Strafford was granted its charter on August 12, 1761. Land near here was chosen for the town's first settlement by its earliest pioneers, Ezekiel Parish and Frederick Smith. Both men with their families established homesteads in this vicinity by 1767. Four more pioneering families, bearing the names Brisco, Pennock, Thomas and West, settled in Strafford the following year. On this stream, above the nearby waterfall of 45 feet, were the first sawmill and gristmill, both erected by 1769, as well as Strafford's first school and store. During the Revolutionary war, in 1779, a fort was built for the protection of the citizens of Strafford. Nearby is Old City Cemetery, where many of Strafford's earliest settlers were buried.