New Hampshire Missing Places: The Goyette Museum of Americana at Peterborough

Postcard showing the Goyette Museum, Peterborough NH.

Postcard showing the Goyette Museum, Peterborough NH.

Sometime shortly before 1946 the Goyette Museum of Americana was opened in Peterborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. A newspaper notice in that year noted its “reopening.

In June the Boston Herald wrote: “He has collected Americana 25 years–Maj. A. Erland Goyette of Peterborough NH admires a model of a Napoleonic coach made entirely by hand by a North Carolina craftsman. The model, which required 3000 hours to construct, is one of thousands of items in the Goyette Museum, which houses some of the choicest and most unique antiques in New England.” [Boston Herald, June 23, 1946, page 48]

Old postcard showing two women posing in a room of antiques in the Goyette Museum.

Old postcard showing two costumed women posing in a room of antiques in the Goyette Museum, Peterborough, NH.

The museum was housed in a building on Elm Street, in Peterborough NH, formerly a basket factory. In addition to the coach described above, the museum housed a number of antique vehicles, including a Sears Roebuck & Co. manufactured “Sears” auto from 1906, and a 1900 three-wheel Knox “which steered with a tiller. There was also the 1904 Knox which was considered a luxury car, as it had a windshield, curtains on the top and side, a wicker basket to stuff luggage in, and a wicker golf bag placed on the left side where the driver could get it in a hurry.”

There were exhibits of fire apparatus, and a special exhibit of shops of a typical village street that were reconstructed and furnished with antiques. By 1955 the museum housed the Holt Doll Collection along with other antique toys and games.

Postcard showing a collection of antique doll heads in the Goyette Museum, Peterborough NH

Postcard showing a collection of antique doll heads in the Goyette Museum, Peterborough NH

The Museum was advertised until 1968, soon after which time it eventually closed. In 1977 the contents of the Museum began to be auctioned off, with the auctions being held September 13-14, and October 4-5. Then again in 1978 two liquidation auctions were held on May 19-20, and June 24 (Doll Auction) all at the Goyette Museum.

The contents of this amazing museum were now in other hands–some private and other museum collections. Twenty-five years of collecting was now dispersed and mostly forgotten by younger residents of the town.

Circa 1951 photograph of Arthur Erland Goyette.

Circa 1951 photograph of Arthur Erland Goyette.

Alfred Erland Goyette, and his wife, Hazel L. (Nittrowr) Goyette, who owned the museum, left a great legacy to the town that continues to be felt and enjoyed. The A. Erland and Hazel N. Goyette Memorial Fund was established by Hazel N. Goyette in 1993 upon her death. “Hazel loved the town so much she wanted to ensure that the sense of community and character of the town continued beyond her lifetime. So she formed the trust “to benefit residents of the town of Peterborough, and for the support of projects which are intended to sustain and improve the quality of life in Peterborough.”

A. Erland and Hazel Goyette also donated 421 acres on the south side of the mountain (Miller State Park) for the “perpetual enjoyment of the people.” The Genealogy and biography of Arthur Erland Goyette can be found below.


Pierre Goguet & Marie Louise Garnier (France & Montreal Canada) [Hansen Family Tree, Ancestry]
Pierre Goguet & Anne Antoinette Charron
Jacques Jean Goguet & Catherine Foley
Joseph Goyette & Marthe Fotaine
Joseph Goyette & Marie Charlotte Hebert
Jacques Goyette & Marie Menard

