The quirky scion of a prosperous mill baron, Horatio Colony turned his grandfather’s sheep farm into a nature preserve and writing sanctuary. The Horatio Colony House Museum (199 Main St., 603/352-0460, www.horatiocolonymuseum.org , 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Wed.–Sun. May–mid-Oct., free) now contains a collection of antiques and curiosities purchased during his travels around the world.
Keene’s  Revolutionary history is on display at Wyman Tavern (339 Main St., 603/357-3855, www.hsccnh.org , 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. June–early Sept.; by appointment May–mid-Nov., $3), a 1762 alehouse where New Hampshire militiamen met before deciding (probably after a few too many) to march to Massachusetts and help their brethren after the Battles of Concord  and Lexington . In later years, the tavern became a schoolhouse that educated many famous Granite Staters, including future Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.