Jaffrey is unique. It is the only Jaffrey in the world. Notable, too, is that Jaffrey is probably the only town in the world whose official historical marker, located on Route 124 at the foot of the Jaffrey Center Common, honors both a black man who bought his own freedom from slavery, Amos Fortune; and a 19th century business woman who ran her own manufacturing establishment, Hannah Davis.

Natural Beauty
Jaffrey is a place of unusual natural beauty. The majestic mountain, the many lakes and ponds, the white birch trees set against the evergreen pines, the tree-shaded country roads, and the fresh mountain air, are the setting for the drama of its changing seasons.

Mount Monadnock
According to the first land grant, Mt. Monadnock was in Massachusetts. The Great Boundary Dispute was not settled until 1739 when, under King George II of England, a strip of land 14 miles wide and 50 miles long was permanently chartered to New Hampshire. This strip included Mt. Monadnock and Jaffrey.

In 1622, the original grant was given to John Mason, and he named New Hampshire after his native county in England. In 1740, title was given to the Masonian Proprietors, a group of eighteen men, including John Wentworth, John Rindge, and George Jaffrey, who made and dealt in townships, and the imprint of their power remains in the boundaries and names of the towns.

In 1749 the Masonian Proprietors divided the Mt. Monadnock area into three townships called South, Middle, and North Monadnock. Middle Monadnock later became Jaffrey.

Early Settlers
It was the Scot-Irish, hardy and land-hungry, who came, slowly at first, but in increasing numbers, to claim homesteads in Middle Monadnock. The town was later enriched by Scandinavians, other Europeans, and by the French-Canadians.

The Charter
On August 17, 1773, in response to a petition, a Charter was granted to Middle Monadnock under the new name of Jaffrey, in honor of George Jaffrey, a Masonian Proprietor and a member of the Governor’s Council.

The Charter required that there be a place for town government, a place of worship, and a place for education. One most historic building, the Old Meeting House, was built in 1775 to serve as both Town Hall and Church. School was at first held in houses, but soon one room schoolhouses were built as needed.

Religious Freedom
Rev. Laban Ainsworth served as the tax-supported minister in the Meeting House until the Toleration Act in 1819 gave equal rights to other denominations. This was the impetus for building churches, and a Baptist Church was built in 1830, followed by the First Congregational Church in 1831, and the Universalist Church in 1844. The present United Church of Jaffrey was built in 1850, and St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in 1917.

Stagecoach Stop
In 1799 the Boston to Keene Turnpike found Jaffrey an important stop along the route. A historic marker on Old Turnpike Road (Route 124) identifies the place where the Toll House collected fees from the traveling stagecoaches. A stagecoach was pulled by six big horses, and a trumpet or a bugle signaled its approach to town.

The town prospered. Sawmills, woodworking plants and textile factories flourished. With the railroad in the late 1800s came more progress. Handsome private homes were built, as well as large inns to accommodate the growing number of summer visitors.

Today Jaffrey is a home for modern industry, and has kept pace with the comforts and conveniences of modern living. It has long been a loved summer resort, and many who first knew Jaffrey as a summer home, now live here year-around.


Profile of Jaffrey
Jaffrey is the home of majestic Mt. Monadnock which has an elevation of 3,165 feet above sea level. The Town of Jaffrey has an elevation of 1,013 feet.

COUNTY: Cheshire


DENSITY: 135.89 persons per square mile

CLIMATE: Normal temperature in January - 21.6 degrees F. Normal temperature in July - 70.1 degrees F.

RAINFALL: 40.3 inches annually

SIZE: Jaffrey covers 40.7 square miles, which includes: 3,200 acres of mountain highlands 1.2 squares miles of water

TAX RATE: $34.01 No state income tax; no general sales tax

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TOWN GOVERNMENT: Selectmen form of government with Town Manager


LIBRARY: 23,000 volumes, 92 magazine subscriptions, 10 newspapers, plus records, audio tapes, videos, microfilms and puppets.

RECREATION DEPARTMENT: playgrounds, ball fields, town beaches, ice skating rink, group tours, children activities, senior activities

CHURCHES: Harvest Christian Fellowship, Jaffrey Bible Church, Pilgrim Baptist, Calvary Assembly of God, First Church in Jaffrey (UCC), Jaffrey Presbyterian Church, Religious Society of Friends, St. Patrick Church (Roman Catholic), United Church of Jaffrey (UCC)

Jaffrey Elementary School — Odyssey of the Mind; National Geographic Competition; "Lend-An-Ear" Program; Band and Drama offered, Special environmental program; "Wee-deliver" program.

Jaffrey/Rindge Middle School — Full middle school philosophy; Big Brother/Sister Program with Franklin Pierce College; Environmental program; Outstanding arts program; Computer and language labs; School improvement program. Students participate in NH Dance Institute program. Part of NH Alliance for Effective Schools.

High School — Advanced placement in Calculus, English and French; College credit courses for seniors at Franklin Pierce College, Keene State College, and Mt. Wachusett Community College; In cooperation with ConVal, two year technology education in Drafting, Graphics, Marketing, Child Care and a Horticulture Program. School activities include: Conant Monitor newspaper, Physics Olympics, National Honor Society and Student Council. Active student participation in athletic programs.

Keene Sentinel — 1-800-765-9994;
web site: www.keenesentinel.com

Monadnock Ledger — 603-924-7172;
fax: 603-924-3681

Peterborough Transcript — 603-924-3334;
fax: 924-7946
web site: www.peterboroughtranscript.com

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Copyright © 1999-2002 Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce.