Gilford, New Hampshire

Gilford is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,126 at the 2010 census.[1] Situated on Lake Winnipesaukee, Gilford is home to Governors Island, Ellacoya State Beach, Belknap Mountain State Forest, Gunstock Mountain Ski Resort, and Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, a seasonal outdoor concert venue. The lakeside village of Glendale lies within Gilford's borders.

Gilford, New Hampshire
Kimball Castle and Lake Winnipesaukee c. 1920
Kimball Castle and Lake Winnipesaukee c. 1920
Official seal of Gilford, New Hampshire

Location in Belknap County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°32′51″N 71°24′26″W / 43.54750°N 71.40722°WCoordinates: 43°32′51″N 71°24′26″W / 43.54750°N 71.40722°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of SelectmenGus Benavides, Chair
Richard Grenier
Dale Channing Eddy
 • Town AdministratorScott Dunn
 • Total53.7 sq mi (139.1 km2)
 • Land38.9 sq mi (100.7 km2)
 • Water14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2)  27.60%
745 ft (227 m)
 • Total7,126
 • Density183/sq mi (70.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP codes
03247, 03249
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-28740
GNIS feature ID0873603


Settled in 1778 and originally a part of Gilmanton, the town was first called Gunstock Parish. In 1812, Captain Lemuel B. Mason, who had fought in the 1781 Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War and subsequently retired to Gunstock Parish, successfully proposed incorporation of a new town to be named Guilford after that battle. The name would later be contracted by clerical error. The original parish name is used by Gunstock Mountain and the ski resort located on it.[2]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.7 square miles (139.1 km2), of which 38.9 sq mi (100.7 km2) is land and 14.8 sq mi (38.4 km2) is water, comprising 27.60% of the town. Belknap Mountain, elevation 2,384 feet (727 m) above sea level and the highest point in Gilford, is in the south. Much of the town is drained by the Gunstock River, a tributary of Lake Winnipesaukee. Gilford lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[3]

New Hampshire Route 11 crosses the town from east to west, connecting Alton and Rochester to the east with Laconia to the west. NH 11 joins U.S. Route 3 near the western border of Gilford, and together they turn south on the Laconia Bypass, which is largely within the Gilford town limits, traveling southwest towards Tilton and Franklin. New Hampshire Route 11A is an alternate east-west route to NH 11, passing through the center of Gilford and by the entrance to Gunstock Mountain Resort. New Hampshire Route 11B leaves NH 11 near Sanders Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee and proceeds northwest to Weirs Beach in Laconia.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20177,156[4]0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 6,803 people, 2,766 households, and 2,019 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.6 people per square mile (67.4/km²). There were 4,312 housing units at an average density of 110.6 per square mile (42.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.32% White, 0.19% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.

There were 2,766 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,658, and the median income for a family was $56,554. Males had a median income of $38,839 versus $27,325 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,667. About 2.2% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.


In the New Hampshire Senate, Gilford is in the 7th District, represented by Republican Harold French. On the New Hampshire Executive Council, Gilford is in the 1st District, represented by Democrat Michael J. Cryans. In the United States House of Representatives, Gilford is in New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, represented by Democrat Chris Pappas.

Sites of interest

Notable people


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 500.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.

External links

Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion

The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion (originally known as Meadowbrook Farm) is an outdoor amphitheatre located near Lake Winnipesaukee in Gilford, New Hampshire. Opening in 1996, the venue seats nearly 8,000 guests.

Belknap Mountain

Belknap Mountain is a mountain located in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States, south of Lake Winnipesaukee. Like the county, the mountain and the associated surrounding Belknap Mountains are named after Jeremy Belknap (1744–1798), a renowned preacher, historian, and author of The History of New Hampshire. The mountain is within Belknap Mountain State Forest.

The peak of Belknap Mountain is the highest point in the county. Although of only modest elevation, the isolation of the Belknap Mountains gives Belknap Mountain 1,850 ft (560 m) of relative height above the low ground separating it from the White Mountains, making it one of the fifty most topographically prominent peaks in New England. Belknap Mountain is flanked to the northwest by Gunstock Mountain, the site of the Gunstock Mountain Resort ski area. The summit of Belknap Mountain features an active fire tower.

