The Hancock Town Library will host a talk by Steve Taylor called “The Great Sheep Boom: How It Played Out in New Hampshire — and Hancock” on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m.
The first half of the 19th century brought the only period of true agricultural prosperity to New Hampshire; it was built on sheep and the wool they produced, and fed the development of the state’s “mill town” culture. Much of the landscape was cleared of forests to provide pasture and fields for hay production to feed the animals and sheep numbers would exceed a half million in the peak year of 1834.
Hancock was one of the leading towns in southern New Hampshire for wool production. When this boom period ended it left behind legacies of countless miles of stonewalls and fine architecture, and profound social impacts as well. Taylor will explore this topic drawing on historical research as well as the oral tradition.
Steve Taylor is a lifelong scholar of New Hampshire’s rural culture. He is a farmer, writer and, for 25 years, was the state’s commissioner of agriculture. With his family he has been involved in sheep, dairy and maple ventures for more than 50 years and he writes and speaks frequently on agricultural subjects throughout New Hampshire and other New England states. He lives in the Meriden Village section of Plainfield. Co-sponsored with the Hancock Historical Society.
The talk is free and open to all. For more information, call the library at 525-4411.