After the Civil War, most New Hampshire communities celebrated their town and family histories by holding Old Home Day celebrations. The New London Historical Society was conceived during the August 1952 Old Home Day festivities as an appropriate way to mark the upcoming 175th anniversary of New London’s incorporation. Old Home Day president Seth Lamson appointed a committee of Dr. J. Duane Squires, Maude Fellows Swift, and Helen Kidder Greenaway to develop the concept.
New London’s 175th anniversary was observed over the weekend of July 31, 1954, and an organizational meeting of the New London Historical Society was held at the Town Hall. The purpose of this new organization was to develop interest in the history of the area, to collect and preserve memorabilia and historically significant objects, and to educate and inform a growing population of the importance of our past to present day life.
With no facilities at the outset, the society held meetings in places like the Parish Hall at the Baptist Church, and it stored its nascent collection in the basement of Tracy Library. Within a decade, that would all begin to change as the first donors of land and buildings stepped forward to realize the ambitious vision of the society’s founders. Those donations would be restored and assembled into exhibits by many, many volunteers—but none more dedicated than Bud Lauridsen.