Stoddard

Background

It is said that the rain falling on the roof of Stoddard’s first meetinghouse went in two directions: into the Connecticut River from one side and into the Merrimack River from the other. The town was known as Limerick or Monadnock No. 7 when it received its grant in 1752; settlement began in 1769.

Some of the first inhabitants carried grain on their backs through a trackless wilderness from Peterborough, the nearest settlement, 20 miles to the south. When it was chartered in 1774, the town was renamed in honor of Col. Samson Stoddard, an original grantee.

The village center, one of the highest in elevation in the state, contains a fine Gothic revival-style church built in 1835-36 and a soldier’s monument. Stoddard is a popular vacation community, with its lakes, Pitcher Mountain lookout tower and Scotch Highland cattle herd, but historically is best known for the glass industry that flourished at South Stoddard and Mill Village between 1842 and 1873.