What’s your town like? I probably know of your online home. Hell, I’ve probably even viewed your source, but what I don’t know is what it’s like where you physically live. So, tell me.
First, though, fair is fair, I’ll go first. I live and work in Nottingham, New Hampshire (NH). For those who don’t know where New Hampshire is, it’s in “New England” — in the northeastern part of the United States. If you still don’t know where I’m talking about, here’s a site all about New England and another one all about New Hampshire. Okay, now that you know, let’s get back to the Town of Nottingham (map).
Nottingham NH is a rural town in Rockingham county and is located in the southeastern part of the state, about twenty miles from New Hampshire’s short coastline. We’re also located about an hour from the White Mountains and an hour from Boston, Massachusetts. This locale offers us urban and rural access and its inherent diversity.
Nottingham was established in 1722 and is the second largest town in Rockingham county with 120.4 square kilometers. The population is about 3800 people and growing, ranking us the 25th least populated out of the 37 towns over all. In other words Nottingham is a rural town whose residents have lots of room to stretch their legs. But we’re not out of the mainstream loop so to speak. Our water is delivered by well, sewage is handled by individual septic systems, utilities are all overhead (and subject to the elements), but we do have cable television and cable broadband for internet. Cellular service is spotty at best.
Nottingham is zoned agriculturally for the most part. Thus, we have a lot of people in our town that are farmers. Not big farms, but small plot farming and large gardens. More to the point is the farming spirit of the people here — as it is in many NH towns: We are a fiercely independent type. Self-sufficient, a bit stubborn, and resistant to change.
The people of Nottingham aren’t unfriendly, but residents do tend to keep to themselves (it’s that independence at work). We do have social events such as a farmer’s market, library group, quilting club, the historic society, and a handful of churches, but most gatherings involve a few people hanging out at a general store (here’s one). All very quaint.
As noted, we’re a farming community, but we do have some smaller businesses. We have two general stores, both with gas pumps, two post office branches, a lumber mill, a few scattered gift and craft shops (all home-based), a couple of automotive garages, and few trades contractors, and of course there is my mail order bug company which is actually one of the larger businesses in town. My web development business I run out of my home. Most major businesses such as grocery stores and retailers are located in surrounding towns.
Flora and Fauna
Living in the woods has its perks if you like wildlife. We have had lots of animals in our back yard: Black bear, moose, white-tailed deer, fox, coyote, porcupine, raccoon, skunk, rabbit, squirrel, chipmunk, and more. We also have birds, probably 100 species or more including owls, hawks, mourning doves, bats, song-birds, and game birds like turkey, pheasant, and ruffed grouse. Any walk through the woods will scare up any of these creatures.
For trees we have a mix of deciduous — maple, oak, aspen, birch, and beech as well as many others — and conifers, predominantly white pine and hemlock. My favorites are beech and hemlock trees. Especially the hemlocks of which I own about twenty over 80 feet tall.
In the water we have several fish species. In warm water we have small and large mouth bass, blue gill sunfish, shiners, pickerel, yellow perch, crappie, and horned pout (a catfish). In colder waters we have brown, brook, and rainbow trout.
The winters are a little too long and cold for many people, myself included. Otherwise it’s great here. It is our climate that allows such wildlife diversity. The summers are hot and humid, spring is clean yet buggy, and fall is a delight.
I’ve lived here since 1975. I did move around in my twenties, traveling all over the world, but I came back. Nottingham is my home. I own a small ranch-style home on three-and-a-half acres, of which a lot is seasonal swamp, but that’s okay. I love it here. If I look carefully, in the winter I can see one neighbor.
Want more? Wikipedia has some good pages providing New Hampshire facts, Rockingham county facts, and even facts about Nottingham if you’re still in need of information. I can also offer you this photo of Nottingham from atop tiny Mt. Pawtuckaway. Moreover, if you have a question, you can ask here and I’ll try to answer. There’s lots of information you may want that I neglected to provide.
Your Turn, Your Town
So, now that I’ve told you about my town, what about your hometown? Please feel free to post some details in a comment below, or post it on your blog — in meme fashion though I’m not tagging anyone in particular. If you do post it on your blog, please ping this post so I know about it.