Cheshire County, New Hampshire
Cheshire is one of the western counties of this state. Its length is 31 miles: its greatest breadth 26 miles: and its least breadth 15. It is bounded N. by the county of Sullivan, E. by Hillsborough county, S. by the state of Massachusetts, and W. by Vermont. This county contains 727 square miles. Throughout the whole extent on the west it is watered by the Connecticut, the western bank of which forms the boundary line between New Hampshire and Vermont. Ashuelot river is a considerable stream, and is tributary to Connecticut river. It has its source from a pond in Washington, and after receiving two branches in Keene and Swanzey, and several smaller streams in Winchester, empties into Connecticut river at Hinsdale. Spafford's Lake, a beautiful collection of water, of about 8 miles in circumference, is situated in Chesterfield. There is a pleasant island in the lake, containing about eight acres. The Grand Monadnock, in Dublin and Jaffrey, is the highest mountain, its altitude having been repeatedly found to be more than 3,000 feet above the level of the sea. Bellows' Falls in Connecticut river, at Walpole, have been regarded as one of the greatest natural curiosities in this country.
The earliest settlement in this county was made about the year 1732 at Hinsdale, then a part of Northfield, and under the government of Massachusetts. The county was formed March 19, 1771, and it probably received its name from Cheshire, one of the western counties in England. The population of Cheshire county in 1790, was 19,665, in 1800, 24,288, in 1810, 24,673, in 1820, 26,843, in 1830, 27,016. It has 22 towns:—39 inhabitants to a square mile. Keene, the chief town, is nearly in the centre of the county, and lies in N. lat. 42°57'.