The Cocheco River is a tributary of the Piscataqua River, 38.3 miles (61.6 km) long, in New Hampshire. It rises in northern Strafford County and runs southeastward, through the town of Farmington and the cities of Rochester and Dover, where it provides hydroelectric power. It joins the Salmon Falls River to form the Piscataqua below Dover.
Cochecho is an Abenaki word meaning "the rapid foaming water" -- specifically, the river's falls located in downtown Dover. Settlers would adopt the name for the entire river. It is believed that the shift from Cochecho to Cocheco can be traced to a clerical error at the 1827 incorporation of the defunct Cocheco Manufacturing Company. The spelling Cocheco was adopted as the official name of the river in a 1911 decision by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Other spellings cited by the board (besides Cochecho) include Chocetopa, Cochechae, Cochechea, Cuttchechoe, Kechceachy, Kecheachy, and Quochecho. The river has also been known as the Dover River.
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