Welcome to the Jaffrey History Web Site

Jaffrey is a town situated in Cheshire County in the southwest corner of New Hampshire about 70 miles from Boston. It was first settled in the 1750s and incorporated in 1773. Named for the Portsmouth merchant George Jaffrey—who never visited the town named for him—it is said to be the only Jaffrey in the world. A diverse community of nearly 6,000 people, Jaffrey has a rich and interesting history which is the focus of this website. Our motive in developing it is to bring together multiple historical resources pertaining to Jaffrey and by doing so make the history of our town more accessible to students, researchers, historians, geneologists, property owners, public officials, businesses and institutions—in Jaffrey and further afield.

char·rette SHəәˈret/

noun: charrette; plural noun: charrettes; noun: charette; plural noun: charettes
a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.

The members, Directors and Officers of the JAFFREY HISTORICAL SOCIETY invite all those interested in its Hearse House project to convene on the Meetinghouse Common on Sunday, August 23, 2015, at 3pm to learn more about this project, to walk around the proposed site, to consider other options and generally to put in one’s ‘two cents.’ (If it’s pouring rain, we’ll do it a week later on the 30th.)

We are hoping to erect a simple framework indicating the size & shape of the Hearse House. (The original Hearse House—which the Society is proposing to replicate—still stands in downtown Jaffrey, just before the Contoocook River as you drive along Nutting Road from North Street). Or you can see some photos of it (and a lot more) at


We will have on display photos, drawings and plans to show, for those not familiar with the proposal, what we’re hoping to do.

In the meantime, you can go to the Jaffrey History Hearse House project page to learn more.

100 Years of the Cournoyer Funeral Home

Mark Cournoyer spoke on the history of the Cournoyer Funeral Home at the Annual Meeting of the Jaffrey Historical Society on Thursday, August 13th at 7:00 PM. You can find out more about the history of the Cournoyer Funeral Home in the July Newsletter, which may be found below.



2015 July Newsletter


Dean Murder Research Group


The Dean Murder Research Group—a loose collection of writers, researchers, genealogists, ‘cold casers’ and historians interested in Jaffrey’s best known unsolved crime—gathered at the Civic Center on February 23, 2015 to spend the good part of a day trading information and speculation. We’ll no doubt meet again!

Recent Additions to the Web Site

The presentations page has .pdf files of talks given to the Jaffrey Historical Society in the past. The files are large, so please be patient downloading them. They are worth the bandwidth.

The Dean Murder Project page was recently updated to include some resources. There is also a link to some of the recent FBI file scans on smugmug.