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:
1920s west windham freight bills
Anderson Station in West Windham offered convenient freight shipping for the many businesses in that part of town. Not only did the Boston & Maine Railroad make use of the station, there was also an American Express agent. Long before becoming the credit card brand they are known as today, the company was a leading freight shipper. During the 1910s and 1920s, Frank A. Crowell was both the American Express agent and the freight cashier for the Boston & Maine Railroad at the West Windham station. Crowell was a resident of West Windham, and at one timed owned a single share in the Union Hall. Crowell undoubtedly had a busy job handling shipping for his neighbors and, according to the receipts shown above, was on the job from at least 1919 to 1928. According to "Rural Oasis", around 1910 the West Windham station "contributed more than a hundred carloads of wood and lumber a month during the winter season." In 1928, William Henry Anderson paid a total of $6.25 for a load of rough stone sent from to Dunstable to West Windham. However, not all shipping done at West Windham station was by the carload. In 1919, Edwin Gillette received a 2lb package from Boston that had been shipped by the American Express Company for just 31 cents including tax.
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