Historic Harrisville

P.O. Box 79
Harrisville, NH 03450

Erin Hammerstedt
Executive Director



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8:00 AM to 4:00 PM


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Artwork by Alma Allen


Herbert and Alma Allen lived in the Farwell Place, which we now refer to as the Twitchell House up on the hill next to the Harrisville General Store. Behind the house sits Alma Allen’s old art studio, now in disrepair. 

In 1960, Herbert Allen obtained a building permit to begin construction on an art studio up behind his house, for his wife, Alma. Construction began in the mid-60s. Herbert built the studio with his sons, Dan and Peter. The studio was built based upon some of Buckminster Fuller’s ideas, an American architect, system’s theorist, author, designer, and inventor. Fuller had popularized the idea of the geodesic dome in which buildings were constructed with spherical shaped roofs and dome shaped living space. There were numerous advantages to this design including its low cost in building, stability, resistance to snow and wind, and economic and efficient  heating and cooling. Herbert, Dan and Peter constructed the studio as a place for Alma Allen to paint. 

After Herbert Allen retired from teaching English at Keene High School, in 1973, he devoted his time to helping his wife Alma promote her art. Louise Clayton recalls a wooden structure located at the bottom of their hill where Alma would hang one of her paintings within a frame. Local people who were interested could come by, and if they liked one, buy it. Louise bought many of the paintings as did others, recognizing her natural talent. 

When a local donor recently offered to contribute to the studio’s rehabilitation, the decision was made to renovate the structure, beginning this spring. Historic Harrisville is excited to get this project under way and plans to rent it as an art studio or office upon completion. We hope to display a number of Alma Allen’s paintings at an opening celebrating the renovation of the building. If community members would like to lend an Alma Allen original for the occasion, please let us know.