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Dominated by the University of New Hampshire, whose main campus is located there, the town of Durham is in Strafford County. The town is situated along Great Bay, at the mouth of the Oyster River. Settled in 1635, as part of Dover, the town was originally known as Oyster River Plantation. Half of its buildings, including its garrisons, were pillaged and burned during King William’s War on July 18, 1694. The community rebuilt and, by 1716, it was a separate parish, named for Durham, England, which was incorporated in 1732. Benjamin Thompson, a descendant of an early settler, left his assets and estate to the state for the purpose of an agricultural college. Founded in 1866, the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts moved to Durham in 1893, becoming UNH in 1923.


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