When Governor Benning Wentworth granted a charter for Sandwich on October
25, 1763, he named the town after his friend John Montague, the
Earl of Sandwich. The following April, the town’s proprietors met at
Samuel Folsom’s house in Exeter and hired Orlando Weed of Gilmanton to be
their settling agent at a cost of 700 acres, 70 English pounds, and seven
Eleven months later, Orlando Weed brought a group of settlers from Exeter
through Gilmanton, across Lake Winnipesaukee to Moultonborough, and
finally down a blazed trail through the dense forests of Sandwich. They
settled in the Lower Corner where Orlando Weed’s son Henry built a mill on
Potash Pond (Little Pond).
By the 1830s, Sandwich had a population of 2,744, and the only state towns
larger were Portsmouth, Exeter, Dover, Concord, Londonderry, Sommersworth,
Gilmanton, and Barrington. Sandwich had mills, stores, blacksmiths,
craftsmen and artisans, schools, churches, a doctor and lawyer, and one of
the state’s most prosperous commercial bases.