Bristol, New Hampshire

Bristol is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,054 at the 2010 census.[1] It is home to Wellington State Park, Sugar Hill State Forest, and Profile Falls on the Smith River. Surrounded by hills and lakes, Bristol includes the lower two-thirds of Newfound Lake, a resort area.

The primary settlement in town, where 1,688 people resided at the 2010 census,[1] is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Bristol census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the intersection of New Hampshire routes 3A and 104.

Bristol, New Hampshire
Central Square in 2012
Central Square in 2012
Official seal of Bristol, New Hampshire

"The Gateway to Newfound Lake"
Location in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°35′28″N 71°44′12″W / 43.59111°N 71.73667°WCoordinates: 43°35′28″N 71°44′12″W / 43.59111°N 71.73667°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of SelectmenRick Alpers, Chair
Don Milbrand
Wayne Anderson
JP Morrison
Leslie Dion
 • Town AdministratorNicholas Coates
 • Total22.4 sq mi (57.9 km2)
 • Land17.1 sq mi (44.3 km2)
 • Water5.3 sq mi (13.6 km2)  23.43%
466 ft (142 m)
 • Total3,054
 • Density140/sq mi (53/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-07700
GNIS feature ID0873552


Bristol was taken from Bridgewater and New Chester (now Hill) and incorporated 24 June 1819. Colonel Peter Sleeper, Benjamin Emmons and others commenced a settlement here in 1770.[2]

Extensive deposits of fine sand or clay similar to the "Bristol sand" used in Bristol, England, to make fine china and pottery gave the town its name. Here the sand was used to make a superior quality brick, marketed as Bristol brick. With water power from the Pemigewasset River, the town was a center of manufacturing in the early days for goods such as paper, leather, woolens, flannel, bedsteads and piano stools.[3]

On January 16, 1884, the town of Bristol voted to accept the gift of a library building and land from Josiah Minot and Solomon Sleeper and to manage and maintain a public library. The Minot-Sleeper Library became the first building erected to specifically house a public library in the Lakes Region at the time, when it was officially opened to the community in 1885. On August 15, 2012, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in celebration of the library's expansion. In February 2013, the new addition was ready for use.

Bristol is one of four towns with shoreline on Newfound Lake, which has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century. Farmers at first rented rooms and provided meals, but in the 1870s, hotels including the Hotel Bristol and G. G. Brown Hotel were built. In 1874, Bristol was the terminus of the Franklin and Bristol Branch railroad. The New Hampshire Central Railroad was planned to pass through Bristol.[2] In the 1920s, W. F. Darling created a compound of about one hundred cottages for rent, first known as Hiland Park and later as Bungalo Village. In 2004, the compound was sold to a proprietor who sold individual cottages to permanent owners.

Hotel & Livery Stable, Bristol, NH

The Hotel Bristol in 1911

View of Central Square, Bristol, NH

Central Square in 1906

Sugar Loaf Ledges, Newfound Lake

The Ledges in 1912

Minot-Sleeper Library, Bristol, NH

Minot-Sleeper Library c. 1910


Bristol, Grafton County, N.H. 1884 (4587186514)
1884 bird's-eye view of Bristol

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.4 square miles (58.0 km2), of which 17.1 square miles (44.3 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (13.7 km2) is water, comprising 23.43% of the town.[4] Bristol is drained by the Pemigewasset River (forming the southeastern boundary of the town), the Smith River (on the town's short southern boundary) and the Newfound River, draining Newfound Lake and most of the center of town. The highest point in town is Bristol Peak, elevation 1,803 feet (550 m) above sea level. Bristol lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[5]

Bristol is served by state routes 3A and 104.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20173,047[6]−0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,054 people, 1,283 households, and 851 families residing in the town. There were 2,488 housing units, of which 1,205, or 48.4%, were vacant. 1,089 of the vacant units were for seasonal or recreational use. The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% white, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.3% some other race, and 1.6% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[8]

Of the 1,283 households, 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were headed by married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36, and the average family size was 2.81.[8]

In the town, 21.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.0% were from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.[8]

For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $50,080, and the median income for a family was $56,161. Male full-time workers had a median income of $43,627 versus $35,921 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,353. 8.7% of the population and 5.0% of families were below the poverty line. 15.4% of the population under the age of 18 and 4.3% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.[9]

NewfoundRiver BristolNH Oct2012
The Newfound River descending from the town center

Notable people


  1. ^ a b United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Article in Statistics and Gazetteer of New-Hampshire (1875)
  3. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 429–430.
  4. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001) - Bristol town, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau American Factfinder. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (DP-1): Bristol town, Grafton County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Bristol town, Grafton County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "Pattee, Fred Lewis". Penn State Libraries. Pennsylvania State University. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2015.

