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First New Hampshire Turnpike
The New Hampshire Turnpike System is, like most major roads in the United States today, operated by a government organization. However the first New Hampshire Turnpike was created by a private corporation. A commemorative marker gives a brief account of its history, including its origins with a private corporation.
It ran 36 miles, starting near the town of Durham and reaching Concord, today the capital of New Hampshire. The turnpike connected to a bridge across the Little Bay which ultimately connected travelers to the coastal city of Portsmouth.
A company was formed around the road project, and according to the Town of Nottingham website, shares were sold to the public in order to finance it. From there it became a toll road ("turnpike" being a reference to the mechanism to block travelers who had not yet paid).
However according to the Concord Insider, it was originated by a government land survey, and initially planned to be a public (non-toll) road, financed by the towns through which it passed. This article gives many details, and it is as of yet unclear how all these facts are reconciled.
- New Hampshire Public Radio story
- Modern New Hampshire Turnpike system
- Concord Insider article which describes it as a government project.
- Picture of Commemorative marker
- Nottingham NH town government website
- Amherst Citizen article about the second New Hampshire turnpike, which some reference to the first.