The Town of Strafford received its charter on August 12, 1761. By the 1790s the area surrounding the Common, known as Strafford Village, became the town center with a mill dam and mill, several homes, an inn, and a store. The Strafford Village Historic District consists of nearly thirty residences and other structures built in the vicinity of the Common prior to the 1850s. The 1799 meeting house is the locus of the village and forms the principal community landmark. Also significant are the many houses constructed between 1780 and 1830, as well as the United Church built in 1832, the Brick Store in 1834, and the Morrill Homestead in 1851. Justin Smith Morrill, who served in Congress for nearly forty-four years, was born in Strafford Village in 1810.