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Recent news

Whitten History Project Ashland Elementary School

Katie Maher October 2017


     Ashland Historical Society hosted Ashland Elementary School’s Ms. Katie Chamberlain, Ms. Jamie King, and 24 students in the English Language Arts and Social Studies classes as they collaborated in their research of Ashland for their history book project.  Sherry Norman, David Ruell, Kathleen DeWolfe and Katie Maher provided tours and presentations of collections and buildings of the Pauline Glidden Toy Museum and Whitten House.

Whitten Wheat Festival around the corner!

Katie Maher August 2016


    The Whitten Wheat Festival is around the corner and although the wheat suffered from the hot dry summer we experienced plans are in place for a community stone soup, wheat based menu and outdoor games for adults and kids.  We will be making monster masks to commemorate a scary story contest among writers trapped inside a villa in Switzerland during the 1816 endless rain which resulted in Mary Shelly's writing of Frankenstein and the first Dracula story.  

Ashland Historical Society Presents Whitten Program

Katie Maher July 2016


    Reuben and Sally Whitten (played by AHS BOD members Bob Baker and Jane Sawyer) shared the Whitten Story and 1816 The Year Without A Summer with an audience of 30 visitors with the newly restored Whitten House in the background.  The program included a special tour inside the house and a visit to the cemetery to see the grave stone and memorial stone.  Special thanks to the Zochs who marked the entry and provided beautiful flowers for visitors to enjoy.

First Frost Ice Cream Social celebrates Whitten

Katie Maher June 2016


    The Whitten Committee unveiled the newly preserved Reuben Whitten House at their First Frost Ice Cream Social on Sunday, June 5th using the Baptist Church on Main Street as their 'rain location' and escorting the 50+ visitors who came to see the house and learn about Reuben Whitten and 1816 The Year Without a Summer.  "It was a great success and even the cold and rainy weather served to remind us of 1816" said Katie Maher, Co-Chair of the Committee.  Thanks to the Common Man Ashland who donated the delicious ice cream!

Early American Life Magazine writes Whitten Story

Katie Maher March 2016


    Early American Life features The Whitten House and the Whitten story in their June issue article "When The Seasons Went Backward" by Tom Kelleher. Ashland's Whitten folklore and the Ashland Historical Society's efforts to preserve his house are included as a call out piece within their story.  The issue will be on sale in May and can be ordered on line at



Exterior Preservation of Whitten House Completed

Katie Maher May 2016


    Thanks to the generosity of Barry Gaw of Sippican Partners of Ashland NH and his team of master builders and another donation from Ashland Lumber/Belettes of clapboards, trim boards and materials, the exterior of the Whitten House has been replaced and rejuvenated.  The windows were restored by Stark House Joiners of New Hampton.  The exterior priming and painting was completed by volunteer team Susan Macleod, Pat & Joe Mazzone, Amanda Loud, Steve Orlich, David Ruell & Katie Maher, all of Ashland.  A new hand carved period door circa 1795 was also installed.

Whitten House Window Donations Now Being Sought

David Ruell January 2016


    The Ashland Historical Society is seeking donations for the restoration of the Reuben Whitten House, through the sale of naming rights for the house's windows and window panes for a donation of $20 per pane or $300 for an entire window. Each donation will be remembered in a certificate for the donor and in a book of donations. Entire window donations will also be remembered on inscribed brass plates. Donations may be made in the name of the donors or “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” others.  Donations can be sent to the Ashland Historical Society, PO Box 175, Ashland NH 03217, payable to the “Whitten House Fund” with a notation that it is a window donation and with the name or names that it is to be recorded under. Help to preserve this unique house and its story of generosity by making a donation.

Whitten Wheat Festival & Stone Soup Supper August 2016

Katie Maher January 2016


Ashland will celebrate the generosity of Reuben Whitten with a Wheat Festival with a Stone Soup Supper on Saturday August 27th at 4PM at the Whitten House on Pleasant Street.  The event is sponsored by the Ashland Historical Society and will include harvesting wheat, wheat themed side dishes and stone soup from ingredients provided by our community.  A Monster Mask Making Project will commemorate Frankenstein and Dracula who were both concieved while their authors were stuck indoors during a cold and wet 1816 Year without a Summer in Europe. Public Welcome!

First Frost Ice Cream Social Event Announced for June 2016

Katie Maher January 2016


Ashland will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the first frost of 1816 The Year Without A Summer with an Ice Cream Social on Sunday, June 5th at 2:00 PM on site at the Whitten House on Pleasant Street.  The event is sponsored by the Ashland Historical Society and the Town of Ashland and will also feature an Ashland Volunteer Appreciation celebration.  Snowflake making projects using many different methods will be shared by young and old alike.  Public Welcome!

