Monson, New Hampshire – Milford, New Hampshire - Atlas Obscura

Monson, New Hampshire

The ghost town that was one of New Hampshire's first settlements now exists as a park detailing its history. 


Currently located on the border of the towns of Hollis and Milford in New Hampshire, the ghost town of Monson was the state’s first inland colony, having been settled sometime in the 1730s. It was finally incorporated in 1746, but by 1770, its few hundred inhabitants had left due to harsh conditions and a general lack of effective town planning.

After 230 years of divvying up its outlying lands into the surrounding modern-day towns and generally forgetting it really existed, a developer started in motion plans to build a tract of luxury homes in 1998 where the center of Monson once was.

However, due to the efforts of locals residing in Hollis and Milford, the remnants of Monson were spared, preserved, and made available to the public. Monson is now more of a historic park that covers 200 acres, with fields, forests, hiking trails, and a small museum inside of a restored colonial house called the Gould House. The Monson ruins are pointed out on a map at the entrance to the ghost town, and every overgrown cellar hole and crumbling wall is labeled with a sign that details the history and genealogy of each homestead’s original owners.

Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

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May 30, 2012

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