In Archive Room

Town records compiled under a Moose Plate grant from state of NH – provide detailed list from records in archives room including mortgages, tax lists, court records, etc.

  • Selectmen’s Accounts, Tax Assessments & tax assessment inventories – 8 boxes
  • 1788-1829; 1828-49; 1831-51; 1850-71; 1852-73; 1873-82; 1874-88; 1875-81; 1882-86; 1830-70; 1836-70
  • Box 22 – LB Parsons Note book
  • Boxes 9,10 – Selectmen’s Records, 1871-1941
  • Box 16-18 - Early Records – Mortgages, Jury Records, Militia Records
  • Boxes 19-21 – Jedidiah Rand Accounts


Rye Historical Society Papers

  • One Box each: Seavey Family papers; Rye Congregational Church,
  • Jenness, Oliver and Sidney papers; Rawding Family Deeds;
  • 2 boxes – Foss Collection
  • 2 Boxes – Philbrick Family
  • 1 Box,  Nathaniel Marden Papers
  • 1 Box,  Berry Jenness Family

In fire-safe drawers:

  • George Lang’s  Diary 1870-1900
  • Garland Tavern Account book – latter half of 1700’s
  • Foss Boarding House guest register – late 1800’s and several more

Located in conventional 4-drawer file cabinet:  

  • Historic Photos and misc. written documents

In upstairs library                       

Further Rye documents

  • Published books on NH, NE and American history
  • Old newspapers and magazines (Life magazines from 30s to early 50s)

In upstairs closet

  • textile collection – clothing, costumes, quilts, other textile items (in need of a curator)

In basement

  • Three large signs: Farragut Hotel, Goss Farm Rooms for rent, Sawyers Bath Houses; also many artifacts for display in exhibits, dish and metal ware, furniture, doll carriages; original Piscataqua Gundalow exhibit from the 80s, old books and much more.

Electronic Sources

  • WordPress contains most of RHS historic Rye photo collection;
  • Word documents: e.g., History of the Rye Town Hall, Historical and Natural Sites of Rye, Overview of the History of Odiorne Point, and many other documents created by the RHS.

First Floor

Museum Resources

Plan your visit to see these items first-hand!

In our inventory, you will find photographs, documents, unpublished writings, maps, ephemera, realia (artifacts), news articles, media, in the Rye Town Museum available for research purposes.

Rye Historical Society
​and town museum

Second Floor

Bookcase to right of front entrance

Monographs/documents/ unpublished books, writings with and w/o photos on specific Rye topics by a variety of people, including: Louise Tallman, Alex Herlihy and others.

  • Town Clerk’s report of fires from late 1800’s into1900’s
  • Charlie Green – bio w/ photos
  • George Lang Diaries (1870-1900) sample here – the rest in archive room
  • Memories of the Beaches of Rye – narratives with photos
  • Playbills from turn of 20th century entertainment at Town Hall
  • Rye School Photos with captions – 1948-1954
  • Remembering Bonnie and Tony Go0odwin
  • List of Rye home owners in 1900 (to go with big map)
  • Rye Driftwood Garden Club , c. 1985 – photos of members
  • Garrocks Estate, Odiorne Point c. 1920’s
  • Old Houses of Rye – pre- 1825 – 3 vols –photos w/ description; Louise Tallman
  • Plants of Lang Rd by Louise Tallman
  • Changes to the Rye Shore, 2010, Louise Tallman
  • Gems of the NH Shore, Granite Weekly, 1895
  • Dedication of the Town Hall, Nov. 1873, Rev. JK Aldrich – Rye historical overview
  • 122 Rye men who served in the American revolutionary war
  • Early Probate Records 1635 – 1717
  • Growing up in Rye at turn of 20th century – three reminiscences
  • Poetry/verses by Clarence Trefry, early Rye photographer
  • Locke Family deeds
  • Shore Rd (Ocean Blvd.) Cabins – early/mid 20th C. – [photos)
  • Rye Families of the 20th Cent. compiled by Louise Tallman – on going project
  • Illustrated  History of Rye with narrative, by Alex Herlihy, on going project – 12 vols
  • Brophiljendra Club, Sec. notes, 1928
  • Old Graveyards, Foss Graveyard, Central Cemetery, by Louise Tallman, 10 vols
  • Historic Photos of Rye (random collection) by Clarence Trefry, 2 vols
  • RHS historic photo collection, by themed category, 8 vols.
  • Unidentified photos, two vols.
  • Other vols. Of misc. photos

