200 Years Old: The New Hampshire State House in Concord

Representative Hall, New Hampshire State House, between 1864 and 1909; George W. Perry Scrapbooks, New Hampshire Historical Society

 

I first wrote about the New Hampshire State House in 2006, when the building was only 187 years old, and since then I’ve updated that story several times.  This year (2019) the building is officially 200 years old, and the oldest legislative chamber in the United States still in continuous legislative use.

 

 

I have included some little known photographs of both outside and inside of this beautiful

Photograph of the Legislative Chamber probably prior to 1866 when the room was renovated and the seating changed. From Suzanne Isabelle, the collection of George Juckett, her great-grandmother’s husband.  Notice the fold-down desks on the back of each chair.

building.  Several people have come forward with additional photographs of the inside and outside, and I will add them as they are offered.  I hope you enjoy looking at them.

According to the NH Historical Society newsletter, “Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill into law declaring June 2 through June 8, 2019, as New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Week. A commission has been planning numerous events, including music, fireworks, a panel discussion for former governors, and a Legislative Old Home Day.” For details, visit the New Hampshire State House Bicentennial Commission’s website.

 

 

New Hampshire State House from a daguerreotype made before 1864; George W. Perry Scrapbooks, New Hampshire Historical Society.

The Granite Monthly of November 1910 states, “A little entry in Governor [William] Plumer’s private diary under date of July 4, 1816, ‘Fixed the site for the State House,’ is thought to be the only record of that important event.” Work continued over sever years. The dome and gilded eagle were raised and placed on the building in July of 1818, however the building was not officially completed until June of 1819 when the General Court began holding sessions there.

Remodeling the State House, 1865; George W. Perry Scrapbooks; New Hampshire Historical Society

In 1866 state house renovations were completed to include a state library and new conference and office rooms. In 1881 the library portion moved to its own building (the New Hampshire State Library) and plans began for the NH Supreme Court building. Between 1886 and 1998 several statues and a memorial were added to the grounds (see my blog history story for details).

 The New Hampshire Historical Society catalog online collection has many more wonderful examples of the building from all angles, plus views and landscapes of the city of Concord surrounding it. [see one of the links beneath a photograph to visit that web site].

Governor’s desk, undated with wall of portraits of former governors [must be after/around 1875, as it shows a photo of James A Weston Gov. 1871-1872, 1874-1875) on the wall, lower right.]. Old Council Chamber at the northeast corner of the 1st Floor in the NH State House, Concord NH. From New Hampshire Historical Society Collection.

***Additional Reading***

Concord New Hampshire’ State House — Celebrating 199 Years (History from this Blog), include current photographs of the building and legislative hall.

The Evolution of the New Hampshire State House; Granite State Monthly, November 1910, Vol 5, No. 11.

Dedication of the Remodeled State House, Concord New Hampshire, October 25, 1910

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1 Response to 200 Years Old: The New Hampshire State House in Concord

  1. Amy says:

    I had no idea NH had the oldest (still in use) statehouse. Very interesting!

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