A New England Mill Town Walking Tour
Troy, New Hampshire
|WELCOME TO THE TROY WALKING TOUR|
Located in the foothills of Mount Monadnock, Troy was first settled in 1764 on land that was then within the borders of Fitzwilliam, Marlborough, Swanzey, and Richmond. Due to the remoteness of this area to the town centers of Marlborough and Fitzwilliam, efforts to establish a separate town were begun as early as 1781. In 1813, a meeting house was constructed and pressure was applied to the legislature to appoint a committee to investigate the feasibility of Troy becoming a separate town. In 1815, Troy became incorporated as a town. The land was enriched by streams and rivers, which enabled the early development of a grist mill and other small mills. Early residents accepted the challenge of providing food, shelter and clothing for their families. Ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice contributed to make Troy town with the potential to be a New Hampshire gem. Now a town of 2200 people, Troy is proud of its heritage and invites you to join us as we explore sites of historic interest.
NOTE: Several of these historic buildings are private homes. Please respect the privacy of those who inhabit the homes.
|TROY TOWN HALL|
The Troy meeting house was built between 1813 and 1815. It was modeled after the Federated Church in Templeton, Massachusetts. The Troy meeting house was one of six copied from Templeton over a twelve-year period. A Mr. Sullivan did the framing and outside finishing. Samuel Morse of Templeton did the interior work. In 1856 the meeting house was turned to face the common. The building has a hollow portico with pedimented gable end supported by two pairs of columns. The pedimented gable rests on paired corner pilasters and a frieze. The three front doors have a continuous lintel. A square clock rage with octagonal belfry, bell cast dome and weathervane may be viewed atop the town hall. It is thought that Elias Carter, builder of the Templeton church, may have worked closely on the Troy meeting house.
The Troy common was established in 1815 on land that was formerly part of Marlborough and Fitzwilliam. Much as it does today, the early Troy common functioned as a gathering place for Troy citizens. Granite posts connected by wooden rails enclosed the common. Hay scales could be found at the south end of the common. In the early 1900s a Grandstand graced the common. Three war memorials may be viewed as one visits the center of Troy. Alterations to the common were necessitated in 1941 by road widening.
|TROY BAPTIST CHURCH|
Organized in 1789 and originally known as the Baptist Church of Fitzwilliam, the First Baptist Church of Troy met in homes and the town hall until the Federal-style building on North Main Street was constructed in 1848-1849. The bricks were made in Troy and the granite slab front steps were quarried from the Troy granite quarry. The church seats at that time faced the street. In 1891 the church was remodeled by adding a vestry. In 1906 the church received its parsonage from Alva S. Clark upon his death. Mr. Clark had served as deacon for 45 years. In 1958 the vestry was enlarged to include 10 classrooms, an office, and a study. The parking lot on the church's north side was completed in 1974.
In 1785 the land for the first burying ground was donated by Troy's earliest settler, William Barker. The cemetery was enclosed by a stone wall. Until the burying ground became too small, it was the resting place of many early residents of Troy. Mrs. Sally Kendall is known to be the first person interred there. Exactly where is uncertain, because many of the graves had no headstones. The burying ground was enlarged twice over the years and in 1874 a new cemetery, Mountain View, was started.
This ell, on the west side of the common, is our only reminder of the Morse Tavern. In 1802 Josiah Morse purchased a small piece of land from Thomas Tolman and built a two-room tavern. In 1812 he sold the tavern to Constant Weaver, who had a deep interest in Troy's struggle to become a town. A citizen's meeting was held at Weaver's Tavern to draw up plans for incorporation. In 1814 Weaver sold the tavern to Elnathan Gorham. The legislative committee met here to consider the situation. Imagine the revelry and jolly drinking the night of June 19, 1815, to celebrate the state's decision to support incorporation. David Wheeler owned the tavern as a public house from 1827 to 1855. In 1858 John Clement leased the tavern, made extensive repairs, and the hostelry became known as Monadnock Inn.
About 1769 Thomas Tolman built the first frame house in town and later opened it as an inn. Its position has been changed, as it formerly stood further back with the end toward the common. The building has been further changed by repairs. This building, now known as the Red Shed, was later owned by Mrs. Sarah Brown and then Joseph Haskell.
The Railroad Station was the transportation hub of Troy from about 1843, when the Cheshire Railroad was built, to the 1960s. It was leased to the Fitchburg Railroad and the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1900. Rail and freight service connected Troy to Keene, Walpole, Rutland, and Boston. Famous writers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson disembarked in Troy as they began their ascent of Mount Monadnock. During the years of its existence, the railroad provided Troy with a substantial economic advantage.
|KIMBALL HOTEL AND RESIDENCE|
The Kimball Hotel and Residence on Water Street was built during the 1870s. George Russell owned the once-thriving small hotel and restaurant. The building is Troy's only example of a mansard roof structure. Two-story wrap-around porches and an exposed basement level along Water Street are of interest as well.
|TRINITARIAN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH|
The Trinitarian Congregational Church was built on land donated by the Daniel Farrars. The building was completed in the fall of 1835 at a cost of $1,994. The basement of the meeting house was constructed of granite by Alpheus Crosby, at his expense. Until 1871, the basement was used as two tenements. At that time it was purchased by the church. The church, on South Main Street, is gable end to the road and has five arches across the facade, with a pair of entries in the largest two arches. The entries have Federal arch fanlights and sidelights. A square bell tower with open belfry is decorated with gothic design and corner spires.
