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Ossipee, New Hampshire
—  Town  —
Center Ossipee

Location in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°41′05″N 71°07′02″W / 43.68472°N 71.11722°W / 43.68472; -71.11722
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Incorporated 1785
 - Board of Selectmen Kathleen M. Maloney
Harry C. Merrow
E. Morton Leavitt
 - Total 75.3 sq mi (195.0 km2)
 - Land 70.9 sq mi (183.6 km2)
 - Water 4.4 sq mi (11.4 km2)  0.17%
Elevation 681 ft (208 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 4,211
 - Density 63.8/sq mi (22.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 03864
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-58740
GNIS feature ID 0873694

Ossipee is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,211 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Carroll County.[1] Ossipee, which includes several villages, is a resort area and home to part of Pine River State Forest.



Center Ossipee in c. 1915

Originally known as Wigwam Village, and then New Garden, the town was named for the Ossipee Indians, one of the twelve Algonquian tribes. It was once the site of an Indian stockade fort, designed to protect the tribe from the Mohawks in the west. In 1725, the Indian stockade was destroyed, and then rebuilt by Captain John Lovewell. The new fort was one of the largest in New England. On February 22, 1785, the legislature incorporated Ossipee as a town.[2]

Although the surface of the town is "rough and uneven, and in some parts rocky and mountainous," farmers found it suitable for pasturage, as well as for cultivating wheat and potatoes. Principal goods were produce, lumber and cattle. In 1859, when the population was 2,123, Ossipee contained twelve sawmills, five gristmills, twelve clapboard and shingle mills, one bedstead factory, one door factory, a sash and blind factory, one paper mill and four tanneries.[3] The Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad in 1871 reached Ossipee Corner, with service extended in 1875 to Center Ossipee. The trains brought commerce and tourists, helping the town develop as a summer resort. Railroad service, however, would be discontinued in 1961 for passengers, and in 1972 for freight.[4]

The town shares its name with the Ossipee Mountains, a circular mountain range marking the location of an ancient volcanic ring dike, which borders it on the west. Ossipee is a major source of sand and gravel, transported by railroad to Boston, Massachusetts.

Notable inhabitants


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 75.6 square miles (195.8 km2), of which 71.2 sq mi (184.4 km2) is land and 4.4 sq mi (11.4 km2) is water, comprising 5.85% of the town. Ossipee is drained by the Ossipee, Pine, Beech, Bearcamp and Lovell rivers. Ossipee Lake is in the northeastern part of the town. The highest point in Ossipee is 2,080 feet (630 m) above sea level on an unnamed ridge in the Ossipee Mountains in the western part of town.

The town is crossed by state routes 16, 25, 28 and 171. It borders the towns of Freedom and Effingham to the northeast, Wakefield to the southeast, Tuftonboro and Moultonborough to the southwest, Tamworth to the northwest and Madison to the north.


The Carroll County Courthouse in 1921. Built in 1916, it is now the Ossipee Historical Society Museum.

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 4,211 people, 1,672 households, and 1,153 families residing in the town. The population density was 59.2 people per square mile (22.9/km²). There were 2,742 housing units at an average density of 38.5/sq mi (14.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.96% White, 0.14% African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 1.23% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.33% of the population.

There were 1,672 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.90.

Street scene c. 1910

In the town the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,709, and the median income for a family was $38,790. Males had a median income of $27,388 versus $21,579 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,092. About 7.7% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest


External links



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