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JAFFREY lies in the southeastern part of the county, in lat. 42° 50′, and long. 4° 59′, bounded, north, 113 rods by Marlboro and 2,408 rods by Dublin; east, 730 rods by Peterboro and 988 rods by Sharon; south, 1,898 rods by Rindge and 603 rods by Fitzwilliam; and west, 349 rods by Fitzwilliam, 806 rods by Troy, and 5o1 rods by Marlboro, thus having an area of about 22,000 acres, 1,000 of which are covered with water, and 3,200 rendered uninhabitable from its mountainous character. It was granted by the Masonian proprietors, under the name of Middle Monadnock. No. 2, November 30, 1749, to Jonathan Hubbard and thirty-nine others, residents of Hollis, Lunenburg, and Dunstable. On August 17, 1773, the town was legally incorporated, receiving on that date a confirmatory charter from New Hampshire, signed by Gov. John Wentworth.
The surface of the town is hilly and mountainous; a detriment, perhaps, to cultivation, but elements which go far towards making the exquisite scenery for which Jaffrey is so justly celebrated, and which attracts so many pleased visitors each season. The central part of the territory has a general altitude of 1,057 feet above the level of the ocean, and East Jaffrey lies about 1,032 feet above the same, while in the northwest part, partly in Dublin, lies grand old Monadnock, 2,029 feet above the level of the center of the town. The grand appearance of, and unparalleled view afforded by, this mountain has rendered it very popular and celebrated. On the Jaffrey side is located the Halfway House, built in 1873, and during that season had 12,000 arrivals. A good carriage road connects it with the public highway, and a convenient footpath with the summit, a distance of about a mile. The inhabited portion of the town lies mostly east and south of the mountain, where the surface is broken by undulating swells, arable on side and on summit, and upon which are some of the best farms in the town. The town is well watered, the numerous streams flowing from the mountain affording a supply to almost every farm. Those flowing from the east side unite in the southeastern part, of the town, and, with a stream from Long pond, form the Contoocook river, which flows northeast and empties into the Merrimack, above Concord. Those from the west side unite with the Ashuelot and Miller rivers, which empty into the Connecticut. Southeasterly from the mountain, on the old turnpike road, is a spring known as the Monadnock Mineral Spring. Its waters are impregnated with carbonate of iron and sulphate of soda, and were formerly considered valuable as a medicinal remedy. The soil, although the surface is rough and uneven, was originally very productive, yielding large crops with little cultivation. This fertility, however, has now become, in a great measure, exhausted.
In 1880 Jaffrey had a population of 1, 268 souls. In 1884 it had thirteen school districts, ten common schools, two graded schools and one high school. Its thirteen school buildings, including sites, furniture, etc., were valued at $14,800.00. There were 219 pupils attending these schools, forty-six of whom were pursuing the higher branches, taught by one male and sixteen female teachers, the former receiving an average monthly salary of $60.00, and the latter $24.18 each. The entire amount of revenue for school purposes during the year was $2,168.86, while the entire expenditure was $2,103.77, with William W. Livingston, superintendent.