Effort To Digitize New Hampshire Town Reports Close To Completion
, 2022-08-29 09:33:41,
In 1891, the town of Acworth returned $3.96 to two residents who’d been charged too much in property taxes. Berlin reported 123 marriages, 443 births, and 202 deaths in 1916. And in 1940, the city of Concord planted 565 shade trees along city streets and paid $100 to settle a lawsuit involving a minor injured at Kimball playground.
This and similar information for 214 of New Hampshire’s 234 towns is available – and easily searchable – in the University of New Hampshire’s Scholar Repository of town reports. Soon, reports from the missing 20 towns will be available too under a contract between the university and the New Hampshire State Library. Those include Mont Vernon, Windham, Lebanon, and Randolph.
If there’s any question about the $242,000 contract being worthwhile, consider that people from 136 countries have downloaded 25,000 of the existing records since December 2020. Each town report is a time capsule of a community’s most pressing issues and expenditures – for everything from new sidewalks and aid for the needy to tax abatements. Some even hint at statewide concerns.
For example, in 1927, many towns debated employing female married teachers, according to Dover’s town report that year. Dover’s policy called for terminating any female teacher married after May 12, 1927 – unless the school committee decided otherwise.
And in 1966, 395 acres of the state’s 4.39 million acres of forest burned, according to Fremont’s 1967 report. Today, the…
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