History of the Ashland Historical Society

The Society was founded in October 1968 as a result of the widespread interest in the community’s historical heritage created by the Ashland Centennial observance.  It has achieved several major accomplishments.

In 1969, Arthur and Ruth Knapp gave the Society the small dwelling of Reuben Whitten, whose charity saved his neighbors from hardship and starvation in the Cold Year of 1816. In 1970, the Society persuaded the voters of Ashland to accept Dr. George Hoyt Whipple’s gift of the Whipple House. The Reuben Whitten House was moved to the Whipple House grounds, where it has been partly restored.  The Society voted to accept the Ashland Railroad Station from Mrs. Vera Curley in 1979 and the Glidden Toy Museum from Mrs. Pauline E. Glidden in 1989.

The Society also raised funds for the construction of the Squam River Covered Bridge in 1989-1990 and the restoration of the Civil War Monument in 1999-2000.  During the spring, summer and fall, the Society sponsors programs on local, regional and state history, as well as special events.  All programs are open to the public free of charge. The Society also administers the Boston Post Cane for the Town.

Ashland Historical Society Mission Statement

The purpose of the Ashland Historical Society, as stated in its Constitution, is “to stimulate interest in the history of the town of Ashland and to collect, preserve, display and disseminate materials of historical and artistic value.” To carry out this mission, the Ashland Historical Society will

  • Operate its three museums, the Whipple House Museum, the Pauline E. Glidden Toy Museum, and the Ashland Railroad Station Museum.
  • Collect artifacts and documents related to the history of Ashland and the area, railroads, and toys, for display and use in the Society’s museums, library and archives.
  • Conduct and encourage historical research.
  • Disseminate historical information through programs, events, displays and publications.
  • Work to protect and preserve Ashland’s historical buildings.

Officers & Directors

The Board of Directors of the Ashland Historical Society are elected by the membership, usually for three year term. Four Directors are elected by the Board as officers for one year terms.

Jeanette Stewart Vice President 2021

Sue Harville Secretary 2021

Kendall B. Hughes Director 2021

Bob Baker Director 2022

David Ruell President 2022

Jane Sawyer Treasurer 2022

Sandra Coleman Director 2023

Whipple House Museum Curator

Sandra Ray

Glidden Toy Museum Committee

Shirley Splaine

Sherry Norman

Chris Tower