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Area History

This town dates clear back to the 1700’s and is incredibly rich in history. Its location drew many settlers thanks to its many rivers and fertile ground. The first recorded settler was Joseph Ball who arrived in 1788. He picked the area next to the Connecticut River for his homestead and raised numerous children there. In 1794, Ball built a gristmill on Hall’s Brook and soon other settlers began arriving and improving the area. The first house in Concord proper was built in 1792 by Daniel Gregory. From these humble beginnings Concord got its start, which has endured to this day. By 1800, more than 50 families called the area their home and by 1880, this number had jumped to more than 1,600.

However, despite its popularity and rural beauty, the population never got over this number. Even today, fewer than 1,600 people live in Concord. That however has not taken away from its charm and many visitors are charmed by the authentic small town atmosphere and friendly residents. In 1838, the town was officially named the Village of West Concord by John D. Chase. He and his family would be responsible for much of the developments in the village and they soon added a dam and sawmill. This area is still rich in lumber and the railroad’s arrival shortly thereafter cemented the village as a booming center of commerce in this trade.

One of the most interesting facts about the early settler’s lives were their continued problems with bears. Due to its heavily forested terrain, numerous bears lived in the area and had constant run-ins with the settlers. In one anecdote, a bear that had been trapped managed to get loose and go after a small child. The child’s mother promptly picked the trap up, and hit the bear over the head with it, killing it instantly. Despite issues with wildlife, the townspeople continued to prosper.

Travelers started coming to the area thanks to its wild surroundings and beautiful lakes. One lake in particular became a very popular vacation spot and was renamed several times before Shadow Lake became its enduring moniker. The name was selected due to the appearance of the water in the lake. This is a very popular camping site to this day. The final naming of the town was a bit controversial for the settlers. Although it already had the name of the Village of West Concord, they had difficulty settling on the final name that would be used. It is believed that the town was named after the famous Concord in Massachusetts, but the name finally stuck and although there are numerous separate sections, all fall under the name of Concord. This is a popular vacation spot today thanks to its location and overall beauty. This is a great place to stop if you enjoy learning more about life in the early Northeast, or if you just prefer a peaceful vacation where the beauty of nature is uninterrupted.