Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire

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Fitzwilliam is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,141 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 2,297.[1] Fitzwilliam is home to Rhododendron State Park, a 16-acre (6.5 ha) grove of native rhododendrons that bloom in mid-July.



First granted as Monadnock No. 4 in 1752 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, this was one in a line of eight towns settled by Scottish colonists. Incorporated in 1773 by Governor John Wentworth, the town was named for his cousin, William Fitzwilliam, 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. Two early grantees in Fitzwilliam were Matthew Thornton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and James Reed, who would lead the 3rd NH Regt. at Bunker Hill. The community claims one of the oldest granite quarries in New Hampshire. Other industries included wood-working and yarn-making. The railroad would enter in 1848. [2]

Fitzwilliam's picturesque common, together with twelve antique houses that surround it, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.0 square miles (93 km2), of which 34.6 sq mi (90 km2) is land and 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2) is water, comprising 3.91% of the town. Little Monadnock Mountain, elevation 1,883 feet (574 m) above sea level, is the highest point in Fitzwilliam, located in the western part of town. The town is drained by the South Branch of the Ashuelot River, the source of which is Bowker Pond. Fitzwilliam lies fully within the Connecticut River watershed.[3]

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