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Gilsum is a small town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire. The area was originally granted by the Masonian Proprietors in 1752, and named Boyle, for Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington; however, hostilities during the French and Indian War prevented settlement and the grant lapsed. It was rechartered by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1763, and named Gilsum, which combined the surnames of Samuel Gilbert and Thomas Sumner, two of the proprietors. The first settlement was by Josiah Kilburn, who came from Connecticut in 1764. The Ashuelot River provided water power for the mills that fueled the town’s early economy, which included woolen mills, a bobbin factory, a chair factory, and a tannery. Gilsum Lower Village is located within the town. Lucy Mack, the mother of the Latter Day Saint movement founder, Joseph Smith, was a native of Gilsum.



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