External links

Benjamin Flanders

Benjamin Franklin Flanders (January 26, 1816 – March 13, 1896) was a teacher, politician and planter in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1867, he was appointed by the military commander as the 21st Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction, a position which he held for some six months. He is currently the last Republican mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bristol Town Hall

Bristol Town Hall, at 45 Summer Street, is the town hall of Bristol, New Hampshire. It is a single story Greek Revival structure, built in 1849, and was the town's first purpose-built town hall. It continues to serve as a municipal meeting and polling place, although town offices are now in a modern building on Lake Street. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Central Square Historic District

Central Square Historic District may refer to:

Central Square Historic District (Cambridge, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Massachusetts

Central Square Historic District (Lynn, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Massachusetts

Central Square Historic District (Stoneham, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Massachusetts

Central Square Historic District (Waltham, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Massachusetts

Central Square Historic District (Weymouth, Massachusetts), listed on the NRHP in Massachusetts

Central Square Historic District (Bristol, New Hampshire), listed on the NRHP in New Hampshire

Central Square Historic District (Bristol, New Hampshire)

The Central Square Historic District of Bristol, New Hampshire, encompasses the central commercial district of the town. The square is a four-sided space near the junction of six roadways in the center of Bristol, just north of the Newfound River and west of the Pemigewasset River. The district includes all of the buildings that are arrayed around the square, as well as one contemporary commercial building located just south of the Newfound River on South Main Street. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.The center of Bristol began to take shape in the 1760s with the arrival of the first non-Native settlers. A road was cut along the Pemigewasset River, which crossed the Newfound River near where South Main Street does today. A mill was built a little way to the east. By the 1790s a small town center had emerged, including two tavern buildings that still stand. A new road (now North Main Street) to Newfound Lake in 1805 further enhanced the area's importance as a transportation junction, shortly followed by what is now Pleasant Street in 1808. How the square itself formed is uncertain, since there are no formal town documents discussing the matter.The center grew in the 19th century with the arrival of industrial mills and the railroad. Most of the municipal functions were located away from the square, which developed as a commercial business district. Early surviving instances of wood frame commercial construction include in the 1841 Bean-Tukey Block and the 1848 Cass Block. The west side of the square was subjected to destructive fires in 1861 and 1871, resulting in the construction of Victorian brick blocks on that side of the square. The square's basic structures today are, with only few exceptions, what they were in the late 19th century.

Frank Lynes

Frank Lynes (16 March 1858, Cambridge, Massachusetts – 24 June 1913, Bristol, New Hampshire) was an American composer and teacher who is primarily remembered for the piano pieces he wrote for his students; his sonatinas are essentially in a conservative classical style, reminiscent of similar works by Heinrich Lichner, Anton Diabelli, and Friedrich Kuhlau, as well as his teacher, Carl Reinecke. He studied at the New England Conservatory and at the Leipzig Conservatory.

Fred Lewis Pattee

Fred Lewis Pattee (March 22, 1863 – May 6, 1950) was an American author and scholar of American literature. As a professor of American literature at the Pennsylvania State University, Pattee wrote the lyrics of the Penn State Alma Mater. Pattee is sometimes labeled the "first Professor of American Literature", a position he held at Penn State from 1895 until 1928.

Hamlin Andrus

Hamlin Foster Andrus (March 30, 1885 – July 9, 1957) was an American football player and financier. He played college football at Yale University from 1908 to 1909 and was selected as a consensus All-American at the guard position in 1909. Andrus was the son of John Emory Andrus, a U.S. Congressman and millionaire.After graduating from Yale in 1910, Andrus pursued a variety of financial interests. He also worked with his father in operating the Arlington Chemical Company (later known as U.S. Vitamin Corporation) and was also a trustee of the SURDNA Foundation, a philanthropic endowment corporation formed by his father. He also held a patent on machinery for the manufacture of concrete blocks.In March 1911, Andrus married Mary F. Hotchkiss. They had a daughter, Julia Dyckman Andrus. Andrus lived for most of his life in Yonkers, New York. He moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1950. He died in 1957 at the age of 72 either at his farm in Bristol, New Hampshire, or at his home in Greenwich.

James E. Randlett

James E. Randlett (5 September, 1846 – 1909) was an American architect from Concord, New Hampshire.