Belknap Mountain stands within the watershed of the Merrimack River, which drains into the Gulf of Maine in Massachusetts. The east and northeast sides of Belknap Mountain drain into Poorfarm Brook, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee, the Winnipesaukee River, and the Merrimack. The west side drains into Gunstock River, thence into Lake Winnipesaukee. The south side drains into Manning Lake, thence into Crystal Lake, the source of the Suncook River, and thence into the Merrimack River.

Belknap Mountain State Forest

Belknap Mountain State Forest is a 1,300-acre (530 ha) state forest in central New Hampshire within the Belknap Mountains. The forest contains the summit and surrounding slopes of 2,382-foot (726 m) Belknap Mountain, the highest point in Belknap County, as well as lands to the east extending to Round Pond. The forest is bordered to the north by Gunstock Mountain and Gunstock Mountain Resort, a downhill ski area. A lookout tower is at the top of Belknap Mountain, and there is an extensive trail network in the forest.

Benjamin Rowe House

The Benjamin Rowe House is a historic house museum at 88 Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford, New Hampshire. Probably built in the 1830s, it is one of the town's best-preserved period houses. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

Bob Wilson (sportscaster)

Robert Henry Castellon (March 9, 1929 – January 15, 2015), known as Bob Wilson, was an American radio personality and hockey broadcaster who served as the longtime play-by-play announcer of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. In 1987, Wilson was honoured with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, enshrining him in the broadcasters' wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcaster's Hall of Fame in 2007. Wilson's booming baritone voice and his ability to articulate for radio listeners the dynamic flow and possession changes of ice hockey distinguished him from his peers. He also was noted for his detailed descriptions of hockey fights, which pleased his fans but sometimes gained him disapproval from critics.Wilson grew up in the Boston suburb of Arlington and graduated from Arlington High School; he served in the United States Air Force and attended Boston University and the Leland Powers School. He worked at various radio stations in the Boston area, including at WCOP in Boston, where he was a top-40 disc jockey in the late 1950s. By the mid 1960s, he was a staff announcer at WHDH-AM 850 (now WEEI), where he worked as the analyst on Bruins' games and was the weekend sports anchor on the then WHDH-TV Channel 5, the city's CBS affiliate. From 1964–1967, analyst Wilson served alongside play-by-play men Bill Harrington and Jim Laing on the Bruins' radio network. In 1967, he succeeded Laing as the voice of the Bruins, his promotion coinciding with the team's rise to Stanley Cup contender, led by Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito. However, when the Bruins moved their broadcasts from WHDH to WBZ-AM 1030 in 1969, longtime (1952–1963) Bruin announcer Fred Cusick regained his former role as play-by-play man on the radio network. Wilson then left the Boston market entirely and joined the sports staff of St. Louis radio powerhouse KMOX, and missed Boston's 1970 Stanley Cup triumph.In the summer of 1971, Cusick moved from radio to television as the lead announcer on Bruins' telecasts on WSBK-TV. Wilson then returned to Boston, restored by WBZ to his former radio play-by-play post. In Wilson's first year back as voice of the Bruins, he called Boston's 1972 Cup win. He then continued as the team's radio voice through 1994 on a series of flagship stations, but he chose to retire during the 1994–95 NHL lockout. He later worked part-time hosting a music program on 104.9FM WLKZ in New Hampshire's Lakes Region where he had become a longtime resident.On January 15, 2015, Wilson died at the age of 85 in Laconia, New Hampshire, due to lung cancer.

Chris Sheridan (writer)

Christopher "Chris" Sheridan (born September 19, 1967) is an American television writer, producer, and occasional voice actor. Born in the Philippines, Sheridan grew up in New Hampshire. He attended Gilford High School, where he decided that he wanted to become a writer. After graduating from Union College, he moved back to his home, where he worked at several short-term jobs before relocating to California to start his career. His first job came in 1992 when he was hired as a writer's assistant for the Fox sitcom Shaky Ground. Following that, he was hired as an assistant on Living Single, a Fox sitcom, where he was eventually promoted to writer. He stayed with the show until its cancellation in 1998.

