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Most likely a town center began to develop when Scotland was allowed to build a pound for its livestock and a school for the children. It was not until 1727 when perhaps as many as 80 families were living in the area that Scotland was granted winter privileges. Finally, in 1732, a separate ecclesiastical society was established and according to Bayles, the place for the meetinghouse was established on a knoll on the east side of Merricks Brook and the south side of the road from Windham to Canterbury. Nathanial Huntington deeded .25 acre to the Society and in November 1733 the first meeting was held in the meetinghouse that was constructed on the present Scotland green.

In 1772, a new meetinghouse was built on the site of the present Congregational Church (1842) and the original meetinghouse was removed from the green. Concern was voiced in 1774 that the school house, so close to the meetinghouse, could endanger it should there be a fire. As a result, the school house was moved a suitable distance away.

By the beginning of the 19th century, Scotland had developed into a rural village with a church, school and commercial establishments (stores and taverns) around the green that served the outlying farms. Although Windham was one of the largest inland market centers at that time and the farmers in Scotland benefited from it, the buildings in Scotland - and around the green - do not reflect that wealth (as discussed in Cunningham's Survey of Scotland's architecture). The early domestic buildings around the green date from the last half of the 18th century when Scotland was at its height as a crossroads community. One of the most impressive is the Pettengill House (c. 1760) at the southwest corner of Route 14 and 97 which once was a tavern.

Scotland's agrarian community declined until the mid-19th century when it too participated in the Industrial Revolution by taking advantage of the limited water power provided by Merrick Brook. The present Congregational Church, the chapel (1867), and the G.H. Billing Hotel which once stood across Center Street are representative of that period. All that is left of the hotel is the carriage house where Perry Motors is located.

The Scotland Green was established as a site for the meetinghouse when the Ecclesiastical Society was created in 1732. It was then and is now the heart of the community around which the important civic, religious and commercial buildings have always been located.

 

 
 

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