The Gazetteer of the State of New Hampshire (in three parts),
compiled from the best authorities, by Eliphalet Merrill and the
Late Phinehas Merrill, Esq., Printed by C. Norris & Co., Exeter,
NH, ©1817, pg. 136
GOFFSTOWN - in Hillsborough county, is situated on the westerly
side of Merrimack river, it is bounded N. by Dunbarton, E. by
Merrimack river, S. by Bedford, and W. by New Boston and part
of Weare, and contains 29,170 acres. It was incorporated in 1761,
and in 1810, contained 2,000 inhabitants. In the S.W. extremity
of the town are two Uncanoonock mountains, and in the S.E. part
is the Amoskeag bridge and falls. Piscataquog
river passes through this place. In 1771, Rev.
Joseph Currier was settled here in the congregational order.
Cornelius Waters and D.L. Morrill, have been his successors. There
are in this town 2 religious societies, 1 meeting house 8 trading
stores, 1 cotton factory containing about 30 spindles, 7 grain
mills, 20 sawmills 2 clothing mills, and 2 carding machines.
originally laid out was bounded north by Dunbarton,
east by the Merrimack River, south by Bedford and west by New Boston
The forty-third parallel of latitude cross the town a little north
of the north Uncanoonuc
Mountain. The longitude is 71o 35'. The town was first known
as Narrangansett No. 4, then as Shove's town. The Uncanoonuc Mountains
lie wholly within this town, have an elevation of 1,324 feet.
The territory now known as the town
of Goffstown, in connection with six other townships, was granted by the Great
and General Court of Massachusetts, in 1728 to the soldiers
or heirs-at-law of the soldiers of the King Philip or Narragansett War, which
ended at least fifty years before the grant was made (so probably very few of
the soldiers were then living). Goffstown (through draw) was to be known as Narragansett
No. 4, and was thus called for a number of years.
#4 was bought from John Tufton Mason by 47 New Hampshire proprietors
[see next paragraph] in 1746. These Masonian proprietors, included:
Theodore Atkinson, Mark Hunkins Wentworth, Richard Wibird, John
Wentworth (son of Mark the Governor), George Jaffrey, Nathaniel
Meserve, Thomas Parker, Thomas Wallingford, Jotham Odiorne, Joshua
Pierce, Samuel Moore and John Moffatt purchased of John Tufton
Mason the rights of Capt. John Mason, Theodore Atkinson purchasing
three undivided fifteenths; Mark Hunkins Wentworth two undivided
fifteenths, and each of the others one undivided fifteenth.
The early New Hampshire proprietors
of Narragansett #4 (Goffstown) included: Rev. Thomas Parker of Dracut; Colonel
Sampson Stoddard and John Butterfield, of Chelmsford; Joseph Blanchard, Robert
Davidson, John Coombs and James Karr, of Dunstable; John Goffe and John Goffe
Jr., James Walker, Matthew Patten, John Moore, Timothy Corlise, Thomas Farmer,
Zaccheus Cutting, Samuel Patten, Alexander Walker, all of Soughegan East (Bedford);
Thomas Follensbee, Joshua Follensbee, Caleb Paige, Benjamin Richards, Peter Morse
and Caleb Emery; John Dow, Peter Harriman, of Haverhill; Abram Merrill, Benjamin
Stevens, John Jewell, Ephraim Martin, Nathaniel Martin, Aaron Wells, Caleb Dalton
of Amoskeag; James Adams, son of Williams Adams, William Orr, Job Kidder and John
Kidder, of Londonderry; William Read and Robert Read, James McKnight, William
Cummings, all of Litchfield; Samuel Greggs, Edward White, Esq., John White, all
of Brooklyn; which grant was made at Portsmouth in the month of December 1748.
after the drawing of lots the proprietors found that no committee had been appointed
to call the first meeting of the proprietors. Accordingly a petition was circulated.
John Goffe, Robert Gilmore, John Goffe, Jr., Caleb Dalton, Jotham
Tuttle, Samuel Patten and John Smith signing the same, and directed to
the clerk of the proprietors of Goffstown. This petition was dated at Bedford
the 6th day of August, 1750, and marks an important event in the history of Goffstown.
