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The town of Littleton, New Hampshire is situated in Grafton County. Located at the edge of the White Mountains, the area which would one day become Littleton was named Chiswick, which is the Old English for "cheese farm." It was granted to 45 men by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1764. The settlers' de facto leader, James Avery, was related to most of the other forty-four settlers. In 1770, after Avery and his co-settlers failed to follow the conditions of the grant, Governor Wentworth granted the land again, and the leaders of the new settlement included Colonel Israel Morey and Moses Little, who had moved from Newbury, Massachusetts. At that time, it was known as Apthorp, named after George Apthorp, who headed up one of the largest and most profitable mercantile establishments in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1784, Apthorp was divided, and Littleton was created. There were eight families living in Littleton that year. Due to the dense forest, the settlers had an abundance of logs for their log cabins. They instituted grist mills and saw mills. Soon, they had a dam at the nearby waterfalls, and a tannery was built; then a shop where they built mill machinery, and in 1820, a woolen mill, lumber mill, and carpenter's shop.

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