COMFORT NOTCH HISTORICAL SOCIETY

HONOR THE PAST

The Stories

New Hampshire legends and folklore abound.

WITCHES & THE SUPERNATURAL

As a New England state, New Hampshire was not immune from the witchcraft hysteria that crossed the Atlantic from the Burnings in Europe. Decades before the 1692 Witch Hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts, New Hampshire suffered from  this particular afflicting. Jane Walford and Eunice Cole were accused within the same year.

Goody Cole was accused first in the 1650s, went to prison, and then release. She then again was accused in 1673 and 1680.  While the court found her likely guilty of witchcraft, there was not enough evidence for a conviction. She split her time between jail and a hut on the town green of Hampton. Like Goody Cole, Jane Walford was accused of witchcraft three times in 1648 and 1656.  Unlike Goody Cole, Walford fought against her accusers – and she had the support of her neighbors. Each time, her charges were dismissed. Fortunately, even though “spectral evidence” was introduced at her trials, having a mix of Puritans and more level-headed Anglicans disavowed this type of “evidence” at trial. If Walford had these accusations leveled at her in Salem at the time of the 1692 hysteria, she most likely would have been sentenced to death.

 

MYSTICAL FAMILIES

One of the most prominent and powerful families with supernatural connections was the Samuels family. Joshua and Emmaline Samuels arrived in the region in which Comfort Notch is located during the 1600s. Hailing from the regions of Cornwall and Wales (respectively), they brought their wise ways with them. Known as healers and wisdom keepers, the Samuels were able to find lost things and people, communicate with the Dead, and see otherworldly beings. They were legends in early New Hampshire history. As there family grew, their reputation grew, as well. The Samuels family was – and still is – one of the most powerful and prosperous mystical families of New England.   One of the youngest members of the Samuels family – Dean Samuels – is the Regional Director of the Cryptid and Conspiracies Chasers Network – an organization that investigates an array of purportedly supernatural beings and occurrences, while investigating global and regional conspiracies.   We in Comfort Notch do not associate with nor welcome any of the Samuels family into our town, while the CCCN is most especially an organization from which we want to steer away.

 

 

The Area

The area in which Comfort Notch resides is a place like no other in the United States. What makes our town so special is the unique trees. The wood of our trees has been long sought by global artisans and industry. Hard, beautiful, and resilient, the Comfort Notch trees are fed by rich soil, the purest air, and crystal water. These trees are not found anywhere else on earth!

 

Comfort Notch and its area owe a debt to the First Peoples of our land. Without them, we could never have the life we live today.

 

Many tribes lived within the area:  the Penacook, Winnipesaukee, Pigwacket, Sokoki, Cowasuck and Ossipee. These people all spoke related dialects of the Abenaki language. Today,  they are known collectively as the Abenaki, which is often translated as "People of the Dawnland."

 

The Native Americans who populated our beautiful state are honored in Comfort Notch – and descendants of the First People in this area live and thrive in Comfort Notch.  Anna Dawn and her family have, for four generations, run both the Comfort Notch Mill, as well as the Artisan Wood Boutique.

 

For more information on the First People of New Hampshire, please go to:

https://www.nh.gov/folklife/learning-center/traditions/native-american.htm#

 

 

The People

As hearty New Englanders, our roots run deep into the land. We defend what is ours, what we believe, and our right to live the lives we choose. Comfort Notch was founded in the spilled blood of our ancestors and the sweat of our brows.

 

New Hampshire independence is on display in Comfort Notch in our businesses and in our citizens.

 

Founded in 1802, Comfort Notch fully embraces New Hampshire’s official motto: “Live Free or Die.” 

 

Of interest: 

The words: “Live Free or Die” were written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809.

This motto was deemed official by the 1945 New Hampshire Legislature, just as WWII approached an end. But who was John Stark?

“John Stark was a New Hampshire native who served as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian war and a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He became widely known as the "Hero of Bennington" for his exemplary service at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.” -  Wikipedia

 

Some of the descendants of General John Stark reside in and around Comfort Notch. As proud patriots, the Starks hold an array of positions in Comfort Notch, including John Stark VII, head of the Town Council.

History

This is a general history of Comfort Notch. For further information and an in-depth history of our town, see the Digital Archive or visit the Comfort Notch Historical Society and Museum brick & mortar building, as the bulk of Comfort Notch’s Historical Records have not yet been digitized (due to resources).