Millsfield Home Where New Hampshire's Midnight Voting Began Earns New Spot On Historic Register | New Hampshire Public Radio

Millsfield Home Where New Hampshire's Midnight Voting Began Earns New Spot On Historic Register

Jul 29, 2020

A farmhouse in Millsfield believed to be the birthplace of New Hampshire's midnight voting tradition is among the newest additions to the state's register of historic places, the Division of Historical Resources announced Tuesday.

The residents of Dixville Notch and Hart's Location have long attracted the lion's share of attention for their midnight voting rituals during New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Hart's Location began the practice in the 1940s, and Dixville Notch followed suit two decades later.

(Earlier coverage: Meet the Mother of New Hampshire's Midnight Voting Tradition)

But, according to the earliest available public records, the first documented midnight vote took place in Millsfield during the general election of 1936. According to a dispatch in the Boston Globe, "the idea of having the election at midnight was hatched, it is generally agreed, in the mind of Genevieve G. Nadig, 27-year-old artist and pillowmaker."

"Miss Nadig is town clerk - on election day, which is the only day on which Millsfield has any town officials - and it seemed to her that this would be an excellent way of putting Millsfield in a conspicuous spot on the map," the Globe reported.

Millsfield's midnight voting tradition continued through at least the 1960s. Community members revived the tradition in 2016 and continued it this year.

Other new additions to the state's register of historic places include the Town Pound in Boscawen, the Old Abbott Library in Sunapee and an 1898 schoolhouse in Orford that now serves as the town office building.

(For more on the backstory behind New Hampshire's midnight voting ritual, check out NHPR's podcast about the New Hampshire primaryStranglehold.)