“The Conservation Story in Brentwood

Thursday April 12 at 7pm at the Historical Society Museum

The Brentwood Historical Society will sponsor an evening devoted to a subject it has never focused on before: “The Conservation Story in Brentwood.”  It will take place on Thursday evening, April 12, at 7 p.m. at the Historical Society Museum. 

Douglas Cowie, who has served in several town offices as well as almost all the conservation projects, will lead the audience in looking back on the many aspects of the movement – the trials and tribulations as well as triumphs and accomplishments.  He will mention two families who have made especially significant contributions in this area.  Members of those families will be present and will be encouraged to confirm or fill in the details.  Other residents in the audience will also be welcome to add to the story.

Circle of Preservation map 2-2

In the late 1970s and early 80s, Brentwood residents felt like dutiful and righteous citizens when they took their loads of trash and garbage to the local dump.  But soon they were encountering strange new words and phrases – hazardous waste, recycling, waste stream, biodegradable, and before long  – land management, conservation easements, setbacks, buffer zones, lot size by soil type.  The era of conservation crept in slowly but steadily.  Some people wanted nothing to do with it, but others have worked long and hard to make those new words and concepts a natural part of town life today. The April 12 program will recap the work of the past thirty years.  Historical Society members and friends, and all who have been involved or interested in the conservation achievements thus far, are heartily invited and welcome to attend.

The Brentwood Historical Society Museum is located at 140 Crawley Falls Road.  For driving directions and other information about the Historical Society, please visit, or contact the president, Rebecca Dunham, 642-3912.

The Historical Society’s Float in the Town’s 275th Anniversary Parade

September 17, 2017

Float from the front-2

We were grateful to Duane Demeritt for lending us his excellent 18-foot trailer and giving us invaluable assistance in planning and equipping the float.           

The theme of the float was the title of the new book, which made its debut that weekend: Brentwood, New Hampshire Through the Years, 1742-2017.  Doug Cowie drove the tractor.  In the large round town seal on the front wall of the float, the waterfalls refer to the power source for all the mills in the town’s early years, and the circular saw blade represents the later industries, including our famous carriage-parts factory.

Float from the rear-2

Every item on the float was selected from the Museum’s collection of artifacts.  Included were an apple cider press, a corn husker, a stone sharpening wheel, a unusual wash tub with a wooden washing cradle, a small iron laundry stove for keeping the flat irons heated, a bushel of potatoes in reference to the great crops that were grown here, white straw hats in memory of the hat factory in West Brentwood, an oil lantern, a large scythe and bale of hay, a two-man saw and a large hand-squared pine log, a black dial telephone, a Brownie box camera, metal milk jug, basket of eggs, and the only borrowed item, a cage with two beautiful black and white chickens, loaned by Robin Wrighton to recall the huge chicken and egg industry that supported the town throughout the Depression and the Second World War.  The ladies in period dress were Linda Cowie as a hat maker, Laurel Abusamra working at the wash tub, and Linda Rousseau with her knitting.

Fluttering at the back end were two flags, the British Union Jack and the American Stars and Stripes.  These represented the two governments that claimed Brentwood’s allegiance – England from 1742-1783, and America from 1783 to the present.

 Museum Always Open by Appointment for a Visit

The Historical Society Museum does not have regular open hours, but residents or town visitors are always welcome to call and ask for time to come and browse or study.   There are rare and interesting books on historical subjects in the library corner, and the photo albums and scrapbooks out on the display cases provide hours of looking and reminiscence.  Call Rebecca Dunham, president, at 603-642-3912 for an appointment. She will arrange for someone to open the building and show you around.

Some past events:

  • “Songs and Stories of World War II - Popular Wartime Songs and their Stories you didn’t knowby Richard Kruppa
  • Talk by Michael Tougias on his book “The finest hours”.
  • Spotlight on the Grange
  • Pontine Theatre: “Isles of Shoals: Eternal Sound of the Sea.”
  • Antique and Heirloom Evaluation days
  • New Hampshire's One Room Rural School Exhibition
  • Picnic Trip to Ft. Stark, New Castle, NH
  • Quilt Exhibition
  • Vintage Vehicle Days     
  • Antiques Evaluations     
  • Old Fashioned Christmas Open Houses
  • Military Exhibit 
  • How to Build a New England Dry Stone Wall        
  • Conservation of Artifacts
  • History of Exeter Area Fire Fighting         
  • The Art of Dowsing            
  • Brentwood Families and Neighborhoods
  • Chores of Yore Exhibit           
  • Tall Case Clocks (Grandfather Clocks)


14 Year Event Program History: click here.

Museum Sign & Screen Doors
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