Hannah Grimes: An Original Artisan

Whether you’ve stopped into our Main Street marketplace or our center for entrepreneurship, you’ve probably wondered where we got the name “Hannah Grimes.”

Who was Hannah Grimes?

An ordinary woman born in 1776, Hannah Grimes lived on a farmstead with her family in Roxbury, NH. She married William Stoddard Buckminster in 1806 and later gave birth to their three children. Their daughter died young, but their two sons, Franklin and David, grew up on the farm and continued to tend to it after their parents’ deaths. 

Hannah Grimes and her husband built a small, wooden home on their farm. It included two large beehive bake ovens, five Rumford fireplaces, smokers, and an attic with perfect drying capabilities. The land they lived on and the home they lived in provided the perfect opportunity for the family to farm, bake, garden, smoke and preserve meat. They provided almost entirely for themselves. What they couldn’t make or grow, they bartered with their neighbors for. This self sufficiency made each of them an artisan in their own right. 

Why Hannah Grimes?

In 1991, Mary Ann Kristiansen moved into Hannah Grimes’ Roxbury farmstead. Much like the previous inhabitants, Mary Ann raised livestock, gardened, and provided as much as she could for herself. Also an artisan, Mary Ann’s craft was soap. As she started her home-based soap making business, Mary Ann realized that there were few opportunities to sell at local markets. Years ahead of the “buy local” movement, she decided to create this opportunity for herself and her neighbors. Embodying the lifestyle that Hannah Grimes had so many years before, Mary Ann founded the Hannah Grimes Marketplace. The Marketplace became a space for local artisans to sell their crafts, build their businesses, and connect with like minded individuals. 

The culture of making and growing your own supplies and sharing them with your community is one that we value here at Hannah Grimes, which is why the namesake has stuck. In the 21st century, the story of Hannah Grimes is one that inspires us to live in community with one another and continue to support local artisans.

Where are we now?

With more than 25 years of experience, the Hannah Grimes Center and Marketplace now provide more opportunities than ever for local makers and growers to build and expand their businesses, sell to local customers, and find community. At Hannah Grimes, we honor the legacy of the passionate creators, artists, and entrepreneurs of the 18th century by providing resources for today’s artisans. 

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Written by Program Coordinator, Lillian Chase.