Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ordination Rock, Tamworth, New Hampshire

This curious memorial is located on Cleveland Hill Road in Tamworth, New Hampshire.

About a mile from the village of Tamworth, this boulder marks the spot where Rev. Samuel Hidden was ordained in 1792 as the first minister of Tamworth, New Hampshire.  The marble monument on the top of the boulder was installed in 1862.  The granite steps climb to the top of the boulder for visitors to read the inscriptions.

Samuel Hidden graduated from Dartmouth College just before his ordination.  He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  Rev. Hidden was also a music teacher, supervised the town schools, and started the Tamworth Social Library.  He is buried across the street from this memorial in the town cemetery.

Here are transcriptions of the inscription on the obelisk [see the NEHGS Register Volume 22, page 72]:


"Memorial of the Ordination on this ROCK, Sept. 12, 1792, of the Rev. SAMUEL HIDDEN as Pastor of the Congregational Church Instituted on that day."


"Born in Rowley, Mass., Feb. 22, 1760.
Served in the War of the Revolution by four Enlistments 1777 - 1781.
Graduated at Dart. College, 1791.
Minister in Tamworth 46 years died Feb. 13, 1837, AEt. 77."


"He came into the Wilderness and left it a Fruitful field."


"To perpetuate the memory of his virtues and Public Services
a Grandson, bearing his honored name Provided for the erection of this Cenotaph, 1862"

On the base:

"Town Chartered 1766.  Settled in 1771.  40 Families in 1792.  Census in 1860 - 1717"

Here is a link to a YouTube video of a 2016 Tamworth town ceremony at Ordination Rock: 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Ordination Rock, Tamworth, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted September 11, 2019, ( accessed [access date]).

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