History of Gilmanton
Written by: Daniel Lancaster
 Published in 1845 
On the 19th of January, 1763, Jeremiah Conner and family moved into town from Exeter. This was the eleventh family that had arrived. Mary Conner, their eldest daughter, the widow of the late John Folsom, stated a short time before her death, which was at the age of 90 years,  she could well remember the journey when her father moved to Gilmanton, that she was then 8 years old, that they came from Exeter to Deerfield in a double sleigh, and thence on horse back, that she rode on the same horse with her father, that the snow was very deep, and in fording Suncook River in Chichester, then open, she came near into falling into it, that there were eight miles of woods from Rueben Sanborn's last house in Chichester, to their home in Gilmanton. Mr. Conner settled on lot No. 5, third range of 100 acres. Mrs. Folsom also related that in the team which brought her father's furniture came a large yoke of oxen. Soon after their arrival there was another plentiful snow-fall. The next day, Mr. Conner attempted to drive them to a meadow where was a stack of hay, but one missed the path and plunged into a hollow and there he became confined in the snow, and could not get out. All effort to relieve him only imbedded him deeper in the snow until he was so imprisoned that he was obliged to remain through the winter. Mr. Conner conveyed the fodder to him daily in his pit. The spot continued to bear the name of the "ox pit," in the family for many years after. Joshua Bean, a brother of Benjamin Mudgett's wife moved into town the same winter.

In the month of March, Jeremiah Richardson and John Fox, (a brother of Mr. Richardson's wife) arrived with their families from Exeter, having come from Epsom on snow shoes, the women bringing each an infant in her arms, and the men hauling each a bed and other articles on hand sleds. The snow would sometimes give way under them, and the women with their children would sink down so deeply, that they could not extricate themselves. They would then lay the children down upon the snow, gather themselves up, and catching their little charge start on again. Such a mode of removing would almost seem incredible in modern times, but the fact comes well attested, being furnished by a member of one of the families. Mr. Richardson was a large man, and possessed great bodily strength. He is said repeatedly to have carried a bushel of corn on his back from Exeter to Gilmanton. When they arrived, they took lodgings with Lemuel Rand, in a house which had but one room. In that one room the three families ate and slept; the beds being all gathered into a corner during the day, and spread upon the floor at night. In this manner they lived nearly two months, before the deep snows were so far reduced that they were able to erect another house.

Gilman Lougee the first tailor, came also in the month of March. Mr. Lougee started from Exeter with an ox team upon a stiff snow crust, but when he arrived at Pleasant Pond in Deerfield, the crust broke under the weight of the cattle, and his load so that he was under the necessity of sending them back, and of getting such articles as he could upon hand sleds, and transporting his beds, and the smallest of his children, then 5 in number, in this way, the whole of the remaining distance. His wife and the older children, accomplished the whole journey from Pleasant Pond on foot.

The deep snows of this and the preceding winter, had proved a serious annoyance to the settlers. Orlando Weed and his boys had during the summer cut the hay upon some of the meadows, and having stacked it, they took several colts from Exeter to winter; but in consequence of the depth of snow, they could not be transferred from one meadow to another and they came near dying from starvation. Mr. Weed and his sons were obliged to visit the meadows daily on snow shoes, and transport the hay several miles on hand sleds.

In the Spring of this year, Stephen Dudley, Jude Bean, and Samuel Parsons from Exeter, moved into town; Capt. Joseph Badger of Haverhill, came also in the Spring, and sowed and planted, but in consequence of the sickness and death of his son William, in the month of May, he did not remove his family until July. His was the eighteenth family, and at the raising of his barn that season, the first framed building erected in town, he had, as he often afterwards related, every man, woman and child to take supper with him.

On the first of August, Rev. William Parsons from South Hampton arrived, having been employed by the Proprietors to preach to the settlers. Mr. Parsons with his family moved into town on horseback. They were accompanied by some friends from South Hampton, who rode up to see them safely settled. The Rev. Mr. Fogg of Kensington was of the company. About an hour before sunset, they passed the team with his load of furniture, then on Ring's Hill in Chichester. He told Mr. Gould French, who was with the team, he must hasten, and try to get through that night. Mr. French had not gone far, however, before he found that the path was becoming too narrow, no cart having gone through before him. With an axe he cleared his way until darkness overtook him. Being at the distance of four or five miles from Gilmanton, and no dwelling near, he took off his oxen, and chained them to the wheels, and feeding them with supplies which he had brought with him, laid down to seek repose upon the top of the load; not, however, without fears from the assaults of wild beasts. At length he fell asleep. About midnight, he was aroused by the rapid approach of animals, which came full speed along the path he was occupying. At first, he thought is fears of wild beasts were about to be realized, and being unarmed, did not know what to do. He soon discovered, however, that it was only the horses, which, by the company who the night previous had arrived in Gilmanton, had been let loose to feed in the bushes. They had taken it into their heads, very unceremoniously, to retrace their steps by night. Mr. French, jumping from his load, had the good fortune by means of ropes to secure them all to his cart, and once more took his elevated position to finish his slumbers. From his repose he was not again disturbed until about sun-rise, when aroused by a ballooning of the men in pursuit of their horses. They were not a little rejoiced that the progress of the animals had been arrested; thus saving them the inconvenience of returning to South Hampton on foot. By the aid of these men in preparing the way, Mr. French in the course of the forenoon arrived safely with the furniture, it being the first load of goods that ever came into town on wheels, the previous transportation's having all been on sleds. At the close of this year there were 20 families in town.