Bookshelf to left of front entrance

  • Hotels and Boarding Houses of Rye, complement to exhibit, photos w/ captions
  • Moving and renovation of Rye Town Museum 1997-2002; photos w/ captions
  • History of Elijah Locke House, Knowles Cor., 2 vols.
  • Parsons Family Scrapbook
  • Correspondence from Foss Boarding House, 1890s
  • Photos of Portsmouth at turn of 20th c.
  • Washington House Hotel guest register, 1899
  • Drake House Hotel Register, 1915-1930s
  • “How We Remembered: a 20th century Retrospective” Odiorne Family, Barbara O. Kerr
  • Memorial Tribute to Hon. Richard Jenness, 1872
  • Strom Photos, March 9, 1928
  • Transcript of Rye town records, vol. I 1726-1845)
  • Vital Records of Rye, 1726 – 1821) (1825-1842, Books 1 and 2) 2 vols.
  • First Co-op Nursery school/kindergarten of Rye, 1947, Sec. notes
  • Old Maps of Rockingham Co. 1892
  • History of Wedgwood House, Lang Rd. by Jessie Herlihy
  • History of Nathaniel Foye House, Foyes Cor. (dismantled and moved)
  • Blizzard on 1978
  • Locke Photo album
  • Rye Town Clerk record of fires in Rye;  late 1800s – early 1900s
  • Gossport Families (Star Island, Isles of Shoals, Rye) 4 vols
  • Marriage records – 1726-1899
  • Births, Marriages and Deaths, 4 vols.
  • Deeds 1 vol.
  • Rye Directories, 2 vols.
  • Genealogical records of Rye families compiled by Louise Tallman, 10 vols.
  • Misc. photos albums
  • Extensive genealogical research by Louise Tallman- many volumes, A-Z
  • News clippings mostly from Portsmouth Herald; (since 2000 – the majority of Rye stories). Many clippings from before that date going back to 1970s and some before

Vertical file on wide variety of Rye topics including letters from Emma Foss wr. in 1973 describing life in Rye in 1890s and letter by Ralph Brown describing Prohibition days at Sagamore Creek and many more.

On the large bookshelf behind the chimney 

Published booklets, books, pamphlets, articles, e.g., The Berrys of Sandy Beach,  Rye on the Rocks by Bill Varrell,  “History of Rye NH by Langdon Parsons, etc. Several genealogical books. A complete set of Rye Town Reports from the early 1860s and many more books on Rye and other seacoast communities.

Maps – from the earliest Rye map of 1805 to the present

On Display

  • Realia – this is the official term used to define all three dimensional items and  artifacts - a wide variety from ship rigging, gravestones, and furniture, to smaller items such as Indian arrowheads, dishware from hotels, and a captured Nazi bayonet.  (Some items are in storage.)      
  • Media
  • PowerPoints: Rye in 1911, History of the Rye Town Hall
  • DVDs – Nine films relating all or in part to Rye
  • Hundreds of slides that need to be digitized (slide shows on Rye Bicentennial, old houses,)
  • Approx. 3000  Historic Photos of Rye available for viewing for research (on Wordpress website) and for printing on card stock at the museum (contact museum for fees)                                 

Human Resources

  • Oral history tapes that need to be transcribed (a few have been); more interviews are needed.
  • People with general and/or specific knowledge of Rye’s history, families, specific events who are willing to talk to professional researchers, students and others and groups.