The Pelham 250th Anniversary Committee proudly presents the photographs and commentary contained herein as a pictorial history of the Town of Pelham, New Hampshire. The Committee was organized to conduct the 1996 celebration of Pelham's 250th Anniversary as a New Hampshire town. This book was one of many projects undertaken by the 250th Anniversary Committee. It had its genesis several years ago when some of the members realized that no attempt had ever been made to collect, preserve or publish photographs of Pelham's history.
Six members of the 250th Committee, all Pelham residents, set about diligently to collect the photographs, write the commentary and captions, and assemble the various chapters of this book: Eleanor H. Burton, Philip R. Currier, Josephine L. Fletcher, William T. Hayes, Carrolyn M. Law and Joyce E. Mason. We fondly recall many evenings spent "huddled" around a table, examining newly discovered photographs, testing memories to identify the persons depicted therein. There may have been evenings when as much time was spent exchanging memories and anecdotes about the photographs and the stories they told as was spent working on the book. Collegial kidding was heard about late nights spent in Hudson at the "motel" which contained a photography studio kindly donated by a friend. There, we reproduced many of the cherished photographs and prepared them for this book. Truly a collaborative effort, this project involved countless trips to track down and return borrowed photographs, research facts, verify names and finally, supply the commentary and write the photograph captions. The end result is this twenty-chapter pictorial history, containing over four hundred photographs that depict the lives of more than two thousand Pelham residents.
Photographs continue to be uncovered from many sources even as we go to press. With but a few exception, the photographs contained in this book span the decades up to the year 1970. Photographs and materials subsequent to 1970 were considered by the Committee to be too recent for inclusion in this book. Sufficient post-1970 materials have been discovered to raise the possibility of a future sequel. Given the scope of the information and its historical and often anecdotal nature, the Committee often relied upon names and dates penned long ago on the backs of the photographs. Despite our best efforts as historians, many mysteries still remain. Erroneous identifications, if any, were inadvertent on our part, and are sincerely regretted.
Accompanying some of the photographs are references to the Pelham tax map number. The first number references to the sheet of the tax map, and the second is the lot number on that sheet. (For example, the Public Library is TM 22, 8-120, that is, lot # 8-120 on sheet #22 of the tax map.)Thus, with the physical location of a photograph known, the reader who is so inclined may travel to that particular location in our town to view the scene or structure as it appears today.
While Pelham is not a major destination for tourists, nor a home to major industry or famous personages, its rural New England setting gives it a picturesque appeal all its own. The Pelham 250th Anniversary Committee intends that the photographs and materials in this book offer the reader reflections on Pelham's unique history and identity. The persons who worked on this book are proud to call Pelham home -- we hope that those who read, study and enjoy these pages will come to share our sense of pride in Pelham.
The Pelham 250th Anniversary Committee
Philip R. Currier, Chairman