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:
Castle view service station
According to "Rural Oasis," the first service stations appeared in Windham by the mid-1930s. In 1935 there were three garages, but by 1943 only one of the original three remained open. While the one station that remained open, which was owned by Leon Meserve, operated without any real competition for several years, this changed when Howard Hemeon opened Castle View Service Station on Range Road, at the intersection of Route 111 and Route 111A. Howard and his wife Rose purchased the Federal period brick home that is now the Windham Restaurant in 1945. Shortly after moving in, Howard opened his service station next door to his home. Evidently the Hemeons did not make much of a success of their automotive garage, as they sold their home in 1949, along with the garage. The garage was eventually rented to Ernie Alix, who operated his own service station on the premises, until the building was sold again, and he relocated his business further down Range Road.
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