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Granted by the Masonian Proprietors in 1749, as Cocheco Township, the town of New Durham was settled in 1750, almost entirely by colonists from Durham, from which it took its current name upon its incorporation inn 1762. Because of its rocky and uneven surface, the land was better suited for grazing than cultivation. Lumber was an early contributor to its economy and, by 1859, New Durham had five sawmills, four shingle mills, two gristmills, and a gunpowder factory known as Eureka Powder Works. In 1780, the Reverend Benjamin Randall founded the Free Will Baptists, as a new Christian denomination, in New Durham, New Hampshire. Located in Strafford County, New Durham is drained by the Merrymeeting, Ela, and Cocheca rivers, and is home to Merrymeeting Lake, the Lion’s Club Camp Pride, and the Powder Mill Fish Hatchery. New Durham is southeast of Alton and northeast of Farmington.



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