Jefferson, New Hampshire

Jefferson, New Hampshire

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Jefferson, New Hampshire
nickname =
motto =


imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Coos County, New Hampshire
settlement_type = Town

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = New Hampshire
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Coos
government_type =
leader_title = Board of Selectmen
leader_name =
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = 1796
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 130.5
area_total_sq_mi = 50.4
area_land_km2 = 129.9
area_land_sq_mi = 50.2
area_water_km2 = 0.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.2
area_water_percent = 0.46
population_as_of = 2000
population_note =
population_total = 1006
population_density_km2 = 7.7
population_density_sq_mi = 20.1
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 44 |latm = 25 |lats = 08 |latNS = N
longd = 71 |longm = 28 |longs = 28 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 421
elevation_ft = 1381
website =
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 03583
area_code = 603
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 33-38820
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0873634
footnotes =

Jefferson is a town in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,006 at the 2000 census. It is home to Agnew State Forest in the south, parts of the White Mountain National Forest in the south and northeast, and two theme parks: [ Santa's Village] and [ Six Gun City] . There are also several private campgrounds, motels and inns.

Jefferson is part of the Berlin, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.


First granted in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, the location was so deep in unexplored territory that few took up their claims. One who did was Colonel Joseph Whipple, who cut trails through the forests to build a manor house. He named the town "Dartmouth" after William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth and patron of Dartmouth College. Brother to William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Colonel Whipple renamed the town "Jefferson" four years prior to Thomas Jefferson's election as president. The legislature would grant the town a new charter as "Jefferson" in 1796. Over the years, the boundary with the adjacent township of Kilkenny has been moved significantly several times, divorcing all habitations from Kilkenny jurisdiction.

During the early 1900s, Jefferson was a popular summer resort, boasting one of the five largest "Grand Hotels" in the White Mountains -- the Waumbek, with accommodations for nearly 600 guests, was destroyed by fire on May 9, 1928. The hotel maintained its own rail branch, delivering visitors directly to the hotel without changing trains.

In 1914, Jefferson was serviced by multiple daily trains from Boston and New York City. It had over 30 hotels at its tourism peak, reached by several mainline depots including Riverton, Baileys, Meadows, and Highlands. Many of the original station buildings remain, although most have been moved to nearby locations. The tracks were removed in the 1970s, leaving a basis for a "Rails to Trails" project. A number of historic, architecturally interesting structures remain from the resort era, and the Waumbek Cottages provided a backdrop for the popular White Mountains Festival of the Arts until 1979. In March 2006, the Waumbek Cottages Historic District was named to the National Register.

In 1885, a landslide on the north side of Cherry Mountain demolished the Stanley farm, mortally wounding a worker. Local hotels immediately arranged daily excursions to view the scene, now marked by a roadside historical marker. See .

Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, a local farm boy born in 1832, became a world-famous inventor of aerostats (dirigibles) and other devices. Consulting President Abraham Lincoln, he organized a balloon corps during the Civil War, and went on to invent the ice-making machine, and later the water-gas process which for years ran gas lights in hundreds of cities. His father, Clovis Lowe, had been part owner in 1832 of nearby Low and Burbank's Grant, which contains much of Mount Adams and Mount Madison. See .


Jefferson is located on U.S. Route 2 between Lancaster and Randolph, near the mid-point between the Vermont and Maine borders. Set astride the broad Israel River valley, the town commands remarkable views of the Presidential Range and other White Mountain summits. Mount Starr King, with an elevation of convert|3907|ft|m above sea level and named for Thomas Starr King, is the highest point in town, near the town's northern border. It is regularly traversed by hikers scaling nearby convert|4006|ft|m|adj=on Mount Waumbek, one of the "four-thousand footers" -- the 48 peaks above convert|4000|ft|m in New Hampshire. [Gene Daniell and Jon Burroughs, ed., "White Mountain Guide", 26th ed., Boston, Massachusetts, Appalachian Mountain Club, 1998] Jefferson lies fully within the Connecticut River watershed.cite book |title=Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers |url= |last=Foster |first=Debra H. |coauthors=Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; and Medalie, Laura |publisher=U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey |year=1995]

In the past few years, thousands of acres of Jefferson have been sold or donated by lumber and other private concerns to the White Mountain National Forest, the Randolph Town Forest (part of which is within the boundaries of Jefferson), the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge, or the National Audubon Society.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of convert|50.4|sqmi|km2, of which convert|50.2|sqmi|km2|abbr=on is land and convert|0.2|sqmi|km2|abbr=on is water, comprising 0.46% of the town.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 1,006 people, 407 households, and 295 families residing in the town. The population density was 20.1 people per square mile (7.7/km²). There were 582 housing units at an average density of 11.6/sq mi (4.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.31% White, 0.10% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.10% of the population.

There were 407 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 103.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,089, and the median income for a family was $42,067. Males had a median income of $27,130 versus $21,382 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,556. About 4.7% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.0% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest

* Jefferson Historical Museum, located in an old church, on US Route 2, east of village center.


*cite book
last = Julyan
first = Robert and Mary
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Place Names of the White Mountains
year = 1993
edition = Revised Ed.
publisher = University Press of New England
location = Hanover, NH
id = ISBN 0-87451-638-2

*cite book
last = Davis
first = Abner
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = History of Coos County
edition = (Republished facsimile of original. In Jefferson CD-ROM (2002) from Jefferson Historical Society.)
pages = pp. 399-425
year = 1972
publisher = New Hampshire Publishing Company
location = Somersworth, NH
id =

*cite paper
author = Boston and Maine Railroad
date = September 21, 1914
url =
format =
title = Local Time Table, White Mountains Division
publisher =
version =
accessdate =

*cite book
last = Tolles
first = Bryant F.
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Summer Cottages in the White Mountains: The Architecture of Leisure and Recreation 1870 to 1930
year = 2000
publisher = University Press of New England
location = Hanover
id = ISBN 0-87451-953-5

*cite book
last = Town of Jefferson
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Jefferson, New Hampshire: Before 1996
year = 1995
publisher = Sherwin Dodge
location = Littleton
id =

See also

White Mountain art

External links

* [ New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile]

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