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Meredith sits in the beautiful lakes region of New Hampshire, a quiet town that offers some of the most serene waterfront views in all of the Granite State. Such a reputation has attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists throughout the years, one of whom not only became a permanent resident, but one of the most accomplished cartoonists in American history.
Born in Stockton, California in 1920, Robert “Bob” Montana visited New England during his childhood summers, and his family eventually settled in Haverhill, Massachusetts around 1936. Attending Haverhill High School, Montana was inspired by many of the eccentric characters who attended and were employed by the school. He would keep these exciting personalities and quirks in the back of his mind.
At 21 years old, Montana created Archie, a redheaded teenager featured in the anthology comic book series, Pep Comics. Archie’s popularity became so enormous that, in late 1942, the first issue of “Archie” was published. Over the years it would introduce the world to the likes of Jughead, Veronica, Betty, Josie and the Pussycats, and a multitude of other memorable characters.
In 1948, Montana moved to Meredith with his wife, Peggy, and raised three children, all the while drawing both the dailies and Sunday strips for Archie every day. He passed away in 1975 at the age of 54 while cross-country skiing in Meredith, leaving behind a legacy as the creator of one of the most celebrated cartoon characters in history.
To honor this legacy, the people of Meredith erected a memorial to Bob Montana in the center of town, complete with a statue of his famous creation, Archie. Given Montana’s devotion to transforming Meredith into a warmer, more welcoming town for artists, this bubbling reminder of his legacy kindly greets each pedestrian as they pass by.
Know Before You Go
The statue is in Community Park in Meredith, just a small drive from the center of town off US-3.