Living History Event, Historic Hillsborough, NH

August 20 & 21, 2016

Thomas Jefferson was amazing in 2015, who will we find for 2016? Stay tuned.

Thomas Jefferson impersonator, historian, and motivational speaker Steven Edenbo has entertained and inspired audiences of all ages since 1999.   Steve has researched Jefferson as a resident fellow at Monticello’s International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville, Va.  He  appears regularly at such venues as The National Archives in Washington, D.C.,  and at Independence Hall and the Declaration House (The Jacob Graff House)  in Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia.   photo credit:Karla Korn   excerpt taken from



You step through a time warp the minute you drive over the antique stone bridge on Jones Road.

2nd South Carolina String Band

The 2nd South Carolina String Band plays the songs and music that moved the American people of the early and mid-eighteen hundreds. They play the music that was in the hearts and minds and on the tongues of the citizen-soldiers that made up the ranks of the armies of the North and the South as they marched off to take part in the cataclysmic struggle that was to become the defining event of our nation’s history.

excerpt from


Laura Ingalls Wilder - inspirational!

Hands on Cider Pressing

Laundry Day

Churning Butter - then Eating It!

School Daze

Birds of Prey with Jane Kelly

Come meet Jane’s American Kestrel, Screech Owl, Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, young Barn Owl, Black Vulture, Eurasian Eagle Owl

NH Chronicle on Jane

What is the Living History Event?

An action packed 2 day, 4 location event in Scenic & Historic Hillsborough, NH

The Living History Event is a weekend of stepping back in time in convincingly historic locations.

2016 marks our 8th year, who will be our headliners this year? Check back!

Children and adults alike will have access to many hands-on activities. Come and watch the making of maple syrup, apple cider, cooking on an old wood-fired cook stove, try your hand at the butter and ice cream churns, soap-making, old-fashioned laundry and ironing, pan for real gold, throw a pot on a wheel, assist a blacksmith, spend some time watching young ladies spin their wool, meet birds of prey up close, sit for tea, learn the Minuet!


On the Jones Road fields, after crossing over a dry set historic stone bridge, stroll through early military encampments, witness historic battles, with mounted cavalry, and cannons roaring!

Sit in on a class with Miss Brown in the one-room 1840 schoolhouse. Learn the art of traditional social deportment while taking afternoon tea and gingerbread with Miss Regina, learn the minuet or how to stitch a simple sampler. Or the handcrafts of quill & ink or cornhusk dolls. Take in the history of lighting and the telephone. Visit the local historic Center Church. See what you can do with some beautiful old woodworking tools. Enjoy period music, games, magician, stories, costumes, handiwork and food.

A huge thank you to our
We couldn’t do this without you!

George Washington was so real he gave me goose bumps!  And his talk was fascinating!

August 20 & 21, 2016

Meet Laura Ingalls Wilder

Do you love Laura? Did you grow up devouring her “Little House” series of books, or dressing up like characters on the television show? Do you ever wonder about the real people and events behind the stories, or what Laura thought about the world around her? Now you can ask Laura yourself! Beloved children’s author Laura Ingalls Wilder is brought to life in this first-person interpretive program, featuring a visit with Mrs. Wilder circa 1894. Historian and life-long Wilder scholar Melanie Stringer presents the real Laura—pioneer, teacher, farmer, mother, journalist and author—in a first-person interpretive program designed for an interactive experience with Laura fans of all ages and interests. You’ll meet Laura Ingalls Wilder as she, husband Almanzo, and their little prairie Rose are en route to a new home in the Missouri Ozarks. Hear Laura’s real stories—both well-known and the rarely-told—as she bides some time for wagon repairs and visits with the locals. Discover new details about the real experiences you’ve read in her books. Investigate the contents of Laura’s hand-painted silk reticule or send a word of greeting to the friends she writes along the journey. Ask Laura for news of the folks in Dakota or get her advice on daily housekeeping, childrearing and education—even fashion! Did you know that Laura followed the daily news and events very closely? Did you know that she lived through several economic “panics” just as modern Americans are struggling with the current recession? How did Laura’s family cope? Ask her about it! She’ll offer a glimpse of the news and political questions she finds most pressing—in the Gilded Age of 1890s America!...