After the show was cancelled and Sheridan became unemployed, he began writing for the animated television series Family Guy. Although initially skeptical, he accepted the job as he did not have other options. Sheridan was one of the first writers hired, and has continued to write for the show through its eleventh season. For his work on Family Guy, he has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Television Award, and has won a DVD Exclusive Award. Sheridan has also written episodes of Titus and Yes, Dear. He has one daughter and is currently engaged to writer and actress Jenna Lamia

District No. 9 Schoolhouse

The District No. 9 Schoolhouse is a historic school building at 358 Hoyt Road in Gilford, New Hampshire. Built in 1815 and repeatedly altered to accommodated changing trends in school design, it is the best-preserved of Gilford's surviving district schoolhouses. Now a private summer residence, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.

Ellacoya State Park

Ellacoya State Park is a 65-acre (0.26 km2) state park in Gilford, New Hampshire. Located on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the park has 600 feet (180 m) of beachfront. There is a pavilion, an accessible bathhouse with showers and a changing area for swimmers.

Gilford High School

Gilford High School (GHS) is the public high school in Gilford, New Hampshire. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Gilford is a comprehensive public school housing grades 9 through 12, serving the towns of Gilford and Gilmanton.

Glenn Cooper

Glenn Cooper (born January 8, 1953) is an American author and physician best known for being an internationally best selling thriller writer. His books have been translated into 31 languages and, as of 2014, have sold over six million copies. He currently lives in Gilford, New Hampshire.The Library of the Dead trilogy is currently being adapted into a television series by Pioneer Pictures.

Governors Island (Lake Winnipesaukee)

Governors Island is one of six bridged islands on Lake Winnipesaukee and is part of the town of Gilford, New Hampshire, in the United States. The island is primarily wooded and residential and has an area of 504 acres (204 ha).

Gunstock Mountain Resort

Gunstock Mountain Resort, originally known as Belknap Mountain Recreation Area, is a sports complex located on Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, New Hampshire. Constructed by the Works Progress Administration, it was completed in 1937 and is owned by Belknap County. Activities include alpine and cross-country skiing, snow tubing, ski jumping, snowshoeing, hiking, and swimming.

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.

John J. Morrill Store

The John J. Morrill Store is a historic store and Grange hall on Belknap Mountain Road in the central village of Gilford, New Hampshire. Built in the late 1850s, it is a well-preserved example of a period general store with Greek Revival features. The building has also served as the local post office and as a Grange hall. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Lake Aircraft

Lake Aircraft was a manufacturer of amphibious aircraft. Its factory was in Sanford, Maine, USA, and its sales offices were located at Laconia / Gilford, New Hampshire and Kissimmee, Florida.

The assets of the company were sold in 2004 to an investor which incorporated as "Sun Lake Aircraft" in Vero Beach, Florida.

The assets are currently owned by Revo Inc, owned by Armand Rivard, although the company was put up for sale again in August 2018.

Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association

Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association (LWSA) is a non-profit educational institution focused on sailing education that was founded in 1988 in Gilford, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region. Since 1988, LWSA has educated over 2,500 young sailors.

Megan Lyman

Megan Hannah Lyman, (born April 15, 1991) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Gilford, New Hampshire who was named Miss New Hampshire 2012. Megan currently works as an CBD advocate promoting natural health and healing with her company out of Long Beach, California, Cannibabe.


Stefan Defregger

Stefan Defregger (born January 31, 1993) is an American soccer player who plays for Rochester Rhinos in the United Soccer League.

Stilson Hutchins

Stilson Hutchins (November 14, 1838 – April 23, 1912) was an American newspaper reporter and publisher, best known as founder of The Washington Post.

Places adjacent to Gilford, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States
Other villages

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