Town of Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Cemetery Database

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This website contains a database of interments in the 19 public cemeteries of Hillsborough, New Hampshire, originally called "Bridge Village". The time period is from the first known burial in 1788 to the present, last updated in September, 2016. The database is searchable by last name or cemetery name. The entire database may be listed in alphabetical order by last name. Search the database

A Brief History of Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Hillsborough, often spelled Hillsboro, is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. First granted in 1735 by colonial governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Jonathan Belcher as "Number Seven," in a line of nine Massachusetts towns set up as defense barriers against Indian attacks. The towns were renamed after the border between the two provinces was fixed in 1739, placing the towns in New Hampshire. Settled in 1741, the town was granted in 1748 by colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as "Hillsborough," named for Sir Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough. It would be incorporated in 1772 by colonial Governor John Wentworth.

The original settlement is now the hilltop village of Hillsborough Center where early settlers came from towns in eastern Massachusetts and from the Scotch-Irish towns in southeastern New Hampshire. Once the center of local life, Hillsborough Center retains the atmosphere of a 19th century New England town, with its central Common, or public green, lost animal pound, horse sheds, school house, and churches. Many of the original settlers and their descendents lie in the Center Cemetery.

The business and commercial center of the town, originally called "Bridge Village" was established several miles down the road where a number of mills were established to take advantage of the water power of the Contoocook River.

The "Contoocook Mills" are located on the south bank of the river, immediately east of New Hampshire Route 149 beside one of the five scenic granite arch bridges located in Hillsborough. The largest structure is referred to as the Main Mill and was constructed in 2 distinct periods of time. The building is post and beam construction with the first and second floors built around 1865. The structure on these floors were massive hand-hewn timbers, whereas the 3rd and 4th floor were lighter saw-cut timbers added in the late 19th century. Attached to the Main Mill building is a 3 story flat roof building which are joined, however the construction of each were independent. The construction is also post and beam. This building has many more windows which flood the interior with natural light. The brick picker building built in 1846/46 originally was a grist mill and became part of the mill at a later date. The brick boiler house dates to 1888 has the original boilers bearing the name Hodge Boiler Works, East Boston, Massachusetts. The brick office building built around 1865 has 2 full floors. The wood dye house was built 1865 is post and beam barn construction with mortise and tenon joints. A part of the mill now contains modern apartments overlooking the bridge and river.

The town also includes the Hillsborough Upper Village just past the Franklin Pierce Homestead, with it's collection of 19th century houses and stores, many dating back to the time of Benjamin Pierce, who is buried in the graveyard just before the village; Hillsborough Lower Village, developed as a stopping point for stage coaches traveling the 2nd NH Turnpike. Many of the homes here date back to the early 19th century. The first post office was established here. The nearby Union Chapel is a noteworthy white clapboard church; and Emerald Lake Village, a complex of summer residences clustered around Emerald Lake aka Gould Pond.

Hillsborough is the birthplace in 1804 of Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States, and the only president from New Hampshire. The Pierce Homestead was built in 1804 by his father, Benjamin Pierce, a general in the Revolutionary War, and twice governor of New Hampshire. Restored in 1925, the home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house is today a museum owned by the state, and operated by the Hillsborough Historical Society.

Five granite arch bridges built during the 19th century in Hillsborough are designated as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

Website & database system courtesy Richard Booth, Lakeside Design, Hillsborough, NH