New Hampshire Missing Places: Dame’s Gore

1816 map by Carrigain showing Groton, Canaan and Dame’s Gore. From David Ramsey Map Collection.

In colonial times a gore was the name for a strip of land not large enough to create an entire township. This area was created by a surveyor’s misjudgment, or re-adjustments of boundary lines. When discovered, New Hampshire’s governor sometimes granted the “gore” to someone who had performed a personal service for him, or who was a friend.

Dame’s Gore was the name given to the strip of land between Canaan and Dorchester, in Grafton County, New Hampshire. It was discovered in 1772 not to be owned by any person. Gov. John Wentworth had originally granted it to Capt. Theophilus Dame, then high sheriff of Strafford County, New Hampshire, for his services in the war. Theophilus Dame was sheriff under both the British, and post-Revolutionary government.  His son George Dame was a loyalist.

By 1787 “Dame’s Gore” had passed into the hands of Rev. Jonathan Homer of Newton MA.  Starting in 1808 the town of Canaan tried to annex Dame’s Gore, but it was refused each time by the legislature.  Finally on 14 March 1846 the legislature approved of the annexation, and Dame’s Gore became part of the town of Canaan.


*Genealogy of the Theophilus Dam/Dame Family*

ALSO SEE: History of Canaan NH, by William Allen Wallace; Concord NH: Rumford Press, 1910, page 153

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