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Walpole, New Hampshire
—  Town  —
Town Hall c. 1920
Location in Cheshire County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°04′46″N 72°25′33″W / 43.07944°N 72.42583°W / 43.07944; -72.42583
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Cheshire
Incorporated 1756
Villages North Walpole, Drewsville
Government
 - Board of Selectmen Sheldon S. Sawyer, Chairman
Whitney R. Aldrich
Jamie J. Teague
Area
 - Total 36.6 sq mi (94.9 km2)
 - Land 35.6 sq mi (92.1 km2)
 - Water 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)  2.95%
Elevation 400 ft (122 m)
Population (as of 2000)
 - Total 3,594
 - Density 101.0/sq mi (39.0/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 03608
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-78420
GNIS feature ID 0873744
Website www.walpolenh.us

Walpole is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,594 at the 2000 census. Walpole includes the villages of North Walpole and Drewsville.

Contents

History

The town was first granted in 1736 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts as "Number 3", third in a line of Connecticut River fort towns. It would be settled as early as 1736, and called "Great Falls" or "Lunenburg". Colonel Benjamin Bellows, for whom Bellows Falls, Vermont is named, built a large fort here for defense against Indian attack. After New Hampshire became a separate province, the town was regranted by Governor Benning Wentworth as "Bellowstown", after its founder. It would be incorporated in 1756. The grant was renewed in 1761, when the town was renamed "Walpole", in honor of Sir Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, and the first Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The first bridge across the Connecticut River, an engineering feat in its day, was built at Walpole in 1785, and is regarded as one of the most famous early spans in the United States. The town contains many architecturally significant old houses, including several associated with Colonel Bellows and members of his family. Walpole Academy, built in 1831 and attributed to master-builder Aaron Prentiss Howland, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The abundant lilacs in the town inspired Louisa May Alcott to write the 1878 book Under the Lilacs.

Notable inhabitants

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.6 square miles (95 km2), of which 35.6 sq mi (92 km2) is land and 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2) is water, comprising 2.95% of the town. The northern part of Walpole is drained by the Cold River. The highest point in town is the summit of Derry Hill, at 1,663 feet (507 m) above sea level.

Demographics

Depot c. 1920

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,594 people, 1,490 households, and 1,016 families residing in the town. The population density was 101.0 people per square mile (39.0/km²). There were 1,592 housing units at an average density of 44.8/sq mi (17.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.30% White, 0.14% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.47% of the population.

There were 1,490 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.90.

Old Colony Inn c. 1920

In the town the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $44,673, and the median income for a family was $53,561. Males had a median income of $37,193 versus $24,323 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,295. About 3.9% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest

  • Walpole Academy Museum, the Walpole Historical Society

References

External links

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