ACLU of New Hampshire

Gilmanton won’t move forward on threats to punish some residents who put up lawn signs critical of the local select board, after getting a stern warning that its actions violated residents’ First Amendment rights.

ACLU of New Hampshire

Town meeting season can bring out all kinds of local tensions — spurring battles over property taxes, school budgets and more. In Gilmanton, it’s also led to a burgeoning dispute over lawn signs and the First Amendment.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Every community has an issue which an outsider might look at and say, ‘That? You’re fighting about that?’

In Gilmanton, that’s the Year-Round Library.

The library is a private non-profit, but is open to the public. It’s in a gorgeous refurbished timber-frame barn; two stories tall with old rough-hewn beams surrounded by a modern shell. It was built through private fundraising, and fundraising helps pay operating costs too.  

Gilmanton, New Hampshire was once the most famous – or, if you prefer, notorious - small town in America, thanks to the 1950 Grace Metalious novel Peyton Place.

Giving Matters: The Library Is A Town Hub in Gilmanton

Jun 21, 2014

The Gilmanton Year-Round Library opened in 2009 -- entirely the product of volunteer labor and donated funds. Jenn MacLeod and her four kids could not imagine the town without it. “My son, who’s 3, comes into the library, takes off his shoes, hangs up his coat and says ‘I’m home.’”