Photographs of Old Buildings
photographs, text, and compilation of links are Copyright 2010-2012 by Ronald B. Standler
In or Near Concord, NH
This website, www.rbs0.com , including each of my webpages and
each of my photographs, is my personal property.
Each of my photographs here, and also my text, is protected by
copyright law and my contractual terms of service.
Please enjoy looking at my photographs at my website,
but do not copy either my photographs or my text,
and do not display them elsewhere.
This webpage displays some of my photographs of old buildings in or near
Concord, New Hampshire (NH) and links to other webpages about these sites.
I spent most of my childhood (1956-1962) in El Paso, Texas. My father took me to abandoned
mines that were active during
the 1900-1920 era. Downtown El Paso had a few buildings dating back to the year
1881, when the railroad service began there, but most of the buildings were erected after 1940.
So, as a child, I learned that "old building" meant built during 1880-1940.
In 1991, I visited Zürich Switzerland and, during a walk, I saw a plaque on a building
that said the mayor had lived there sometime around the year 600. That plaque gave
me a new perspective on the meaning of "old building". <smile>
In 1995, I moved to Concord, NH. Unlike El Paso, there are
buildings in the Concord area that were erected in the early 1800s, and a few from the
1700s. This is not surprising when one realizes that New Hampshire was one of the
original 13 states of the USA, while New Mexico and Arizona did not become a
state until the year 1912. Concord and most of the towns
surrounding Concord (e.g., Allenstown, Bow, Contoocook, Henniker,
Hopkinton, Pembroke, Penacook, Suncook, Warner
— but not Hooksett) were established before
the United States declared independence in the year 1776.
Concord became the capital of New Hampshire in the year 1808.
Concord is the third-largest city in the state of New Hampshire.
(Manchester is the biggest city in New Hampshire,
followed by Nashua, which is across the state line from Lowell, Massachusetts.)
The downtown district in Concord is small, consisting of only two north-south streets
(Main St. and State St.) and extending about 0.3 mile (0.5 km)
from Pleasant St. northward to Centre Street/Loudon Road.
The downtown district includes the state capital and state legislature,
as well as six banks, many offices, various small stores,
two pharmacies, and an old theater (Phenix Hall).
All of old Concord is on the west side of the Merrimack River.
The 1927 USGS topographic map shows few buildings on the east side of the Merrimack.
But today on the east side of the Merrimack, in former Concord Heights
(now part of Concord), there are a large number of residential buildings,
several shopping centers together with the three largest grocery stores in Concord,
offices of the state government including the NH Supreme Court, plus many
stores and restaurants along Loudon Road (NH9).
Earlier, I contrasted my childhood in El Paso, Texas with my current life
in Concord, NH. There is another contrast. El Paso has an average rainfall
of about 22 cm/year, so old buildings are easily accessible in the desert.
Concord, NH has an average rainfall of about 96 cm/year, so abandoned
buildings are quickly surrounded by brush and trees, making them inaccessible.
Moreover, New Hampshire has occasional floods that destroy mills and other
buildings. In winter in New Hampshire, the weight of snow can cause roofs
of buildings to collapse.
Table of Contents
- Eagle Square in Concord, NH
- Gas Holder in Concord, NH
- Sewall's Falls hydroelectric plant and dam
- Old Post Office in Concord, NH
- Ward House Nr. 7 in Concord, NH
- Railroad in Concord
Concord-Manchester Electric Railway
- Page Belting manufacturing plant
- Mills in Concord, NH
- Hospitals around Concord, NH
- Airports in New Hampshire
Note about my photographs:
Photographs taken in 2010 used a Canon SX130 camera (4000 × 3000 pixels),
photographs taken after Nov 2012 used a Nikon D7000 camera
(4928 × 3264 pixels).
The Canon camera stamps the date in day/month/year format on each photograph.
The date may be removed if I crop the photograph.
To make this webpage load faster,
I have converted the high-quality, large files from my digital camera
to medium-quality, small files with 480 pixels on the longer side.
In order to preserve the fidelity of the data,
I have not made any adjustment of exposure or color with
The Eagle Hotel at 110 North Main Street in Concord was built in the year 1827.
