Chartered in 1800, the Fourth N. H. Turnpike to Lebanon was completed in 1804. This toll road, linking Lebanon with the seacoast at Portsmouth and Boston, was heavily traveled by two-, four- and eight-horse teams, stage coaches and post riders. (G-2 to C-16)
River boats carried farm produce down the Connecticut to “Old Har’ford” (Conn.). These flatboats were propelled upstream by poles, oars or sails, with supplies. Around 1800, a hundred boats were often tied up at one time on the river bank near Lebanon.
In 1801, the town was divided into 9 school districts and some years later into 18, most with their own schoolhouses. Over the years new schools have been built and older ones abandoned, until by 1958 the town had erected at least 39 known school buildings.
Lyman’s Bridge, the first over the Connecticut at Lebanon, was completed in 1802 or 1803. This privately built toll bridge joined the Fourth N. H. and the White River Turnpikes. It was replaced in 1836 by a 3-span covered bridge and in 1895 by one of steel. (G-2)
Daniel Hardy built at the top of Hardy Hill in 1803 and later bought many of his neighbors’ farms as they moved west. He raised mules which he sold for very high prices to plantations in the south. This prosperous farmer employed 35 men during haying. (A-12)
The second major highway from the south was the Croydon Turnpike, incorporated in 1804. With this route, White River Turnpike, Fourth N. H. Turnpike, and Hanover Branch Turnpike all converging here, Lebanon became an important transportation center. (F-8 to L-13)
Lafayette Hotel, originally Hough’s Tavern, was built west of the common in 1804, and was named for General Lafayette who stayed there in 1828. It was later moved and it burned in 1887, having sheltered and refreshed weary turnpike travelers for over 80 years. (F-8)
A toll gate for the Fourth New Hampshire Turnpike was located at the toll house which is still standing on East Lebanon Road. A pole (or pike) across the road was turned on its post to allow travelers to pass after tolls were paid, hence the name turnpike. (E-10)
A bell for the belfry tower of the meeting house was procured in 1807 by public subscription, and a bell ringer was paid $17 a year by the town to ring the bell on the Sabbath, on town meeting days and for funeral occasions. The bell’s size and type is not known. (F-8)
Olcott Locks were built on the Connecticut River in Lebanon in 1808. In 1810 a $40,000 dam and canals were constructed below present Wilder Dam. These locks were a busy place with the heavy travel by river boats and the rafting of logs downriver. (E-2)