A History: The Red Tower and Hamilton Smith II
Quaker Joseph Smith establishes a farm along the Oyster River at the site of the current Wagon Hill Farm.
Joseph’s great-great-great grandson Valentine Smith is born.
Hamilton Smith is born to Valentine Smith’s first wife, Mary Joy.
Hamilton Smith marries Martha Hall in Kentucky and invests in the Cannelton Coal Mine Company.
Hamilton Smith II born on July 5 in Kentucky.
Martha Hall Smith dies in Kentucky. Hamilton Smith II sent to live with grandfather Valentine in Durham.
Hamilton Smith II graduates from Durham Academy and moves to Kentucky to work for his father’s company, the Cannelton Coal Mine Co.
HS II moves to southern California to manage the Triumfo mines. He becomes a leading authority on hydraulic mining. He writes a book on hydraulics.
HS II founds the Vulcan Powder Works, a firm specializing in the use of high explosives in mining.
HS II becomes a consultant to the Rothschild family’s Venezuelan mining operation.
HS II founds the Exploration Company, Ltd. of London.
HS II marries widow Alice Congreve.
Hamilton and Alice move to New York with Alice’s daughter Edith Angela Congreve.
Ben Thompson, a Durham resident and farmer, donates land to the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.
Thompson Hall is completed and the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts moves from Hanover to Durham.
Hamilton and Alice purchase the Red Tower in Durham.
HS II establishes the Valentine Smith scholarship, the first scholarship available to non-resident students at the college.
HS II suffers a heart attack while boating on Little Bay.
Hamilton Smith II’s will leaves $10,000 to help build a library at the college.
Edith Congreve marries Shirley Onderdonk, an assistant of HS II.
Hamilton Smith Library dedicated.
Smith Hall is built with $16,000 from Alice Congreve Smith.
Edith Onderdonk funds a modern dam on the Oyster River. This replaces a series of wooden dams that first created the Mill Pond in the 1700s. More information.
Congreve Hall is built using funds from the Smith Estate.
The college, by state legislative decree, changes its name to the University of New Hampshire.
The Red Tower is leased, painted yellow, and turned into a men’s rooming house called the Tower Tavern.
The Red Tower is sold by Mrs. Alice Onderdonk Quinby, a descendent of HS.
A swan takes residence in the Mill Pond. The swan is named “Onderdonk” in honor of Edith Onderdonk who paid for the dam.