The hotel closed in 1961, the year after the demolishment of the railroad depot
a few blocks southeast of the hotel.
The hotel building is now mostly occupied by one law firm.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 20 Sep 1978, see the
that explains why this building is significant.
Main Street and Storrs Street are adjacent parallel streets, but separated by
two city blocks. In between (1) buildings on North Main Street and
(2) buildings on Storrs Street is either a courtyard or narrow street
(e.g., Low Avenue).
Behind the Eagle Hotel is a stable constructed in 1882.
A few meters south of the Eagle Hotel Stable is an old stone building,
currently containing the
Museum of New Hampshire History.
Abandoned gasholder located at approximately 207 South Main Street (next to Gas Street)
in Concord, NH. This photograph was taken from Gas Street.
This cylindrical building was constructed in 1888 to extract and store heating gas from coal tar.
The building was taken out of service in 1952, when pipelines brought natural gas from
other states to New Hampshire. The interior of the building contains toxic waste, which
is probably why the building remains untouched. Claimed to be
"only surviving gasholder in the USA with its gasholder still intact."
Telephoto lens view of the cupola and lightning rod on top of the gasholder.
Note the green copper ground wire attached to the lightning rod, which
ground wire goes down the roof and side of the building.
View from Main Street. The octagonal cupola on top of the building is now tilted.
View of entrance from Main Street,
note the year "1888" in concrete on the side of the building.
Library of Congress webpage,
shows 16 photos of the gasholder in August 1982,
including the interior of the building, plus 24 pages of text.
photos and text from April 2009.
Society for Industrial
Archeology Fall 1982 article.
On 29 Sep 1893,
the Concord Land and Water Power Company began operating an electric power plant
on the Merrimack River at Sewall's Falls, north of Concord, NH.
The generators provided three-phase alternating current electricity to Concord,
which was the second three-phase plant for supplying a city in the USA.
(Redlands, California was 22 days earlier than Sewall's Falls.)
In 1901, Concord Electric Company purchased the plant at Sewall's Falls.
At the end of 1966, Concord Electric Company began purchasing power from
Public Service of New Hampshire, and the Sewall's Falls hydroelectric plant was
then taken out of service.
The dam is said to be the longest rock dam in the world.
The hydroelectric plant is located at the eastern end of Second Street,
in the village of Beaver Meadow, now part of the city of Concord, NH.
The hydroelectric plant and dam is now part of the Sewall Falls Wildlife Management
operated by the New Hampshire New Hampshire Fish & Game Department,
which has a map.
The city of Concord has a
of hiking trails at Sewall's Falls.
After 18 years with no maintenance to the dam,
the middle section of the wooden and loose rock dam washed away in April 1984.
Photo of south side of Power House Nr. 1 taken on 7 Dec 2012
from the west shore of the river.
The main part of the Merrimack River flows to the right of the photograph.
The water for the water wheel flows in the canal from the left of the building.
When I was there in December 2012, there was a chain-link fence
surrounding a construction site at the dam, which prevented me from
photographing the dam and other buildings.
- Library of Congress
has 54 black/white photographs of the hydroelectric dam
and powerhouse, taken in 1992, plus 20 pages of
- Article in
New Hampshire Yankee about the Sewall's Falls dam and
- Unitil was formed in 1985 by the merger of
(1) Concord Electric Co.,
and (2) Exeter & Hampton Electric Co.
In 1992, Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light in Massachusetts merged into Unitil.
Old Post Office in Concord, NH
There is a magnificent stone building on North State Street, between Park Street and
Capitol Street, in Concord, NH.
The building was completed in 1889 as a U.S. Post Office, federal courthouse,
and place for local offices of the federal government.
Gray granite rock from a local quarry was used in the construction.
In 1967, this building was donated to the state of New Hampshire, and now contains
offices for the state legislators.
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 13 Aug 1973, see the
that explains the significance of this building.
This photograph was taken from the steps of the state capital building on State Street.
color image from a postcard.
Ward House Nr. 7 in Concord
Located at 41 West Street, at the intersection of Badger Street and West Street.
This building is owned by the City of Concord.
