The historical society has become a model for how the business community can partner with schools to improve students’ educational experiences.”
— Exeter High School's Social Studies Department

For Students

Annual Nancy Carnegie Merrill History Award Contest
February - April

Every winter the Exeter Historical Society invites students in grades 6 to 12 to compete for the Nancy Carnegie Merrill History Award in honor of our esteemed former curator for her invaluable contributions to the preservation and interpretation of our local history.

Each year, students of the Cooperative Middle School, Exeter High School, Phillips Exeter Academy, and the greater Seacoast area are invited to enter by contacting faculty members in their social studies departments or the historical society directly for further information.

A panel of judges choose the essay entries from each division (Middle School and High School) that best meet the criteria of outstanding achievement in format, historical accuracy, originality and style. First prize for the essay contest in each division is $100, and this year, those coming in second will each receive $50. The winning papers are read by the authors at our annual Youth Night awards ceremony on Thursday, April 19th. The deadline for essay submission is Saturday, March 17th.

The theme for the contest this year is Youth at Work. In their essays, we ask students to explore an aspect of the working lives of young people. Until relatively recently, children and young adults often needed to find jobs or prepare themselves for paid employment, sometimes starting at a very young age. Whether they took jobs to help support their families, pay for further education or provide for themselves, many young Exeter residents joined the work force, and they formed a vital part of the local economy. What jobs were available for children and teens? How were they affected by going to work at a young age? What did individuals experience as child/youth laborers? Were they able to balance work and school, or did they have to leave school in order to work?  More information about the essay contest, as well as the official cover sheet, can be found here.

It is our hope that the Nancy Carnegie Merrill Award will foster an appreciation for our community and an interest in its past. Service Credit Union has generously sponsored the contest and Youth Night since its inception in 2007.

For Teachers

School Group Visits

The Exeter Historical Society welcomes school children of all ages interested in an aspect of Exeter history. To the classroom teachers, we offer on-site programs at the Historical Society, outreach visits at your school, or a combination of the two catered to fit your particular needs. If desired, we will work with the teacher to customize a program to help meet specific educational standards. There is a minimal charge for some of these programs. Please inquire for pricing.

With remarkable success the commitment of EHS staff members and SAU 16 schools has engendered a collaboration that is focused on both the sharing of history and the development of a passion for understanding and appreciating the past. The students within [the district] are the true beneficiaries of the EHS efforts. The seeds of interest that they have planted — and continue to plant — will bear fruit that will be shared with future generations.”
— Michael Morgan, former SAU 16 Superintendent of Schools