Colebrook, New Hampshire

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Colebrook is a town in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,321 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 2,439.[1] Situated in the Great North Woods Region, it is bounded on the west by the Connecticut River and home to Beaver Brook Falls Natural Area. Colebrook includes the villages of Kidderville, Upper Kidderville and Factory Village.

Colebrook is part of the Berlin, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

First granted in 1762 by New Hampshire's Colonial Governor, Benning Wentworth, the territory was named Dryden, after English poet and playwright, John Dryden. Due to the inability of its original grantees to settle the remote area, however, it was regranted in 1770 by Colonial Governor John Wentworth, who renamed it Colebrook Town after Sir George Colebrooke, the East India Company's chairman of the board. Settled that same year, it would be incorporated as Colebrook June 11, 1796, and was for many years the shire town of the Northern Judicial District of Coos County. Today, it has a district branch of the Lancaster Superior Court.

The area was noted for excellent farming soil. According to the 1874 Gazetteer, Colebrook was the Potato Capital of New Hampshire, producing over 120,000 bushels per year, most of which were milled into potato starch. Some were distilled into "potato whiskey." After the Coos Trail through Dixville Notch was created in 1803, farmers loaded sleds each winter with potash, pearlash, wheat and other produce, including potato whiskey, to exchange in Portland, Maine for molasses, saltfish and other necessities. Abundant regional forests helped Colebrook become a lumbering center, with the first sawmill established at Beaver Brook in 1800. Between 1868 and 1915, the town was witness to great log drives.

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