More is on the way!
A lot more is on the way for the About Rollinsford section! There will be town history, things to do in town, the story behind the town seal, and more. This section has a long way to go, please be patient with the writers!
Rollinsford is a small New England town located in southeastern New Hampshire. This beautiful community is a great place to live and raise a family.
The town is situated on the western bank of the Salmon Falls River which divides New Hampshire from Maine. It is approximately 14 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Our neighboring cities are Dover, and Somersworth, New Hampshire and South Berwick, Maine.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.5 km² (7.5 mi²). 18.9 km² (7.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.6 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is water, comprising 3.32% of the town.
While Rollinsford is bounded on the east by the Salmon Falls River, most of the town is drained by Rollins and Twombly brooks, which flow south to the Cochecho River in neighboring Dover. The highest point in town is an unnamed 300-foot (91 meter) summit near the border with Somersworth.
Garrison Hill (290 feet / 88 meters above sea level) occupies the town’s border with Dover to the west.
The area was once within the domain of the Newichawannock Indians, an Abenaki sub-tribe which took its name from the Newichawannock River, meaning ‘river with many falls,’ now the Salmon Falls River.
Their village was located at what is today Salmon Falls Village. They fished at the falls, stretching nets across the river to catch migrating salmon and other species swimming upriver to spawn. But war and disease, probably smallpox brought from abroad, would decimate the native population.
Settled in 1623, the land was part of Dover, one of the original townships of New Hampshire. The area was first called Sligo after Sligo in Ireland, and the name survives on a town road.
It would be established in 1729 as a parish called Summersworth, meaning summer town, because the ministers preached here during the summer.
In 1754, it would be set off and incorporated as a town by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, although thereafter spelled Somersworth due to a clerical error.
Since the pioneers’ arrival, small communities had developed near various sawmills and gristmills along the Salmon Falls River, but the center of Summersworth was located at Rollinsford Junction.
Beginning in the early 1820s, water powered textile mills were established at the larger falls, and the town would divide between them — Great Falls became Somersworth, and Salmon Falls became Rollinsford, incorporated in 1849. It was named for Edward H. Rollins, a prominent businessman, banker and politician.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Rollinsford resident Chris Benedetto has compiled the slideshow below to show the connections between Rollinsford residents and the War.