Thornton is a triangularly outlined township that lies in the eastern part of Grafton County.
The township was granged to Matthew Thornton and others, in seventy-three shares, July
6, 1763, to contain 23,000 acres. It was named in honor of Mr. Thornton, who later
became a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of
Independence. No settlements were attempted under this grant and a new charter was
issued October 21, 1768, including additional territory enough to make 40,071 acres in
the whole, which was to be divided into ninety shares. The grantees were mostly men of
Londonderry and vicinity, and the town was not incorporated until November 24, 1781.
By 1880 Thornton had a population of 774. In 1885 the town had ten school-districts and
ten common schools. There were 184 children attending school.
(From the Gazetteer of Grafton County, NH)
Moses Cheney, born in Thornton, NH, was a 19th Century abolitionist and a conductor on
the Underground Railroad at his home in Peterborough, NH.
Internment inventories are available for Thornton cemeteries. Click here.
Copyright 2012 Thornton Historical Society
16 Merrill Access Road
Thornton, NH 03285
Thornton Historical Society
Thornton resident John Benton has generously donated
iron signs from the bridges that once spanned the
Pemigewasset River. These signs are being stored in the
Old Town House and will be on display when the town
house opens as the town museum.
The Thornton Historical Society is working toward consolidating the stories, photographs,
and information that make up the town's history. As this history is collected and organized,
more information will be added to this website. If you have anything that you would like to
share, please contact the Historical Society.
These areas of Thornton are rich in history: