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Located in central New Hampshire, between the foothills of the White Mountains and the shores of the Squam Lakes, the town of Holderness grew up along a route long used by Native Americans and European settlers as a trade route. The township was granted by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1751, although the official charter from King George III is dated 1761. Initially named New Holderness, the name was shortened at the 1816 town meeting. In 1868, a dispute over gaslights and sidewalks split the township, with what is now the town of Ashland separating from it, leaving Holderness with the portion of the town that was chiefly agricultural or fishing lands. Oren Cheney, an abolitionist and founder of Bates College, was born in Holderness. His father, Moses Cheney, was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Holderness is in Grafton County, New Hampshire.


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