For some years, the Golden River was a barrier to overland trade between the eastern and western halves of the greater Lakeshore area. Merchants could bring their goods as far as the river, but getting them across on the small boats available was a time-consuming and expensive process. Halsham Ferry was established as a solution to this problem: The enterprising Dawel Halsham built a large, flat-bottomed ferry capable of carrying an entire loaded wagon without running aground, and charged only a small fee for transit across the water. As merchants flooded to use the new service, a town sprang up to meet their other needs: taverns, hiring halls for guards, entertainments of a many and varied nature, and so on.
Government: Halsham has an elected Justice and Sheriff. More often than not, one or both positions are filled by a member of the Halsham family (and troublingly, that one person often holds both offices); Moreover, the Halsham family exercises a strong influence on most other candidates. Elections occur in a public meeting every four years. Anyone who pays the voting toll (1 gp) may cast a vote. Purchasing votes (paying 2-3 gp to get someone to vote for your candidate is a common practice.)
Population: Approximately 1,000
Wealth/Economy: Above Average
Alignment: Neutral Good
Demographics: 79% Human, 14% Halfling, 5% Dwarven, 2% Other Races
The Halsham Family
The Halshams are an extended halfling family that has great deal of old money, which allows them to support many children. Most of them indulge this opportunity, and broods of seven or more offspring in the extended family line are not uncommon. Many of these children marry into good families (either in Halsham's Ferry or in other communities).
The Halshams are not a vindictive bunch, despite what some would say – though they have the odd bad seed, like most families – but they're very bad people to cross: they have friends and family almost everywhere.