The Jaffrey Center Village Improvement Society
Jaffrey Center Village Improvement Society, PO Box 722, Jaffrey, NH 03452
Photo by Sean Driscoll. Creative Commons   

About Us

The Jaffrey Center VIS, organized in 1906, maintains at private expense Melville Academy, the Horsesheds behind the 1775 Meetinghouse and 22 acres of parks and commons open to the public in the Jaffrey Center National Historic District. It also organizes a Spring and Fall cleanup, a variety of community events and assists the Town in maintaining the Meetinghouse. It maintains a website,, and operates the Melville Academy Museum, which is open on summer weekends.

Mission Statement

The Society is formed to improve and to ornament the streets and public grounds of Jaffrey Center and vicinity, by taking such action as shall tend to beautify said streets and grounds; to promote a general interest in the improvement of private grounds; to maintain and protect Melville Academy and its contents; to maintain properties owned by the JCVIS; to monitor JCVIS easements on properties owned by others; to educate the community about local history; and to engage in any other activities which affect the village.

Conservation Easements

The JCVIS in 2010 began holding conservation easements from land owners who wish to maintain the open space and historic character that is represented by the Jaffrey Center area. Members at the 2009 annual meeting voted unanimously to authorize the holding of conservation easements on properties that do not meet the easement guidelines of major conservation organizations.

Physical Location of Museum and other VIS property:

The Melville Academy Museum, built in 1833 and maintained by the Jaffrey Center Village Improvement Society since 1919, is on Thorndike Pond Road at the corner of Blackberry Lane. From Route 202 in Jaffrey, take Route 124 west just past The Monadnock Inn in Jaffrey Center and turn right on Thorndike Pond Road. Melville Academy is one block down on the left. The VIS also owns and maintains 22 acres of parks, open spaces, and wildlife habitats. Cutter Park is the village green on Route 124 between Thorndike Pond Road and Laban Ainsworth Way/Gilmore Pond Road. The Swale is the meadow behind the houses at the corner of Route 124 and Thorndike Pond Road.

1. Cutter Park (1909) 2. Harkness Triangle (1913) 3. Melville Academy (1919) 4. Blacksmith Lot (1919) 5. Swale (1932) 6. Morgan Lot (1978) 7. Centennial Park (1998) A large version of the map can be found here (135MB).

Membership is open to all persons interested in preserving the natural beauty and historical character of Jaffrey Center. Annual dues are $10 per person. Larger tax-deductible contributions are welcome. Members live in Jaffrey, other New Hampshire towns, Massachusetts and in seven other states from Maine to North Carolina to Ohio.