Jane Kelly, Birds of Prey

I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. The majority of my time growing up was spent outdoors. My father had a big influence on my enthusiasm for nature taking me fishing, hiking and hunting. His appreciation for birds rubbed off on me. Five and a half years ago, between November second to January first, I found ten dead barred owls all hit by cars on the shoulder of Route 101. I had a heavy heart learning the impact of humans in cars. I felt The need to help advocate for all animals, specializing in raptors. I volunteered at a wildlife center where I started in rehabilitation and eventually worked in education with raptors, mammals and turtles for three and a half years. Yearning to gain more knowledge of raptors, I took up the sport of falconry. I am fortunate to have partnered with Tim and Selvi Lampman, of Veterinary Emergency and Surgery Hospital of Brentwood, NH. Between their amazing team and state of the art hospital, injured birds receive the best care 24/7. Our goal is to provide realistic care in hopes of getting these birds back to mother earth. I am honored to be in the presence of these amazing creatures and educate all age groups in making a difference for wildlife. Please contact me at or...

Kevin Fife, Stonewall Expert

Born and raised in Canterbury NH, Kevin is a nationally recognized master stone mason and lives in Northfield with his wife and two daughters. Kevin began building stonewalls in 1981, blending his talent as an artist with the business of landscape construction. While earning his BS at the University of New Hampshire, Kevin studied Environmental Conservation and Art. Kevin’s walls are typically dry-laid, using no mortar, and stones are carefully placed so the wall will withstand New England’s rugged climate for generations to come. Kevin gives this same detailed attention to the construction of his patios and walkways made with granite, bluestone, cobble, or brick. Kevin’s stonewalls have received international recognition, and he has completed restorative work at several historic landmarks in New Hampshire including: Canterbury Shaker Village, The Fells/John Hay Estate in Newbury, and the New Durham Meetinghouse. Kevin also restores antique Town Pounds and cemetery walls in addition to work on old house and barn...

Jim Cooke Portrays Daniel Webster

Jim Cooke, Crazy Yankees, presents “Daniel Webster: I Still Live” Daniel Wbster was a frequent visitor to the Pierce Homestead during the years of that Franklin lived there, from his childhood through mid-adulthood. He is often considered as having had a major impact on young Franklin’s views.   Meet the New Hampshire farm boy who grew up to become the nation’s orator and statesman. See this performance at the President Franklin Pierce Homestead Saturday August 15th, 10 – 2 Jim Cooke is an actor and historian who lives in Quincy, Massachusetts. Jim was born in Montpelier, Vermont during the March Flood of 1936. In the record books of Vermont weather this deluge is recalled as the “Double Flood” and is considered the greatest natural disaster to visit the Connecticut River Valley. Go figure… From age three to nine Mr. Cooke lived on his grandparents’ farm where his first three grades were at the local one-room school. Subsequently, his education has gone steadily and decidedly downhill — though he somehow managed to obtain a BA in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire and, later, an MA in Theatre from Emerson College where he taught for some years.He taught as well at Boston University and Regis College. He spent two years in the US Army at a guided missile site in rural Maryland. His two marriages resulted in five children; he has five granddaughters and lives in Quincy, Massachusetts, with two cats and a rat....

Louisa May Alcott coming in 2015!

Marianne Donnelly’s “Beyond Little Women: Louisa May Alcott,” is a carefully researched, grant winning, chautauqua-style show about this renowned author, suffragist and abolitionist. Emphasizing her activism, bravery and unique circle of intellectuals, this deeply layered, masterfully acted performance is described by The Boston Globe as, “joyful and accurate,” and by Alcott descendants as, “Louisa would be pleased with your work!” Recently broadcast on NPR-NH after touring nationally for twenty years, this is the definitive “Louisa.”    ...

Thomas Jefferson

 When he was near the completion of his life Jefferson insisted that he most wanted posterity to remember him for three things: The Declaration of Independence, The Statute of Virginia For Religious Freedom, and The University of Virginia.  Yet he had served his country as Congressman, Governor, Ambassador, the first Secretary of State, Vice President, and President.  His view, however, was that political positions were honors and responsibilities given to someone by the people, and that they were therefore not accomplishments in and of themselves.  This view of public service as something greater than positions and titles was in part what drove him to work with such an astonishing degree of dedication for the betterment of his country. His genius, of course, enabled him to transform that patriotic work ethic into tremendous accomplishments of text, architecture, law, science, philosophy, and invention that continue to serve America to this day.  His Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom became the basis for the First Amendment to the Constitution.  His conviction that an informed citizenry was the most important basis for a free society transformed our public education system.  Even though he was himself an aristocrat, with a bona fide coat of arms, he played a key role in dismantling the oppressive class system that would have otherwise prevented a man such as Abraham Lincoln from achieving the Presidency.  His visionary certainty in an “Empire of Liberty” effected the the Louisiana Purchase and solidified America’s foothold as a great nation.  And his ringing tones in the Declaration of Independence irrevocably set universal equality as the core goal for America.His curiosity was boundless, and so his pursuit of an almost incomprehensibly wide field of interests also helped give us vanilla ice cream, the dumbwaiter, and the revolving chair.  He undertook seminal...

