Peterborough, New Hampshire
Hillsborough county. This town lies midway between Amherst and Keene, being 20 miles from each. It is 75 miles W.S.W. from Portsmouth, 60 N.W. from Boston, and 40 S.W. from Concord. Peterborough lies in a N.E. direction from the Grand Monadnock and is bounded on the E. by a chain of hills called Pack Monadnock. Contoocook river runs in a N.W. and N. direction through the centre of the town, affording several good privileges for mills and factories. The N. branch, from Dublin, originating partly from waters near the Monadnock, and partly from Long, or Hunt's pond, lying in Nelson and Hancock, affords a never-failing supply of water, and furnishes those noble falls, on which are situated several factories. There are extensive and valuable meadows on this branch, above these falls; and the soil generally throughout the town is excellent. In the centre of the town is a high hill, on which is situated the meeting house, at an elevation of 200 feet above the river. The chain of hills on the E. is distinguished by two principal summits. Between these summits is a depression of a quarter part of the mountain's height. About 60 rods W. of the ridge, or summit of this depression, on an embenchment of the mountain, is a pond of about 9 acres extent, very deep and replenished with fish, at an elevation of 200 feet above the site of the meeting house. There are rocks in several places which afford indications of sulphur, and crumble on exposure to the sun and air. Iron ore of an excellent quality has been discovered, but as yet in small quantities. Peterborough was granted in 1738, by the government of Massachusetts to Samuel Heywood and others. The first settlement took place in 1739. In 1759 there were 45 families, and on the 17th Jan., the next year, the town was incorporated. The first settlers of Peterborough were Scotch Presbyterians, from Ireland, or their immediate descendants. Wholly unused to clearing and cultivating of wild lands, they endured great hardships. Their nearest gristmill was at Townhend, 25 miles distant—their road, a line of marked trees. The first male child born here was John Richie; he was born Feb 22, 1751, and died in the service of his country at Cambridge, in 1776.—Population, 1830, 1,934.