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.
Interested in learning more about the history of Windham NH? Check out the following links:
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."
Flashback: 1950's Windham advertising
This 1950s bank envelope from the Salem Co-Operative Bank features advertising from several businesses in Windham. Included are ads for businesses of well-known men in town, including Armstrong, Brown, and Butterfield. The only business with a Windham exchange telephone number was Brown & Sons, with a telephone number of 582-W3. All the other Windham businesses featured on the envelope use Salem exchange telephone numbers, even the Butterfield Insurance Agency located on Golden Brook Road. The first telephone in Windham was installed at the turn of the 20th century by George Clark, who ran a telephone line from Hudson to his store on Mammoth Road. Not long after Clark installed his telephone, William H. Anderson had a telephone installed at his gristmill in West Windham. Shortly thereafter, telephone lines began to spread throughout Windham; different regions of Windham were serviced by the exchanges of four different towns: Nashua, Derry, Salem, and Pelham. The use of the various exchanges began to fade out by the 1960s and 1970s.
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