Located next to the Trinitarian Congregational Church is the Old Academy. Built by Joseph Forristall in 1828, this is the oldest brick structure in the village. It served as a school until 1838 when it was sold to, proprietors for $375. It then became a high school. David W. Farrar purchased the building and converted it to a dwelling. The building has a two-bay, gable front facade with two entries topped by semicircular fanlights. The building has seen use as a school, a print shop, a Red Men's hall, and a home/office for two Troy physicians. Presently the building is a private home.
|DAVID W. FARRAR HOUSE|
Located next to the Old Academy, the David W. Farrar house is an excellent example of the Greek Revival style. Notice the temple front facade with pedimented gable above the two-story porch with tall square pilasters. The house was built c. 1848.
|CONGREGATIONAL PARSONAGE (New / Old)|
The original Congregational Parsonage, located on South Main Street next to the David Farrar house was a gift from the estate of Sophronia Jones. It was used as a parsonage until 1893 when it was sold and a new parsonage built on Monadnock Street.
The new Parsonage is a laterally oriented three-by-three bay house with a broad gable wall dormer. It has decorative cut shingles and a Queen Anne entry porch.
|DR. CHARLES WHITNEY HOUSE|
The Dr. Whitney house was built on South Main Street in 1818. It reflects the Federal style and has a center fireplace chimney. The entry has partial sidelights, slender pilasters, and a semi-elliptical fan. Dr. Whitney was the father of Charles Whitney, who owned Whitney's Store.
|HARRINGTON - SPAULDING - STONE HOUSE|
In 1780 Joshua Harrington purchased land from Thomas Tolman and built a house which was to constitute an ell to a later house. Elijah Harrington built that house about 1815. In 1855 he sold it to Eri Spaulding. In 1887 Dr. Melvin T. Stone purchased the much-enlarged and improved home. Dr. Stone, who wrote the second town history, was Troy's thirteenth physician. His daughter, Mildred, was a much-respected music teacher in the area.
Troy Mills, long an economic mainstay of the community, started in 1851 when Thomas Goodall began the manufacture of blankets, fabrics, and the first fitted horse blankets to be manufactured. Mr. Goodall began this enterprise in the Tolman Grist Mill, located just south of the common. The first mill was a two-and-a-half-story building with a three-story tower and belfry on the exterior of the gable end. The Troy Blanket Mills was formed in 1865 when Messers. Elliot, Porter, and Ripley purchased the mill. Because of continuous development of plant and products, the mill exists today as Troy Mills, having been renamed in 1960.
|ROBESON - FARRAR - WHITNEY STORE|
In 1793 Jonas Robeson purchased land from Joshua Harrington and built a store with a dwelling in the rear. It was the eighth building in town and was sold to Daniel Farrar in 1813. Farrar moved the building further back and built the Greek Revival brick building in 1835. The building has a three-bay gable front facade, with an overhanging pedimented gable on tall pilasters to create a two-story front porch. After serving in the War of the Rebellion, Charles Whitney purchased the Farrar Store and owned it for many years. The building is on South Main Street just south of the bridge.
|TOLMAN MILL SITE|
An integral part of any community was the grist mill to grind wheat, rye, and cornmeal. Thomas Tolman built the first grist mill on this site, close by the South Main Street bridge' in 1772. Joshua Harrington purchased the mill in 1780. The grist mill was known far and wide. It was operated by Mr. Harrington and his sons for 50 years. Luke Harris purchased the mill and water rights from the Harringtons in 1834 and began a weaving mill. In 1851 Thomas Goodall purchased the mill which was the forerunner of Troy Mills.
|WARREN STAND (Store / Tavern)|
In 1786 Jonas Warren erected a building, part of which was used as a store, on the east side of the common. This building was Troy's first store and fourth house.
Soon thereafter he erected an adjoining building to be used as a tavern. In 1815 Lyman White, a tanner, purchased both buildings and lived in the tavern. The store was likewise used as a dwelling.
|IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH|
The Catholic church was established in 1891 as a mission of the Keene church. In 1902, Father O'Neil came to Troy to direct construction of the church which was completed in 1903, on School Street. A few years later a rectory was added. In 1974, a new altar, baptistry, and statue of the holy family were added. The rectory was redecorated and a new kitchen added in 1975. Shortly thereafter the parish hall was extended. The church is an example of Gothic Revival architecture.
A fold-out brochure and map of this Tour is available from:
Troy Heritage Commission
P.O. Box 22
Troy, NH 03465