Brentwood is a friendly, rural community located 20 minutes from New Hampshire’s beautiful seacoast. With about 1,400 household, the population has nearly quadrupled to 4,200 inhabitants from its earliest count of 1,064 in 1767.
The first non-native settlers came in 1652 to start a sawmill, drawing their power from a waterfall on the Exeter River. Mills along the rivers produced lumber and manufactured goods in the early days. The economy later shifted towards agriculture.
An Abenaki tribe called the Pennacook farmed, fished and hunted in what is now Brentwood. Two main foot trails ran through the town, one along the Exeter River, where arrowheads and other stone and wooden artifacts have been found. At Pickpocket Dam, this pathway joined with the Pentucket Trail leading south to Pentucket (now Haverhill, Massachusetts) and north further into Pennacook territory.
Brentwood’s 16.97 square miles are seated in the Rockingham County’s geographical center and it is home to many of the county’s support services.