Historic Fitzwilliam New Hampshire:

A Living Piece of History


TOUR THE VILLAGE COMMON
TOUR THE VILLAGE
COMMON

Fitzwilliam was founded in 1764 and by the year 1800 had a population of over 1200 souls and was a self sufficient community with dozens of local industries supporting the men and women who farmed its rolling hills.

The coming of the railroad in 1848 turned the village into a small commercial center. Granite quarrying soon became our major industry, peaking about the time of World War I. But farming declined in the late 19th century in the face of competition from the mid-west. By the 1930's the granite industry was fading away. By 1940 the population had dropped to 824 and has only increased after 1960 with the influx of retirees, summer residents and those commuting to jobs in Keene and other local communities.

Because the Fitzwilliam Village has changed little in over 150 years, much of our 19th century heritage is still with us. The Village Common looks much as it does in photographs from the 1860's. Most of the houses in the Village center date back to before 1850. The stone walls that delimited the local farms are still visible in the woods. We are, in many respects, a living piece of history, waiting here for your inspection and enjoyment.

Perhaps the flavor of our town is best expressed in the following quote from a brochure put out by the Fitzwilliam Tavern early in the last century. "Fitzwilliam lies in the southwestern corner of New Hampshire, 72 miles from Boston, on the Fitchburg Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad. It is a typical New England village, one mile and a quarter from the railroad station; no industry mars the quiet of the scene and no mill or factory draws an objectionable local population.

"At 1200 feet, the Village is one of the highest in the state, according to the United States' survey. Situated in the hill country of New Hampshire, within five miles of Mt. Monadnock, the air is clean and dry, malaria is unknown, and even in the hottest day there is a breeze."

Why not take a few minutes to browse the pages we offer here and absorb the flavor of our community and its history. We hope this virtual tour of our Village history will inspire you to visit us in person.

OUR TOWN HISTORY
OUR TOWN HISTORY

FITZWILLIAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY
FITZWILLIAM
HISTORICAL SOCIETY
FITZWILLIAM IN 1776
FITZWILLIAM IN 1776
THE RAILROAD COMES TO FITZWILLIAM
THE RAILROAD COMES TO FITZWILLIAM
FITZWILLIAM IN THE CIVIL WAR
FITZWILLIAM IN THE
CIVIL WAR

HISTORY OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
HISTORY OF BUSINESS
AND INDUSTRY
HISTORIC BUILDINGS
HISTORIC BUILDINGS

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Copyright © 2001, Frank Bequaert