Lenny McNab

Lenny McNab is an American chef who is best known as the winner of the tenth season of the Food Network television series Food Network Star. He defeated runner-up Luca Della Casa on August 10, 2014. Food Network executive Bob Tuschman said that "Lenny's magnetic personality, culinary chops and cowboy swagger made him stand out in this very talented crowd from the beginning."McNab wears cowboy attire and specializes in "elevated chuck wagon fare". A native of New Hampshire, McNab got his culinary training in Bad Kissingen, Germany. He is a former executive head chef at the Kessler Canyon hunting lodge in De Beque, Colorado.

In 2013, McNab participated in "The Ol' Switcheroo" episode of Guy's Grocery Games, losing in the final. He also performs as a country singer under the name The Black Mamba.

Luther Atwood

Luther Atwood (November 7, 1820 – November 5, 1868) was an American chemist. He is known for creating new chemical products from the distillation of coal and petroleum.

Luther C. Ladd

Luther Crawford Ladd (22 December 1843 – 19 April 1861) was a soldier in the Union Army who was killed during the Baltimore riot of 1861. He is often referred to as the first Union soldier killed in action during the American Civil War. Four days earlier, Private Daniel Hough became the first non-combat casualty of the war when he was accidentally killed by a cannon that went off prematurely during a salute to the flag. Luther Crawford Ladd was 17 years old at the time of his death.Luther C. Ladd was born in Bristol, New Hampshire, the son of John Ladd. He resided on the Ladd farm, south of Fowler's River. In 1853 Luther and his father moved to nearby Alexandria, New Hampshire where he attended district schools. At age 16 in 1860, Ladd left Alexandria for Lowell, Massachusetts where he obtained employment at the Lowell Machine Shop. In April 1861 Luther answered President Lincoln's first call for 75,000 men by enlisting for three months in Co. D, 6th Massachusetts Militia. On April 19, 1861 while marching through the city of Baltimore this regiment was attacked by an angry mob. Luther C. Ladd was the first to fall. His injuries included a fractured skull and a fatal bullet wound that severed an artery in his thigh. Luther C. Ladd's remains were interred in the Alexandria Village Cemetery, later to be removed and buried beneath the Ladd & Whitney monument in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Minot-Sleeper Library

The Minot-Sleeper Library is the public library of Bristol, New Hampshire. It is located at 35 Pleasant Street, in an 1885 brick building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The library was the first in the state's Lakes Region to have a purpose-built building. The library offers borrowing service, as well as Wifi, Internet-accessible computers, and a variety of programmed activities.

Nathaniel S. Berry

Nathaniel Springer Berry (September 1, 1796 – April 27, 1894) was a two-term Governor of New Hampshire during the American Civil war.

Newfound Regional High School

Newfound Regional High School (NRHS) is a public secondary school in Bristol, New Hampshire, United States. Surrounding towns that attend NRHS are Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, Danbury, Groton, Hebron, Hill, and New Hampton. The school is part of the Newfound Area School District (NASD) and was originally named Newfound Memorial High School. It was originally located where Newfound Memorial Middle School currently stands until the present high school building was constructed in 1989. Newfound Regional High School was awarded "NH Excellence in Education" in 2010. Newfound Regional High School's motto is "Choose your path to success...make a commitment."

Newfound River (New Hampshire)

The Newfound River is a 3.2-mile-long (5.1 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Pemigewasset River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The Newfound River begins at the outlet of Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire. The river drops rapidly through the town of Bristol, passing over several hydroelectric dams before reaching the Pemigewasset.

Major tributaries of the Newfound River (via Newfound Lake) are the Fowler River and the Cockermouth River.

Smith River (Pemigewasset River tributary)

The Smith River is a 25.0-mile-long (40.2 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Pemigewasset River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The Smith River begins at the outlet of Tewksbury Pond in Grafton, New Hampshire. The river flows southwest and then southeast through Grafton, passing through Kilton Pond. Continuing through Danbury, the river remains generally flat until shortly before reaching the Alexandria-Hill town line, where it enters a narrow valley and produces several miles of whitewater. Passing under the New Hampshire Route 3A bridge at the Bristol-Hill town line, the Smith River drops over Profile Falls and arrives at the Pemigewasset River.

U.S. Route 4 follows the Smith River from its source to Danbury. NH-104 follows the river from Danbury to the east side of Alexandria.

Walter Prince

Walter Farr Prince (May 9, 1861 – August 4, 1938) was an American professional baseball player from 1883 to 1889. He played two seasons in Major League Baseball, principally as a first baseman, from 1883 to 1884. His longest stint with one team was 43 games with the Washington Nationals (AA) in 1884.

