City of Nashua


Nashua's Old City Hall

 



 History

The area was part of a 200-square-mile (520 km2) tract of land in Massachusetts called Dunstable, which had been awarded to Edward Tyng of Dunstable, England. Nashua lies approximately in the center of the original 1673 grant. The previously disputed boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was fixed in 1741 when the governorships of the two provinces were separated. As a consequence, the township of Dunstable was divided in two. Tyngsborough and some of Dunstable remained in Massachusetts, while Dunstable, New Hampshire, was incorporated in 1746 from the northern section of the town.

Located at the confluence of the Nashua and Merrimack rivers, Dunstable was first settled about 1655 as a fur trading town. Like many 19th century riverfront New England communities, it would be developed during the Industrial Revolution with textile mills operated from water power. By 1836, the Nashua Manufacturing Company had built three cotton mills which produced 9.3 million yards of cloth annually on 710 looms. On December 31, 1836, the New Hampshire half of Dunstable was renamed Nashua, after the Nashua River, by a declaration of the New Hampshire legislature (the Dunstable name lives on across the Massachusetts border).The Nashua River was named by the Nashuway Indians, and in the Penacook language it means "beautiful stream with a pebbly bottom", with an alternative meaning of “land between two rivers”. In 1842 the town split again in two for eleven years following a dispute between the area north of the Nashua, and the area south of the river. During that time the northern area (today "French Hill") called itself "Nashville", while the southern part kept the name Nashua. They reconciled in 1853 and joined together to charter the "city of Nashua". Six railroad lines crossed the mill town, namely the Boston, Lowell and Nashua; Worcester and Nashua; Nashua and Acton; Nashua and Wilton; Concord and Nashua; and Rochester railroads; with 56 trains entering and departing daily in the years before the Civil War. These various railroads led to all sections of the country, north, east, south, and west. The Jackson Manufacturing Company employed hundreds of workers in the 1870s.


 

 

On this point of land dwelt John Lovewell, one of the earliest settlers of Dunstable,
at whose house Hannah Duston spent the night after her escape from the Indians
at Penacook Island March 30, 1697.

 

Resources

 


 

Surnames

If you would like your Nashua surname listed, please e-mail me

Bernard - Linda Simpson

Beverly - Maryann

Gadbois - Linda Simpson

Winters - Susan Winters Smith

 

 

Nashua Family Sites

If you would like your Nashua Family listed here, please e-mail me.

Blanchard Family

Bernard Family


 






                           
 

Linda Simpson

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Nashua, New Hampshire  
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