Mount Monadnock lies largely in Jaffrey, a town first granted as Monadnock No. 2 or Middle Monadnock in 1749 and incorporated in 1773. It is named for George Jaffrey of Portsmouth, a N.H. colonial official.

The oldest part of town contains many beautiful houses and the historic 1775 Town House. Nearby, in the cemetery looking toward Mount Monadnock, is the grave of Amos Fortune, an African-born slave who purchased his freedom and that of his wife, and established a tannery in the village. Also buried there are bandbox craftswoman Hannah Davis and author Willa Cather, who summered in the town.

With the development of water power, the modern village rose closer to a textile mill site on the Contoocook River. Summer tourists began visiting Jaffrey in the 1840s, and several resort hotels were erected at the base of Mount Monadnock.

The first recorded ascent of Mount Monadnock took place in 1725; it has been a popular attraction ever since, and is said, with Mount Fuji in Japan, to be the most climbed mountain in the world.

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Mount Monadnock
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Climbing the mountain in the 19th Century

Video by Big Boom Productions