Jean Baptiste “John B.” Goyette, b. 16 Sep 1826 St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, d 28 February 1909, buried Sweetsburg, Quebec; m. 23 Feb 1846 in Standbridge, Quebec, Canada to Marceline “Matilda” Pourier. She bap c1829-1832 in Cambly, Quebec Canada, d —-. His son Charles N.’s death certificate states he was a veterinarian. They resided in Dunham, Missisquoi County, Quebec, Canada.
1851 Census of Canada East > Canada West > Missisquoi County > Dunham
John B. Goyette 25 [b abt 1827]
Marsaline Goyett 22
George Goyett 4
Mary Goyett 2
1871 Census of Canada > Quebec > Missisquoi > Dunham
John Guyett 43 [b abt 1828]
Matilda Guyett 40
Nelson Guyett 17
Charles Guyett 15
Mary Guyett 11
Celina Guyett 9
John Guyett 5
Ellen Guyett 2
1881 Census of Canada > Quebec > Missisquoi > Dunham
John Goyette 53 b abt 1828 Quebec Canada
Matilda Goyette 50 b abt 1831 Quebec Canada
Charles Goyette 24
Selena Goyette 18
John Goyette 16
Helen Goyette 11
Alfred Goyette 8
Children of John B. & Marceline/Matilda (?Pourier) Goyette:
1. George(s) Goyette, b. 16 Feb 1848 Standbridge, Quebec Canada; d. 10 Jan 1921 Sweetsburg, Quebec, Canada
2. Marie “Mary” Goyette, b 20 May 1850 Quebec Canada
3. Narcisse “Nelson” Goyette, b 25 May 1853 Quebec, Canada, d. 2 Dec 1917 Springfield MA; m. by 1878 to Melanise/Malinda Lamarche. She was b. Nov 1861 Quebec Canada, d. 26 Dec 1931 Chicopee MA. Children: Lillian, William L., Clara M., Alida and Paul. He is buried in Chicopee MA.
4. +Charles Nelson Goyette, b 1 April 1856, Stanbridge, Quebec, Canada
5. Mary Goyette, b abt 1860, Quebec, Canada
6. Celina/Selena Goyette, b 1 December 1861 in Quebec, Canada
7. Jean Baptiste “John” Goyette, b 12 May 1865 Quebec, Canada
8. Helene “Ellen/Helen” Goyette, b 6 June 1869 Quebec, Canada
9. Marie Goyette, b. 11 July 1870 Quebec Canada
10. Alfred Goyette, b 27 Feb 1873 Quebec, Canada.

Charles Nelson Goyette, son of John B. & Matilda (?Pourier) Goyette, b 1 April 1856 Montreal, Canada [or Stanbridge, Quebec, Canada], d Aug 1937 Peterborough NH; m. 29 Sep 1886 in Springfield MA to Anna Matilda Sundine, daughter of Frederick “Fred” Sundine & Caroline “Annie” Black. She b 14 March 1864 Stockholm, Sweden, d 15 Oct 1956 Peterborough, NH. He was a carpenter and contractor. He is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery, Peterborough NH. Also lived at 63 Whittier Street in Springfield MA. In 1930 living in Miami Beach, Dade Co. FL.
Child of Charles & Anna M. (Sundine) Goyette:
1. Arthur Erland Goyette, b. 3 October 1887 Springfield MA

