Rindge is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,014 at the 2010 census. Rindge is home to Franklin Pierce University, the Cathedral of the Pines, and part of Annett State Park.
Native American inhabitants
The land in and around Rindge was originally inhabited by ancestors of the Abenaki tribe of Native Americans. Archeological evidence from nearby Swanzey indicates that the region was inhabited as much as 11,000 years ago (coinciding with the end of the last glacial period). As much as half of the Western Abenakis were victims of a wave of epidemics that coincided with the arrival of Europeans in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Later, many of the Western Abenaki present in southwestern New Hampshire chose to relocate to Canada during Colonial times, primarily due to their allegiance with the French during the French and Indian Wars.
Settlement by European colonists
In the eighteenth century, Massachusetts granted unappropriated land to veterans of Sir William Phipps' 1690 expedition against French-held Canada as compensation for services. Whole townships were granted to certain military companies and became known as "Canada" townships. Granted in 1736 by Governor Jonathan Belcher to soldiers from Rowley, Massachusetts, Rindge was first known as Rowley-Canada. But the Masonian proprietors were making competing claims to the area, and in 1740 commissioners of the Crown decided that the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire lay south of Rowley-Canada. Consequently, it was re-granted in 1749 by Governor Benning Wentworth as Monadnock No. 1, or South Monadnock. The town would be incorporated in 1768 by Governor John Wentworth as Rindge, in honor of Captain Daniel Rindge of Portsmouth, one of the original grant holders, and the one who represented New Hampshire's claim to the land before the king.
Captain Abel Platts is credited as being Rindge's first temporary settler, arriving in 1738 to take possession of his family's land grant. But disputes about the grants, combined with the outbreak in 1744 of the French and Indian War, made it untenable to remain in Rindge, so early settlers abandoned it. Platts and others returned in 1752, and starting in 1758, settlement increased steadily. There were 1,274 residents by 1859, when water powered industries included three gristmills, thirteen sawmills, thirteen shingle mills, six stave mills, two planing mills, and several clapboard mills.