Built in 1912, the Libby Museum reflects Dr. Henry Forrest Libby's commitment and love for the natural environment.
Born on a farm on Tuftonboro Neck, he grew up loving nature and inventing things with tools. At age 19, he left rural New Hampshire to pursue an apprenticeship with a local itinerant dentist, and later lived in Boston working day and night as a dentist, in laboratories, or wherever he could earn a living and further his career.
In his 20s, Henry Libby enrolled in Harvard Dental School; but soon contracted rheumatic fever and returned home to recover in New Hampshire. The following year, when Henry returned to Boston, a dear friend supported his professional career as a dentist on Shawmut Ave. in Boston.
Henry Libby married his beloved Hattie Horne (former Latin teacher at Brewster Academy) and had one son, Arthur. Together “time and prosperity kept equal pace.” He once observed, “When a young man sees vision, an old man’s dreams come true.” Throughout his life, Dr. Libby was an inventor, dentist, sculptor, author, poet, historian, lecturer, naturalist, scientist, and State Representative.
At age forty, in 1897, Dr. Libby changed his life's focus returning to the Lakes Region to pursue his interest in the natural world. By then he had invented and patented calcined gypsum, critical to preservation and later to the building trade. He stated,
“ …life began anew for me, or rather the man I was meant to be was born… I began to see and feel the force and beauty of nature… from then on I commenced to collect things, study anatomy, sketch, draw and study.” Dr. Libby turned his specimens into exhibits, and built the Museum to house his, and others' collections which we so enjoy today.