Upland New England's golden age

  Thetford Academy, Thetford, Vt., as seen in a 19th Century woodblock.

Thetford Academy, Thetford, Vt., as seen in a 19th Century woodblock.

‘’The fifty years between 1790 and 1840 were the upland {of New England} region’s golden age. The people who came to push the frontier out of the New England hills during this half-century brought the region its golden age of national importance in many fields, such as politics, invention, and intellectual thought. Most visible was the example it gave of pioneer determination, and what it could do in domesticating the wilderness.’’

“By the 1790s, the whole of New England’s upland region began to take on a homogeneous character. From the affluent hilltop town of Litchfield, in Connecticut, to the modest little communities in Maine and upper New Hampshire, there were solid homes, vistas of cleared land, white churches, and active mills….Academies sprouted up in very country seat: ornate buildings, whose impressive facades promised an Athenian future for our young nation. The academies shared the village center with churches of many denominations – Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopal – whose parishioners came north to escape taxes levied to support Congregationalism, then the state religion in Connecticut and Massachusetts.’’

-- From Upland New England: Life Past and Present, by William F. Robinson

  The green in Lyme, N.H.

The green in Lyme, N.H.