Atkinson Historical Society Announces 2023 Scholarship
Information and application form HERE
Help us cover the town in scarecrows!
Returning in 2023 by popular demand the Atkinson Historical Society will again be offering scarecrow kits.
Atkinson's Center School Added to list of NH Historic Sites
. NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resource Announcement
New Atkinson Grange Booklet
Many thanks to Eleanor Zaremba for her extensive research and effort to put together this booklet on the Atkinson Grange.
Formation of the Atkinson Historical Society
At a meeting held November 12, 1954, in the Atkinson Congragational Church, Reverend Roland D Sawyer spoke on the value to a town of a town historical society. There were 28 people present. Evidently Reverend Sawyer was persuasive, for those present voted unanimously to form the Atkinson Historical Society.
-To collect, acquire, secure, preserve and display records and materials pertaining to Atkinson's history at the Kimball Museum in the Parson Peabody House.
-To restore, replace and preserve by any method necess ary, on site or by moving, historical objects of any kind, such as monuments, buildings, gravestones, etc.
-To maintain guardianship over whatever presents itself under the term "Atkinson New Hampshire History".
The History of Atkinson, NH
The Town of Atkinson
Origin: Atkinson was named in 1767 for Colonel Theodore Atkinson, whose farm covered nearly all of the several hundred acres set aside from Plaistow that become the town. Colonel Atkinson was a brother-in-law to Governor Benning Wentworth, served as secretary of the colony until the Revolution, and was on of the Masonian Proprietors who parceled out New Hampshire lands to over 30,000 settlers. Colonel Atkinson bequested funds to establish Atkinson Academy, incorporated in 1787. In 1809, the state granted 13,000 acres of land in Coos County to the Academy, in unincorporated place now know as Atkinson & Gilmarnton Academy Grant.
Atkinson has a rich history, dating back to before the American Revolution. The town was part of a tract of land purchased from the Indians by settlers of Haverhill, MA on November 15, 1642. The first settlements were made in 1728 by Benjamin Richards of Rochester and Johathan and Edmund Page and John Dow of Haverhill.
The History of Atkinson, NH
Set off from Plaistow on September 23, 1767, Atkinson was named for Colonel Theodore Atkinson. Col. Atkinson had been a commander of some renown during the French and Indian wars and served as collector of customs at Portsmouth. In 1748, he was appointed Secretary of the New Hampshire Colony, a position he received through his uncle, Benning Wentworth, then governor of the colony. Although he never actually lived in Atkinson, his estate, located on Providence Hill Road, was known as the Atkinson Farm. The farm was attended by a caretaker who annually sent the Colonel a wild turkey as his payment of rent.
Colonel Atkinson served as secretary of the colony until the Revolution, and was one of the Masonian Proprietors who parceled out New Hampshire lands to over 30,000 settlers. Colonel Atkinson bequested funds to establish Atkinson Academy, incorporated in 1787. In 1809, the state granted 13,000 acres of land in Coos County to the Academy, in unincorporated place now know as Atkinson & Gilmarnton Academy Grant.
Atkinson Academy, the second oldest co-educational school in the country, was founded as a boys' school in 1787 by Reverend Stephen Peabody, General Nathaniel Peabody and Doctor William Cogswell; it began admitting girls in 1791. The school building burned to the ground in 1802, and was rebuilt in 1803 at a cost of $2,500. That building remains a part of the Academy, with only four classrooms. Other historic buildings, such as the Kimball House and Rockwell School (current police station) grace this southern New Hampshire town.
Relatives of former President John Quincy Adams have lived in Atkinson, along with famous politicians and businessmen.
Atkinson NH Details
Country - United States
State - New Hampshire
County - Rockingham
Government - Board of Selectmen
2007 Population - 6572
Total - 11.3 sq mi
Water - 0.2 sq mi
Land - 11.1 sq mi
Zip Code - 03811
Area Code - 603