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Plaistow is one of only two towns in the world with that name, the other being in Essex, England, outside of London. Originally a part of Haverhill, known as Haverhill District, Plaistow separated and was incorporated by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1749, ten miles after the boundary dispute between the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire was settled in 1739. Prior to that time, residents in Plaistow were taxed by both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 1776, the western portion of the town broke off to form Atkinson. Situated in southeastern Rockingham County, New Hampshire, Plaistow is bordered on the north by Hampstead, northeast by Kingston, east by Newton, west by Atkinson, and south by Haverhill. Plaistow is one of only two towns in New Hampshire that does not have a major pond or lake within its boundaries, although several streams flow through the town, including Little River, Kelley Brook, Seaver Brook, Bryant Brook, Mankill Brook, and Snow’s Brook.


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