It is used as a place to vote, and a community center.
In Oct 2010, the building can be
for US$ 17/hour.
View from Badger Street side.
View from West Street.
This Ward House was built in the year 1884.
The minutes of the Concord City Council meeting of 12 July 2010 reports that
this ward house "is the oldest remaining building in the state that was built
for the original purpose of voting and still gets used for that purpose."
In searching on the Internet, I found that the Seventh-Day
Church met at this Ward House during the years 1909-1915.
Railroad in Concord
Concord, NH had railroad service provided by the Boston & Maine Railroad,
which went bankrupt in 1971.
The railroad depot in downtown Concord was
demolished in 1960 and the land became a shopping mall.
Demolishing railroad depots and removing track was really stupid, because it
prevents the easy return of railroad service sometime in the future.
Railroads are much more energy efficient than trucks and buses, and
railroads can be much faster than traffic on an Interstate highway.
Part of the problem is that the railroads were privately owned, including
ownership of track and depots — unlike airports, which are
operated by a city or state government. For example, when Pan American Airlines
went bankrupt in 1991, its airplanes, transatlantic routes, and gates at airports
were sold to Delta, so service continued.
Standing near the south end of the former depot in Concord.
View of the railroad tracks looking south.
Note that the rails are not straight.
Standing near the south end of the former depot in Concord,
about 100 meters north of the location of the previous photograph.
View of the railroad tracks looking south.
Standing a few hundred meters north of the former depot in Concord.
View of the railroad tracks looking south. The second track is a siding.
Concord & Manchester Electric Railroad
When one thinks of railroad in Concord, one naturally thinks of the big station
that was formerly located on present day Storrs Street at Depot Street.
But there was a smaller railroad — a trolley car — that ran from
Penacook, through Concord, Bow Junction, Pembroke, Suncook, Allenstown, Hooksett,
and ending in Manchester. The following information is taken from
the 1996 booklet by O.R. Cummings (bibliographic information in the links, below).
There were four eras:
The street railway became unprofitable in the late 1920s, because of competition
from privately owned automobiles. In 1929, the state of New Hampshire
completed the concrete Daniel Webster Highway (now US3) from Nashua, to Manchester,
Concord, and continuing north,
which highway paralleled the Concord street railway,
and diverted traffic from the railway.
After the end of the street railway, Boston & Maine operated buses
on the roads. Local bus service continues today, now operated by
Concord Area Transit.
- Horse-drawn street railway. Built in the year 1881 in Concord, with
track extending to Penacook in 1884. The track was narrow-gauge, three feet.
- Steam-powered street railway. Began in the year 1885.
- Electric-powered street railway. In the year 1890, a 550 volt
direct-current (DC) generator was installed in West Concord to supply power to
an overhead wire, with a return path through the rails.
The track was extended from downtown Penacook to Contoocook River Park in 1893.
(The Park closed after the 1930 summer season, and the tracks were removed the
- Interurban electric-powered street railway.
In 1901, the Boston & Maine Railroad purchased the Concord Street Railway,
then made the following improvements:
The interurban began service in 1903 and ended in April 1933, under the
name "Concord & Manchester Electric Branch"
(after 1925: "Concord Electric Railways") of the Boston & Maine Railroad.
- widened the track to standard gauge
- built new track from the intersection of West Street and South Main Street
in Concord, southward to Bow Junction, Pembroke, Suncook, Allenstown, Hooksett,
and ending in Manchester.
- DC electricity for the southern end of this line was provided by a generator
in Manchester. As is well-known to electrical engineers, it is not
practical to transmit low-voltage, high-current DC electricity long distances,
because of the resistance of the wire.
There is almost no information on the Internet about
this interurban trolley, other than terse mentions of its existence. One can
no longer be certain of the exact location of depots for this trolley.
Remnants of the Concord-Manchester Electric Railroad bridge across the Merrimack River
at Bow Junction, NH. Only the stone foundation remains,
the steel bridge built in 1912 was sold as scrap metal in the 1950s.
(Before 1912, there was a covered wooden bridge at this location.)
This bridge is located near the southern end of Hall St. in Concord,
next to the present Blue Seal plant.
