Somersworth, New Hampshire is a charming city located in the southeastern part of the state, bordering Maine. While known for its quaint downtown area and picturesque scenery, Somersworth also boasts a rich historical background. Here are just 7 of the many historical events that have taken place near Somersworth.
1. The Piscataqua River Settlements:
In the early 1600s, the area now known as Somersworth was part of the Piscataqua River Settlements. These settlements were established by English colonizers and were among the first permanent English settlements in North America. Somersworth was part of the Dover Township, which was established in 1623.
2. The Indian Wars:
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the Somersworth area was heavily involved in the Indian Wars. The town was home to a number of forts and garrisons, including Fort William and Mary, which was built in 1632 and played a key role in the Battle of Fort William and Mary during the American Revolution.
3. Revolutionary War:
Somersworth played a significant role in the Revolutionary War. The town was an important hub for the Continental Army, with General John Sullivan based in the area during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Somersworth also served as a key transportation center for the colonies.
4. Abolitionist Movement:
As the nation struggled with slavery in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Somersworth emerged as a center for abolitionist activity. Local officials and residents alike, including future New Hampshire Governor Noah Martin, were active in the fight to end slavery.
5. Industrial Revolution:
The industrial revolution had a profound impact on Somersworth, with mills and factories springing up throughout the area in the 19th century. The town became a center for manufacturing, particularly in the textile industry, and many of these mills have since been converted to modern business centers.
6. World War II:
During World War II, Somersworth was home to one of the largest army bases in the country, Pease Air Force Base. The base played a crucial role in the war effort, with thousands of troops passing through the area for training and deployment.
7. Nuclear Disarmament:
In the 1980s and 1990s, Somersworth became a center for the nuclear disarmament movement. The town's proximity to the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant made it a prime location for activists to challenge nuclear power and weapons. Thousands of protesters gathered in the area during the “Clamshell Alliance,” a series of protests that targeted the Seabrook plant.
As you can see, Somersworth has a rich and diverse history, from colonizers and revolutions to industrialization and nuclear disarmament. So the next time you visit this charming town, take some time to explore its many historical sites and uncover even more fascinating stories.
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