About New Durham
First known as Cochecho Township, a group of settlers from Durham petitioned the Masonian Proprietors in May of 1749 for a 45 square mile grant of land north of Rochester. In the spring of 1750, the land was surveyed and a plan (map) of numbered lots was drawn up and lots auctioned off. The terms of the settlement were:
There should be forty families settled within five years after peace was proclaimed between the English, French and Indians. Each lot owner was to build a house at least 16 square feet and each family should have three acres cleared within six years and a sawmill within five.
It is not known exactly how many people came in the years between 1750 and 1762. The residents put in a request to the Royal Governor, Benning Wentworth, for recognition in the form of a charter, which would authorize them to have a town government of their own. King George III granted the charter and the town was officially born in this wild, wooded land. New Durham is very fortunate to still hold its original Town Charter, only one of a very few known to still exist in the state.
And such was the beginning of “New Durham.”
Taken from excerpts “New Durham Historical Material” by Eloise Bickford and “Origin of the Name”
New Durham Today
New Durham is most fortunate to have within it’s boundaries, a large number of water bodies, the largest of which is Merrymeeting Lake, famed for it’s pristine waters. The purity of the water led to New Hampshire Fish and Game Department setting up a fish hatchery. The Community is also fortunate to have panoramic views of Mount Washington, Mount Chocora, Mount Bett, Mount Jessie, Mount Rattlesnake, Mount Rand, Mount Caverley and Prospect Mountain. Much of the land space is still open and avails many recreational opportunities to the community residents such as snowmobiling, hiking, mountain bike riding etc. The natural splendor of the mountains and lakes attracts many visitors and seasonal residents.
Current population is just a little under 2,500 and growing, but has a good hometown atmosphere.
There are many active farms in the area involving Christmas Tree growing, peaches, berries, apples, greenhouse plants, and dairy produce.
New Durham is well served by Route 11 providing the community with gateway access to the seacoast of New Hampshire thereby making it commutable to Rochester, Dover and Portsmouth.