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1) The Green Tunnel

Atkinson green tunnel.JPG

Mid 1800s      72 through 84 Main Street

Owned by the State of New Hampshire

This 0.3 mi. section of the Byway is the most scenic section of Route 121 in Atkinson due to the complete arched canopy of trees that form a tunnel over the road. It passes through the original Tristam Knight farm (1767) whose family occupied the site for 145 years. The Knights insisted the state construct a dry bridge under the new road section so his livestock had free access to pasture on either side of road (since removed). The current Tunnel provides a spectacular scene in winter with snow on trees and in fall with foliage. On hot summer days drivers notice a welcome temperature drop when driving through the tunnel.

2) Congregational Church

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1835       101 Main Street

Privately Owned

In 1834 the Congregationalist Society was formed in Atkinson to build a church. The Cogswell family donated the land and a 1,300-pound bell, which was also used as a fire alarm. The structure was built by volunteers and cash donations of $1,800 from residents as well as from churches in nearby towns.

3) Town Center

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85 - 93  Main Street

This area provides a striking view of an open valley and large field with a classic colonial home at its foot, overlooked by a typical white church at the town center.  This is a favored scene for photographers. 

4) Dow Commons - Civil War Memorial

Atkinson Dow Common.jpg

110 Main Street

The Town Common, also known as Dow Common, has been used for town ceremonies and celebrations for 200 years. In 1823 Moses Dow dug a well and placed a watering trough on the common for public use. In 1863 a Civil War monument was erected in honor of the 40 Atkinson residents who served. 

5) Atkinson Academy

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1787     17 Academy Avenue

Colonel Atkinson bequeathed funds to establish Atkinson Academy. In 1809, the State granted 13,000 acres of land to the Academy. The Academy is the second oldest co-educational school in the country and was founded as a boys school by Rev. Stephen Peabody, General Nathaniel Peabody and Dr. William Cogswell. Girls were admitted in 1791. The school building burned in 1802 and was rebuilt. The four-classroom buiding has historically significant architectural attributes.

6) Historic Sites

1727 through 1840

Homes that highlight Federal/Italianate and Georgian-style architecture provided overnight accommodations for travelers on the stage coach route. They are known for a haunting or two and are prevalent throughout the town.

7) Cemetery

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1773     122 Main Street

The "old" cemetery was established in 1773 during town meeting on land donated by John Dow. The only animals allowed to graze here were sheep. In 1828 The Hearse House was erected and is still maintained (sans hearse).

8) Town Pound

1788     132 Main Street

Town pounds, used to temporarily contain loose livestock gone astray, were common in colonial times but many are now gone.  The Atkinson Town Pound is in an excellent state of preservation.

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