Boscawen, New Hampshire

Boscawen is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,965 at the 2010 census.[1]

Boscawen, New Hampshire
Hannah Duston statue
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire.
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire.
Coordinates: 43°18′54″N 71°37′15″W / 43.31500°N 71.62083°WCoordinates: 43°18′54″N 71°37′15″W / 43.31500°N 71.62083°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of SelectmenMark E. Varney, Chair
Roger W. Sanborn
Edward J. Cherian Jr.
 • Total25.4 sq mi (65.7 km2)
 • Land24.7 sq mi (63.9 km2)
 • Water0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)  2.71%
319 ft (97 m)
 • Total3,965
 • Density161/sq mi (62.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-06260
GNIS feature ID0873547


The native Pennacook tribe called the area Contoocook, meaning "place of the river near pines." In March, 1697, Hannah Duston and her nurse, Mary Neff, were captured by Abenaki Indians and taken to a temporary village on an island at the confluence of the Contoocook and Merrimack rivers, at the site of what is now Boscawen. In late April, Duston and two other captives killed ten of the Abenaki family members holding them hostage, including six children, and escaped by canoe to Haverhill, Massachusetts.[2]

On June 6, 1733, Governor Jonathan Belcher granted it to John Coffin and 90 others, most from Newbury, Massachusetts. Settled in 1734, it soon had a meetinghouse, sawmill, gristmill and ferry across the Merrimack River. A garrison offered protection, but raiding parties during the French and Indian Wars left some dead or carried into captivity.[3]

On April 22, 1760, Contoocook Plantation was incorporated as a town by Governor Benning Wentworth, who named it for Edward Boscawen, the British admiral who distinguished himself at the 1758 Siege of Louisbourg. With a generally level surface, the town provided good farmland, and became noted for its apple, pear and cherry orchards. Bounded by the Merrimack and Contoocook rivers, it had abundant sources of water power for mills.

Industries soon included a cotton mill, a woolen factory, nine sawmills, a gristmill, a saw manufacturer and machine shop, and a chair and match factory. A mill town village developed at Fisherville (now Penacook), which straddled the river border with Concord.[3] In 1846, the Northern Railroad was built through Boscawen, opening the following winter.[4]

Sometime around 1846, the town's postmaster became one of about a dozen in the country to issue provisional postage stamps before the official issue came out in 1847. The stamps were an adaptation of a postmark, simply reading PAID / 5 / CENTS, typeset in blue on a yellowish paper. These are extremely rare; in 2003, the estimated price at auction was US$225,000.[5]

The 1915 Boscawen Public Library was designed by noted Boston architect Guy Lowell.

Boscawen Municipal Facility
The Boscawen Municipal Facility
Main Street Looking North, Boscawen, NH

Street view c. 1905

Railroad Station, Boscawen, NH

B. & M. Station in 1908

Penacook House Boscawen New Hampshire

The Penacook House


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.4 square miles (65.7 km2), of which 24.7 square miles (63.9 km2) are land and 0.69 square miles (1.8 km2) are water, comprising 2.71% of the town.[1] The highest point in Boscawen is an unnamed summit at Raleigh Farm near the town's northern border, where the elevation reaches approximately 930 feet (280 m) above sea level. Boscawen lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[6] It is drained by the Merrimack River and Contoocook River.

The town is served by U.S. Route 3 and U.S. Route 4.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20174,015[7]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 3,672 people, 1,260 households, and 913 families residing in the town. The population density was 148.5 people per square mile (57.3/km²). There were 1,295 housing units at an average density of 52.4 per square mile (20.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.74% White, 0.57% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 1,260 households out of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 21.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $42,524, and the median income for a family was $45,850. Males had a median income of $31,350 versus $23,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,732. About 5.4% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.8% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

Elektrisola Incorporated is the largest source of employment for Boscawen-area residents.

Sites of interest

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Boscawen town, Merrimack County, New Hampshire". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  2. ^ Dain Trafton, "Hannah Duston - Heroine and Witness: William Andrews' Monumental Statue of Hannah Duston." Address delivered at the Deerfield-Wellesley Symposium, 14 March, 2015. Boscawen Historical Society website, accessed 3-5-2019.
  3. ^ a b Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 424–426.
  4. ^ Charles Carleton Coffin, The History of Boscawen and Webster from 1733 to 1878; Concord, New Hampshire 1878
  5. ^ Boscawen provisional postage stamps Archived March 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Gov. Moody Currier". National Governors Association. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ McAdam, David; et al. (1897). History of the Bench and Bar of New York. 1. New York History Company. pp. 307–309. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  12. ^ McCaskey, John Piersol, Franklin Square Song Collection: Two Hundred Favorite Songs, Volume 5, retrieved April 18, 2019
  13. ^ Vetter, Edward H. "Moses G. Farmer, Eliot's Inventor". Town of Eliot, Maine. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  14. ^ United States Congress. "FESSENDEN, William Pitt (1806 - 1869) (id: F000099)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  15. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, J. G.; Fiske, J., eds. (1900). "Greene, Nathaniel" . Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  16. ^ Sandra Opdycke, "Lucia True Ames Mead" in American National Biography Online (2000).
  17. ^ Twentieth Biennial Report for the Years 1917 and 1918. Saint Paul, Minn.: Minnesota Historical Society. 1919. p. 39.
  18. ^ United States Congress. "STEVENS, Bradford Newcomb (1813 - 1885) (id: S000876)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  19. ^ Remini, Robert V. (1997). Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-393-04552-8.

