Richmond was granted in 1735 as Sylvester-Canada, named for an Indian fighter, Capt. Joseph Sylvester of Scituate, Mass., who was killed in 1690 during an attempt to capture Quebec.
At first it was part of Massachusetts. The boundary was changed by the king of England, placing the area in New Hampshire. The area was regranted in 1752. It was also renamed Richmond in honor of Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, a friend of then-Gov. Benning Wentworth.
Hosea Ballou lived in Richmond; he was a leading 19th-century champion of religious liberalism and is considered the father of Universalism in the United States. Eliza Ballou Garfield, mother of the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield, was born here.
At the center of town, called Richmond Four Corners, is a brick Greek revival-style church built in 1837. Nearby is Veterans Hall, the town meeting hall.
The town has retained its quiet rural character while growing in popularity as a residential community. Since 1921, it has been home of the Cheshire County YMCA’s Camp Takodah.
Richmond has been on a growth spurt since 1970, when its population was 287. In the first federal census, in 1790, Richmond’s population was 1,380, more than it is today