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About Peterborough

The Town Administration Office publishes a communique called The Dispatch.  The Dispatch is intended to share pertinent and current information to residents of the Town. The Dispatch began during the Covid-19 pandemic and used as a tool to stay connected to the community in a safe and helpful way.

The Dispatch is published and emailed to those who have joined the Select Board e-mail list, and is also posted on the Town's Facebook page. The most recent edition is attached to the Latest News & Information page of the Town Website.  The archived editions'  Tips & Tricks are listed below:

Sign up for Town of Peterborough’s Emergency Alerts: here

Where can I walk my dog

Is there a Farmer’s Market? Yes! The Farmer's Market is located at the Peterborough Community Center, on 25 Elm St, between April and December on Wednesdays from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM. It is held outdoors April-September (later if the weather allows) and indoors (inside the Community Center) October-December.

Are there bears in town? When bears are out of their winter dens, residents are visited occasionally. When bears are not hibernating, they are searching for food; bird seed, unsecured food waste or any other easily obtained yummy that may tempt them. If you see a bear, keep your distance. Make it aware of your presence by clapping, talking or making other sounds. If a bear does not immediately leave after seeing you, the presence or aroma of food may be encouraging it to stay. Remove any food from sight and try to eliminate any food odors. 
More bear information can be found here on the NH Fish & Game website. 

Does the Town have a Facebook page? Yes! Visit our Facebook page. 

When & where can I throw away used motor oil? Please give directly to an attendant at the Peterborough Recycling Center on Scott Mitchell Rd off of Rt. 202. More information about the Recycling Center can be found here. 

What’s the name of the mountain peak just off Rt. 101? Miller State Park is the oldest state-run park in New Hampshire. It is located in the towns of Peterborough and Temple, and is centered on Pack Monadnock, a 2,290-foot mountain.

Who do I call if I have a property tax question? The Tax Collector: Beth Marsh, 603.924.8000 ext.113

Where can I go online to find my Property Record Card?

Where’s the nearest hospital? Monadnock Community Hospital on 452 Old Street Rd, here in Peterborough.

What’s the name of the local school district? ConVal School District SAU 1 ('ConVal' is short for 'Contoocook Valley') is the school district serving Peterborough and eight surrounding towns: Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Sharon and Temple.

Why is the building at 1 Grove St. called the Town House and not the Town Hall? Courtesy of The Monadnock Center for History & Culture:
Many in Peterborough probably don’t realize that the Town House is the third town hall to sit at the corner of Main and Grove Streets. Completed in 1862, the first town hall at the site was a building 60 by 80 feet crowned by a cupola with a four-foot gilded eagle. The eagle later graced the top of Goodnow & Derby’s Store on Grove Street. This town hall housed five stores on the Grove Street façade as well as the Post Office and the town library.  For many years the library and post office were in the store and the south corner and the library did not have its own permanent home until 1890.  The store at the north end was occupied by J. R. Miller’s Pharmacy. By 1886 this building was found to be structurally unsound and not adequate to the town’s needs.  A committee was appointed, and they determined the building would need to be rebuilt. At that time, the roof and cupola were removed, and the several new gables were added. The ‘new’ town hall was reflected the Victorian style in favor at the time and was known as the Opera House. The Opera House was demolished in 1917 and this made way for constructing a new building. A Thursday March 7th, 1918, Peterborough Transcript’s newspaper article provided further details of the ceremony for opening the newly rebuilt Town Hall. Andrew J. Walbridge of the Town’s Building Committee shared with the newspaper “I hope the next generation will find the Town House the “Community House”…”. And, it has been the Town House ever since.

How do I make reservations for the Town Parks and the Upper Hall at the Town House? Email Gretchen Rae at or call 924.8000 ext. 101 Gretchen will send you an application for a town park’s application or for the upper hall inside the townhouse. There is no rental fee for the parks but there is for the upper hall.

I enjoy bird watching, where can I go to look for birds?

I want to work for the Town of Peterborough. How to look for employment opportunities? There is a downloadable application form with a current list of openings at: The Town also posts employment opportunities in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript classifieds. The Town of Peterborough is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Do I have to come into the Town Clerk’s office to pay for vehicle registration(s) or pay to license my dog? Find out at: On the blue sidebar of the website, there is an option to pay for your vehicle but also to license your dog.

I live in West Peterborough, do I have to come downtown to get postal services? You do not, the West Peterborough Post Office is located at 301 Union St. Unit C in West Peterborough. The retail hours are Monday-Friday 8-10am & 3-5pm, Saturdays 9-noon and closed Sundays. Lobby hours to pick-up PO Box access: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-noon and closed Sundays.

