The Pierce Homestead was built in 1804 by Benjamin Pierce, the year his son Franklin, the future president, was born. Benjamin Pierce had come to Hillsborough in 1786, almost 50 years after the town was first settled. He had served under Washington in the War for Independence, but after the war’s end found himself nearly impoverished. The beauty of the land surrounding Hillsborough, and the affordable prices of land attracted him to buy a log cabin with 50 acres of land. After the death of his first wife, Elizabeth Andrews, Benjamin Pierce married Anna Kendrick. By the time the Homestead was built Benjamin Pierce was a prosperous and prominent man. Begun as a tavern, the Pierce Homestead soon became a gentleman’s home for lively exchange among celebrities of the day – Daniel Webster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Mary Baker Eddy’s favorite brother, Albert. His career in public service continued for 57 years, during which he was twice Governor of New Hampshire. The stately home has spacious rooms with vividly painted walls and exquisite stenciling. The house has a grand ballroom and a parlor decorated with imported French wallpaper-symbols of the elegance of the age; it is said that Benjamin drilled local militia in this room. The large spacious rooms, the hand stenciled walls, and the imported wallpaper, symbolize the elegance of the age. The gardens surrounding the Homestead, with their artificial pond, and lattice summer house, were of unusual beauty for their day.
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), the seventh of nine children, spent his childhood in attractive surroundings of gardens and trees. In 1834, Franklin Pierce married Jane Means Appleton, a shy, frail woman of a distinguished family from Amherst, N.H.. Pierce served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. When the Mexican War started in 1846, he quickly rose from private to brigadier general, and in 1852, he became the youngest President ever elected.
All those interested in volunteering at the President Franklin Pierce Homestead – Please contact Jane Butler at 603-588-2603.
We always welcome folks interested in being:
Student volunteers of all ages are more than welcome.
The Franklin Pierce Homestead is a joint venture between the State of New Hampshire and the Hillsborough Historical Society. Please check the State website at the link below to confirm hours of operation open dates, and fees: Visit NH State Parks, Rates and Options