New Boston Historical Society
New Boston, New Hampshire
Detail of a 1938 map locating New Boston's cows and hens
Mapping the History of New BostonThis page contains scans of interesting maps from New Boston's 280-year history. Where did people live? Where were roads, saw mills and schoolhouses? Most maps are clickable, which will open in a new tab a larger, more detailed copy of the entire map. 1740 map New Boston was first settled by Scots-Irish immigrants around 1736. There is a map of this First Settlement in a Dartmouth College library. The library's web page tells us that the map "appears to be on buckskin, suggesting the surveyor used the media that was closest at hand to plot out the township. It notes a stand of beech trees, a birch tree, and a 'heap of stones' as key markers... This map, executed early in the town's history, shows numbered house lots, the mill, and lots dedicated to a school and a minister."
Buckskin map of New Boston's First Settlement, c.1740. The map detail shows the Middle and South branches of the Piscataquog River and the village centered around a mill near today's Gregg Mill. Modern roads are marked in green.
Detail from Langdon's 1756 map of New Hampshire. The Francestown Addition is the bump on the west side of New Boston. The towns south of New Boston are "Salem Canada" (now Lyndeborough) and "Souhegan West" (Amherst). Detail from 1754 map of New Boston. Note that most lots are square and regular, drawn without regard to rivers or mountains or swamps.This detail from a 1754 map also includes the Francestown Addition. Like all maps on this page, it has been rotated so that the top of the map is North. The worn, stained section of the map to the north-east corresponds to First Settlement in the 1740 map; some lot numbers correspond to the 1740 plan and some don't! Undoubtedly many fingers jabbed this map as people argued over property boundaries. Lot numbers range from 1 to 40-something in the north-east quadrant (First Settlement area). We believe a later surveyor laid out the lots in the other three quarters of New Boston and numbered the new lots from 1 (again!) to 120-something, so there are many duplicates. 1858 map Jumping ahead 100 years, we have an interesting map drawn in 1858 and included in Cogswell's "History of New Boston". This map and our 1892 map are extremely useful to the Historical Society as these maps identify who lived where. Can you imagine making a map like this today, when many families move every few years? The population of New Boston was about 1,400 when this 1858 map was drawn, and the map indicates about 200 households. If you look at U.S. Census records for New Boston in the 1800s, you will notice that a farming household often had multiple generations: an elderly grandparent or two, a husband and wife, their multiple children, plus a handyman or woman. The maps also show the locations of one-room schoolhouses ("S.H.") and sawmills ("S.M."). Click the maps to make them bigger!
The roads in the 1858 town-wide map are drawn more accurately than the roads in the 1858 detail map of
the Upper and Lower Villages. Perhaps the mapmaker needed to squeeze in the business and family names.
The map shows the relative sizes of herds of cows (orange circles) and flocks of chickens (yellow circles). Donated by R. Todd. Google or Microsoft Bing which offer you options for Satellite view, Bird's-eye view, Street view, etc. The Town of New Boston Assessing Office has a web page with a link to Tax Maps; the "Index" map shows the entire town. Note to researchers: Volunteers at the New Boston Historical Society are often asked: "Do you know where my great-great-grandmother lived?" We regret that we do not have a reference book which includes this information. If we can't answer your question, we'll tell you "All records were lost in the Fire of 1887" which is a valid excuse, sometimes. Then we may refer you to the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds in Nashua, NH. Or we may suggest you look in the Town report: here for a sample.) Some Town Reports include street addresses, while in other years you'll find only which school district someone lived in. A map showing approximate locations of School Districts may be found on our School page. The University of New Hampshire has a digital collection of New Boston Town Reports including most but not all years from 1918 to 2012. Printed copies of New Boston Town Reports are available at the Historical Society and the Whipple Free Library.
This low-resolution 2016 New Boston map and road index are not clickable.
A high-resolution printed copy of the map with index and the town center inset is for sale at the Town Clerk's office.
(Map courtesy of Wayne Blassberg. Please do not reproduce.)