Wellington State Park

Wellington State Park is a 204-acre (83 ha) state park in Bristol, New Hampshire on Newfound Lake. It features the largest freshwater swimming beach in the New Hampshire State Park system.

Activities include swimming, fishing, non-motorized boating, hiking and picnicking. The park maintains volleyball and horseshoe courts. There is a seasonal snack bar. Gas grills are allowed along with wood and/or charcoal fires for cooking.

William T. Powers (industrialist)

William Thompson Powers (8 July, 1820 – 19 June, 1909) manufacturer and capitalist, was born in Bristol, New Hampshire, July 8, 1820, and died at 29 College Ave NE, the home of his daughter Mary Louisa (Powers) Spooner, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 19, 1909. His parents Jonathan and Anna (Kendall) Powers, were natives of Groton and Hebron, New Hampshire. In 1826 the family moved to Lansingburgh, New York, where he received a common school education, and after he was eighteen years of age learned the trade of cabinet maker. He early showed aptness and skill at machine work, a faculty which ever after proved useful and profitable to him.

In June 1847, Powers and his family, then consisting of his wife and one child, William Henry, came to Grand Rapids following after "uncle" John Ball. His chief business capital at the time was a good trade, about $300, in cash, a pair of willing hands and a spirit of energy and determination. Here he began work in a small shop at the southeast corner of Fountain and Ionia streets, where he rented bench room. Soon afterward he secured better quarters by the east bank of the river above Bridge Street and began working by machinery, using water power; making furniture of nearly all kinds then produced, and chairs, not only for the home trade, but for exportation, and having a salesroom near the foot of Canal Street. In 1850 he formed a partnership with Ebenezer Morris Ball, under the firm name of Powers & Ball, in the furniture trade, their business place being near where is the south entrance to the Arcade.

In 1852 they built a sawmill to which they added a larger structure for a factory, on Erie Street, where the business grew rapidly; soon giving work to some forty employees, and establishing an export trade in ready made stock for chairs, furniture and McCormick reapers. In January, 1855, this partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Powers turned his attention to lumbering, operating a steam mill with a circular saw, the first of its kind in this part of the state, which the firm had built above Leonard Street on the west bank of the river. About the same time he constructed a machine with a gang of circular saws for slitting thick plank into siding and flooring. Again he added furniture making to his business, and for a time before the Civil War had an extensive sales room on Canal Street, near Erie.

In 1865 and 1866 he purchased the river frontage necessary and in the three following years constructed the West Side Water Power Canal, a description of which is given in Baxter's History of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Powers erected over thirty structure in Grand Rapids for houses, mills, stores, factories and other purposes. Most prominent among these is Powers’ Grand Opera House. Notable in his work, also, is the Arcade artesian well, where so many thousands daily partake of its refreshing waters, free — a public benefaction.In 1880 he caused the organizing of an electric lighting plant and company to Grand Rapids, Michigan, the first city lighting by electricity in Michigan. The works were operated chiefly by water power. The first industrial use of hydropower in the United States to generate electricity occurred in 1880, when 16 brush-arc lamps were powered using a water turbine at the Wolverine Chair and Furniture Factory; operated by William H. Powers, his son. William T. Powers & Son in 1885 purchased and moved their operation to the Michigan Iron Works at the foot of Louis Street and the Grand River. He served as president of the Electric Light and Power Company for many years, later known as Consumers Electric Light and Power, which has become a part of Consumers Energy.

Indomitable and persistent industry and energy have marked the career of Mr. Powers in Grand Rapids; and besides his successful enterprises at home he was actively and prosperously engaged in the development of valuable properties in and near Spearfish, South Dakota - the Black Hills region - where he had a water power of some 300 to 400 horse power, some manufacturing buildings, and about 400 acres of land. While in Spearfish he had a saw mill, furniture factory, door and sash company, plaster mine, and mercantile store.He exhibited great interest in the material growth and advancement of Grand Rapids. He was chosen City Treasurer in 1853 and again in 1854, serving two terms. In 1857 he was elected Mayor and served one term, during which he started and gave a lasting impetus to the system of street improvements that has been so prominent a factor in city development and progress. Similarly he stimulated municipal growth by his service in the Board of Public Works from 1873 to 1878, where he was prominent in the establishment of the water works system.

As a politician he never sought office, but was a steady and active adherent of the Democratic Party.

Mr. Powers married, in 1839, at Troy, New York, Louisa Hall, a native of London, England. Of six children born to them, four were living in 1891 - William Henry, Sara Anna, Mary Louisa and Charles Ball Powers.

Places adjacent to Bristol, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States
Other villages

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