See the 1927 USGS topographical map for location.
of the trolley, by O. R. Cummings.
of remnants of Concord-Manchester Electric Railway bridge across the Merrimack River
at Bow Junction, NH.
River Park (1904-1930)
in Penacook was the northern end of the trolley run.
Books in Library:
O.R. Cummings, A Granite State Interurban: The History of the Concord and
Manchester Electric Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad. Published as Bulletin
Number 12 by the Electric Railway Historical Society. Chicago: Electric Railway
Historical Society, 35 pp., 1954.
O.R. Cummings, Capital City Streetcar Days — The Concord & Manchester
Electric Branch, The Concord Electric Railways, and Predecessors 1878-1933,
56 pp., (published 1996).
Annual Report of the Railroad Commissioners for 1904, page 44,
lists a total of 16.27 miles
of track for the Concord-Manchester Electric Railroad.
Available at Google Books.
McGraw Electric Railway Manual, Vol. 15, p. 180 (year 1908)
Available at Google Books.
Page Belting in Concord, NH
In the days before electric motors, manufacturing plants were often located
next to a river. Water flowing in the river turned a waterwheel, which turned
a shaft inside the manufacturing plant. Leather belts were used to transfer
mechanical power from the waterwheel's shaft to machines.
Page Belting in Concord, NH was one of the
major manufacturers of leather belts for power transmission.
The four brick buildings now standing were built between 1892 and 1906, and are
located at 26 Commercial Street in Concord, north of US202/I293.
Page Belting was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002,
see the text
that explains why these buildings are historic.
Concord, NH has never been a major manufacturing site.
In the late 1800s, Page Belting was the largest manufacturer in Concord.
From 1896 until 1960,
Boston & Maine railroad had a large repair shop in Concord,
making the railroad the largest employer in Concord.
Currently, the state government is the largest employer in Concord,
followed by the Concord Hospital.
In the year 2000, the larger Page Belting buildings became apartment buildings, named
Horseshoe Pond Place.
A smaller building contains a dance studio and some offices.
In the year 1903, Page Belting purchased
J.R. Hill, which is now
located in Boscawen, NH. Industrial products are still sold under the Page
name, while consumer products are sold under the Hill name.
Photo of one building, taken from the parking lot on the west side.
Photo of front of office building on Commercial Drive. There are two dates carved
in granite on this entrance: 1871 and 1906. The earlier year is the creation
of Page Belting, the office building was constructed in 1906.
Mills in Concord, NH
I looked at a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Concord, NH for the year 1914, and
found a building labeled "Concord Worsted Mills" on map 32. The mill
Currently, this building is used for
and is called "Mill Place West". The street address is
479 North State St. in Concord.
Photo of the main mill building, eastern side, looking north.
Photo of the empty 75,000 gallon water reservoir on the brook that powered the mill.
Because the building is currently occupied, I took all of my photographs from
the far south-east end of the parking lot, near State Street.
I did not go west of the building
to photograph where the waterwheel was located on a brook.
Hospitals around Concord, NH
In looking on the Internet for old hospitals to photograph, I was surprised to
learn that many tens of thousands of people in small towns scattered
north and west of Concord are far from the nearest hospital.
There is one hospital in Franklin, NH, one hospital in Concord, NH,
and two hospitals in Manchester, NH. There are no other hospitals
along this 40 mile stretch of I-93 highway. About 25 miles
northwest of Concord, there is one hospital in New London, NH.
Further to the northwest of Concord, near the Vermont border,
there are two hospitals in Lebanon NH,
and one hospital in Claremont, NH.
The few hospitals in central New Hampshire must have been an inconvenience
in the days with poor roads, and a few railroad trains per day.
However, in the 1800s and continuing into the early 1900s,
sick or injured people were customarily confined to their homes and
physicians visited the homes. Wealthy people in New Hampshire who needed major surgery
during the late 1800s traveled by train to Boston.
Concord, NH Hospital
The first hospital in Concord, NH opened in Oct 1884
and was located on Allison St.,
apparently near present day South Main St.
