Welcome to the New Market Historical Society
We are dedicated to increasing public understanding and enthusiasm for our local history and preservation. Our mission is to provide a central location, where we can store, introduce, interpret, and stimulate the study of local history. Our goals are to tell Newmarket’s story, preserve its local artifacts, and sponsor historical events and educational opportunities. Please consult our program of events for exact dates, times, and locations for our meetings and events.
The public is always welcome to attend our educational meetings, which are free except for select special events.
Donations are always welcomed and greatly appreciated!
The Next Program and General Meeting will be held
at the Stone Church, Monday September 24, at 7 p.m.
Newmarket’s story of — Alcohol & Temperance, Prohibition & Rum Runners along the bay
These items were previously housed at the Sheafe Warehouse, and are now cared for by the staff at Portsmouth Public Library. They are on loan from the City of Portsmouth Public Library “Special Collections”, and the Adams and Hatch paintings are courtesy of the private collection of Robert S. Chase. The loan for this collection was funded in part by Michael & Shirley Provost, Heritage Consulting.
Captain Edward H. Adams (1860-1951)
Adams was a skilled builder and artist who completed his last gundalow, the Driftwood, in 1950 with his son and business partner Edward Cass Adams. The Captain passed away on April 9, 1951 at the age of 91.
Between Adams’ earliest carvings and those completed by Cass after his death, more than ninety years of animal and fish carvings, ship models and other folk art are represented in this collections, each of which offer singularly unique interactions with the region’s environmental and maritime past.
More Detailed information can be found on our Events Page
This year’s Historical Society Tea featured the history of shoes by UNH Proffesor Dr. Kimberly Alexander.
A special red carpet runway enabled Ladies (and Gentlemen) to strut their stuff in their fancy footwear.
29 pairs of ladies’ dress shoes were collected for the Newmarket Community Church Prominence Boutique Program.
This presentation focuses on the rich history of Alcohol, Temperance, and Prohibition as it affected the lives of working families in the seacoast. Ever since the early 1700s, Newmarket settlers (the pious as well as the rough hewn) partook of the fremented fruit. Apple orchards and stone walls bordered almost every property. Cider was a mainstay. Rum came down the Lamprey on gundalows from Portsmouth harbor, and liquor licenses were commonly granted to taverns and inns along the Great Bay tributaries.
(photo: from the plate of the book Ten Nights In A Bar Room, a novel published in 1854 by American author Timothy Shay Arthur)
In the 1850s, the Granite State, along with several others, adopted the so-called Maine Law, which was the temperance movement’s first legislative attempt at prohibiting alcohol except for “medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes.”
The events of the Civil War overshadowed prohibiton foes, and alcohol was once more openly available. New Hampshire decided to allow local municipalities to decide for themselves whether alcoholic beverages would be sold in their jurisdiction.
Temperance rallies and leagues were commonplace in Newmarket and throught the Seacoast. By 1885, the Rockingham County Temperance League, and the Woman’s Christian Temperance League held church and town hall lectures and called for pledges of abstinence. In 1883 the Christian Witness, published by the Rev. S.K. Kimbal in town, was a popular nation-wide newsletter which demonized drink of all kind and called for the complete prohibition of alcohol & tobacco.
Alcohol raids and jail sentences were common, and continued even after WWI when Prohibition was nationally adopted. Boats loaded with booze would meet out to sea and come up river one stroke ahead of the authorities. Rumrunners and bootleggers were hampered by, and sometimes aided by the civilian authories.See all events
The Stone School Museum, built in 1841, as a two-room schoolhouse, and now home to the New Market Historical Society, is located high upon Zion’s Hill on Granite Street. Hours of operation are in our program of events and are on our web page and Facebook. If you need further information, please call 603-659-3289 and leave a message or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your inquiry will be returned as soon as possible.
$17 for members, $19 for non-members
Books available and can be purchased on line with PayPal—or contact us via email at
If shipped — an additional shipping & handling fee of $4 applies.
All proceeds from the sale of this book by the New Market Historical Society help the preservation of our collection.
We greatly appreciate your membership and donations, and look forward to seeing you at our meetings and events. Members receive free admission to all our meetings and non-members can attend most meetings and events for free. Please make it a point to introduce someone new to one of our events.