April 11th- Rochester Historical Society-David Miller Presents The Road That Put Rochester On The Map

On Thursday, April 11, at 7 PM at the Rochester Historical Society Museum on Hanson Street, David Miller will present The Road that Put Rochester on the Map, the story of Governor’s Road that ran from Portsmouth to Wolfeboro in the 1700s.

Newly appointed Royal Governor John Wentworth was a young and enterprising businessperson, chosen successor to his uncle Governor Benning Wentworth, by England’s King to lead New Hampshire into the future. The European continental wars fought here in New Hampshire province for 140 years against the French and Indians had ended. Settlers with their newfound security were pushing the frontier north and westward from the Piscataqua towns of Exeter, Dover, Hampton, and the capital, Portsmouth.

John Wentworth was as comfortable in the woods as he was in the society of Portsmouth. He was popular with the people as they saw him, being New Hampshire born, as one of them. He knew if his province was to prosper as the settlers moved inland they would need a way to get their product to market. Through example, he committed a portion of his wealth to building a large mansion on his 4000-acre property on the shore of what is known today as Lake Wentworth in the new town of Wolf borough. 

However, it was not enough to build this summer home so much as there was a need to get there easily through the woods. He ordered the building of the Governor’s Road from Portsmouth through Rochester to its destination. (This would pass by his favorite tavern stop - the General Wolfe’s Tavern owned by his cousin here in Rochester.) He wanted more than a widened Indian path. Each town was expected to provide the labor to build this road. Nevertheless, this is where all the problems began.

Using original maps, models, and pictures, both contemporary and from the past, we will tell the story of how the feat was accomplished We will travel over the Governor’s Road as it is today and rediscover it as one of New Hampshire’s most scenic byways.
Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.    For more information please call 330-3099 or e-mail rochesterhistorical@metrocast.net.

Image attached - David Miller, past president of the Rochester Historical Society, has studied many aspects of Rochester history and has presented many interesting and informative programs.

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