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North Conway, New Hampshire
—  CDP  —
Saco River
North Conway, New Hampshire is located in New Hampshire
North Conway, New Hampshire
Location within the state of New Hampshire
Coordinates: 44°3′11″N 71°7′41″W / 44.05306°N 71.12806°W / 44.05306; -71.12806
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Area
 - Total 4.3 sq mi (11.2 km2)
 - Land 4.3 sq mi (11.1 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 525 ft (160 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 2,069
 - Density 483.9/sq mi (186.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 03860
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-53860
GNIS feature ID 0872395

North Conway is a census-designated place (CDP) in eastern Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,069 at the 2000 census. A year-round resort area, North Conway is the largest village within the town of Conway, which is bounded on the east by the Maine state line. The White Mountain National Forest is to the west and north. Conway is home to Cathedral Ledge (popular with climbers), Echo Lake State Park, and Mount Cranmore. North Conway is known for its large amount of outlet shops.

Contents

History

Mount Washington in 1872

Chartered in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, the town is named for Henry Seymour Conway, ambitious son of a prominent English family, who was elected to the House of Commons at age twenty, fought at Culloden, and became Secretary of State. Early settlers called the area Pequawket (known colloquially as Pigwacket), adopting the name of the Abenaki Indian village which stretched down the Saco River to its stockaded center at Fryeburg, Maine.

Picturesque North Conway is nestled directly in the heart of the White Mountains, with Mount Washington looming to the northwest. The rugged terrain became popular in the 19th century with artists. Their paintings were known collectively as White Mountain art, which in turn attracted tourists to the area, particularly after the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad extended service in 1872 to North Conway. In 1874, the line built an extraordinary Second Empire depot, designed by Nathaniel J. Bradlee. In 1932, "snow trains" began carrying enthusiasts to "the birthplace of American skiing," as North Conway is known.

But increasing automobile travel brought the decline of trains. The railroad, then part of the Boston & Maine, abandoned passenger service to the area in 1961, and freight service in 1972. Subsequently, the Conway Scenic Railroad was established. Today, the line offers visitors a tour of this spectacularly beautiful region, including Crawford Notch. The landmark station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the late 1980s, the White Mountain Airport closed and was redeveloped as a large outlet mall and hotel. Continued growth through the 1990s and 2000s in North Conway and the villages nearby made Conway the most populous community in Carroll County. Traffic issues led to an overhaul of the road system, including widening Route 16 through North Conway village and constructing a road parallel to Route 16 to allow traffic to move between Redstone and Intervale uninterrupted. A bypass of the area is being developed.

Nevertheless, North Conway remains a popular destination due to its shopping, recreation, and attractions.

Recreation

Cathedral Ledge in 1914

North Conway and its surrounding towns offer some of the best hiking in the White Mountain National Forest. It also features some of the best rock climbing sites on the East Coast, its gem being Cathedral Ledge in Echo Lake State Park. The 500-foot (150 m) cliff overlooks Echo Lake and the village from the west. But unlike nearby White Horse Ledge, another favorite with rock climbers, Cathedral Ledge has an automobile road to the summit, which provides fine views of the Saco River Valley.

In late September through early October, tourists arrive to see the autumn colors on the surrounding mountains and forests. The Conway Scenic Railroad features train rides that leave from the village's Victorian station. In the winter, the village is the nighttime destination for skiers visiting the area resorts, including North Conway's own Cranmore Mountain as well as nearby Attitash Resort, Black Mountain and Wildcat Mountain.

Geography

North Conway is located at 44°3′6″N 71°7′22″W / 44.05167°N 71.12278°W / 44.05167; -71.12278 (44.051534, -71.122752),[1] in the northern part of the town of Conway.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village, a census-designated place (CDP), has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11 km2), of which 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2) (0.70%) is water. North Conway is drained by the Saco River.

Demographics

White Horse Ledge and Echo Lake c. 1908

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 2,069 people, 1,002 households, and 487 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 483.9 people per square mile (186.6/km²). There were 1,602 housing units at an average density of 374.7/sq mi (144.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.07% White, 0.39% African American, 0.29% Native American, 2.27% Asian, 0.72% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.

There were 1,002 households out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.2% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.3% were non-families. 41.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.75.

The Kearsarge House c. 1910, an early grand hotel

In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.5% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $31,406, and the median income for a family was $40,294. Males had a median income of $27,679 versus $23,017 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $20,493. About 17.1% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under age 18 and 24.0% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents

Sites of interest

Sites on the National Register of Historic Places:

References

External links

See also

North Conway is a village within the town of Conway. The other villages within Conway are:

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