In 2002 Rick Church and Dave Birchenough  embarked on a project which remains ongoing, to research the old roads and cellar holes of Nelson. Following are Rick and Dave’s notes about the project.

This project involved weekly sessions in the Town Archives, literally turning the pages of the records of old meetings from 1753 to the present. Old roads are described by who they served and usually connected people with other roads that could get them to the meetinghouse for religious services and town meetings. Initially we thought we could rely on Parke Struthers’ A History of Nelson New Hampshire 1767-1967 for the location of early inhabitants and for interesting biographical information as well. We found there was a great deal missing and numerous hours were spent transcribing property deeds at the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds to find the location of early dwelling places. That has resulted in an archive of perhaps 6,000 property records. We then discovered Historical Notes with keyed map of Keene and Roxbury, New Hampshire, by Samuel Wadworth, written in 1910, but not published until 1932. While there are some omissions in this account, virtually no errors have been discovered, giving credibility to the information.

click to be taken to map page

As we sought a means to preserve this work and make it easily available to the public, we met Steve Lamonde from Antioch University, whose knowledge and enthusiasm for LiDAR technology and story-mapping introduced possibilities for even deeper research, and a means to present it. The result is the dynamic map created using Arc GIS and available for exploring on this website.

For a variety of reasons there are complexities inherent with the use of this map, including the amount of information that must be presented within a small space. Before spending much time playing with the map, we encourage you to review the MAP Facts and FAQs.

The work presented here is based on other sources as well. We have attempted to include material we felt to be factual and interesting. We include references to both Struthers and Wadsworth in the form of map co-ordinates for those having access to those sources who may wish more detail. Where we differ from those sources, we have attempted to be clear about the substance and source of the differences.

A significant benefit to this information being Internet-based is that it remains dynamic. As more information becomes available to either supplement or correct information, changes can be made.