The Main Street Museum is open Saturdays only from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., through December 17.
The Main Street building was acquired in 1994 by the Meredith Historical Society and converted into an historical museum and research library which continues to thrive and evolve today. It contains displays of Meredith antiques and memorabilia ranging from a Seneca Ladd melodeon to period specific clothing to Civil War and World War II artifacts to numerous other exhibits that change periodically. The library resources contain a wide variety of sources critical to understanding the history of Meredith and cannot be found anywhere else. Among the most important, the collection includes original detailed town inventory and tax books that date back to the early 1800s. In addition, the files contain a precious collection of newspaper and other articles compiled since the inception of the Society.
The building itself is one of the oldest in Meredith Village. It was built c. 1812 by Abel Kimbal, a saddler who was one of the earliest businessmen to settle in Meredith Village. It was purchased by Samuel Gilman in 1814. Samuel was a trader who plied his wares from the first floor for 27 years. He sold it to some local investors in 1841, and they rented it to Reverend Giles Leach who had come to town to lead the Congregational Church which had just been relocated to Highland Street. Leach lived there for a decade or so before leaving town. It was then rented to Seneca Ladd who bought it in 1854. Ladd lived there for many years and used part of it in his melodeon business. The building stayed in Ladd’s family after his death in 1893. During Ladd’s ownership it became the first home of the Meredith Village Savings Bank in 1869. After the bank moved out in 1924, it was sold by Ladd’s daughter, and it became a mixed use (business/residential) property ever after.