Welcome to the Jaffrey History Website

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.

The Bean Building, south side of Main Street. When constructed in 1928 by Vernon J. Bean, this building no doubt immediately became Jaffrey's most desireable commercial address; certainly its design was fashionably up-to-date and clearly reflected its business use, unlike most shops and stores of an earlier era which were typically accommodated in residential structures. it replaced the Crombie House which was moved back onto Blake Street. one of the first tenants was the Post Office which moved from the Duncan Block. Later, in 1958, the post office moved into what is now the Pizza Barn which had been built on the site of the relocated Crombie House. The First Naitional Store crossed the street to the new Dillon Block when it was built in 1941. Jaffrey's townscape was significantly improved when portions of the Bean Building's fascade were restored several years ago to approximately their original condition. Ca. 1930 (From: Jaffrey Then and Now, p. 9)

Melville Academy, Thorndike Pond Road at Blackberry Lane. Melville Academy, to the left, was erected in 1833 to serve as a private school. its Greek Revival design — and Gothic Revival tower — remain unchanged. Awnings, like the Lombardy poplars beside the Academy, were fashionable in the early part of the 20th century. Blackberry Lane on the left, now a quiet unpaved byway, was at one time the first segment of the main road to Peterborough. Ca. 1914 (From Jaffrey Then and Now, p. 44)