A. Erland Goyette, from the 1927 issue of "The Rotarian."

A. Erland Goyette, from May 1927 “The Rotarian,” Vol 30, No. 5.

Arthur Erland Goyette [this story is about his museum], son of Charles N. & Anna Matilda (Sundine) Goyette, b 3 October 1887 Springfield MA, d 6 April 1960 ; m. 27 Oct 1933 in the Little Church Around the Corner, NY, NYC to Hazel Loville Nittrowr, dau of John & Louisa (Nadow/Nadon) Nittrowr. She was b. 25 July 1896 in West Swanzey NH [per ship passenger records], and died 30 Oct 1993 in Peterborough NH He is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery, Peterborough NH. She is buried in the Nittrowr plot in Oak Hill Cemetery, Swanzey NH.  He attended Springfield MA Technical High School [A 1907 yearbook shows him a sophomore living at 53 McKnight Street]. In 1918 he was living at 32 Union Street, Peterboro NH, laborer in automobile factory, Albert W. Noone [At this time he was secretary, chauffeur and bookkeeper for “Al” Noone, owner of The Joseph Noone Sons Co.] By 1942 Alfred Erland Goyette was owner of The Joseph Noone’s Sons Company, Peterborough NH (woolen manufacturing). 1940 US census shows he had 3 years of college [Massachusetts Institute of Technology for engineering] and she finished 2 years of high school. During WW2 placed as Class V due to varicose veins. [Editor’s Note: From info found on Fold3–In 1917 he was investigated by the FBI for his relationship with a couple who might be pro-German, and for his wearing “military” clothing. This could have been part of his Amoskeag Veteran’s commander uniform, a local militia group not based on military service, or because hewas also a Boy Scout Master].  See below for a detailed professional and business biography.
The Wellsboro Gazette (Wellsboro, PA) 2 Nov 1933
John S. Nittrowr announces the marriages of his daughter, Hazel, to Arthur Erland Goyette, of Peterborough, N.H. on Friday, October 27, at the Little Church Around the Corner in New York City. Mr. and Mrs. Goyette sailed Saturday on the Conte di Sa Vola for Italy and an extended European tour. Mrs. Goyette will be well remembered as the former owner of the Orange Tea Room at Wellsboro and Salubria Inn at Bath. Mr. Goyette is owner of the Noones Mills, Peterborough, manufacturers of mechanical cloth. These mills celebrated their one-hundredth anniversary in 1931 and have never closed their doors since their beginning in 1831. Among Mr. Goyette’s many and varied social and business interests, is the presidency of the First National Bank of Peterborough. He is also vice-president and director of the Cooperative Bank, president of the Rotary Club and Maor, commanding Amoskeag Veterans in Manchester, NH.
Wellsboro Agitator, Wellsboro PA, November 8, 1939 Page 5
OBITUARY: John S. Nittrowr
John Stratton Nittrowr, aged 74 years, formerly of Covington and Wellsboro, died at the home of his daughter, Hazel, Mrs. A. Erland Goyette, in Peterborough, Vermont [SIC NH] Oct 25, after a long illness.
He was born in Covington, Nov 26, 1865, son of Ripley and Ellen Alexander Nittrowr. His wife who died in Wellsboro several years ago was Louisa Nadow.
Mr. Nittrowr and daughter conducted what is now known as the Orange Tea Room. Mr. Nittrowr was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Coudersport Consistory.
Surviving are a sister, Mrs. Florence Houman, of Pompton Lakes, NJ, and two daughters, Mrs. A. Erland Goyette and Mrs. Harry W. Rosa, of Peterborough, VT (SIC NH].
Nashua Telegraph, April 8, 1960
OBITUARY: Arthur Goyette, Peterboro, Dies
Peterboro, April 8–Arthur E. Goyette, 72, industrialist, banker and civic leader, died at his home last night.
Until 1951 he owned and operated Joseph Noone’s and Sons, the nationals oldest manufacturer of industrial cloth. He was chairman of the state Board of Fire Control, chairman of the NH Trustees of the Eastern States Exposition and a trustee of Boston University. He formerly served as president of the NH Manufacturers assn and as a director of the New England Council.
He was president of the First National Bank of Peterboro and the Peterboro Cooperative bank. Goyette was a founder and served for 25 years as president of the Monadnock Region assn. He and his wife, Hazel, established, the Goyette Museum of Americana here.
No children.


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9 Responses to New Hampshire Missing Places: The Goyette Museum of Americana at Peterborough

  1. Amy says:

    What a shame that the museum no longer exists. It’s sad that there wasn’t enough interest and/or money to keep it going.

    • Janice Brown says:

      The museum was privately held. Based on the death dates, it seems Mr. Goyette’s wife kept the place open for 8 years following his death, and then possibly it was too hard for her to run. Perhaps then she needed the income because there were several auctions and the items were all sold off. She lived several years after he did, and left a lovely land bequest to the town. Perhaps she needed those funds to pay for the taxes on the land. At any rate, yes I wish I had seen the museum before it closed. Thanks Amy, for stopping by, reading and commenting.

  2. jim_nh says:

    Was Peterborough ever in Cheshire County. I don’t think so, The earliest maps I cna find easily are from the mid-19th century, and it seemed to be in Hillsborough County then, as it is now.

  3. Laura Ward says:

    Where are the civil war artifacts housed now that the gar hall is a brew pub? If there are pictures to see are these things all in the same place? I’m part of a civil war group & very interested in preservation of items like this.

    • Janice Brown says:

      Laura, if you are speaking about the Goyette Museum — it was a private collection that was auctioned off and sold to multiple private individuals and museums.

      • Karen Ann KING says:

        It was not privately held. Many Peterborough citizens loaned Mr. Go-getter their family heirlooms, which he nor Hazel ever returned. She sold the for huge profits.

  4. Karen King says:

    Before the Goyette Museum was gutted and remade into a residence, I had complete access to the building. I hired a NH photographer to come in to photograph the building as it still stood as the American Museum, minus contents, of course. The building was fascinating. Originally built to be the Needham Basket company, Mr Goyette purchased the building to hold and show his vast collections.

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