About This Place
Rochester is a city in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 29,752. The city includes the villages of East Rochester and Gonic. Rochester is home to Skyhaven Airport and the annual Rochester Fair.
Rochester was once inhabited by Abenaki Indians of the Pennacook tribe. They fished, hunted and farmed, moving locations when their agriculture exhausted the soil for growing pumpkins, squash, beans and maize. Gonic was called Squanamagonic, meaning "the water of the clay place hill."
The town was one of four granted by Colonial Governor Samuel Shute of Massachusetts during his brief term. Incorporated in 1722, it was named for his close friend, Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester and brother-in-law to King James II. As was customary, tall white pine trees were reserved for use as masts by the Royal Navy. But hostility with the Indians delayed settlement until 1728, although attacks would continue until 1748. Early dwellings clustered together for protection, beginning near Haven Hill. Due to warfare or disease, after 1749 the Indians were gone. The community at that time included Farmington, which would be incorporated in 1798, and Milton, in 1802.