A Glimpse into the past...
original glass plate negatives HERE.
Built in 1912, the Libby Museum reflects Dr. Henry Forrest Libby's commitment and love of the natural world.
Born in 1850 on a farm on nearby Tuftonboro Neck, as a child Dr. Libby enjoyed nature and inventing things. 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 in dentistry, in laboratories, and in the classroom.
In his 20s, Dr. Libby enrolled in Harvard Dental School, but soon contracted rheumatic fever and returned home to recover in New Hampshire. When Henry returned to Boston the following year, a dear friend supported his efforts to set up dental practice on Shawmut Avenue. Through his practice and inventions, Dr. Libby was eventually awarded an honorary dental degree from Harvard.
Dr. Libby married his beloved Hattie Horne, a Latin teacher at Brewster Free Academy in Wolfeboro. They had one son, Arthur, and 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 NH State Representative.
In 1897, Dr. Libby changed his life's focus and returned 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. The Libby Museum of Natural History contains items from as near as the back woods to as far as Africa and Asia. We are open June through Columbus Day- come visit!