New Town Picture Gallery XXIX: Hillsborough, New Hampshire

New Hampshire Hillsborough Main St 11

Commercial Building in Hillsborough, New Hampshire

The town of Hillsborough, New  Hampshire has been added to the town picture gallery.  Enjoy!

There are now 30 towns featured in the town picture gallery.

Also, we have a bonus building history to add: Gov. John Butler Smith Mansion

“Where former New Hampshire Governor John B. Smith greeted guests to his home a century ago, patrons of Hillsborough’s Fuller Public Library today go to check out books. This building, a tremendous source of pride for the Governor and his family, is no less an asset to our community today.”

“Smith’s homestead was formerly the property of the heirs of Hiriam Bell, being given in deed to Smith through Mary Bell in 1880. Soon afterward, Smith and his family took up residence and made some modifications, including the addition of a Mansard roof. Later they hired architect William Butterfield to incorporate the original structure into a grand plan that would become the building we know today.”

“In July of 1891 the Keene Evening Sentinel reported that: The Hon. John B. Smith of Hillsborough Bridge, one of the largest and most successful manufacturers of New Hampshire, is about to erect upon the site of his present home one of the largest and handsomest residences in the State at a cost of from $30,000 to $40,000. Mr. Smith has just closed a contract with E. S. Foster of this city to take full charge and superintendence of the construction of the entire residence, not only overseeing and directing the workmen but looking out, also, for the purchase of supplies and materials of all kinds which are to be bought under Mr. Smith’s direction instead of being furnished by a general contractor. Mr. Foster will enter upon his duties as superintendent next week, and expects to devote the main portion of his time to the work until next year. The plans and specifications will be placed in his hands to be worked out without further supervision from the architect, Mr. William Butterfield, of Mancehster.”

Picture of Fuller Public Library/Community Building in the Gov. John Butler Smith Mansion on School Street in Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Fuller Public Library/Community Building in the Gov. John Butler Smith Mansion in Hillsborough, New Hampshire

“The final cost of the project ran well toward $100,000 and took nearly 18 months to complete. Work began when Smith had the original structure moved further back into the lot and quartered round to form an ell for the new mansion .”

“Smith and his family lived here in comfort through his governorship and various enterprises in manufacturing. His lavish attention to detail and workmanship would later be extended to the renovation of the Congregational Church, which bears his name today. Eventually, though, Smith began to winter in Boston, spending the warmer months in his beloved mansion, and dying there at the age of 76. Mrs. Smith lived another 10 years, and after her death, the house was closed.”

“The Smith’s youngest son, Norman, who lived then in Brookline, Massachusetts, inherited the property in 1926. He was inclined to raze the house that held so many memories, and to sell off the land rather than to allow anyone else to occupy it. Word of his intentions reached Hillsborough, and a committee was formed to petition Norman to present the grounds and the building to the town. Smith traveled to Hillsborough in June and a bargain was struck. A flurry of canvassing and pledge cards raised the necessary monies for renovation, and, in August of 1926, Norman B. Smith deeded the mansion to the town of Hillsborough for one dollar, with the stipulation that his boyhood home forever remain in service to the community.”

Source: Fuller Public Library

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