Plymouth, New Hampshire has a rich history that dates back to its settlement in the 1760s. Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, the town has been a witness to several historical events that have shaped the region's political, cultural, and social fabric. Here are seven notable historical events that have taken place near Plymouth, NH:
1. The Revolutionary War
During the American Revolution, Plymouth served as a key location for the Continental Army. In 1777, General John Burgoyne's British army marched through New Hampshire trying to reach Albany, New York. The Battle of Bennington took place nearby, and later that year, General Horatio Gates and his army made their way through Plymouth on their way to Saratoga, where they achieved a decisive victory over the British.
2. The Beginning of the Industrial Revolution
In the early 19th century, Plymouth was a hub of manufacturing activity. The arrival of the railroad in 1849 brought new opportunities for commerce and trade. The town's first factory, the Plymouth Cotton Company, was founded in 1813 and produced cotton fabric until 1850. Other industries, including the shoe and leather goods industries, flourished in the area.
3. The Civil War
Plymouth sent more than 200 soldiers to fight in the Civil War. The town's women supported the war effort by knitting socks and making bandages for the soldiers. In 1863, Confederate raiders led by John Mosby descended upon the town and burned several buildings. The raid set off a wave of fear and panic in the community.
4. The Women's Suffrage Movement
The fight for women's suffrage was a national issue that also impacted Plymouth. In 1869, suffragist Lucy Stone spoke at the town hall to advocate for women's right to vote. The town's female residents were actively involved in the women's suffrage movement, and the New Hampshire legislature approved suffrage for women in 1919, a year before the 19th Amendment was ratified.
5. The Industrial Strikes of 1912
In 1912, a series of strikes occurred in the area as workers demanded better wages and working conditions. The Plymouth Shoe Company, located just outside of town, was one of the factories affected by the strikes. The work stoppages lasted several months and resulted in violence and arrests. The strikes were a significant event in the history of labor movements in New Hampshire.
6. The Arrival of Skiing
The White Mountains have long been a popular destination for outdoor recreation, and skiing became increasingly popular in the early 20th century. The first ski races in the United States were held in nearby Berlin in 1905, and ski jumping competitions were held at Plymouth State University in the 1930s. In the 1950s and 1960s, several ski resorts were established in the area, including Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain.
7. The Flood of 1996
In the fall of 1996, Hurricane Fran caused severe flooding in much of New Hampshire. The Pemigewasset River overflowed its banks, causing extensive damage in Plymouth and the surrounding area. The historic covered bridge in the center of town was swept away by the flood and had to be completely reconstructed.
In conclusion, Plymouth, New Hampshire has been the site of a wide range of historical events, from colonial battles to the struggles for labor rights and women's suffrage. The town's rich history is a testament to the bravery and resilience of its residents, who have worked hard to preserve the area's culture and identity for generations to come.
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