The Fort at Number 4 was the northernmost British settlement along the Connecticut River in New Hampshire until after the French and Indian War.
Now known as Charlestown, it was more than 30 miles (50 km) from the nearest other British settlement at Fort Dummer. Construction began in 1740 by brothers Stephen, Samuel and David Farnsworth. By 1743, there were 10 families settled in a square of interconnected houses, enclosed in a stockade with a guard tower.
The history of The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire in many ways reflects the larger growth and development of the English colonies. This area in western New Hampshire was settled by pioneers who were characterized by their determination, work-ethic and emerging industrial skills. As the English colonies grew throughout the 18th century and immigration from England continued at a rapid pace, the need for more farmland and economic opportunity drove settlers west. The “west” in colonial New England included the vast tracts of land beyond the established towns. This was territory dense with forest and overflowing with deer, beaver and fish; it was also land that was home to various Native American tribes. Just as coming to North America provided economic, religious and social opportunities, westward expansion of the colonies represented similar freedoms.