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.



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