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Franconia, New Hampshire
—  Town  —
Location in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 44°13′38″N 71°44′54″W / 44.22722°N 71.74833°W / 44.22722; -71.74833
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Grafton
Incorporated 1772
 - Board of Selectmen Carleen Quinn
John Lachapelle
Richard McLeod
 - Total 66.0 sq mi (170.8 km2)
 - Land 65.9 sq mi (170.6 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.12%
Elevation 928 ft (283 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 924
 - Density 14.0/sq mi (5.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 03580
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-27300
GNIS feature ID 0873599

Franconia is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 924 at the 2000 census. Set in the White Mountains, Franconia is home to Franconia Notch State Park. Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the east and south. The Appalachian Trail crosses the southern part.



Old Man of the Mountain on the New Hampshire quarter

The town was first granted in 1764 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as Franconia[1], a name widely applied to the region by 1760[2] due to the terrain's resemblance to the Frankish Alb in Germany. Upon claims that a settlement was not made within the time prescribed under the terms of the charter, it was regranted in 1772 by his nephew, Governor John Wentworth, as Morristown. By about 1782, after a legal battle over the two grants, the first grant was recognized and the original name of the town was resumed.[3][4]

The town sits on a rich iron deposit, and the region once produced pig iron and bar iron for farm tools and cast iron ware.

Franconia is home to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, which rises to the 4,100-foot summit of Cannon Mountain. Built in 1938, it was the first passenger aerial tramway in North America.

The town was home to Franconia College during the 1960s and 1970s.

Notable residents


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 66.0 square miles (171 km2), of which 65.9 sq mi (171 km2) is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) is water, comprising 0.12% of the town. Franconia is drained by the Pemigewasset River, the Gale River, and the Ham Branch of the Gale River, in addition to Lafayette Brook. The north-western two-thirds of Franconia lies within the Connecticut River watershed, while the south-eastern corner lies in the Merrimack River watershed.[5]

The area of Franconia Notch is well-known for its natural features, including Profile and Echo lakes, the Basin, Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln, and Cannon Mountain. Mount Lafayette, at 5,260 feet (1,600 m) above sea level, is the highest peak in Franconia. The Old Man of the Mountain, a profile-like cliff which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Great Stone Face, collapsed on May 3, 2003.

In addition to the mountains around Franconia Notch, there are several other four-thousand footers within the town limits: Mount Garfield, Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, and Owl's Head.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 924 people, 384 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 14.0 people per square mile (5.4/km²). There were 702 housing units at an average density of 10.7/sq mi (4.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.51% White, 0.11% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.

There were 384 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 21.9% from 25 to 44, 33.1% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,114, and the median income for a family was $46,979. Males had a median income of $29,500 versus $24,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,351. About 7.8% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.1% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest


  1. ^ The Franconia Charter, 1764.
  2. ^ Herbert, Phyllis Bond. The Early History of Franconia, N.H., p. 6.
  3. ^ Welch, Sarah Nelson. A History of Franconia New Hampshire, p. 32.
  4. ^ Franconia Area Heritage Council. Old Landmarks of Our Neighborhood, p. 32.
  5. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; and Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.  
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links



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