Bow, New Hampshire was chartered in 1727. Some say the town derived its name from its location at the bow in the Merrimack River, just south of the state capital in Concord. Wherever the origin of the name, many beautiful reminders of the town's colonial beginnings remain today.
For most early settlers, farming was a way of life. The many stone walls which line Bow's streets, yesterday's survey markers for 100-acre plots of land, serve as vivid hallmarks of the town's agricultural past. Industry has long been a mainstay of life in Bow, with local waterways providing the necessary horsepower to fuel several excellent mill sites. The sawmill and gristmill formed the hub of the section of town referred to as "Bow Mills", one of the first local settlements.
Bow has never lacked for people of vision throughout its history. Sergeant John Ordway, a native of Bow, was an influential member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, was born and raised in Bow. Bow has also enjoyed its share of visits by presidents and presidential candidates. From Andrew Jackson's triumphal New England Tour in 1833 to the "First-in-the-Nation" primary vote-seekers of today, Bow has been the place where our nation's chief executives and New Hampshire meet. In fact, Franklin Pierce, the fourteenth president of the United States, hailed from nearby Hillsboro, NH.
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