Some of the finest late 18th- and early 19th-century N.H. architecture is to be found in this picture-postcard village.
The town was settled in 1764 and incorporated in 1779, named in honor of John Hancock, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and governor of Massachusetts. He owned land here, but never visited. The town was once a commercial and farming community, with small textile industries on the Contoocook River, manufacturers of rifles and fowling pieces, and a railroad. Today, it is largely residential and a retirement haven.
The Congregational church is an architectural landmark. It was erected in 1820 by local builders influenced by Elias Carter and Asher Benjamin. The beautiful spire houses a Revere bell. Behind the church is a remarkable semicircular carriage shed.