About the MWHS
The Mount Washington Historical Society collects documents and artifacts, organizes events, and records oral histories
The Mount Washington Historical Society was established in 2014 in response to the need to either renovate or move the 1867 North Schoolhouse on West Street. This fine example of the fabled American one-room schoolhouse, complete with original beadboard interior, has not been used since the 1940s, and the Society believes the building should be brought to life again. We are currently part of an effort to pledge funds to move the schoolhouse to Town Center. This move must be approved by town voters.
Our website collects documents, photographs and objects for preservation, organizes events, and records oral histories. We are interested in everything from the original Mohican uses of the Mountain, through the Dutch settlement, through the industrial period, the boarding house period, and on to the present.
Through the research of member Paul McBride, the MWHS has collected and presented information about the Mohican presence on the Mountain and in the surrounding region. Members Mary-King Austin and Cory Hines have documented and presented an exhibit, “The Black Art, ” that showed the charcoal industry that thrived on the Mountain.
Mary-King and Cory also organized a fascinating “History walk to the North Schoolhouse,” in which participants walked to school and simulated 19th century school lessons, all levels of students sitting at desks in one room. Mount Washington students could identify 20 different kinds of trees!
An important project, led by Judy Whitbeck and videographed by Peter Killeen, is a series of videos of oral histories. These interviews will provide a permanent record of our townspeople’s experiences in Mount Washington. We are showing the oral histories at popcorn-and- lemonade events in Town Hall.
Our current projects include documenting “Slab City,” a little-known industrial area that once flourished on West Street. MWHS is creating markers for historical sites on the Mountain. Society member Michele Velanzano is creating a genealogy of Mountain families.
Our website is building an archive of photographs and documents of the Mountain. Much important Mountain historical material is in family collections. With the permission of the owners, we are digitizing those materials and mounting them in the Archive on this website. The records of our local history will continue to exist through the years.
We hope that the Mount Washington Historical Society will continue to contribute to the energy and community of our town.