New Boston in 1823The Historical Society recently received from Sylvia Chancey the gift of an interesting book, "A Gazetteer of the State of the New Hampshire", published by John Farmer and Jacob B. Moore in 1823. That was a very long time ago; there were only 24 United States at the time, King George III had just died, and Ludwig von Beethoven was busy composing his 9th Symphony.
New Boston is "watered by several streams, the largest of which is the S. branch of the Piscataquog river, having its source in Pleasant pond in Francestown. This town [New Boston] consists of fertile hills, productive vales, and some valuable meadows. The soil is favorable for all the various productions common to this section of the state, and there are many excellent farms under good cultivation.
"In the S. [south] partof New Boston, there is a considerable elevation, called Jo English hill, on one side of which it is nearly perpendicular. Its height, taken from the road through the notch of the hill, is 572 feet.
The 2nd N.H. turnpike passes through the S.W. corner of this town, near which are the Cristy mills. There is a social library, of 200 volumes, incorporated June 16, 1801."
New Boston's second meetinghouse, the "Church on the Hill", was dedicated on December 25, 1823.
Church pews in this Presbyterian Meetinghouse were sold for $20-$140 each, depending on location, to defray the costs of construction.
James Cochran Jr. chose a pew of medium price: $47.50 in 1823 dollars, or about $1,000 today.