Common Man Ashland Raises Money for Whitten House

Katie Maher August 2015


The Common Man in Ashland is donating $1 from the sale of every Red, White and Blue Shortcake purchased between Monday August 24th and Monday September 7th towards the restoration of Whitten House.  "We are so pleased to have the support of the Common Man", said Katie Maher, Chair of the REuben Whitten Project Committee.  "They have always been committed to supporting the Ashland Community."  Find out more at 

Historic Whitten House gets a new Cedar Shake Roof

Katie Maher July 2015


The Reuben Whitten House shows off the new cedar shake roof and cedar ridge cap with the last nail pounded in on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015.  Work was completed by Jay Gonzalez of JG & Sons and now protects this historic Ashland landmark from the extreme New Hampshire weather.  "Its a relief to have the building weatherproof" said Katie Maher, Chair of the Reuben Whitten Project Committee.  "Now we begin work on restoring the window sashes, frames, Indian Shutters and door."  Phase 3 of the Fundraising effort is underway to raise the $10,000 needed for this effort.

Preservation work begins on historic Whitten House

Katie Maher July 2015


Monday, July 13th, 2015 marked the start of preservation efforts on the Whitten House in Ashland NH.  The missing wall, knocked in by a truck 2 weeks after the building was donated to the Ashland Historical Society in 1969 has been returned to its original position.  An exterior and interior section had to be realigned to each other and the structure.  Jay Gonzalez of JG & Sons completed the work using original components and period correct lumber donated by Elliott Dupuis from an earlier barn renovation.  "It only took 45 years, but it is wonderful to see the building back to its original form", said David Ruell, President of the Society.  The wall was completed on Tuesday, July 14th and work on replacing the cedar shake roof began.  "We anticipate the roof to be in place by Tuesday, July 21st", said Katie Maher, Chair of the Reuben Whitten Project Committee, "and the building will ready to face another New Hampshire winter".

Squam Lakes Conservation Society names Whitten Woods

Katie Maher June 2015


A 414-acre parcel on Highland Street with a network of trails leading to outstanding views of the Squam Lakes and Pemigewasset River Valley is being considered for conservation and named in honor of Reuben Whitten.  This project brings together the Squam Lakes Conservation Society (SLCS), landowners, local residents and businesses, Ashland Conservation Commission, Ashland Historical Society, New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF), Squam Lakes Association (SLA), and others. Whitten Woods is a component of SLCS’s Squam Uplands Initiative. 

Whitten House named a NH Historic Place

Katie Maher June 2015


The Reuben Whitten House has been named a NH Historic Place by the New Hampshire Department of Historic Resources in a press release this month.  

"Share a Neighbor's Table" fundraiser planned

Katie Maher June 2015


A large flea market in front of Whipple House on Pleasant St. is planned for the Ashland Townwide Yard Sale on Saturday, September 19th, 2015 themed "Share a Neighbor's Table" featuring everything you would need to share a meal.  The AHS is seeking donations of serving pieces including bowls, platters & serving spoons, dishes, table linens including tablecloths, cloth napkins & placemats, glassware, pitchers, candle sticks, vases and other items used to serve & share a meal. Donations can be made at the Whipple House July & August on Fridays between 10AM and 2PM.

Preparations for 2016 Celebrations begin

Katie Maher May 2015


The Ashland Garden Club has plans to plant white flowers and silver leafed plants in the gardens they maintain throughout Ashland in 2016.

Local restaurants will be creating special menu items featuring wheat to honor Reuben Whitten.

Whitten Wheat Festival planned for Fall 2016.

Meredith Village Savings Bank Grant Awarded

Susan MacLeod and Katie Maher January 2015


Meredith Village Savings Bank has awarded a $5000 grant towards the Phase 1 preservation effort to secure the exterior of the Reuben Whitten House saving it for future generations.  Work projected to begin in the summer of 2015 in preparation for the 2016 bicentennial celebrations.

Historic Designation Application Exposes Roof

Katie Maher December 2014


As part of the application to the State of New Hampshire for historic designation of the Reuben Whitten House, the tarp covering the roof originally installed in 2013 was removed to expose the damaged wooden shingled roof in need of immediate replacement to preserve the building.

Preston Grants $3000 Towards House Restoration

Susan MacLeod and Katie Maher September 2014


The Reuben Whitten House Restoration Project received its first donation from the Preston Family.  The $3000 donation will be used to establish a web site, publicity pieces and begin foundation work on the building.

Petitions to Save the Whitten House in Ashland NH

Susan MacLeod and Katie Maher August 2014


The Reuben Whitten Committee is circulating citizen support petitions and business support letters to the community to demonstrate the broad level of support a restoration of the Reuben Whitten House currently enjoys.  Contact the committee if you would like to add your name.

James Garvin assesses the Whitten House

Susan MacLeod and Katie Maher July 2014


On July 23rd James Garvin, Architectural Historian and Historic Preservation Consultant, issued a comprehensive report on the historic value, current condition and restoration focus for the Reuben Whitten House.  The Reuben Whitten Committee is currently undertaking some of the suggested tasks to begin the preservation efforts.

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