New Boston, New Hampshire

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New Boston is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,138 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 5,203.[1] New Boston is home to the annual Hillsborough County Agricultural Fair.

Contents

History

The town was first granted in 1736 by colonial governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, which then held authority over New Hampshire. It was granted to several Boston families, and was to have been called Lanestown or Piscataquog Township. Instead, by 1751 they called it New Boston after their hometown. Not all the grantees took up their claims, and the land was regranted 10 years later to settlers from Londonderry. When the town was incorporated in 1763, Governor Benning Wentworth formally recognized the long-used name of New Boston.

In 1820, the town had 25 sawmills, six grain mills, two clothing mills, two carding mills, two tanneries and a bark mill. It also had 14 schoolhouses and a tavern. The Great Village Fire of 1887, which started when a spark from a cooper's shop set a barn on fire, destroyed nearly 40 buildings in the lower village. In 1893, the railroad came to New Boston, and farm produce was sent by rail to city markets. The train line was abandoned in the mid-1970s, and the former rail bed is today a walking path.

The town is home to the 2,800-acre (1,100 ha) New Boston Air Force Station, which started as an Army Air Corps bombing range in 1942. By 1960, it had become a U.S. Air Force base for tracking military satellites. New Boston was also home to the Gravity Research Foundation from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s. Founder Roger Babson placed it in New Boston because he believed it safe from nuclear fallout should New York or Boston be attacked.

Dodge's Store, located in the center of town across the street from the New Boston Tavern, was established in 1872 and was owned and operated by five generations of the Dodge family until 1994. Clarence H. Dodge started the family business, and ownership remained in the Dodge family until Malcom J. Dodge sold the business in 1994 due to a downturn in the economy. The store is still in operation as of 2010 and continues to show many of the characteristics of the time when the Dodge family operated it.[citation needed]

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