The Squamscott River is a 6-mile-long (9.7 km) tidal river in Rockingham County, southeastern New Hampshire, in the United States. It rises at Exeter, fed by the Exeter River. The Squamscott runs north between Newfields and Stratham to Great Bay, a tidal estuary, which is connected to the Piscataqua River, a tidal inlet of the Atlantic Ocean.
More specifically, after rising at the Great Bridge (actually a very modest Works Progress Administration project) adjacent to the former "Loaf & Ladle" restaurant in downtown Exeter, the Squamscott River passes the "Wooden Wave" (an interesting architectural statement next to the Phillips Exeter Academy boathouse), then tends north alongside the Swasey Parkway, through the haymarshes, passing by the town's water purification plant and then under State Route 101, a major east-west arterial road in New Hampshire. The river next passes under Route 108 at the site of the former "Singing Bridge", a metal bridge which was recently replaced. The river then debouches into Great Bay, a broad and shallow tidal estuary, just south of the mouth of the Lamprey River, arriving at the bay from Newmarket.
The Squamscott, also spelled Swampscott and Swamscott, gets its name from the Squamscott Indians who called it Msquam-s-kook (or Msquamskek) translated as 'at the salmon place' or 'big water place.' Plentiful game, the marshes and lush river-fed vegetation, and an abundance of fish supported the northeast Native American Indians who were present in the region for thousands of years until English settlers displaced them in the early 17th century. The Native American tribes of New Hampshire were most likely from the Abenaki nation, but independent of the Maine-based tribes. The name “Abenaki” and its derivatives originated from a Montagnais (Algonquin) word meaning "people of the dawn" or "easterners". In the eastern part of New Hampshire were the Pequaquaukes (or Pequakets), the Ossipees, the Minnecometts, the Piscataquas and the Squamscotts (Msquamskek).