Sissi Shattuck, Local and International Artist

Famous in our area for her wonderful paintings depicting historical and scenic areas in Hillsborough, the above painting of downtown Hillsborough adds to her other paintings that include: Hillsborough Center, scenic Jones Road, and the lower village including the President Franklin Pierce Homestead. Sissi was born in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Professors Christian L. Martin, Maximilian Melcher and Herbert Boeckl. After her certification for Art Education, she earned the diploma in graphics and painting (Akademische Graphikerin und Malerin). Studies at the Schule des Sehens in Salzburg under Oskar Kokoschka were a decisive influence on the young artist. Comparing her work to the vibrant music of Igor Stravinsky, Oskar Kokoschka awarded her a prize in painting. Her works are held in many private and public collections both in the United States and abroad. Her work has been shown in the United States and abroad (Vienna, Zagreb and at Raiffeisenbank galleries Waidhofen a.d. Ybbs, Klosterneuburg and Admont, also at the Niederosterreichische Landesbibliothek in St. Poelten). Sissi will be demonstrating Limner painting in her studio at Hillsborough Center during Living History...

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Ticket Information

Ticket Information:

Tickets are available online through August 13.
Advanced tickets can also be purchased at Sweet Expressions, Main St, Downtown Hillsborough.

Tickets will be available the day of the event at all locations.
Cash only at most locations.
You can begin your day at any location.

Adults (18+) $10
Seniors (62+) $8
6 – 17 years $5
5 and under FREE
FREE admission for all Hillsborough, Henniker, Deering, Windsor, and Washington public, private and home-schooled students with school or parent id

Tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday and get you into absolutely everything!

Hours: Saturday 9-5 Sunday 9-4

Online ticket sales are no longer available. Please purchase your tickets at the Event, available at all 4 locations.
Have fun!!

Your Tax Deductible Donation Helps Us Provide Great Programs


How do I get from site to site?

There are 2 trollies that travel between the 4 sites.  You may park your car at any of the sites and travel by trolley while enjoying the scenery. Besides the trolley, for your convenience, we also have a 16 passenger van we will be using while the trolley is off line and serving the needs of guests who are taking the Stone Arch Bridge Tours. If you are looking for a ride, look for a white Youth Services van at the various sites as well as the trolley to take you to the next site.

Gratuities for the driver(s) are welcome.


Where can I find a costume?


We have a limited number of costumes for local people and people involved in the event to borrow.
Please contact Ellie Harbour at 603-464-2592.

There are mop hats and tricorn hats for sale at the event for kids and adults who feel the spirit.

For custom costumes call The Sewing Sisters at 617-504-8024.


Are pets welcome?

There will be war re-enactment horses, and many children at this event, so for the safety of your pet and others, we ask that pets remain at home.



Are the sites handicapped accessible?

Handicapped parking spaces will be available at each site, permits are required for all handicapped parking. Some areas are more accessible than others; many demonstrations will be held in grassy field areas. Handicapped accessible bathrooms are available at all sites.

The Money Questions

Credit Cards are accepted at only the Franklin Pierce Homestead.  Most site greeting stations, food concessions, and vendors accept only cash.

You can find ATM machines at the following banks –
Santander Bank ◦ 53 West Main St
Bank of NH ◦ 325 West Main St
Lake Sunapee ◦ 15 Antrim Rd
TD Bank ◦ 11 School St (behind the bank)


Parking is offered at all sites. You are welcome to drive and park at each site. If space is not available at the site, you may be directed to the next site or to downtown parking areas.  Feel free to park and hop on the Trolley.

Where the heck is Hillsborough?

GPS addresses

Jones Rd – 44 Jones Rd, Hillsborough, NH  03244
Franklin Pierce Homestead – 301 2nd NH Turnpike, Hillsborough, NH  03244
Hillsborough Historic Center – 18 E. Washington Rd, Hillsborough, NH  03244
Downtown – 5 Center St, Hillsborough, NH  03244

Special thanks for the use of your photos

Sue and Bob Hofstetter
Don Norris
Jeff Rand
Bob Lint
Chuck Cole Photography

This event has a wonderful homegrown feel!

LHE Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote awareness of the history and tourism opportunities in the Town of Hillsborough and the State of NH in a way that not only helps our local businesses succeed, but also showcases the best of our community by using educational and historical opportunities so that we bridge together all ages, community organizations, and town interests around this unique event – Living History!

And for a little fun

Days until the Living History Event