My water and sewer bill seems too high for what I think I use. I think I have a water leak or my water meter is broken, who do I call? The answer to this question is two-fold. If you have a question about your utility bill which is billed quarterly, you will contact the utility billing office at 924-8000 ext. 103 and if it is a leak or low-pressure or dirty water issue, please call the water department at: 371-9033 ext. 194

I have an American flag that I’d like to retire. Is there a drop-off location that I can properly dispose of my flag? Yes, there are 3 drop-off locations: the Town House lobby, South Meadow School entrance and at the Peterborough Recycling Center. The American Legion Cheney-Armstrong Post 5 will advertise when they will be performing a proper retirement service.

What’s the name of the brook running through the village of Peterborough? Obtained on 
Nubanusit Brook is a 14.3-mile-long (23.0 km) stream. The brook begins at the outlet of Nubanusit Lake in Nelson. It is a tributary of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.[2] The brook flows south into Harrisville, interrupted by Harrisville Pond and Skatutakee Lake, then east to the MacDowell Reservoir (constructed for flood control) in Peterborough. The brook turns south, passes the village of West Peterborough, and reaches the Contoocook River after passing through Peterborough village. Nubanusit Brook was important to the establishment and development of Harrisville and Peterborough because many dams were built along it to provide water power to mills.[3] These included substantial textile mills in Harrisville, West Peterborough, and Peterborough, as well as smaller mills along the brook's course.

I have a non-emergency issue that needs to be discussed with the Police, what number do I call? Local dispatch can be reach at (603) 924-8050.

What is the story about the honeybee mural painted on the Community Center building? Excerpt from the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, 8/16/2018 by Meghan Pierce: The Honeybee mural was painted by artist and The Good of the Hive founder, Matthew Willey.  Melissa Stephenson, founder of the New Hampshire Honeybee Initiative commissioned Willey to come to Peterborough and create the mural. Through Willey’s organization The Good of the Hive he set out to paint 50,000 honeybees – the equivalent of a honeybee hive – in murals around the world. “I fell in love with bees and I’m flowing with my artwork around it to create a connection because I think that’s what’s going to solve it,” Willey said. 

What is an RSA? Information collected from Wikipedia & 2012 Legislative session statutes Laws in New Hampshire are called Revised Statutes Annotated, or RSAs. “Annotated” means including notes. RSAs include history, case law, and other relevant explanations at the end of each section. RSAs are organized into 64 Titles from Title 1, “The State and its Government” to Title 64, “Planning and Zoning.” Each Title is divided into, and typically cited by, Chapters, Sections, and Paragraphs. Example—RSA 674:4, II refers to Chapter 674, Section 4, Paragraph II. The RSA endeavors to collect all the current laws "of a public and general nature" in a single, numbered set. The US Constitution and the New Hampshire Constitution are included in the RSA.

Is local food assistance offered? The Peterborough Food Pantry is open Monday, Wednesday,  and Friday from 9:00 AM-noon and Thursday evenings from 5:00 PM -7:00 PM at 25 Elm St. in Peterborough. You can contact them via phone at (603) 924-3008 or email 

Why are there no fast-food or beverage drive-through windows intown? There is a town zoning ordinance (245-5H) that prevents the addition of drive-through windows for food or beverage service(s). Banks and pharmacies are permitted to have drive-through windows.

Old Railroad Trail Facts: Length 2.7 miles, Trailhead near Peterborough Recycling Center and Forest Road in Hancock, Trail surface is dirt, activities: bike, mountain biking, walking, cross country skiing are allowed.

Hunting Season in New Hampshire:

Do you hear a noontime horn? It’s the Fire Whistle!
The sound you hear near and sometimes from afar is the automatic fire whistle at the fire station on Summer Street. Back before more modern forms of communication, the fire whistle was a “call to arms” for the firefighters of the day. The number of blows signaled a message from the “fire box” of the location with a fire. Fire Box 3 was for Monadnock Community Hospital. Luckily, today we have more responsive systems than were available in the mid-1800’s.

The Mini-Mall at the Recycling Center.

The Peterborough Recycling Center offers a Mini Mall for residents of Peterborough and Sharon. This is a great opportunity for people to reuse items as part of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” philosophy. Residents are encouraged to shop for and drop off items that are clean, useable, and in working condition. Because the Mini Mall is a community effort, all items must be approved by an attendant prior to being dropped off, and users of the Mini Mall are expected to help keep it neat and tidy. Household chemicals or paints of any kind are not accepted in the mall, as well as, yard sale leftovers, or items that have a fee attached to it, clothing, and any items that has a plug-in cord.

