Exeter is a town that is located in the Southeastern corner of New Hampshire, within the Seacoast region of the state. The town is situated in center of Rockingham County and encompasses a total area of 20 square miles, of which 19.6 square miles is land. The remaining .4 square miles is made up of inland water areas, accounting for almost 2 percent of the town’s area. As of 2011, the total population was 14,353.
The town was first incorporated in the year 1638 and was one of the four original towns created in New Hampshire. Though it was first known by the name of Squamscott, the managers of the settlement, called the Exeter Combination, eventually gave the town its current name. Due to its riverside placement, the town made for a perfect center for shipbuilding and trading with the West Indies. The town’s original charter included the areas that are now known as Epping, Newmarket, Newfields and Brentwood.
Exeter is a comprised of about 98 percent land, is drained by the Exeter River and fully rests within the Piscataqua River watershed. The town’s highest point is located at Great Hill, where the elevation reaches 250 feet. Great Hill can be found at Exeter’s southwest corner.
The town is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. Children in the area attend schools in the Exeter School District, which includes two elementary schools, two middle schools, three high schools and one private/parochial school. Exeter has a full-time police department, a full-time fire department and municipal emergency medical services. The biggest employers in the area include Exeter Hospital, Philips Exeter Academy, Riverwoods at Exeter and Cobham.
Exeter is home to the American Independence Museum and the Phillips Exeter Academy, endowed by Colonel John Phillips in 1781. The town also boasts a number of recreational attractions, including municipal parks, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools and tennis courts, an indoor ice skating rink, youth organizations, a plethora of youth sports opportunities, cinemas, campgrounds and bicycle trails. The city is noted to be the hometown of Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Abraham Lincoln figure displayed at the Lincoln Memorial.