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Town of Farmington
State: NH
County: Strafford


Water District Drinking Water Source

Cocheco River Watershed

Berrys River originates just north of Blue Job State Forest, along Meaderboro Road. It flows south in a forested area and runs through a small emergent wetland. The river runs parallel to Meaderboro Road through two and a half miles of forest before it fills Rochester Reservoir behind a dam on Reservoir Road. A few homes line the southern shore of the reservoir, with only forest surrounding the rest. Berrys River passes the dam and flows south through another three quarters of a mile of forest until it passes into Strafford.

Baxter Lake lies across Farmington’s border with Rochester. The shoreline of this 302 acre lake is a mix of forest and dense development, with homes and camps along Camelot Shore Drive. The outlet of the lake is in Rochester and eventually joins the Cocheco River.

The Mad River flows into Farmington from New Durham, near a farm on Ten Rod Road. It flows southeast along the road, through a mile long woodland, until it crosses Hornetown Road. Here the river turns east as it passes several homes, and begins to follow River Road. The Mad River encounters increasing development as it approaches Farmington town center, where it crosses Route 11 and flows through a dense residential neighborhood. As it reaches downtown Farmington the river passes under a bridge on Tappan Street and then flows into the Cocheco River.

The Ela River flows into Farmington from New Durham, close to Route 11. It makes its way southeast, crossing Spring Street and flowing through the backyards of numerous homes as it approaches downtown Farmington and joins the Cocheco River,

Pokamoonshine Brook flows out of an emergent wetland west of Pound Road. It travels north through a mile of forest and then crosses Route 11, where it flows past a large cemetery and then joins the Cocheco River.

Rattlesnake River drains a small pond and marsh near the intersection of Ten Rod Road and Pound Road. It flows northeast, past a small farm, and then enters a mile and a half long stretch of forest. The river emerges near an industrial facility on Route 11, and crosses this road into a marsh area south of the Farmington Country Club. Here it flows by several gravel pits and then joins the Cocheco River.

Dames Brook enters Farmington from Milton, near several homes on Milton Road. The brook flows south through a small forest, and then passes dozens of houses as it crosses Dick Dame Lane and skirts downtown Farmington. Dames brook runs past several more homes and businesses as it crosses Elm Street and then joins the Cocheco River.

The Cocheco River flows into Farmington from Middleton, in an area of forest and scattered wetlands. It travels south, encountering little development for the first mile and a half, except where it crosses Old Bay Road. Then the river enters the outskirts of downtown Farmington and passes many homes along Spring Street, where it is joined by the Ela River. The Cocheco River flows along the southern edge of downtown, passing numerous homes, businesses, and a cemetery, as it is joined by two more of its tributaries. The river passes under a bridge on South Main Street and flows by the Farmington Country Club, running along the edge of several of the fairways. The river then passes through a two mile long area of industrial buildings and gravel pits along Farmington Road before passing into Rochester.

To see the locations of these resources in Google Earth follow this link.

If you do not have Google Earth software you may download it by following this link.

Water District: Farmington Water Department
District Website: http://www.farmington.nh.us/Public_Docum...
Water Source: Groundwater Wells
# Accts Serv: 2000
Other Towns: none
Sewer District: Farmington Sewer District
District Website: http://www.farmington.nh.us/Public_Docum...
Receiving Waters: Cochecho River
# Accts Serv: 3000
Other Towns: none
(Click the Title of the article to learn more.)
Farmington Master Plan
Publications, Websites, and Tools
2002 update to the Farmington, NH Master Plan

Moose Mountains Regional Greenways
Community Assistance Providers

Seal:town seal, click to enlarge
Population:6575 (U.S. Census Est. 2006)
Area:36.5 square miles


Farmington is located on the edge of an urbanized area and has easy access to several major transportation corridors. Route 11 bisects the town and provides easy access to the Spaulding Turnpike and points North and South. Farmington’s growth has slowed since the rapid increase in population of the 70’s and 80’s. Projections based on the 2000 census show the population growth rate beginning to increase again, most likely in relation to increased residential growth as Farmington transitions to a bedroom community.

Farmington is still mostly a rural community; almost 80% of its land area was forested as of 1993, although this number has likely decreased since. Farming and forestry are still important industries in Farmington and continue to contribute to its rural, small town image. Farmington’s most extensive and significant existing farmed land is West of Route 11, mostly along Meaderboro Road.

Farmington has a good cross section of recreational opportunities available, ranging from boating to hiking to town playing fields. The most significant tract of public land available for recreation is the Blue Job State Forest and Wildlife Management Area in the western section of town adjacent to the Strafford town line. Several other Parcels of conserved land are managed by the town and under private easements.

Farmington is somewhat unique in that a large area of former floodplain in the downtown is protected by a dike built in the late 1950’s to protect the downtown from such catastrophic events as the 1936 flood. The downtown area still provides a large number of commercial and service related activities focused mainly on serving residents, although commercial development has been increasingly moving to Route 11.

The majority of Farmington’s development is East of Route 11. The historical and traditional town center containing the clustered residential, commercial, and governmental functions of the community at the intersection of Routes 153 and 75 has been the focus of community activity since the establishment of the town. The industrial sector has moved to Route 11 beginning with the establishment of the Textron facility in the mid 1960’s.

Farmington is sparsely developed west of Route 11. A mixture of uses is present including residential, commercial, home businesses, farming, and forestry, but, these uses are dispersed across the landscape. New development in this area has tended to be on large lots, and new road construction has been minimal. Development has tended to be along existing roads.

to learn more see The Farmington Master Plan


The Abenaki Indians once used the Cochecho River for transportation, and had a camping ground on Meetinghouse Hill, where they built birch bark canoes. They called the area "Chemung," meaning "canoe place."

Settlement began as the "Northwest Parish" of the town of Rochester, which was chartered in 1722.

Originally an agricultural settlement, the early homes were farms in the Merrill's Corner section, hence the town name. In the 1800s, the establishment of water-powered industries along the Cocheco, Ela and Mad Rivers caused a population shift with the present downtown area evolving near these rivers. The subsequent construction, in 1849, of a railroad through the mill area brought further prosperity and cemented the location of the town commercial center.

Farmers cultivated the rocky soil, and gristmills used streams for water power to grind their grain. Sawmills cut the abundant timber, and the first frame house at the village was built in 1782.

Although Farmington began as an agricultural community, the principal industry to develop was shoe manufacturing. From its beginnings in 1836 when E. H. Badger built the first shoe shop on Spring Street, to its ending in 1991 when the last factory (the Alton Shoe Company) closed its doors, the shoe industry made the town's reputation and employed upwards of 2,000 people. Farmington was one of the first places to use automated machines instead of handwork in the mills. The town would be connected by railroad to Dover in 1849, the line extended to Alton Bay in 1851. Shoes were shipped to Boston to be sold at semi-annual auctions for 50 cents a pair. Following the Civil War, the shoe business boomed and numerous factories were built. Despite a fire in 1875 which destroyed much of the center of town, Farmington was known as "The Shoe Capital of New Hampshire." Other factories produced knives, knit underwear, wooden boxes, wooden handles and carriages. But the Depression of 1893 closed all but 2 large shoe factories. The industry faded in the 20th century, when most of the town's factories were demolished.

Excerpts taken from the Farmington Historical Society, Book Committee

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