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Located in Strafford County, New Hampshire, the city of Rochester includes the villages of East Rochester, along the northeast border of the city, and Gonic, south of downtown. Initially part of Massachusetts, Rochester was one of only four granted by Colonial Governor Samuel Shute. Incorporated in 1722, the town originally included Farmington and Milton, which separated in 1798 and 1802 respectively. Rochester Common, now used for community activities and concerts, once consisted of 250 acres, and was the meeting place for soldiers before going off to serve in the Revolutionary War. The community’s early economy was based on lumbering, although the Cochecho River was used to provide water power for several mills. Samuel D. Felker, Rolland H. Spaulding, and Huntley N. Spaulding, the 54th, 55th, and 61st governors of New Hampshire, were Rochester residents, as was Lyndon Larouche, political activist and frequent presidential candidate.

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