New Hampshire Glossary: Garrison House

Sketch of a New Hampshire garrison house, from History of New Hampshire, by John N. McClintock, page 85

Sketch of a New Hampshire garrison house, from History of New Hampshire, by John N. McClintock, page 85

A Garrison House was a fortified building (sometimes called a “fort”) of colonial New Hampshire where troops were stationed, and to which people living nearby could flee when threatened by the Indians. When the area of New Hampshire was still part of Massachusetts Bay Colony, that region furnished soldiers for garrison duty in the forts which it had built, including those in New Hampshire.

THE OLD GARRISON HOUSE– (an excerpt)

They’re sacred now, these walls of wood!
Ah! what can bear comparison?
From age to age they’ve nobly stood,
They’ve braved the conflict, storm and flood
Of the olden time, A Garrison.

And now, ye ghosts, if ghost there be,
Speak! speak, and tell us of the strife,
When you had life and limbs as we,
When justing pilgrims had to flee
The tomahawk and scalping knife

The poem’s author, Robert Boody Caverly, was born in Barrington (now Strafford) NH July 19, 1806. He graduated at Harvard Law School and practised law, first, six years in Limerick, Maine, and then in Lowell MA where he later lived. His poetry or authorship may be found his his volumes of “Epics, Lyrics and Ballads”; in his several orations, in his “History of the Indians Wars of New England;” in his legends and dramas, and in other works.

*ADDITIONAL READING**

DAMM Garrison House, Dover NH

Garrisons Around Dover NH

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