Belknap County (/ˈbɛlnæp/) is a county in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. As of the 2010 census, the population was 60,088. The county seat is Laconia. It is located in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, slightly southeast of the state's geographic center. Belknap County comprises the Laconia, NH Micropolitan Statistical Area, which in turn constitutes a portion of the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.
|Belknap County, New Hampshire|
Laconia District Court on Academy Square in Laconia
Location within the U.S. state of New Hampshire
New Hampshire's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Jeremy Belknap|
|• Total||469 sq mi (1,215 km2)|
|• Land||400 sq mi (1,036 km2)|
|• Water||68 sq mi (176 km2), 15%|
|• Density||153/sq mi (59/km2)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 2nd|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC−5/−4|
Belknap County was organized in 1840 by removing parts of northeastern Merrimack County and northwestern Strafford County. It is named for Dr. Jeremy Belknap, a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The first County Court was held within the town of Meredith, at a village known as Meredith Bridge on the Winnipesaukee River. In 1855, the town of Laconia was separated from Meredith.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 469 square miles (1,210 km2), of which 400 square miles (1,000 km2) are land and 68 square miles (180 km2) (15%) are water. It is the second-smallest county in New Hampshire by area. Most of the county's water area is part of Lake Winnipesaukee.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 56,325 people, 22,459 households, and 15,496 families residing in the county. The population density was 140 people per square mile (54/km²). There were 32,121 housing units at an average density of 80 per square mile (31/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.61% White, 0.29% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.2% were of English, 13.6% Irish, 13.3% French, 12.2% French Canadian, 8.5% American, 6.9% Italian and 5.7% German ancestry. 95.0% spoke English, 2.7% French and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.
There were 22,459 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 3% were non-families. 24.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the county, the population was spread out with 23.60% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 26.40% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,605, and the median income for a family was $50,510. Males had a median income of $34,741 versus $25,445 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,758. About 4.50% of families and 6.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.60% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 60,088 people, 24,766 households, and 16,609 families residing in the county. The population density was 150.1 inhabitants per square mile (58.0/km2). There were 37,386 housing units at an average density of 93.4 per square mile (36.1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 96.6% white, 1.2% Asian, 0.5% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 20.8% were English, 20.7% were Irish, 8.5% were Italian, 8.0% were German, 7.1% were French Canadian, and 6.6% were American.
Of the 24,766 households, 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 32.9% were non-families, and 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84. The median age was 44.7 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $54,929 and the median income for a family was $64,875. Males had a median income of $46,378 versus $34,690 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,517. About 5.2% of families and 8.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
The Republican party is the majority political party in Belknap County, holding all 20 seats in the state legislature as of 2012. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried Belknap by an 11.9% margin over John Kerry, with Kerry winning statewide by 1.4%. But in 2008, the county voted for Barack Obama by a 1.2% margin over John McCain, with Obama carrying the Granite State by 9.6% over McCain. No Democrat has won a majority of the county since 1964, though Obama narrowly edged McCain in 2008, receiving 49.97% of the popular vote.
The executive power of Belknap County's government is held by three county commissioners, each representing one of the three commissioner districts within the county.
|District 1||David DeVoy II||Sanbornton, NH||Republican|
|District 2||Glen Waring (Vice Chairman)||Gilmanton, NH||Republican|
|District 3||Hunter Taylor (Clerk)||Alton, NH||Republican|
In addition to the County Commission, there are five directly-elected officials: they include County Attorney, Register of Deeds, County Sheriff, Register of Probate, and County Treasurer.
|County Attorney||Andrew Livernois (R)|
|Register of Deeds||Judith McGrath (R)|
|County Sheriff||Michael Moyer (R)|
|Register of Probate||Alan Glassman (R)|
|County Treasurer||Michael Muzzey (R)|
The legislative branch of Belknap County is made up of all of the members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from the county. In total, as of January 2019 there were 18 members from nine different districts.
There are ten towns and one city in Belknap County.
The Ayers Island Reservoir is an impoundment located on the Pemigewasset River in central New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Bristol and New Hampton.Belmont, New Hampshire
Belmont is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,356 at the 2010 census.The primary settlement in town, where 1,301 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Belmont census-designated place (CDP) and includes the densely populated portion of the town near the intersection of New Hampshire Route 106 and New Hampshire Route 140.Big River (New Hampshire)
The Big River is a 14.9-mile-long (24.0 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suncook River, part of the Merrimack River (and therefore Gulf of Maine) watershed.
The Big River rises in high ground in the southern corner of Alton, New Hampshire and flows southeast through corners of New Durham and Farmington into Strafford. Running up against the Blue Hills Range, the river reverses course, turning west into Barnstead, where it meets the Suncook River in the village of Center Barnstead.Gunstock Mountain
Gunstock Mountain is the second highest peak in the Belknap Mountains of central New Hampshire with an elevation greater than 2240 feet (683 m). It is located 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Belknap Mountain, the highest point in the range. It is home to the Gunstock Mountain Resort ski area. The ski resort has been written up in national ski magazines for its views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Gunstock Mountain stands within the watershed of the Merrimack River, which drains into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The east side of the mountain, on which the ski resorted is located, drains into Poorfarm Brook, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee, the Winnipesaukee River, and the Merrimack. The west side of the mountain drains into the Gunstock River, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee.Gunstock River
The Gunstock River is a 6.4-mile-long (10.3 km) river in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of Lake Winnipesaukee, part of the Merrimack River watershed.