10 Tips to prepare your garden for winter:

Some Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning up fallen leaves: at bobvilla.comIf you’d like to improve the health of your lawn but hate the bother of actually raking up leaves, don’t despair. Instead, turn those fallen leaves into mulch. If your lawn mower doesn’t have a mulching function, adjust the blades to the highest setting and mow right over the leaves. The resulting shredded foliage will slowly break down over the winter, providing nutrients to the grass underneath.” Also be mindful of the animals, many species of butterflies and moths overwinter as eggs, pupae, or adults in leaf litter. Human health risks of burning leaves, according to the EDA, include “producing particulate matter and hydrocarbons which contain a number of toxic, irritant, and carcinogenic compounds”.

When to take down a hummingbird feeder in New Hampshire?:
At The full article written by Elizabeth Donaldson. The best time to take down hummingbird feeders in New Hampshire for the winter is the first of November or when there have been no consistent hummingbirds at the feeders for a couple of weeks.

Did you know that the first nursery school opened north of Boston resided here in town? Mary (Lyon) Cheney Schofield, the founding owner/builder of All Saints’ Episcopal Church at 51 Concord St. created a preschool in her pursuit for greater opportunities in early childhood education. Mrs. Schofield, having a lifelong devotion to the Episcopal Church, singlehandedly paid for the land and all four buildings that now comprise the All Saints’ National and State Register site. The “potting shed” next to the Parish House became the first Nursery School north of Boston, in 1925. Mrs. Schofield’s purpose for creating the nursery school was to provide “educational opportunities for those of a pre-school age and make a new contribution to the present and future welfare of the town, cooperating with town activities and the public-school system”.

What is that bridge to “nowhere” at Noone’s Falls?  Around 1800 the center of activity in Peterborough shifted from Old Street Road to the current center of town, at the confluence of the Contoocook River and Nubanusit Brook, as agriculture was in economic decline and textile mills were rapidly taking its place. One of the first mills in town was Samuel Mitchell’s grist mill on the Nubanusit Brook, at the current intersection of Main Street and Elm Street. Thomas Morison had a sawmill on the Contoocook near today’s old bridge at Noone’s Falls.

Winter Safety Tips: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services “Another New England winter is quickly approaching, and it is important to prepare for the possibility of severe weather, winter driving and potential power outages. In addition to emergency preparedness notifications, detailed information on winter storms can be found by monitoring local TV, radio, or NOAA weather radio. The following tips can help you get ready for winter storms.”

Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of severe weather. 
Sign up for emergency alerts and download the NH Alerts app to receive public safety notices and severe weather warnings. 
Complete a family emergency plan , and make sure all family members are familiar with it. Don’t forget about the needs of your pets. 
Build or restock your emergency kit. Gather supplies in case you need to stay inside for a few days without power. 
Have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year. 
Make sure you have a cell phone with an emergency charging option in case of a power failure. 
Learn the signs of and basic treatments for frostbite

At Home: 
Be sure all cell phones are charged. 
Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. 
Keep portable heat sources, such as space heaters, at least three feet away from curtains and drapes. 
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure that everyone in your home knows how to use them. 
Know how to shut off water valves in your home in case pipes freeze. 
Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage opener is and how to use it in case you lose power. 
Check on elderly or disabled neighbors. 
Carbon Monoxide Safety: 
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, or any partially enclosed area. 
Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide. 
Winterize your vehicle. Have a mechanic check your vehicle’s brakes, heater and defroster, tires, windshield wipers and all fluids to be sure everything is in good shape. 
Have a separate emergency kit for your car. Be sure to include jumper cables, an ice scraper, shovel, extra blanket and sand. 
Bring pets inside. 
Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads. 
If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. 
Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves. 
Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss. 
Only use portable generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage or connect it to your home's electrical system. If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.

When decorating : follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
Keep potentially poisonous plants – mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis – away from children
If using an artificial tree, check that it is labeled “fire resistant”
If using a live tree, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, remember to water it and remove it from your home when it is dry
Place your tree at least 3 feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources, making certain not to block doorways
Avoid placing breakable ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower tree branches where small children can reach them
Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outdoors, and choose the right ladder for the task when hanging lights
Replace light sets that have broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections
Follow the package directions on the number of light sets that can be plugged into one socket
Never nail, tack, or stress wiring when hanging lights and keep plugs off the ground away from puddles and snow
Turn off all lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house

Use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations in many homes during the holidays, means more risk for fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles and that two of every five decoration fires happen because the decorations are placed too close to a heat source.


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