Happy Summer Solstice! It’s also World Music Day, Go Surfing Day and the 223rd birthday of the state of New Hampshire. Sorry, I didn’t get you anything but I didn’t think you’d mind, considering I only drove through you once on my way from Massachusetts to Maine. Not sure if any of you live in New England, but I assume we all have a typical image in our heads of a leafy main street with historic houses and commercial buildings. Who knew one of those houses was home to America’s first credit union? In Manchester, New Hampshire, that’s exactly what you’ll find. In 1908, in a three-story, three-family Classical Revival house, Joseph Boivin started St. Marie’s Cooperative Credit Association (now known as St. Mary’s Bank). Today the house’s first two floors have been converted into a FREE museum. The exhibit space is devoted to U.S. credit union history with a tribute to the founding era of the credit union from 1908-1933. There’s also historical artifacts related to the Estes Park conference that created CUNA, and the 1934 Federal Credit Union Act which enabled credit unions to be established in all U.S. states. I know…it sounds kind of boring. But I’d rather see this place than sit in a stuffy classroom with no air conditioning listening to a man in a monotone voice “teach” me about economics and banking.
P.S. I’m excited to say this was our visit to New Hampshire.