This was probably the first date in any historical record where the name Goffstown
was applied to the township.
In the year 1761, the citizens, wishing to manage their own affairs, decided to
apply for a charter, "Heretofore known by the Name of Goffs Town." [named
for Col. John Goffe, an early settler.]
At their first meeting John Goffe,
Esq. was selected moderator [even though John
Goffe lived in Bedford and later Derryfield (Manchester), not Goffstown],
Alexander Walker was appointed town clerk. The early records of the town show
the usual difficulties that most new settlements faced, before their newly formed
government was working well. Discussion and disagreements occurred over the location
and funding of mills, meeting-houses and schools.
A list of taxpayers for the year 1761 in Goffstown:
Randal Alexander John
Robert Davidson Joseph Ordway
Ebenezer Ordway Ebenezer
Thomas Hall Paris
Richardson John Holmes
Dea. Thomas Karr Alexander
Walker Joseph Kennedy
Thomas Karr Jr. Eleazer
Wells Sr. Robert Kennedy
James Karr Eleazer
Wells Jr. Daniel Marr
William Karr Aaron
Thos. Karr Sr. Moses
Wells Thomas Miller
Job Kidder John
Ephraim Martin Samuel
Blodgett David McCluer
Daniel Martin George
Addision Enoch Page
Jonathan Martin James
Samuel Martin Pr. John Dow Benjamin
Samuel Martin Jr. Antipas Dodge
Robert Martin James
Philip Noyes Timothy
the above list James Barr, Benjamin Stevens, Daniel Marr and Joseph Kennedy pay
for two polls; John Goffe and Samuel Blodgett are not taxed for a poll tax, but
upon real estate, and Joseph Kennedy pays the highest tax in town.
a list of Goffstown citizens who participated in the French &
Game was very abundant in this region -- including deer, moose, bear, lynx,
fisher, beaver, catamount, otter and lynx. The women of the town were never idle.
In addition to casting bullets and making cartridges, they would spin and loom
-- making most articles of clothing for themselves and their families. The wool
and flax was grown, carded, spun, woven, colored and made into garments at home.
To use foreign goods was considered an extravagance.
of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, by D. Hamilton Hurd, page 314 indicates
that "The epidemic of the Salem witchcraft barely entered the town. There
were arrests of two women for bewitching two men. One was tried before Esq. McGregor
and the other before Dr. Gove and Esq. Dow. Both, to the honor of the intelligent
magistrates, were acquitted." [Note: no mention of the names of the women
in question are mentioned].
Other names of note from various town histories
include Samuel Blodgett,
Moses Kelley, Moses Poor and Worthley.
a notice by Samuel Blodget, selling land in Goffstown NH in 1806.]
OF 1773, 1775, 1786, 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840; Tax List
The following is a list of early lawyers who resided or practiced law in
Goffstown NH: John Gove, Thomas Jameson, Jonathan Aiken, Josiah Forsaith, David
Steele, John Stack, Charles F. Gover, Samuel Butterfield, George W. Morrison,
Early physicians who practiced or lived in Goffstown include:
Dr. Webster, Dr. Cushing, Dr. Jonathan Gove, Dr. David L. Morrill, Drs. John and
Ebenezer Stevens, Dr. Walkers, Dr. Wrights, Dr. Renolds, Dr. Crosby, Ziba Adams,
Drs. Daniel and John Little, Dr. Flanders, Dr. Carr, Dr. Newhall, Dr. Charles
F. George and Dr. Frank Blaisdell. [Dr. Gove was considered to be the first physician
in this part of the State. Dr. Morrill was Senator of Congress and Governor of
the State, also a minister of the gospel.]
