The Old Baptist Meeting House is the home of the Salisbury Historical Society
Construction of the Meeting House began in 1791 and was completed in 1794. As was the style at the time, the interior had box pews but when extensive renovations took place in 1839, straight line pews replaced them. The entire church was moved back off the road, pulpit and windows altered.
In the mid twenties the Baptists no longer held meetings there and the building became the property of the United Baptist Conference of the state. It was opened only for special occasions. In 1956 the Meeting House was deeded to the town and when the Historical Society was formed it was sold for $1 to the Society.
From Historic Salisbury Houses by Paul S. Shaw, MD 1995:
“The Historical Society undertook extensive repairs. The old structure was jacked up and straightened, rewired, and repaired. The steeple, which had been blown off in the 1938 hurricane, was rebuilt as a gift of Mrs. Joseph Straight of Long Island, New York, a former summer resident. The old weathervane, which had been reconstructed, was replaced on the steeple, and the clock was made operational. The bulk of the repairs were the result of local fund-raising projects and work on the part of members and friends.
More recently the clock was rebuilt and put back in working order thanks to a contribution from Dr. John Kepper.
The altar of the Meeting House is graced with a wedding gown collection of 6 gowns from the same family. Along with the adjacent Museum both buildings house displays of town history, genealogy, tools, clothing, furniture, books and manuscripts.
In 2014 a much needed extensive exterior painting project took place during which time old paint was removed on both the Meeting House and Hearse House (adjacent Museum). This was done according to environmental regulations and at great expense to the Society but today both buildings stand quite crisp and tidy. Maintenance was done as well to assure their preservation.
Salisbury Heights Route 4 Salisbury NH
Open May-October Saturday afternoons or by appointment