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Squamscott River
Squamscott River in fall 2005 at Route 108, Newfields, NH
Squamscott River
Squamscott River
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
TownsExeter, Stratham, Newfields, Newmarket
Physical characteristics
SourceExeter River
 • locationExeter
 • coordinates42°58′55″N 70°56′45″W / 42.98194°N 70.94583°W / 42.98194; -70.94583
 • elevation0 ft (0 m)
MouthGreat Bay
 • location
 • coordinates
43°3′49″N 70°54′11″W / 43.06361°N 70.90306°W / 43.06361; -70.90306Coordinates: 43°3′49″N 70°54′11″W / 43.06361°N 70.90306°W / 43.06361; -70.90306
 • elevation
0 ft (0 m)
Length6 mi (10 km)
Basin features
 • leftNorris Brook, Rocky Hill Brook, Parting Brook
 • rightWheelwright Creek, Mill Brook, Jewell Hill Brook

The Squamscott River is a 6-mile-long (10 km) tidal river in Rockingham County, southeastern New Hampshire, in the United States.[1] It rises at Exeter, fed by the Exeter River. The Squamscott runs north between Newfields and Stratham to Great Bay, a tidal estuary, which is connected to the Piscataqua River, itself an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean.

More specifically, after rising at the Great Bridge (a Works Progress Administration project) adjacent to the former "Loaf & Ladle" restaurant in downtown Exeter, the Squamscott River passes the "Wooden Wave" (an interesting architectural statement next to the Phillips Exeter Academy boathouse), then tends north alongside the Swasey Parkway, through the haymarshes, passing by the town's water purification plant and then under New Hampshire Route 101, a major east–west arterial road in New Hampshire. The river next passes under Route 108 at the site of the former "Singing Bridge", a metal bridge which was recently replaced. The river then debouches into Great Bay, a broad and shallow tidal estuary, just south of the mouth of the Lamprey River, arriving at the bay from Newmarket.

The Squamscott, also spelled Swampscott and Swamscott, gets its name from the Squamscott Indians, who called it Msquam-s-kook (or Msquamskek), translated as "at the salmon place" or "big water place". Plentiful game, the marshes and lush river-fed vegetation, and an abundance of fish supported the northeast Native American people who were present in the region for thousands of years until English settlers displaced them in the early 17th century. The Native American tribes of New Hampshire were most likely from the Abenaki nation, but independent of the Maine-based tribes. The name "Abenaki" and its derivatives originated from a Montagnais (Algonquin) word meaning "people of the dawn" or "easterners". In the eastern part of New Hampshire were the Pequaquaukes (or Pequakets), the Ossipees, the Minnecometts, the Piscataquas and the Squamscotts (Msquamskek).

The Phillips Exeter Academy crew team holds its practices on the Squamscott River in Exeter.

See also


Squamscott River in 1908, Exeter, NH
Squamscott River in 1908, Exeter, NH