Hampshire, the "Gem of the Suncook Valley," was first
settled by John Cram in 1768. Originally a part of
Chichester, it was incorporated in 1782 with a
population of approximately 518 people. It enjoyed
steady growth except during the Civil War when most of
its men left for the battlefield. The post war era was
one of the most important in the Town's history. It
brought the telegraph, telephone, railroad and a local
newspaper. Between 1870-90 its population increased
nearly 63%. It was during this period that many of the
governmental buildings and business establishments were
constructed. Most remain today and form the heart of
Pittsfield's Historic Trail.
Historic Walking Trail
The trail begins at Frank Lyman Park the site of the old
Yellow Block apartment building. The park which
now exists on this spot was erected entirely by
volunteers in honor of the local industrialist and
benefactor, Frank Lyman. The rough granite in the wall
was mined in Pittsfield while the cut granite came from
Concord. The canopy over the kiosk is a replica of the
race track starter's stand at the old Pittsfield Fair.
The Queen Anne style "Yellow Block" erected in 1883,
was originally 30' x 40' and two stories high. Another
story was added later as were side additions. For
decades it was painted yellow and thus its name.
Gradually it fell into disuse, was purchased by the town
in 1992 and was razed in 1995.
Yellow Block c1900
2. Further down Carroll Street is Cram Avenue.
The four brick buildings in Second Empire style were
constructed by Charles T. Cram, great grandson of
Pittsfield founder John Cram, with bricks manufactured
locally. Distinctive are the "French" or Mansard roofs
which were becoming popular at the time.
Next on the Trail is the site of the old Mayett and
Globe Buildings. The plaza was designed by the
Historical Society in cooperation with Rite Aid. The
bricks in the walkway were taken from the old Globe
The Mayett Hotel, erected in 1891, was owned and
operated by a woman, Mrs. Marietta Tallant, a rather
unusual circumstance at the time. She was the daughter
of one of the largest landowners in Pittsfield, Sir
Moses D. Perkins. A sign on the side of the building
advertised that it was heated by steam and thus its
nickname, Hotel Steam Heat. Mrs. Tallant died in 1919
and the hotel, falling into disuse, was razed in 1930.
Mayett Hotel c1910
Globe Manufacturing Building, designed by architect
William A. Butterfield, was erected behind the hotel in
1922. C. F. H. Freese purchased a leather manufacturing
business in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1901 for $350 and
brought it to Pittsfield. The company first advertised
waterproof clothing for firemen the following year and
within three years had tripled its business. Emblazoned
on the roof of the new building in large letters was the
word "Pittsfield". On July 25, 1927 Charles A. Lindberg,
enroute to Concord, used the landmark to verify his
course. The lettering was removed during World War II.
Globe Building c1956
Across the street in Aranosian Park is a sign
commemorating the Suncook Valley Railroad built in 1869.
The Depot stood to the southeast near where the concrete
block building is now located and the round table, used
for reversing the direction of the train, and engine
house were located on the site of the grocery store to
the north. Immediately after its construction a building
boom took place in Pittsfield and the town became the
economic hub of the area. The railroad hauled farm
products, lumber and the U. S. mail until its closing in
1952. It also hauled large quantities of blueberries,
hence its nickname, the "Blueberry Express".
Pittsfield Depot c1900
This trail data/booklet was prepared by Larry Berkson,
President of the Pittsfield Historical Society. Without
his diligence this material would not be available.
Printable Trail Map & Legend
Printable History Guide
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