The Bedford Historical Society was organized in 1967 - late for a town so aware of tradition. It was at a time when both old residents and new were seeing rapid changes and felt our history might become blurred or lost unless a concerted effort was made to collect and preserve those things which inform us of our past. At the first formal meeting in November, Judge Peter Woodbury was elected president as an acknowledgement of his and his family's long concern with Bedford history. He drew up the Society's charter and set a strong, active organization on a firm foundation.
Twelve years after its founding, the Society acquired Schoolhouse #7 which was located on New Boston Road near Wallace Road. It was used in 1800, and continued in use until the early 20th century, making it one of the oldest remaining buildings in Bedford. It was moved to its present location near the Town Office Building in Bedford Center.
The Society restored Schoolhouse #7 and uses it for its collection of historical artifacts, reference materials and programs of historical interest.
In 1995 the Society acquired the 'Little Green House' and moved it next to Schoolhouse #7. When built, it was used as a cobbler's shop. Renovation was completed in September, 1996. It opened in June 1997, and is known as the Kendall Shop Museum. Historical artifacts related to rural Bedford are displayed there. It is open to the public by appointment. A post and beam carriage shed, next to the Kendall Shop Museum, houses larger artifacts, including the old Town Hearse.
· The public is always welcome and is encouraged to attend all meetings and special programs offered. The annual meeting is held in September when the new board is voted in.
· We are proud to be part of the public school experience. Students have been involved in projects and programs, with the cooperation of, and help from, their teachers. The BHS buildings are open, by appointment, for other groups of children and the public to tour.
· If you have any questions about the Society or the Museum, please feel free to call 471-6336.
· Matthew Patten Endowment Fund - to secure the future of the Bedford Historical Society
· Increase active membership to assure the future of the society
· Continue to maintain a close relationship with the Bedford schools and involve the students in projects and programs
· Continue further acquisition of Bedford related memorabilia
· Preserve unique town traditions in written and oral histories
· Educational and stimulating meetings
· Memorabilia collected and displayed in the Schoolhouse #7, Kendall Shop and Carriage Shed
· Field trips and special seminars