Exeter History Minutes

In each episode of this monthly video series, curator Barbara Rimkunas explores a fascinating aspect of Exeter, New Hampshire's history.

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In the town's early history, some men from Exeter went "off to sea" to make a living. Occasionally, it ended badly. Captain John Chadwick, born and raised in Exeter, gathered his 14 year-old son, Alfred, and sailed off to Peru. On the way home, a disaster occurred.
If you happen to live in a part of the world where it gets chilly, you appreciate the value of an efficient functional heating system, and, in this day and age, it is likely that you have central heating. Such luxuries have not always been around, however.
In a re-make of our fourth Exeter History Minute, we explore the history of secondary education in Exeter. Why does Exeter have both Phillips Exeter Academy and Exeter High School? What was Robinson Female Seminary? Was the Seminary the same as Exeter Female Academy?
Before Paul Revere made his famous ride, prior to the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party or the Stamp Act, there were Mast Tree Riots. What are those, you ask? The answer involves the King's Broad Arrow Mark, colonial bartering and, of course, trees.
Bicycles have moved Exonians around town for a century and a half. Their invention created opportunities for greater independence for women and more affordable transportation for the working class. In this episode, Barbara explores the development of the long-standing tradition of bike-riding in Exeter.
Did you know that the artist who sculpted our 16th President for the national memorial was born in Exeter? Even though he only lived in town for the first ten years of his life, Daniel Chester French never forgot his hometown.

In our fourth episode of "Hey, what is that thing", Barbara examines an odd pair of wooden bat-like objects, and much, much more!

In the late 19th century, Alice Chesley taught school and then worked in Exeter's probate office. In her 30s, she decided to study medicine, eventually becoming Exeter's first female doctor. In this episode, Barbara examines the twists and turns in Dr. Chesley's life, including her journey from teacher to physician.
In the dark early morning hours of September 3rd, 1965, several people -- including two police officers -- saw unexplained red lights over and around Exeter. This would come to be known as the "incident at Exeter." For the 50th anniversary of the "incident", Barbara explores this strange occurrence.
In February of 1860, Abraham Lincoln stepped off the train in Exeter, New Hampshire, to visit his son, a student at Phillips Exeter Academy. Lincoln's trip east became a turning point in his life and career; just three months later, he was the Republican nominee for president.
In 1929, a town philanthropist offered to create a beautiful parkway on the site of the town dump; a little more than two years later, the spot was transformed into a community gathering place. In the third episode of the Exeter History Minute Ambrose Swasey trilogy, Barbara tells the story of Swasey and our permanent "beauty spot," the Swasey Parkway.

The Swasey Pavilion - or the Exeter Bandstand, as it is commonly known - is more than just a place for the band to play. It's a work of art! Built in the summer of 1916, the bandstand was designed by Henry Bacon - the architect of the Lincoln Memorial - and gifted to the town by industrialist Ambrose Swasey.

We have produced over sixty Exeter History Minutes. To see more episodes, visit our YouTube Channel.

The Exeter History Minutes are written and presented by curator Barbara Rimkunas and produced by program manager Laura Martin.