Monadnock Moments No. 87: Sullivan Bicentennial

The town of Sullivan was incorporated in 1787 and celebrated its bicentennial in 1987.  It is one of the newest towns in Cheshire County, with only Harrisville, Roxbury, and Troy being younger.
In August of 1786 the inhabitants of portions of Keene, Nelson, Stoddard, and Gilsum petitioned the state legislature requesting that a new town be incorporated in the area where they lived.  Their reason for requesting the incorporation was that they lived great distances from the centers of their respective towns.  Consequently, because of the distances and the bad roads, they were deprived of their privileges of convenient public worship and serving in town government.  The residents of Nelson, then known as Packersfield, objected to the new town because they felt that it would create confusion in Nelson because of the land that would be taken from their town.  The state legislature appointed a committee of residents from Alstead and Surry to review the petitions, view the land involved and make a recommendation.  The committee felt that Gilsum would be the town most seriously affected because it would be left in a broken and inconvenient shape. The town of Gilsum had no objections, however, and on September 27, 1787 the state legislature passed a bill creating the new town of Sullivan, named in honor of New Hampshire Governor and Revolutionary War hero General John Sullivan.