Early History of Keene, New Hampshire
The following data is extracted from Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire History.
KEENE, the county seat, lies in the central part of the county, in lat. 42° 55 and long. 4° 47, bounded north by Westmoreland, Gilsum and Sullivan, east by Sullivan and Roxbury, south by Swanzey, and west. by Chesterfield and Westmoreland. The boundaries thus roughly given enclose a beautiful territory of about 22,010 acres, all included within the corporation limits of the charming little city of Keene. We say "little," for it must be borne in mind that the city is yet in the swaddling clothes of infancy, and despite its large area has a population of less than 7,000 souls. A little over ten years since, this "city" was a township, with a prosperous, thriving and, as events have proved, ambitious village in its center. As a township, then, we shall for the present consider it, turning back to the year 1732.
In June of that year, Governor Belcher, in a speech to the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, recommended that "care be taken to settle" that provinces ungranted land. In conformity to this hint, it was voted, in the house of representatives, "that there be seven towns opened, of the contents of six miles square - one west of the Narraganset town, * * * *one between the equivalent lands and Rutland, * * * * one at Poquaig [Athol], * * * * one west or the town called Northtown, two on Ashuelot river, above Northfield. and the other in the eastern country." On the first of July, 1733, this vote was seconded by the council, and ratified by the governor. A committee was appointed to make a survey of the townships; but it seems they failed to perform their duty, and on October 1q, 1733, it was voted that another committee, consisting of Joseph Kellogg, Timothy Dwight, and William Chandler, be appointed to lay out the townships at Poquaig and on Ashuelot river. This committee, in February, 1734, made a return to the general court of a "plat of two townships, each of the contents of six miles square, situated on each side of Ashuelot river, above the tract lately granted to Col. Josiah Willard and others [Winchester], beginning at a spruce or white pine tree, standing about midway between the south and east branches of said river, about five perch east of the bank of the main river, and thence running each way, as described on the plat." This line was the boundary between the Upper and Lower Ashuelot townships, the former identical with the present territory of Keene, the latter with that of Swanzey.
Source: Keene, Cheshire County, New Hampshire History