On a September day in 1879, a crowd of three thousand packed the center of Hancock to celebrate the Centennial of its incorporation. An important part of the event was the display of antiques, artifacts and other memorabilia of Hancock’s first hundred years.
After the celebration this remarkable collection was put into storage, but not forgotten. Orland Eaton, William Hayward, and others who had worked on the 1879 Centennial celebration dreamed of founding a society to preserve and share the history of the town they loved, and finding a building suitable for the storage and display of the collection of artifacts and documents that tell the story of Hancock.
That dream began to be realized on May 9, 1903, when twenty-eight Hancock citizens met and voted to incorporate the Hancock Historical Society under New Hampshire Law. The group adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected Orland Eaton as its first president. By September of 1903, after much discussion led by Eaton and his slate of officers, the members voted to purchase the building at 7 Main Street now known as the Hancock Historical Society Museum.