This first hospital was replaced with the Margaret Pillsbury General Hospital,
which was established in Dec 1891 with fifty beds.
of original two-story Pillsbury Hospital.
In Oct 1896, the Memorial Hospital for Women and Children was opened
at 66 South St. in Concord.
In 1956, a large hospital building
was built at 250 Pleasant Street (NH9/US202), on the west side of Concord,
and the two earlier hospital buildings were no longer used.
The original Pillsbury Hospital building was demolished sometime before 1995.
Currently at the former Memorial Hospital site is a large brick building
that was constructed in 1922 and is now occupied by the New Hampshire
state government. The current building may be a remodeled Memorial Hospital
for Women and Children. I say may, because I have not checked
the history at the library.
- Aside: George A. Pillsbury was born in Sutton, NH in 1816.
He married Margaret and they moved to Warner, NH, where their son, Charles, was
born in 1842. They moved to Concord, NH in 1851 and later moved to
Minneapolis. In 1872 their son, Charles Alfred Pillsbury, founded the Pillsbury
Flour Mill in Minneapolis.
George and Margaret celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary by donating money for the Pillsbury General Hospital in Concord, NH.
That is the short story of how the Pillsbury flour name was related to
a hospital in Concord. The Pillsbury name continues in two places in Concord:
I suspect that most current residents of Concord do not know this interesting history.
- Pillsbury Street is parallel to Allison Street, and one street south of Allison.
Currently there are several modern office buildings on Pillsbury Street.
- The buildings containing offices of physicians and surgeons near the
present Concord Hospital on Pleasant St. are named "Pillsbury Buildings".
New London, NH Hospital
New London, NH Hospital was
established in the year 1918 with six beds.
In 1923, it was expanded to twelve beds.
The state of New Hampshire operated a tuberculosis sanatorium
(also spelled sanatarium)
during the years 1909-1970 in the remote town of Glencliff, in a valley west of
Mount Moosilauke. The buildings are
a home for "developmentally disabled and/or mentally ill" people.
The village of Glencliff is so tiny that it is not included in the 1999 edition of the
Arrow New Hampshire Street Atlas of 102 cities and towns.
Glencliff is located northwest of Plymouth, NH and north of the town
of Warren, NH.
See the article in Dartmouth
Medicine for the Summer 2003.
New Hampshire State Hospital
See my separate webpage for the former state
Insane Asylum in Concord, NH.
U.S. Army Hospital at Grenier Field
While I was reading about the history of the airport at Manchester, NH —
which during 1941-1966 was called Grenier Field and operated by the U.S. Military —
I saw some terse mentions that during 1941-1945 there was a 125-bed
station hospital for those wounded in the war in Europe.
Seventy years later, there is almost nothing
on the Internet about this station hospital.
New Hampshire Airports
Most of southern New Hampshire is either near the major airport in Boston, or near
the airport in Portland, Maine. In Oct 2010, there are only two airports
in New Hampshire with scheduled airline service for passengers:
In addition, there are several other airports in New Hampshire
(the following is not a complete list):
- Lebanon (near Dartmouth College & Medical School)
list of airports in New Hampshire, from the state government website.
Some of these airports still have grass-covered runways, which are closed
in the winter when snow covers the runway.
has a 6000 foot asphalt runway. The airport began service in the year 1928
as a private corporation, and the city acquired the airport in 1936.
- Keene (Dillant-Hopkins Airport)
- Nashua (Boire Field)
- Newport (Parlin Field)
founded in the year 1949.
- Portsmouth (formerly Pease Air Force Base),
has a 11,300 foot concrete/asphalt runway.
- Rochester (Skyhaven Airport)
There is little information on the Internet about history of airfields in
New Hampshire. What I could find in Oct 2010 was:
- New Hampshire Aviation Historical Society
in Manchester has a museum inside the original Manchester airport terminal building,
which was constructed in 1937.
airfields in New Hampshire: (1) Pike Airfield in Tilton (years 1963-1982);
(2) White Mountain Airport in North Conway (years 1934-1988).
airport was founded in 1927. During 1941-1966, the military used
this airport, which they called Grenier Field.
webpages on history of Grenier Field from World War II to 1966.
