I had the opportunity to visit the Franklin Pierce Homestead Historic Site recently in Hillsborough, NH. This historic village was incorporated in the late 1700’s and soon became the family home of Benjamin Pierce, twice governor of NH and father of our 14th president, Franklin Pierce.
The house is beautifully restored to its Federalist roots, and great care was taken in recent years to preserve the 18th century decor. One recent acquisition is this lovely stove which resides in the kitchen. Every room is filled with period pieces which the Pierce family would likely have used. There is a wonderful mix of domestic items for daily use by the family and servants, as well as a few items of extraordinary quality. There are even a few items directly from the White House which were used during Franklin Pierce’s presidency.
I was greatly impressed with the passion devoted toward the restoration, every wall is stenciled or papered in period colors and designs, leaving a corner of each room with the original features so visitors could see the difference.
The State of NH now owns the Homestead, which was the provenance of the Hillsborough Historical Society for many years. Each group works closely with the other to preserve and publicize this historic landmark.
I wish my images could do justice to the amount of work these preservation groups put in to the manse. As an historic landmark, there are many privacy and security issues which prevent a full photo essay. I hope you will take a moment to view the following websites, which share an impression of the scope of the home. I admit that they barely do justice to the grandiose nature of the upstairs ballroom and the French-papered parlor!
- Hillsborough Historical Society webpage for Franklin Pierce Homestead
- National Park Service webpage for Franklin Pierce Homestead
“…I shall never cease to remember my birthplace with pride as well as affection, and with still more pride shall I recollect the steady, unqualified and generous confidence which has been reposed in me by its inhabitants.” – Franklin Pierce
Grant Klene, of the NH Department Resources and Economic Development, created this montage of photos of the house and grounds.. Enjoy!
The Library of Congress also has many wonderful photos and documents to explore,
Photos from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division: Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
- Title: Gen. Franklin Pierce / designed and engraved on steel by W.L. Ormsby, N.Y.
- Creator(s): Ormsby, Waterman Lilly, 1834-1908, engraver
- Date Created/Published: New York : W.L. Ormsby, c1852.
- Medium: 1 print : engraving.
- Summary: Franklin Pierce in uniform, on horseback, in foreground; Mexican War battle scene, showing Chapultapec castle and Popocatépetl volcano, in background.
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA