New Boston Historical Society
New Boston, New Hampshire
Charles Shedd haywagon c. 1892

A Brief History of New Boston

1735 - First settlement by a person of European descent: Thomas Smith builds a log cabin near the river, finds the natives are not friendly, and returns to Chester NH. Later that year a grant is issued at "a Great and General Court of Assembly for His Majesty's Province of Massachusetts Bay" for a Township of six miles square. The grantees are all men of Boston MA, which may be why the town is called "New Boston".

1763 - New Boston is incorporated by the government of New Hampshire, February 18, 1763.

1777 - Revolutionary War: 1785 - Dozens of "Loyalist" families emigrate from New Boston to New Brunswick, Canada. These were people who remained loyal to King George III during the Revolutionary War. New Boston had the highest proportion of Loyalists of any town in New Hampshire.

1823 - The Church on the Hill, New Boston's finest meetinghouse, is built in the Upper Village. Meanwhile, the Lower Village is growing, on both sides of the river.

1830s - The population of New Boston peaks. There are farms, a timber industry and at least eighteen mills on the Piscataquog River. Later, people migrate west to better farm land or go to cities to work in factories.

1850 - The Gold Rush: Six men from New Boston form a company to go to California and dig for gold.

1863 - Civil War: William Beard of New Boston is killed in action at the Battle of Gettysburg. He is one of Berdan's Sharpshooters.

1887 - Fire: Sparks from Abram Wason's cooper shop start a fire that burns almost 40 buildings, comprising most of the New Boston village center.

1890s - New Boston's boarding houses are a summertime destination for city people.

1893 - J. R. Whipple builds a railroad so that his New Boston farms can supply his Boston hotels with meat and dairy products. Whipple's farm had a cow barn, a piggery with 1,800 Yorkshires, hen houses and a cider mill.

1896 - Allan Page Wilson's generator provides electricity to homes and businesses.

1900 - The Church on the Hill is struck by lightning and burns to the ground.

1913 - New Boston receives a new Town Hall clock for its 150th anniversary.

1917 - New Boston men march off to the Great War.

1927 - New library: The Wason family helps build the Wason Memorial Building to contain the library established by J. R. Whipple. The Hayes-Warren addition is built in 1962, and when the Whipple Free Library relocates in 2010 the New Boston Historical Society moves into this building.

1931 - The last passenger train leaves New Boston station.

1940s - World War II: the U.S. Army Air Forces use Joe English Pond for bombing practice. This area later becomes the New Boston Air Force Station and in 1960 satellite tracking antennas are installed.

1948 - Roger Babson establishes the Gravity Research Foundation in New Boston. Before the Foundation relocates to Babson College in the 1960s, a museum in New Boston contains a bed that belonged to Sir Isaac Newton and a display of 5,000 gravity-defying birds.

1955 - The first four classrooms of the New Boston Central School are built.

1965 - The last class graduates from New Boston High School. The high school is demolished in 1971 to be replaced by a new fire station. A town which once boasted 18 schoolhouses now sends its students to Goffstown after the sixth grade.

1968 - The New Boston Historical Society is founded.

1970 - Vietnam War: Ronald C. Davis is killed in action. He is the son of Charles Davis, New Boston's police chief in the 1950s, and Rena Davis, one of the founding members of the New Boston Historical Society.

1980 - Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan visits Andy's Drive-in on his way to the White House.

1990s-2001 - Turning point: Two additions to the New Boston Central School are needed as the town grows rapidly.

2002 - World's largest pumpkin (1,337 lbs.) is grown by Charlie Houghton in New Boston and entered in the Guinness World Book of Records.

2010 - The new Whipple Free Library opened on May 5. Its previous home, the Wason Memorial Building, became available to the Historical Society for our museum.

2012 - Dodge's Store reopens after being closed for several months. There has been a general store on this site for about 150 years.

2013 - New Boston celebrates its 250th anniversary, or "Sestercentennial".

telephone exchange
Mrs. Fred Cann (Mary) in the New Boston telephone exchange

wagon passes by tavern
A wagon carrying Francestown soapstone passes by The Tavern sometime before the Fire of 1887.

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