SILVER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Silver Hall was completed in 1956, twenty-seven years after plans for an auditorium-gymnasium were initially drawn up by President Ernest L. Silver. Silver Hall had three purposes: as a physical education and sports center, as a music center, and as a theatre. The building went without an official name until a May 1959 faculty meeting, and it was rededicated on Parents Day, October 25, 1959. At the time of its dedication it was one of the largest auditoriums in northern New Hampshire. Silver Hall was remodeled in the early 1990s and was renamed the Silver Cultural Arts Center. Recently, the building was given its current name, Silver Center for the Arts.
The Silver Center for the Arts sits on the former site of the mansion of abolitionist Nathaniel P. Rogers. By the 1950s the mansion was no longer used and in disrepair. Built in 1825, the Rogers mansion played a significant role in the abolitionist movement in northern New Hampshire before the Civil War.
Born in Salem, New Hampshire, Ernest L. Silver (1878-1949) graduated from Pinkerton Academy, where he would later serve as principal. After his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1899, Ernest L. Silver worked as Superintendent of Schools at Rochester, NH and Portsmouth, NH.
Assuming various titles as principal, director, and president, Silver led Plymouth from its normal school days in 1911 to Plymouth Teachers College in 1946. When enrollment declined during the Great Depression, Silver successfully averted several attempts by the state legislature to close the school.