Sandwich, New Hampshire, is a small town nestled in the beautiful Lakes Region. Although it may seem peaceful and serene, the town has witnessed its fair share of historical events over the years. From early colonial settlements to significant moments in American history, Sandwich has played a role in shaping the region and the nation. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Sandwich, NH.
1. Colonial Settlements in the 18th Century:
Sandwich was first settled in 1763 by a group of farmers and pioneers from southeastern Massachusetts. Led by Captain Samuel Palmer, they established the town as part of the New Hampshire Grants. The area offered fertile land for farming and access to natural resources, attracting settlers eager to build a new life.
2. The Revolution's Start:
Nearby Concord, New Hampshire, played a significant role in the American Revolution. In April 1775, it became the first location in the state to store gunpowder, leading to the infamous Battle of Lexington and Concord. While not directly occurring in Sandwich, this event set the stage for subsequent revolutionary activities in the region.
3. The Squam Lakes Area and Victorian Tourism:
The Squam Lakes region, which includes Sandwich, became a popular tourist destination during the Victorian era. Visitors flocked to the area's natural beauty, pristine lakes, and picturesque landscapes. Hotels and camps sprang up around Squam Lake, attracting tourists seeking respite from urban life. Notable figures like Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne visited the area, leaving their mark on Sandwich's history.
4. The Great Fire of 1903:
In 1903, a devastating fire swept through Sandwich, destroying numerous homes and businesses. The fire began in the center of town and quickly spread, fueled by high winds. Despite efforts to contain the blaze, it raged for hours, leaving a charred path in its wake. The fire led to enhanced fire safety measures and a renewed sense of community resilience and rebuilding.
5. National Forest Service Comes to Town:
In 1916, the Sandwich Range became part of the White Mountain National Forest, established by President Woodrow Wilson. The creation of this vast protected area ensured the preservation of the region's natural beauty and allowed for recreational activities like hiking, camping, and fishing.
6. Military Training in World War II:
During World War II, Sandwich played a vital role in military training. Located near Squam Lake, the area became a training ground for Allied forces. Soldiers engaged in various exercises, including weapons training, maneuvering, and tactical operations. An airfield was also constructed to support training missions in the sky.
7. The Sandwich Fair:
The Sandwich Fair, which began in 1919, has become an annual event drawing attendees from all over New England. The fair showcases local crafts, agricultural exhibits, live performances, and thrilling rides. This long-standing tradition has not only become the highlight of the town's social calendar but also an enduring celebration of Sandwich's vibrant community and agricultural roots.
These events highlight the diverse history and significance of Sandwich, New Hampshire. From its colonial beginnings to its role in the American Revolution and various periods of change and growth, the town has been a witness to history. Today, Sandwich preserves its historical heritage while embracing a promising future as a cherished community and tourist destination.
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