On February 15, 1956, about a dozen people met at the Leach Library and formed the Londonderry Historical Society. The group defined its mission as the “discovering, procuring, and preserving of whatever may relate to the natural, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of the town.” Melvin Watts was elected President, and dues were established at $1.00 annually. Also in that year, the Society participated in the Town’s annual Old Home Day, an event that had begun in 1899.

tidbits books

The first 20+ years of its existence were a busy time for the Society. It solicited members by reaching out to residents, former residents, farmers, and antiques dealers, amassed a collection of artifacts and old documents, and began conducting tours of historical sites for the Town’s schoolchildren. Because the Society had no space of its own, artifacts and documents were kept at the homes of its members. Eventually, a closet was set aside at the Leach Library for housing the Society’s paper artifacts.

Also during this time period, the Society carried on what had been initiated by earlier residents, that of documenting the Town’s history in published works. Between 1964 and 1977, members wrote and published a series of five books called Early Londonderry: Tidbits and Historical Sketches. In 1977, the Town’s more recent history was published to coincide with the Nation’s Bicentennial celebrations. The book, History of Londonderry 1900- 1976 was written by the late Ferne Schmidtchen, using an appropriation of $15,000 that the Society had solicited from the Town.

Morrison House Museum

In the late 1980s the Society began a new mission, that of saving the Town’s old and historic buildings. Andy Mack, Sr., a prominent Londonderry citizen, donated two acres of land on Pillsbury Road to the Society. In 1990 the first of these rescued buildings, the c. 1760 Morrison family home, was relocated from Rockingham Road to the new site, becoming the Society’s Morrison House Museum. The Londonderry Historical Society finally had a home of its own.


More history was made in 1998 when two more buildings were rescued – the Parmenter Barn, relocated from High Range Road where it had stood since 1859, and the Clark Blacksmith Shop, relocated from Stonehenge Road and donated by resident Reed P. Clark.

Images of America Londonderry book

A subcommittee of the Society wrote a book called Images of America Londonderry, a pictorial history of the Town. This book is part of a series produced by Arcadia Publishing that seeks to tell a town’s history through old photographs.


The Society expanded its holdings by acquiring the Litchfield Carriage Shed. This building was originally part of the Annis/Reynolds property on Litchfield Road.


The Society began renting its grounds and buildings for events such as weddings and photography sessions. Hundreds of people have taken part in these events and enjoyed the beautiful rural setting of the complex.


The Society began opening its doors to the public by hosting a series of Open Air Museum Days at the Morrison House Museum. Members of the Society guide visitors around the grounds, highlight artifacts, and explain the history of the town and of the exhibits within the facility.

The Londonderry Historical Society continues to host programs, maintain its historical buildings, and advocate for measures within the Town that will preserve history and promote it to the public. Some of our recent popular events include antiques appraisal days, concerts, walking tours, talks by local history experts, and genealogy workshops.

We liaise with other organizations within Town to highlight our mission, co-sponsor events, and in general, facilitate communication and good will within the community. We always welcome new members and hope that the citizens of Londonderry will continue to support us and to take advantage of our offerings.