Windham nh history
Windham's history is much more than plots on a timeline or lines on a page. Rather, it is a collection of stories that when put together tell the unique story of Windham, NH. Explore the stories of the individuals and places that have made Windham what it is today.
The natural beauty and fertile lands of Windham drew first the Pawtucket Indians and then Scotch-Irish settlers. The town's rich history is full of intriguing stories, including Wallace Fessenden's unscrupulous baseball umpiring, the return of a native son after his burial at sea in Indonesia and the poetic life of the Rustic Bard, Robert Dinsmoor. Tourism boomed as early as the 1850s, when visitors flocked to the waterside temptations of Canobie Lake and later Cobbett's Pond, where eccentric millionaire Edward Searles built his famous castle. Local historian Derek Saffie weaves together a collection of historic stories from the settlement's roots as Nutfield to the town of Windham.
How Windham Came to Be
The history of Windham NH begins with the area being settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants in 1719 as part of a region called "Nutfield"; the name given to it because of the abundance of nut trees in the area. Nutfield was roughly the region occupied in modern times by Derry, Londonderry, and Windham. Windham separated from Londonderry, and was incorporated, on February 12, 1742.
Leonard Morrison - Windham's First Historian
Much of what is known about the history of Windham comes from Leonard Morrison's "History of Windham, NH: 1719 - 1883". Morrison, the first true town historian, published his book containing an extensive history, as well as numerous family genealogies. Much of the research done for this website was made possible due to his book.
Robert Dinsmoor - Windham's Poet
"Windham Range in flowery vest, Was seen in robes of green, While Cobbet's pond, from east to west, Spread her bright waves between. Cows lowing, cocks crowing, While frogs on Cobbet's shore, Lay croaking and mocking The bull's tremendous roar."
Interested in learning more about the history of Windham NH? Check out the following links:
swim instructor saves father and daughter at cobbetts pond (1953)
The long history of Cobbett's Pond is filled with many happy memories made by residents and vacationers alike. However, the pond's history is not without its darker moments; there have been accidents and drownings throughout its history. While these incidents have, fortunately, been scarce, they are nonetheless a significant part of the pond's story. Not all of these stories of misfortune and accidents have ended in tragedy though. On Tuesday, September 1, 1953, Carl Church Jr, a swim instructor at Nashua's public pool, was enjoying his day off at a beach on Cobbett's Pond. Church, a strong swimmer, had ventured out to raft where he had been sitting when he heard a cry for help. A young girl who had just recently learned to swim had been attempting to make her way to the raft when she became tired. Not being able to complete her trip to the raft or make her way back to the beach, her father swam to her, but was pushed under by his daughter's panic. Church moved quickly, separated the pair, and helped the girl to the raft. After resting for a bit, Church helped the young girl back to the beach; her father had been able to save himself once Church separated him from his daughter. In the following decades safety requirements became more stringent, requiring life guards and other precautions for the public beaches still remaining on the shores of Cobbett's Pond.
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