From: A brief history of
the Congregational Church in Goffstown, N.H. : being part of a sermon; Bristol,
N.H.: R.W. Musgrove, printer, 1881, 20 pgs.[SEE
this book in its entirety - PDF file 1.14 MB]
"At the first annual
town meeting, held at the barn of Thomas Karr (where the meetings were convened
for many years), it was 'Voted, that £100 will be raised for preaching,'
and Dea. Thomas Karr and Asa Pattee were appointed a committee to expend it. It
was also 'Voted, that half the preaching be at James Karr's and the other half
at John Smith's.' It is probably that all the public religious services of that
day were held in barns, as we find by a vote in March, 1763, that it was the will
of the town that the preaching for that year be at James Karr's barn....The Congregational
Church was organized Oct. 30, 1771. Its records, for the first ten years of its
existence, were destroyed by fire many years since...It is probably that a Presbyterian
church or society was formed very soon after, for in an old record book of the
Londonderry Presbytery. . . is the record from the minutes of a meeting held at
Newburyport, Mass., May 13, 1772: 'Ordered that a certificate be delivered to
the Presbyterian society of Goffstown....there were also a few Episcopalians,
whose parish rates were applied at Newburyport, Mass....The town records have
this entry under the date of March 7, 1791 -- 'This certifies that Capt. John
Butterfield hath joined the Episcopal Society in Goffstown, and means to support
the gospel in that mode of worship. (Signed) John Smith, John Clogston, Wardens.
[Also mentioned at a later date was Mr. Enoch Eaton, Job Dow, and Wm. McDougal].'
meetinghouse (also used as a house of worship) was built in Goffstown Center (now
known as Grasmere) in 1768. For 101 years it was used regularly, but in 1869,
the structure was sold and relocated in Manchester. The original "Pew ground"
of this building was sold to Samuel Blodgett, Wm. Gilchrist, Robert Gilmore, Capt.
James Karr, Dea. Thomas Karr, Job Kidder, Joseph Little, Capt. John Mack, Daniel
McFarland, Samuel McFarland, Asa Pattee, Samuel Richards, Benjamin Stevens and
[The second meetinghouse in town was erected in 1815 and
1816 (dedicated July 3, 1816), and it stood quite near the house of a Mr. Samuel
M. Christie. The building was large, with galleries on 3 sides and had a bell.
In 1845 it was taken down and moved away. The third meeting-house was built in
1838, which was the one occupied by the Methodists, and which was struck by lightning
and burned later. Another meeting-house was soon built.]
In 1775, Alexander
Walker, Captain James Karr and Captain Alexander Todd were chosen, with the selectmen,
a Committee of Safety as recommended by the Continental Congress, convened at
Exeter NH. In 1776, James Eaton, Enoch Sawyer, Captain Joseph Little, Moses Wills
and Joshua Buswell constituted this committee. In the following year the town
was canvassed by Samuel Richards, Joshua Martin and Thomas Shirley, to determine
what each man had done in the Continental service of war.
furnished its full quota of soldiers to the Continental army. The following is
a list of some of their names. Those marked with a star ( * ) we killed or died
in the service:
Samuel Richards, Lieutenant Moses Little, Lieutenant Timothy Blake, Ensign Jesse
Carr,* Antipas Dodge, Ichabod Martin, Timothy Moshire, Eruben Kidder, Obed McLane,
Loudon McGregorie, Joseph Marsh, David McClure, David McClure, Jr., Robert Spear,
John Dinsmore, Alexander Gilchrist, Robert Gilchrist,* Robert Gilchrist, Jr.,
John Sessions* and wife, Lieutenant Philip Ferrin, Alexander McDuell,* in both
wars (The French and Indian) and died while returning from the War of the Revolution
to his home; William McDoell, jr., James McPherson, John McFerson, John Todd,*
Collins Eaton,* Jonah Woods, John Little, John Gilmore, Matthew Kennedy, Andrew
Newell* (killed at the evacuation of Ticonderoga), Eleazer Emerson, Seth Wyman,
Samuel Dunlap, Samuel Reinick* (wounded at Bennington, and brought home by Captain
E. Richards, with two other young men), Timothy Johnson, Samuel Barr, John Woods,
Edward Woods, Samuel Smith, David Stevens* (brought home sick , wounded and died),
Benjamin Stevens, Jr., Ward Clark, Nathan Hawes, Amos Richards, Eliphalet Richards,
Simon Flanders, Charles Sargent, David Bursiel, Reuben Kemp, Robert McGregory,
William Houston, Jesse Dickey, Isachar King, John
Butterfield, Jonathan Bell, John Bell, Nathaniel Stevens, Ezra Myrack,* Joshua
Wilson, John McClintock, Joshua Bell, Benjamin Cass, Augustus George, Joseph
Hadley,* McAllister,* William Wilson, John Walker, John George, Samuel Eaton,
Thomas Saltmarsh, Silas Wells, William Kemp* (killed, together with Andrew Newall,
while on a scouting party from Fort Independence), Ebenezer Ferren, Thomas Shirley,
Joshua Martin, Elijah Kidder, Jacob Sargent, Samuel Orr * (wounded in the leg
near the knee, which is usually fatal) and Stewart Mars, a colored man, -- seventy
four in all.
