Coos County, New Hampshire

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The Coos County administrative offices are located at 136 County Farm Road, West Stewartstown, NH 03597; phone: 603-246-3321.

Incorporated in 1803, Coos County has a land area of approximately 1,800 square miles with a population of approximately 33,000.

The Town of Pittsburg, is home to the headwaters of the Connecticut River.

Beginnings [1]

The act of establishing the County of Coos was approved December 24, 1803, and took effect March 5, 1805. It contained the towns of Dalton, Whitfield, Bretton Woods, Bartlett, Adams, Chatham, Shelburne Addition, Durand, Kilkenny, Jefferson, Lancaster, Millsfield, Northumberland, Stratford, Wales' Fore, Cockburne, Colebrook, Stewartstown, Piercy, Paulsburg, Mainesborough, Dummer, Errol, Cambridge, and success. In 1803 the population was about 3,000.

Coos was taken from Grafton, one of the 5 original counties of the State — Rockingham, Strafford, Hillsborough, Cheshire, Grafton — and comprised all of New Hampshire north of the counties of Grafton and Carroll. Its western boundary is the western bank of the Connecticut River. It is bounded on the north and northwest by Canada, east by Maine, south by Carroll and Grafton counties, and west by Vermont.

The first settlers of Coos, in common with the pioneers of adjoining counties, endured many privations, hardships, and discouragements unique to the times. Living at a distance of more than 100 miles from the coast, all heavy articles, such as salt, iron, lead, and, in fact, everything indispensable to civilized life that could not be procured from the soil, or found in the woods or streams, was obliged to be transported upon the backs of men or horses, not having the convenience of roads, and their only guides through the forests were marked trees. The nearest mills, either for the manufacture of lumber or the grinding of corn and wheat into meal or flour, were at Charlestown, NH, a distance of 110 miles, across land that was frequented by hostile Indians.

After the first 25 years of settlement, the settlers were for the most part independent, self-reliant, healthy farmers who lived upon the produce of their own soil, raised by the work of their own hands, warmed by fuel from their own woods, and clothed from the flax from their fields or wool from their flock.

  1. History of Coos County, New Hampshire, W. A. Ferguson & Co., Syracuse, 1888.


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