General History of Marlboro, New Hampshire

MARLBORO is a small irregularly outlined township, lying in the central part of the county, in lat. 24° 54 and long. 4° 49′, bounded north by Roxbury, east by Harrisville, Dublin and Jaffrey, south by Troy, and west by Troy, Swanzey and Keene. It was originally granted by the Masonian proprietors, under the name of Monadnock No. 5, to James Morrison, Jr., and thirty-one associates, May 20, 1752. This charter granted to these gentlemen a tract of 20,000 acres, bounded as follows:

“Beginning at the northwest corner of the township called North Monadnock No. 3, [Dublin]. thence north 80° west three and a half miles to a beach tree on the west line of Mason’s Patent; thence southerly on that line seven and three-quarter miles and forty rods, to the northwest corner of the township called Monadnock No. 4, [Fitzwilliam]; thence south 80° east about four miles by the north line of said No. 4, to the west line of Monadnock No. 2, [Jaffrey]; and thence north by the needle by Monadnock Nos. 2 and 3, to the bounds began at.”

The proprietors met at the house of Joseph Blanchard, in Dunstable, N. H., on the same day the charter was issued and formally accepted the grant, etc. Most of them were residents of Dunstable and Londonderry, and doubtless took the land as a speculation, with no idea of ever becoming settlers thereon. It is certain, at least, that no decided effort was made to bring forward a settlement. This, however, was doubtless due to the troubles attending the French and Indian war, which broke out in 1753. No record of any proceedings on the part of the proprietors is found for a period of over nine years, a period of inactivity which legally annulled their charter. But in 1761, twenty-eight residents of Westborough and Marlborough, Mass., obtained an interest in the land, and four of them, William Baker, Isaac McAlister, Richard Tozer and Daniel Goodenow, subsequently became settlers. A proprietors’ meeting was warned, to meet at Marlborough, Mass., November 20th, of that year, of which Noah Church was made moderator, and Ebenezer Dexter was chosen clerk; Jesse Wright, treasurer; Noah Church, Jacob Felton and Ebenezer Dexter, assessors; and Stephen How, collector. At an adjourned meeting, on April 30, 1762, it was voted to lay out the township into one hundred acre lots. It was surveyed by Jonathan Livermore, Noah Church and Isaac McAlister, and on the 22d of November, 1762, the lots were drawn by the proprietors. In answer to petitions from the inhabitants, a confirmatory charter was granted by New Hampshire, December g, 1776, the act being opposed by the senate December 13th, 1776, giving the territory the name of Marlborough, or New Marlborough. This name of New Marlborough, however, had been in use since 1770, given from the fact of so many of the citizens of Marlborough, Mass., being interested in the land, both as proprietors and settlers. General use now, however, has made it admissible for one to abbreviate words ending on borough, to boro, a. privilege we avail ourselves of, and adopt in this case. In this charter the bounds of the town are given as follows .

“Beginning at the northwest corner of Dublin, thence running north 80° west three and one half miles by Packersfield to a beach tree standing in the east line of Keene; thence running southerly by Keene and Swanzey seven and three-fourths and forty rods to the northwest corner of Fitzwilliam . thence south 80° east four miles by the north line of Fitzwilliam, to the west line of Jaffrey; and thence north by the needle by Jaffrey and Dublin to the bounds first mentioned.”

The actual survey gave the town an area of 20,700 acres; but owing to the annexations of its territory to surrounding towns, it has now only about 13,000 acres.

The surface of the town is broken and uneven, which, still further varied by lakelet and stream, makes up some truly beautiful scenery. There are areas of alluvial land, however, having an excellent soil. But the soil in general is better adapted to grazing than tillage, though cultivation is rewarded with fair crops of Indian corn, oats, potatoes, rye and barley. There are many streams, of which the larger are Minniwawa brook and South Branch. The latter falls over the rocks a short distance above the village,. making a very beautiful cascade. Of the several ponds, Stone pond lying in the eastern part of the town is the largest. It is about three-fourths of a. mile in length by one-third of a mile in width, surrounded by exquisite natural scenery. Cummings pond in the northern part of the town, is about the same size, perhaps a trifle wider, though it was doubtless at one time much larger than it now is. Clapp pond, in the northeastern part of the town, is not as large as the others, but is much more depressed, while its waters are not so clear. Meeting-house pond, just south of the central part of the town, near where the old meeting -house stood, has an area of about a hundred acres, including the open water and the part covered by bog. All of these ponds are well supplied with fish of various kinds. The geological formation of the territory is made up mostly of primitive rock, granite predominating. The drift or loose formation is composed largely of silicates. The deposits give evidence of glacial, aqueous and iceberg action. The minerals consist mainly of granite, gneiss, granular and rose quartz, feldspar. mica, beryl, garnets and plumbago. The sedimentary rocks are made up of sand. clay and peat. The Manchester & Keene railroad passes through the northern part of the town, and the Cheshire road through the southwestern part.

In 1880 Marlboro had a population of 1,275 souls. In 1884 it had eight school districts and eleven different public schools, four of which were graded Its eight school-houses, including sites, furniture, etc., are valued at $9.025.00. There were 281 pupils attending these schools, eleven of whom were pursuing the higher branches, taught by one male and sixteen female teachers, the former receiving an average monthly salary of $43.00, and the latter $25.00. The entire amount of revenue for school purposes was $2,360.08, while the entire expenditure for the year was $2,345.05, with Rev. J. L. Merril and R. T. Polk, superintendents.


Hurd, Duane Hamilton. History of Cheshire and Sullivan counties, New Hampshire. Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis. 1886.

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