Thirteen were killed or died of disease in the service. Many of
them returned home with painful, though honorable wounds. Several
were at the battle of Bunker
Hill and a number continued through the war. Captain Eliphalet
Richards, then a boy of seventeeen, Nathan Hawes, not quite fifteen,
Amos Richards, Robert Spear, Charles Sargent, Reuben Kemp, Samuel
Remick, Samuel Dunlap, William Houston and John Butterfield were
Here is a list
of Goffstown NH soldiers during the Revolutionary War from
MILITARY RECORD, 1861-65--The
following are the names of those who enlisted from Goffstown during the late Rebellion
[Civil War], exclusive of the first of the three month's regiment:
John L. Harriman, Samuel A. Kidder, John Bartlett, Samuel Stark, William H. Farmer,
Henry Page, Nathan H. Roberts, David A. Page, John L. Manning, Benjamin F. Harriman,
Lewis Merrill, Warren P. Elliott, Walter A. Lawrence, Aaron Elliott, Charles Martin,
Calvin Merrill, Andrew J. Roberts, Walter J. Richards, John M. Stark, Russell
Stevens, Henry Rowell, Albert Q. George, George W. Wells, Horace W. Black, Isaac
W. Martin, Thomas L. Rich, Rodney Hadley, George N. Cutler, Henry Moore, R.W.
Aiken, Nathan A. Gowin, Hiram A. Heath, Frederick Merrell (sic), John A. Heath,
Willard P. Thompson, Henry Stark, Solomon Smith, Benjamin D. Belcher, Edwin Stark,
Kimball F. Blaisdell, Henry Baker, Edward Barnard, Edwin G. Bowen, Charles Willey,
Albert Story, Isaac Willey, Frederick D. Moore, W.H.D. Cochran, Lewis J. Gillis,
William B. Hart, Jonathan Boyles, John Quick, Nelson Richards, Nathaniel F. Sweat,
Robert Richards, John E. Richards, Oscar Perkins, Lewis B. Caley, John Brown,
William Sidney, William O. Morgrage, Norton R. Moore, Jackson Willard, George
Hope, Lewis Saigell, martin V. Wyman, Trophile Thebadia, Andrew J. Aiken, John
B. Lucian, James N. Gault, Cyrus N. Sargent, Jerry Breene, Charles H. Lanchester,
Francis M. Simpson, Benjamin Buckley, Henry M. Burrows, A.B. Merrell (sic), David
A. Worthley, Benjamin Greer, Jr., Isaac B. Holt, Clifford K. Burns, John H. Kennedy,
William L. Otis, George E. Tirrell, Albert P. Jehonnett, John Tirrell, Henry E.
Blaisdell, James Murry, Elbridge Barr, Timothy McCarthy, Royall H. Robie, Cornelius
D. Dunnaho, Wayland F. Balch, W.H.H. Black, Samuel A. Richards, Joseph Dow, William
Sargent, Isaiah L. Sweat, William Provoncia, Horatio O. Tidd, William B. Dodge,
Thomas Barker, W.F. Stark, Thomas Howard, Herman J. Eaton, John Flanigan, Sylvester
Godfrey, Patrick Farilee, Benjamin F. Quinby, John O'Neil, Marselah A. Merrill,
Thomas O. Grady, Henry C. Richards, Leonard N. George, Godfrey Jehonnett, Horace
Shirley, Jasom Miller, Joseph Comfort.
