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About Holderness
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About Holderness


The Town of Holderness is in central New Hampshire, nestled between the foothills of the White Mountains and the shores of the Squam Lakes.  From early times, Native Americans and then European settlers used the Lakes as a trade route. Goods from the North Country floated across Squam Lake, down the Squam River to the Pemigewasset, and then to the Merrimack and the seacoast.  

Benning Wentworth granted the township of New Holderness in 1751 but the official charter from King George III is dated 1761.  “New” was dropped from the name at the 1816 Town Meeting, and all was quiet until 1868 when a dispute over “gaslights and sidewalks” literally split the community.  What is now the town of Ashland was formed around the thriving mills and railroad depot of the time, leaving the rest of Holderness to the farmers and fishermen.  

Ironically, it was the unspoiled beauty of Holderness that drew visitors seeking relief from the swelter of Boston or Baltimore.  By 1890, Holderness was a cool retreat from city summers, with dozens of rustic fishing camps on the shores of Squam Lake and hotels dotting the hillsides.

Today Holderness is still small and still largely rural. The breathtaking natural beauty of the lakes and mountains is still what draws visitors and residents alike all year round.  Yet it doesn’t take long to discover that Holderness and the surrounding towns have wonderful educational, cultural, and commercial assets as well.  Shopping, theater, music, restaurants, galleries, and bookstores are within a few miles of Holderness Village.   

 

Town of Holderness, 1089 US Rt. 3, PO Box 203, Holderness, NH 03245
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