Town of Holderness is in central New Hampshire, nestled between the
foothills of the White Mountains and the shores of the Squam Lakes.
From early times, Native Americans and then European settlers used the
Lakes as a trade route. Goods from the North Country floated across
Squam Lake, down the Squam River to the Pemigewasset, and then to the
Merrimack and the seacoast.
Wentworth granted the township of New Holderness in 1751 but the
official charter from King George III is dated 1761. “New” was dropped
from the name at the 1816 Town Meeting, and all was quiet until 1868
when a dispute over “gaslights and sidewalks” literally split the
community. What is now the town of Ashland was formed around the
thriving mills and railroad depot of the time, leaving the rest of
Holderness to the farmers and fishermen.
it was the unspoiled beauty of Holderness that drew visitors seeking
relief from the swelter of Boston or Baltimore. By 1890, Holderness was
a cool retreat from city summers, with dozens of rustic fishing camps
on the shores of Squam Lake and hotels dotting the hillsides.
Holderness is still small and still largely rural. The breathtaking
natural beauty of the lakes and mountains is still what draws visitors
and residents alike all year round. Yet it doesn’t take long to
discover that Holderness and the surrounding towns have wonderful
educational, cultural, and commercial assets as well. Shopping,
theater, music, restaurants, galleries, and bookstores are within a few
miles of Holderness Village.