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In 1774, New Hampshire established its own government and was the first colony to declare its independence from England.
Cheshire County, New Hampshire, has a rich history dating back to its settlement in the mid-1700s. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Pennacooks and Abenaki. The first European settlers arrived in the early 1730s, led by Colonel John Schuyler. They established the town of Upper Ashuelot, which later became Keene, the county seat.

During the American Revolution, Cheshire County played a significant role. Many locals joined the patriot cause, and several battles and skirmishes took place within its borders. Keene, in particular, saw military activity during the war and served as a supply depot for the Continental Army. After gaining independence, the county experienced growth and prosperity as agriculture and industry flourished.

In the early 19th century, Cheshire County witnessed an increase in population and economic development. The construction of canals and railroads contributed to its growth, connecting the county to neighboring regions and expanding trade opportunities. Industries like textiles, lumber, and manufacturing thrived, attracting workers and further stimulating the local economy.

By the 20th century, Cheshire County saw a shift in its economic landscape. Manufacturing declined and was replaced by service-based industries, education, and healthcare. The county also became known for its scenic beauty, attracting tourists and recreation enthusiasts. Today, Cheshire County continues to be a vibrant area, balancing its historic significance with modern development and offering a high quality of life for its residents.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Cheshire County, New Hampshire.

  • 1769 - Cheshire County was established on March 19, 1769, as one of the five original counties in New Hampshire.
  • 1771 - The first settlers, led by General Jonathan Chase, arrived in the region.
  • 1771-1774 - Settlements began to form in present-day Keene and other towns.
  • 1775-1783 - Cheshire County residents actively participated in the American Revolutionary War.
  • 1780 - The town of Keene was incorporated.
  • 1791 - The town of Jaffrey was incorporated.
  • 1800s - Industrialization flourished across the county, with mills and factories being established.
  • 1858 - The city of Keene was incorporated.
  • 1902 - The city of Keene became the county seat.
  • 1940s-1960s - Cheshire County experienced significant population growth and suburbanization.
  • 1971 - The Cheshire County Historical Society was founded to preserve and promote local history.
  • 1980s-present - Cheshire County continues to thrive with a diverse economy and a focus on culture, education, and outdoor recreation.