External links

Ambrose Lawrence

Ambrose Lawrence (1816-1893) was a Massachusetts Dentist who served as the eleventh Mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts.

Boscawen Academy and Much-I-Do Hose House

The Boscawen Academy and Much-I-Do Hose House are a pair of historic civic buildings in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Now owned by the Boscawen Historical Society, these two buildings played a significant role in the civic history of the town for over 150 years, and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Boscawen Public Library

The Boscawen Public Library is the public library of Boscawen, New Hampshire, United States. It is located at 116 North Main Street. The library's first building, built in 1913 to a Colonial Revival design by Guy Lowell, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, and is slowly undergoing rehabilitation.

Bradford N. Stevens

Bradford Newcomb Stevens (January 3, 1813 – November 10, 1885) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, Stevens attended schools in New Hampshire and at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1835. He taught school six years in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and New York City. He moved to Bureau County, Illinois, in 1846, where he engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits, and also worked as county surveyor. He served as mayor of Tiskilwa, Illinois.

Stevens was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-second Congress (March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1873). He resumed mercantile and agricultural pursuits. He died in Tiskilwa, Illinois, November 10, 1885. He was interred in Mount Bloom Cemetery.

Charles Gordon Greene

Charles Gordon Greene (July 1, 1804 – September 27, 1886) was an American journalist.

First Congregational Church of Boscawen

The First Congregational Church of Boscawen is a historic church at 12 High Street in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Built in 1799, the wood frame church was significantly altered in 1839, when it acquired its present Greek Revival character. It is one of the few surviving meeting houses in New Hampshire that continues to combine religious and municipal functions; it basement space is used for town meetings and elections. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Hannah Duston Memorial State Historic Site

Hannah Duston Memorial State Historic Site is a 35-foot (11 m) statue in Boscawen, New Hampshire, located on a small island at the confluence of the Contoocook and Merrimack rivers. Erected in 1874 and the first publicly funded statue in New Hampshire, the memorial commemorates Hannah Duston, who was captured in 1697 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, during King William's War, then killed her captors while they were camped at the site in Boscawen.

John Adams Dix

John Adams Dix (July 24, 1798 – April 21, 1879) was Secretary of the Treasury, Governor of New York and Union major general during the Civil War. He was notable for arresting the pro-Southern Maryland legislature, preventing that divided border state from seceding, and for arranging a system for prisoner exchange via the Dix–Hill Cartel, concluded in partnership with Confederate Major General Daniel Harvey Hill.

John Kimball (New Hampshire)

John Kimball (April 13, 1821 – June 1, 1912) was an American engineer and politician who served as the mayor of Concord, New Hampshire and as the President of the New Hampshire Senate.

Justin Harvey Smith

Justin Harvey Smith (1857, Boscawen, New Hampshire – 1930, Brooklyn, New York) was an American historian, specialist on the Mexican–American War.Smith was educated at Dartmouth College (B.A. 1877; M.A. 1881) and Union Theological Seminary (1879–1881). Smith worked for Charles Scribner's Sons publishers 1881–1883 and Ginn & Co. 1883–1898 (becoming a partner in 1890); he was Professor of Modern History at Dartmouth 1899–1908. He resigned his professorship in 1908 to pursue historical research, and published The Annexation of Texas in 1911 and The War with Mexico in 1919. For the latter he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1920 and the first Loubat Prize in 1923. From 1917 to 1923 Smith was chairman of the Historical Manuscripts Commission of the American Historical Association.

Justin Harvey Smith also wrote Our Struggle for the Fourteenth Colony in 1907. He wrote Arnold's March from Cambridge to Quebec in 1903. In 1899 he wrote The Troubadours at Home.

