May 4, 1779- One of the most violent thunder storms which was ever known in the maritime parts of New Hampshire, occurred this day, at noon. A cloud rose in the N.W. and another in the S.W. at the same time: they crossed each other, and the former passed very near the earth; a very black darkness came on, the lighting was an incessant glare, and the thunder a continual peal for about an hour. Many trees, several barns, mills and dwelling houses were struck; cattle and sheep were killed in the pastures in several towns; and a valuable new house built for religious worship, at Somersworth, was set on fire and consumed. Its steeple had a metallic vane and spindle, but no conductor to the earth. The bell was melted and fell while in a state of fusion, and no piece of it larger than a musket ball could be found.
From Notable Events in the History Of Dover, N.H. by George Wadleigh.