Searchroots Update: Peterborough NH

Peterborough Players postcard

Vintage postcard showing the original Peterborough Player’s building.

For those of you with websites and blogs of more than a year old, you share the pain of updating.  With a web presence comes the never ending job of keeping it updated, and the links active and refreshed. The Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive is a god-send when it comes being able to go back in time and see what the heck you used to link to.  But even that device doesn’t save every web site.

In my own case, I was updating some material on a web site that I maintain about Peterborough, in Cheshire County, New Hampshire.  It was and still is a fascinating town, managing somehow to maintain a small town feel by celebrating its past, and embracing its present.  While checking some links I realized that the history section was really very old history.  Surely something interesting had happened since 1835 or so.  I had purchased two booklets about Peterborough in the 1920s and 1930s and so I started there, adding tidbits for the timeline I was creating.

Along the way I discovered two really interesting facts about Peterborough, heretofore unknown, at least by me, though others knew obviously.   One fact is that Brigham Young (of the Mormon aka Latterday Saints) was in Peterborough NH in 1844 when he received the news that Joseph Smith had been killed. The immediately left and returned to Nauvoo, Illinois. Some of the residents of Peterborough went with him.

Another fact revolves around a very famous actress, Bette Davis.  Its well known that she liked to spend time in New Hampshire, notably in the northern parts.  What I didn’t know is that Peterborough had several acting camps, including the The Out-Door-Players and Mariarden.  Bette Davis was “discovered” there.


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