Smith's papers were donated to the Latin American collection of the University of Texas library, (now the Benson Latin American Collection, by a book dealer, Michael M. Russel, who had acquired them. The collection enriched the university's materials on the Mexican–American War.Dr. Smith was the son of Rev. Ambrose Smith (1820–1882) and Cynthia Marie Egerton (1821–1899), and a descendant of Gov. William Bradford of the Mayflower via his mother's father, Ariel Egerton (1789–1859).

Lucia Ames Mead

Lucia Ames Mead (May 5, 1856 – November 1, 1936) was an American pacifist, feminist, writer, and educator based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Lyndon A. Smith

Lyndon Ambrose Smith (July 15, 1854 – March 5, 1918) was an American educator, lawyer and Republican politician who served as the 14th Attorney General and the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota.

Marion Dix Sullivan

Marion Dix Sullivan (1802–1860) (fl. 1840–50) was an American songwriter and composer. She was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, the daughter of Timothy Dix and Abigail Wilkins and the sister of General John Adams Dix of New York. She married John Whiting Sullivan in 1825 and had one son, John Henry, who died of drowning in 1858.Little is known about her background, but she was considered the first American woman to write a "hit" song, "The Blue Juniata," which was referenced by Mark Twain in his autobiography. The song was recorded in 1937 by Roy Rogers and the early Sons of the Pioneers. The song was also referenced with the full lyrics by Laura Ingalls Wilder in her book Little House on the Prairie.

Moody Currier

Moody Currier (April 22, 1806 – August 23, 1898) was a lawyer, banker, generous patron of the arts, and Republican politician from Manchester, New Hampshire.

Moody Currier (Jr) was born in Boscawen, New Hampshire, USA. Son of Rhoda Putney who was unmarried at his birth. His father was Moody Currier (Sr) and was never reported to have been involved in his life. Moody Currier Sr was the son of Dr. John Currier.

Currier married three times first to Lucretia C. Dustin then to Mary W. Kidder, and thirdly to Hannah A. SladeCurrier was the owner and editor of the Manchester Democrat newspaper.In 1856 to 1857 Currier served in the New Hampshire State Senate serving as President of the Senate in 1857. From 1860 to 1861 Currier was on the Governor’s Council. Currier served as a fellow at Bates College from 1882 to 1889. He was Governor of New Hampshire from 1885 to 1887.

Manchester’s Currier Museum of Art is named after him and was founded based on a bequest in his will and the accompanying efforts of his third wife, Hannah Slade Currier.

Currier died in Manchester in 1898 and is buried in Valley Cemetery.

Morrill-Lassonde House

The Morrill-Lassonde House is a historic house at 150 King Street in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Built about 1769, it is believed to be the oldest surviving house in the town. Historically significant residents include clock mechanism inventor Benjamin Morrill and artist Omer T. Lassonde, a founder of the New Hampshire Art Association. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Given by Lassonde's widow to the New Hampshire Art Association, it is now in private ownership.

Moses G. Farmer

Moses Gerrish Farmer (February 9, 1820 – May 25, 1893) was an electrical engineer and inventor. Farmer was a member to the AIEE, later known as the IEEE.

Nathaniel Greene (journalist)

Nathaniel Greene (1797–1877) was an American journalist.

Special routes of U.S. Route 4

A total of at least five special routes of U.S. Route 4 have existed.

William P. Fessenden

William Pitt Fessenden (October 16, 1806 – September 8, 1869) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. Fessenden was a Whig (later a Republican) and member of the Fessenden political family. He served in the United States House of Representatives and Senate before becoming Secretary of the Treasury under President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War.

A lawyer, he was a leading antislavery Whig in Maine; in Congress, he fought the Slave Power (the plantation owners who controlled southern states). He built an antislavery coalition in the state legislature that elected him to the U.S. Senate; it became Maine's Republican organization. In the Senate, Fessenden played a central role in the debates on Kansas, denouncing the expansion of slavery. He led Radical Republicans in attacking Democrats Stephen Douglas, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan. Fessenden's speeches were read widely, influencing Republicans such as Abraham Lincoln and building support for Lincoln's 1860 Republican presidential nomination. During the war, Senator Fessenden helped shape the Union's taxation and financial policies. He moderated his earlier radicalism, and supported Lincoln against the Radicals, becoming Lincoln's Treasury Secretary. After the war, Fessenden was back in the Senate, as chair of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, which established terms for resuming congressional representation for the southern states, and which drafted the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Later, Fessenden provided critical support that prevented Senate conviction of President Andrew Johnson, who had been impeached by the House. He was the first Republican Senator to ring out "...not guilty" followed by six other Republican Senators resulting in the acquittal of President Johnson.

He is the only person to have three streets in Portland named for him: William, Pitt and Fessenden streets in the city's Oakdale neighborhood.

Places adjacent to Boscawen, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States
Other unincorporated

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