Street, note the Haverhill Corner historic marker at the intersection. Park on the left near the bandstand and walk back to read the marker. Facing the marker and looking left (north) you cannot mistake the brick building. The brick church was not built by the present owners, the Congregationalists, but by the Methodist Episcopal Society in 1827. In the three stage bell tower is a Revere bell purchased in 1838.

Haverhill Academy

Just around the corner to the right of the church is Haverhill Academy. On the left, the brick edifice with the belfry is Pearson Hall, which was built in 1814, following a fire in the original building erected in 1793. The first building on the site was used by both the district elementary school and the county courts. It is likely that Daniel Webster tried cases here. It was chartered as an Academy in 1794 and was the first in the North Country. The Academy building to the right of Pearson Hall was built in 1893, and housed the Academy until 1969.

Bliss Tavern & and Williams Tavern

At the corner of School and Court Streets are the private residences known historically as the Bliss and Williams Taverns. Because in its early days the village was the terminus of the Coos turnpike, the village boasted many taverns. Bliss Tavern is believed to have been built around 1790. Its sister building just across Court Street, known as the Williams Tavern, was built circa 1797.

Haverhill Corner Library

Follow Court Street between the two taverns. Very soon, on the left you will see the Library. Though built in 1840, the building has only been used as a library since 1916. The building‘s original purpose was to house the Grafton County offices, specifically the registrar of deeds.

Alumni Hall

Immediately to the east of the library stands the imposing Alumni Hall. The building has been completely restored. Many local people well remember coming over from the Academy to play basketball here. Built in 1846, and used as the county courthouse until 1891, it is now a cultural and interpretive center.

Grafton Hotel

Opposite the library is an imposing three-story brick private residence, built circa 1810, that was once known as the Grafton Hotel or Crawford House.

Old Grafton Jail

Two buildings up from Alumni Hall is a building that looks like any other on the street. However, its façade hides a secret. At the rear of the house and attached to it, is what used to be the Jail House. It was used as such from 1794 to 1895 and had the distinction of being the site of the State of New Hampshire’s last public hanging in 1868.

All tour information provided by Larry Coffin. Check out his In Times Past blog.