The following are the names of
those who enlisted to go to Portsmouth in 1863, into the Heavy Battery:Frederick
L. Swartzs, Charles J. Drew, Samuel B. Weston, John S. Poor, James L. Hunkins,
Frank Harriman, George A. Gilchrist, Charles Morgrage, Malcom McLane, Daniel Kidder,
Joseph E. Steavens (sic), Edward J. Collins, Moses W. Woodbury, George F. Bidwell,
Daniel L. Woodbury, William H.D. Cochran, George Whipple, George A. Merrill, James
F. Wyman, Edwin Flanders, Stephen Lawrence, Darwin M. Poor, James R. Ferson, John
of local landmarks
Mast Road was thusly named as it was the route
where trees marked for the use of the King were pulled by oxen to the Merrimack
River. From there they were transported to Portsmouth to be fashioned into masts
for sailing vessels.
Goffstown's Mount Uncanoonuc (a Native American name that means
"woman's breasts") once hosted a trolley service, an inclined
railway, and a summit hotel. [Disclaimer: recently I have read
discussion about the origin of Uncanoonuc, by people studying modern
Abenaki. It is impossible to know the exact language they spoke
over 200 years ago, and so to state with certainty either for or
against the actual translation and origin is impossible].
The Piscataquog (a Native American word
meaning"great deer place") River runs through the center of Goffstown.
Ray bought the popcorn stand in Goffstown in the 1940's and placed it at the corner
of North Mast Road and High Street. In 1986, "Popcorn Charlie's" family
sold the stand to the Lions Club.
Goffstown is home to Saint Anselm College,
a well-respected, private liberal arts college affiliated with the Catholic Church.
The colleges Dana Center offers cultural events open to the public year-round.
St. Anselms Carr Center offers many organized sporting events throughout
Goffstown has two downtown areas: The Village and Pinardville.
The more urban Pinardville, located near Route 114 and Manchesters western
border, supports approximately a third of Goffstowns population and 50 percent
of its commercial and industrial tax base. The Village, located in the eastern
section of town, is Goffstowns more traditional New England village center.
According to the Town of Goffstown NH web site:
was originally a farming community. The first settlers in the 1700s found the
area magnificently forested with hardwood on the hill and unexcelled stands of
white pine on the "pine plains", which extended along Mast Road. This
area was so named for the many pine trees suitable for ship masts which were cut
and hauled to the Merrimack River for use by the Royal British Navy. [The famous
Riot" of 1772 took place nearby in the town of Weare, and included some
residents and former residents of Goffstown].
first settlement was on the north bank of the Piscataquog River in what is now
Grasmere Village, the seat of the town government for more than 100 years. Goffstown
Village grew up around the falls on the Piscataquog River where local industry
developed because of the availability of water power. Pinardville developed rapidly
in the era of the electric trolley car as a residential suburb for employees of
the mills in the City of Manchester. The steam railroad also played a part in
creating the Town's nodular pattern of development with stations at Grasmere,
Shirley Station, Goffstown Village and Parker Station. To date, Grasmere, the
Village, and Pinardville exist as three distinct areas of town.
within the Town of Goffstown are several public and private recreational facilities.
The town has several areas that are available for field sports and other activities:
Maple Avenue School and Bartlett School playgrounds; plus Roy Memorial Park, Barnard
Park, and Pinardville Park. The latter three also offer swimming pools and associated
recreational activities. In addition, Getty Field and Babe Ruth Field are used
for field sports. Two other recreational areas, Uncanoonuc Mountain and Glen Lake
Park, provide open space areas and swimming activities in the town. Several state
parks are located near Goffstown, within a short driving distance: Clough State
Park in Weare (15 minutes); Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown (30 minutes);
and Silver Lake State Park in Hollis (45 minutes).
GOFFSTOWN HISTORY WEB SITES: