VIS 100
Jaffrey Center Village Improvement Society

In August 1906, ten neighbors met in a Jaffrey Center home to organize a Village Improvement Society and reverse the course of deterioration they saw eroding their community. One hundred years later, the Historic District within Jaffrey Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The houses and public buildings along tree-lined streets attract admirers from near and far. V.I.S. membership has grown to morethan 200 individuals.

To commemorate this Centennial, we invite you to a very special tour of homes and gardens. You will savor a feast of architectural styles – New England capes built for simplicity and practicality, Federal style houses influenced by the grander architecture seen in thriving seacoast cities, and a shingle style summer home designed at the turn of the 20th century. A charming cottage garden frames the oldest house, while perennials and ornamental grasses provide a unique vista from a newer residence.

The seven houses on the tour have not been frozen in time, but have seen renovations, owners come and go, and the world around them change. Gardens were planted, became overgrown, and were revived. The white clapboard facades may look alike, but each home has its distinct personality and history and all tell a story.

At the beginning of the tour, ticket holders will receive a booklet containing complete descriptions of the homes and gardens, a list of other events, and a map.

Gourmet Picnic Lunch

Prepared by The Inn at Jaffrey Center, each gourmet lunch will contain a delicious sandwich (your choice of chicken salad wrap or vegetarian wrap), fruit salad,
dessert, and bottled water. Lunches cost $12 each and are by reservation only, using
the form in this brochure. Lunches can be picked up between 11:30 and 2.

If you wish to dine al fresco, Jaffrey Center offers a Common, the Melville Academy lawn, Centennial Park, the Barn at the Inn at Jaffrey Center, and the porch of Currier House B & B. You can also eat in the air-conditioned Parish Hall of the First Church in Jaffrey.

Browse and Shop for . . .

  • Fine art by a representative group of Jaffrey Center artists in the Meetinghouse
  • Antiques, crafts, plants, and other gift items in the Horse Sheds
  • Jaffrey Center plates (by Spode) and V.I.S. commemorative items in the Meetinghouse
  • Prints and notecards by engraver R.P. Hale, produced on-site in the Meetinghouse on a 19th century printing press and will be for sale on the day of the tour.

Learn About Early Days in Jaffrey

Plan to visit Jaffrey Center’s impressive collection of public buildings. All will be open from 10 to 4. Admission is free, and guides will offer short tours and answer questions.

  • The Meetinghouse
  • First Church in Jaffrey
  • Little Red Schoolhouse
  • Melville Academy
  • Monadnock No. 4 Fire Station
  • Old Burying Ground and Cutter Cemetery

Take a Chance!

Why not buy a raffle ticket? Tickets are $1 and will be for sale on the day of the tour. Prizes include 18 holes of golf for 4 people at the Shattuck Golf Course, one-of-a-kind designer jewelry, tickets to the Peterborough Players and Monadnock Music concerts, a set of V.I.S. Centennial Spode plates, and a kayak (with paddles and life preservers) from EMS.

All proceeds from the House Tour and associated events will help fund the V.I.S.’s programs to maintain and preserve the natural beauty and the historic structures of Jaffrey Center. Fundraising during this Centennial Year also seeks to build the V.I.S.’s endowment and thus provide a solid foundation for the future.