- Pease AFB
began as a municipal airport in 1933, served the Navy during World War II,
and was a U.S. Air Force Base during 1956-1991.
webpage on Pease AFB.
Interestingly, the dominant airline in New Hampshire from the 1930s to 1960s was
founded in the year 1933 as "Boston-Maine Airways",
a subsidiary of the Boston & Maine Railroad.
In 1940, it was renamed "Northeast Airlines".
Their first airplanes were Stinson trimotors, which were replaced with
Lockheed Electras, and still later replaced with the Douglas DC-3.
Northeast Airlines was sold to Delta Airlines in 1972, which is
how Delta (an airline with an origin in Louisiana and its
major hub in Atlanta, Georgia) serves Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts.
Ironically, with Northeast Airlines serving five cities in New Hampshire
(i.e., Concord, Keene, Laconia, Lebanon, Manchester)
in the 1950s and 1960s, New Hampshire had more widespread air passenger service
then than now. Moreover, many towns in New Hampshire had regular
passenger train service in the early 1950s, which added to public transportation.
Here are general links to New Hampshire history:
Links to Libraries
in or near Concord, New Hampshire
- Town Library in
- New Hampshire State Library in
State Library's List
of books about New Hampshire history, and New Hampshire
- James O. Lyford, History of Concord,
Vol. 1 (1903)
Vol. 2 (1903),
both volumes scanned as PDF files
and posted on the Internet by the Concord Public Library.
- In the 1950s, Grace P. Amsden wrote a three-volume unpublished
of Concord up to approximately the year 1834.
The Concord Public Library scanned her manuscript and posted it on the Internet.
- GenGateway has posted
copies of downloadable old books about the history of Wolfeborough (1901),
Concord (1907-1909), and Dunbarton (1860).
links to maps
- U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps for
Scanned and converted to JPG files by the Library at the University of New Hampshire.
Maps for area around
for the years 1927 and 1949.
Hopkinton and Contoocook are in the northwest corner of the map for Concord.
Concord is in the northeast corner of the map for Concord.
Fire Insurance Maps for towns in New Hampshire from the 1880s, up to about 1923.
Scanned and converted to JPG files by the Library at Dartmouth College.
- maps of
New Hampshire from the years 1796 to 1950. Scanned and converted to JPG files
by the University of Alabama.
- Merrimack County NH
map from Rand McNally atlas published in the year 1895. Scanned by Pam Rietsch.
It is very strange to see a map that has no U.S. highways (which began in the year 1926),
but Concord did have railroad service in 1895 to Boston, Montreal, and to many towns in
New Hampshire and Maine.
- Current Concord Tax Map
(1) choose "zoom in" from menu at top, (2) use mouse to draw rectangle on map,
(3) wait patiently for new map to appear.
- Downtown Concord map.
- Penacook Village maps
- Dunbarton map
- Arrow (American Map) atlas showing
streets in 130 New Hampshire cities and towns, first edition published in 1999.
- NH state tourism office
for seven regions of New Hampshire, but lacks small towns.
Links to Old Railroads
near Concord, New Hampshire
- Railroads in New Hampshire,
website by Gary LaPointe.
List of old train depots in Merrimack
county in New Hampshire, with links to many old photographs.
Boston & Maine 1933 map for New Hampshire
- Suncook Valley Railroad history
- New England Railroad Photo Archive website
by Jeff S. Morris, with hundreds of photographs by others.
- Remnants of the Boston & Maine Railroad,
website by T. Zabek
- Boston & Maine,
website by James B. VanBokkelen.
He has the comment: "The Boston and Maine Railroad was pretty parsimonious; ...."
- Boston & Maine Historical Society
- modern Concord-Claremont Railroad. The
historic Concord-Claremont Railroad went bankrupt in 1852, and its assets eventually were
acquired by the Boston & Maine Railroad, which bankrupted in 1971. Although there is
no longer railroad service to Concord, NH,
both Lebanon, NH and Claremont, NH continue
to be served by the modern Concord-Claremont Railroad.
this document is at http://www.rbs0.com/nh.htm
first posted 16 Oct 2010, revised 6 May 2013
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