Swanzey, opened for settlement in 1733, was originally called Lower Ashuelot. It was the site of many battles during the French and Indian wars. It received its charter and present name in 1753.
The Ashuelot River flows through Swanzey, and the town contains some good farm land. There has been notable textile manufacturing in West Swanzey, and wooden buckets were produced in East Swanzey for generations.
Swanzey boasts three picturesque covered bridges and was the home of theatrical trouper Denman Thompson (1833-1911), who gained a national reputation by his portrayal of the Yankee farmer Joshua Whitcomb, star of his stage play, “The Old Homestead.” Swanzey residents reproduce Thompson’s melodrama every summer at a natural outdoor amphitheater.
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