The Gunstock River is entirely within the town of Gilford, New Hampshire. It rises in the southern part of town, west of Piper Mountain, and flows north, collecting streamflow from the west side of the Belknap Range. The river flows through a wide valley in the center of Gilford, passing the town's middle and high schools, then drops through a steep ravine before reaching flat ground near Lake Winnipesaukee. The river enters the lake at Sanders Bay, near the junction of Routes 11 and 11B.Halfmoon Lake (Barnstead, New Hampshire)
Halfmoon Lake is a 283-acre (1.15 km2) water body located in Belknap County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Barnstead and Alton. The pond is part of the Suncook River watershed, flowing south to the Merrimack River.
The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch.Little River (Big River tributary)
The Little River is a 4.9-mile-long (7.9 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. Its outflow travels via the Big River, Suncook River, and Merrimack River to the Gulf of Maine, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Little River drains the west side of the Blue Hills Range in Strafford, New Hampshire. It begins at the outlet of the Willey Ponds and flows northwest, joining the Big River just north of the village of South Barnstead.Locke Lake
Locke Lake is a 149-acre (60 ha) water body located in Belknap County in central New Hampshire, United States, in the town of Barnstead. It is fed by Halfmoon Lake and drained by Webster Stream. It is surrounded by the Locke Lake Colony, a private development. There is no public access to the lake.
The lake is part of the Suncook River watershed, flowing south to the Merrimack River.Merrymeeting River
The Merrymeeting River is a 10.0-mile-long (16.1 km) river located in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of Lake Winnipesaukee, part of the Merrimack River watershed.
The river begins at the outlet of Merrymeeting Lake in the town of New Durham. The river flows south through a chain of ponds to the village proper of New Durham. After passing under New Hampshire Route 11, the river enters Merrymeeting Marsh and turns sharply to the northwest, the course it will take the rest of the way to its end. The river crosses a small dam at Alton and reaches Lake Winnipesaukee at the community of Alton Bay.Mount Major
Mount Major is a mountain located in Alton, New Hampshire, south of Lake Winnipesaukee and northeast of Straightback Mountain in the Belknap Range.
The scenic, rocky summit is a popular hiking destination, accessible by multiple trails including the Mount Major Trail, the Brook Trail, and the Boulder Loop.
The north, east and south faces of Mount Major drain into Lake Winnipesaukee, thence via the Winnipesaukee River into the Merrimack River and finally into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The west ridge of Mount Major rises only 186 feet (57 m) feet above the col with the higher Straightback Mountain.Mount Rowe
Mount Rowe, elevation 1,680 feet (510 m), is a mountain located north of Gunstock Mountain in the Belknap Range, Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. It has been home to multiple alpine ski operations, including the original Gunstock Mountain Resort single chairlift (now removed), the Belknap Ski Jumps, and the defunct Alpine Ridge/Mt. Rowe ski area.National Register of Historic Places listings in Belknap County, New Hampshire
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Belknap County, New Hampshire.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. Latitude and longitude coordinates are provided for many National Register properties and districts; these locations may be seen together in a map.There are 45 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted June 14, 2019.New Hampton, New Hampshire
New Hampton is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,165 at the 2010 census. A winter sports resort area, New Hampton is home to George Duncan State Forest and to the New Hampton School, a private preparatory school established in 1821.
The primary village in town, where 351 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the New Hampton census-designated place, and is located along New Hampshire Route 132, just south of its intersection with Route 104.Opechee Bay
Opechee Bay is a 449-acre (1.82 km2) lake located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire, United States, in the city of Laconia. It is located directly downstream from Paugus Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee, and it connects by a one-mile segment of the Winnipesaukee River through the center of Laconia to Winnisquam Lake.
The lake is classified as a cold- and warmwater fishery, with observed species including brook trout, rainbow trout, land-locked salmon, lake trout, lake whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, white perch, black crappie, and bluegill.Sanbornton, New Hampshire
Sanbornton is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,966 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of North Sanbornton and Gaza.Suncook River
The Suncook River is a 35.7-mile-long (57.5 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, which flows to the Gulf of Maine.Sunset Lake (Lakes Region, New Hampshire)
Sunset Lake is a 253-acre (1.02 km2) water body located in Belknap County in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Gilmanton and Alton. Water from Sunset Lake flows south to Crystal Lake, the head of the Suncook River, which flows to the Merrimack River and ultimately the Gulf of Maine.
The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery, with observed species including smallmouth and largemouth bass, rainbow smelt, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, sunfish, and yellow perch.Tilton, New Hampshire
Tilton is a town on the Winnipesaukee River in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,567 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Lochmere. Tilton is home to the Tilton School, a private preparatory school.Tioga River (New Hampshire)
The Tioga River is a 12.8-mile-long (20.6 km) river located in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Winnipesaukee River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.
The Tioga River rises on the western slopes of the Belknap Mountains in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Flowing west, the river quickly enters the town of Belmont, where it spends most of its existence. The river passes through Badger Pond shortly before reaching the village proper of Belmont, which was sited along the Tioga River in the 19th century for its waterpower. The river continues west, reaching a broad wetland along the Belmont-Northfield town line, and ends at the Winnipesaukee River near the outlet of Silver Lake.
New Hampshire Route 140 follows the general course of the river from Belmont village to the Winnipesaukee.
Places adjacent to Belknap County, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties