Goffstown is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 17,651 at the 2010 census. The compact center of town, where 3,196 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Goffstown census-designated place and is located at the junction of New Hampshire routes 114 and 13. Goffstown also includes the villages of Grasmere and Pinardville. The town is home to Saint Anselm College (and its New Hampshire Institute of Politics) and is the former location of the New Hampshire State Prison for Women, prior to the prison’s relocation to Concord in 2018. The former prison in Goffstown is now vacant.
Goffstown, New Hampshire
Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
|• Select Board||Peter Georgantas, Chair|
John "Allen" Brown
Mark T. Lemay
David W. Pierce
|• Town Administrator||Adam Jacobs|
|• Total||37.5 sq mi (97.2 km2)|
|• Land||36.9 sq mi (95.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2) 1.65%|
|Elevation||308 ft (94 m)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-05)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-04)|
|GNIS feature ID||0873606|
The town was first granted as "Narragansett No. 4" in 1734 by New Hampshire and Massachusetts Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher as a Massachusetts township (the area then being disputed between the two provinces). It was one of seven townships intended for soldiers (or their heirs) who had fought in the "Narragansett War" of 1675, also known as King Philip's War. In 1735, however, some grantees "found it so poor and barren as to be altogether incapable of making settlements," and were instead granted a tract in Greenwich, Massachusetts.
The community would be called "Piscataquog Village" and "Shovestown" before being regranted by Masonian proprietor Governor Benning Wentworth in 1748 to new settlers. These included Rev. Thomas Parker of Dracut and Colonel John Goffe, for whom the town was named. He was for several years a resident of Bedford, and the first judge of probate in the county of Hillsborough. Goffstown was incorporated June 16, 1761. A large part of the town was originally covered with valuable timber. Lumbering and fishing were the main occupations of the early settlers. The village of Grasmere was named for Grasmere, England, home of the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
A Congregational church was organized about October 30, 1771, and the town made annual small appropriations for preaching. The majority of residents were Congregationalists; residents in the south part were of Scots-Irish descent and were Presbyterian. A meeting-house was erected in 1768; but it was not completed for several years. The first minister was Rev. Joseph Currier, appointed in 1771; he was dismissed August 29, 1774 for intemperance, according to the town records. In 1781, the Congregationalists and the Presbyterians organized separately; the former called Rev. Cornelius Waters, who became their pastor, and continued till 1795. The next minister was Rev. David L. Morril, who began March 3, 1802. He was supported by both congregations under the name of the Congregational Presbyterian church. Morril was elected as a representative of the town to the state house, as a US Senator for the state, and in 1824, as governor of the state, serving until 1827.
The Piscataquog River, which bisects the main village of Goffstown and was spanned by a covered bridge, provided water power for industry. In 1817, Goffstown had 20 sawmills, seven grain mills, two textile mills, two carding machines, and a cotton factory. Its textile industry was an example of the economic ties between New England and the American South, which was dependent on slave labor for production of its lucrative cotton commodity crop.
The town was described in 1859 by the following:
The surface is comparatively level, the only elevations of note being two in the southwest part, called by the natives Uncanoonuck. There are considerable tracts of valuable interval[e], as well as extensive plains, which are generally productive. Piscataquog river is the principal stream, which furnishes quite a number of valuable mill privileges. It passes through in a central direction. Large quantities of lumber were formerly floated down this stream to the Merrimack, and the forests at one time supplied a large number of masts for the English navy. The New Hampshire Central Railroad passes through Goffstown. Then; are three villages — Goffstown, Goffstown Centre, and Parker's Mills; three church edifices — Baptist, Congregational, and Methodist; sixteen school districts; and two post-offices — Goffstown and Goffstown Centre: also, four stores, four saw-mills, two grist-mills, and one sash and blind factory. Population, 2,270; valuation, $599,615.— A History and Description of New England, General and Local
In 1816, the Religious Union society was organized. A new meetinghouse was erected in the west village. Meetings were held two thirds of the time in the new house, and one third in the old house at the center.
In 1818-19 residents were deeply interested in the preaching of Rev. Abel Manning, as part of the Second Great Awakening. 65 persons joined the church that year. Other ministers were Rev. Benjamin H. Pitman (1820 to 1825), Rev. Henry Wood (1826 to 1831), and Rev. Isaac Willey (1837 to 1853). A Baptist church was formed in 1820.
In the early part of 1841, a female commenced preaching here, and shortly more than half the voters in town came into her support. She professed no connection with any church. The excitement created by her preaching, however, soon died out, the result of it being the organization of the existing Methodist church.
The Uncanoonuc Mountains in Goffstown once featured the Uncanoonuc Incline Railway, founded in 1903. It first carried tourists in 1907 to the summit of the south peak, on which was built that year the Uncanoonuc Hotel. The 5½ story building provided 37–38 guest rooms, and a dining room that accommodated 120. It also offered outstanding views of the surrounding valley, including Manchester, connected by electric trolley to the railway's base station. The hotel would burn in 1923, and the train was later used to transport skiers to the top. The railway peaked during the 1930s and 1940s, but was essentially abandoned by the 1950s. The summit of the south peak is now the site of numerous television and radio towers.
Grasmere Village straddles the Piscataquog River in the eastern region of Goffstown. The Hillsborough County Railroad Station was located at Grasmere on the southern side of the river. Rail-borne freight for Grasmere and other surrounding locales was delivered to this station during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Another rail station in Goffstown was located to the west closer to the town center, and a third was Parker's Station to the west of the town center.
In 1981, freight rail service from Manchester, provided at that time by the Boston & Maine Railroad, ceased during the widespread restructuring of railroads which suffered due to competition with trucking. In 1976 the town's landmark railroad covered bridge burned due to arson, ending service to the center of town and forcing the remaining freight trains to stop at the far side of the Piscataquog River. No replacement structure was ever erected. In the dawning years of the twenty-first century, town and local organizations cooperated in a rails-to-trails effort; they completed conversion of the railbeds into bicycling and walking trails.
On a ridge currently overlooking the Piscataquog River from the south above the midpoint between Glen Lake and Namaske Lake, adjacent to New Hampshire Route 114, originally stood the Poor Farm. In 1849 Noyes Poor sold the property to the county and it became the Hillsborough County Farm, a home for the indigent, ill, and infirm. The farm was sold into private hands in 1867 but re-acquired by the county in 1893 and again served as a residence for disadvantaged citizens of the county until 1924. A cemetery with numbered headstones is presently maintained by the county on these grounds but the tables relating the markings to the recorded names of the residents who died at the Farm appear to have been lost.
The County Farm grounds were converted to the New Hampshire State Prison for Women (currently located at 317 Mast Road). The facility's most famous resident was the convicted murderer Pamela Smart, who was incarcerated at the Prison for Women from March 22, 1991 to March 11, 1993. She was transferred to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Bedford, New York.
Goffstown is located in the eastern part of Hillsborough County, directly to the west of Manchester, the state's largest city. Concord, the state capital, lies 16 miles (26 km) to the north. The town center is on the Piscataquog River near the western boundary of the town, around the intersection of New Hampshire Route 13 and 114. The village of Grasmere is located in the eastern part of town, and the neighborhood of Pinardville is located in the southeast corner of the town, essentially forming a continuous development with the adjoining city of Manchester.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.5 square miles (97 km2), of which 36.9 sq mi (96 km2) is land and 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2) is water, comprising 1.65% of the town. The Uncanoonuc Mountains (uhn-kuh-NOO-nuhk) are twin peaks. The north peak, the highest point in Goffstown, has an elevation of 1,324 feet (404 m) above sea level, and the south peak has an elevation of 1,321 feet (403 m). The town's climate is classified as a Dfa or Dfb on the Köppen climate classification charts.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 17,651 people, 6,068 households, and 4,319 families residing in the town. There were 6,341 housing units, of which 273, or 4.3%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the town was 96.6% white, 0.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.03% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.4% some other race, and 1.2% from two or more races. 1.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 6,068 households, 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were headed by married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56, and the average family size was 3.00. 2,095 town residents lived in group quarters rather than households.
In the town, 19.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 15.9% were from 18 to 24, 22.8% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.
For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $70,870, and the median income for a family was $86,061. Male full-time workers had a median income of $62,167 versus $45,583 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,574. 6.2% of the population and 3.4% of families were below the poverty line. 5.1% of the population under the age of 18 and 2.8% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.
Goffstown is governed by a five-member Select Board elected in the March general election to serve three-year staggered terms. In December 2018, the Board of Selectmen voted to be known as Select Board in order to be more inclusive to female leaders in town.
Goffstown is part of School Administrative Unit 19, serving Goffstown and New Boston.
The twelve Republican presidential debates, and the nine forums, were a series of political debates held between the candidates for the Republican Party's nomination for the 2016 United States presidential election.David G. Perkins
David Gerard Perkins (born November 12, 1957) is a retired United States Army four-star general. His last assignment before retiring was commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.David Pattee
David Pattee (July 30, 1778 – February 5, 1851) was a businessman, judge and political figure in Upper Canada.
He was born in Goffstown, New Hampshire in 1778. He studied medicine but never practiced. In 1803, he left New Hampshire for the lower Ottawa River in Upper Canada because he was in debt and accused of forgery. He set up a farm and formed a partnership with Thomas Mears to operate a water-powered sawmill near the Long Sault Rapids on the river. This was the first sawmill on the western side of the Ottawa River. They established a contract to supply lumber to George and William Hamilton; when they were unable to repay advances, the Hamiltons took over the operation of the mill and Pattee returned to farming. He was named justice of the peace in the Eastern District in 1812 and in the Ottawa District in 1816. In the same year, he became a judge in the Ottawa District, serving until 1849. He also served in the local militia.
In 1820, he ran against William Hamilton for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Prescott. Hamilton was elected mainly because an associate of his brother was the returning officer. When electoral fraud was uncovered, Pattee was declared elected in 1821. The Hamiltons had uncovered the original accusations of forgery against Pattee and attempted to unseat him on that basis. Pattee was able to defend himself against these charges. He died at his home near Hawkesbury in 1851.Goffstown Congregational Church
The Congregational Church of Goffstown (or Goffstown Congregational Church) is a historic Congregational church building at 10 Main Street in the center of Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States. It is a member of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC).
The congregation was established in 1768, and now meets in its fourth meetinghouse. This wood-frame building, whose oldest portions probably date to 1845, was extensively restyled as a Queen Anne Victorian around 1890 to a design by Manchester architect William M. Butterfield. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.Goffstown High School
Goffstown High School, located in Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States, serves the towns of Goffstown and New Boston. Goffstown High School had 1,106 students enrolled as of July 1, 2018. The student body consists of 49% male and 51% female students.Goffstown Public Library
The Goffstown Public Library is located at 2 High Street in Goffstown, New Hampshire. The building it occupies was designed by architects Henry M. Francis & Sons and was built in 1909. It is small Classical Revival building built of brick with stone trim, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It is one of the finest examples of Classical Revival architecture in the town, with a three-bay main facade whose central entrance projects slightly, and is topped by a pediment supported by Ionic columns.Gordon Hall Gerould
Gordon Hall Gerould, B.A., B.Litt. (1877–1953) was a philologist and folklorist of the United States.
Born in Goffstown, New Hampshire, he joined the faculty of Bryn Mawr College and was a professor of English at Princeton University. In 1910 he married fellow writer Katharine Elizabeth Fullerton Gerould. He served in the U.S. Army, holding the rank of captain in 1918.Grasmere Schoolhouse No. 9 and Town Hall
The Grasmere Schoolhouse No. 9 and Town Hall, also known as the Grasmere Grange Hall, is a historic municipal building located at 87 Center Street in the village of Grasmere in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Built in 1889 as a town hall and school, it has served a variety of civic and community functions since its construction, and is a good example of civic Queen Anne architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.John Goffe
John Goffe (a.k.a. "Hunter John," born March 25, 1701 in Boston, Massachusetts; died October 20, 1786 in New Hampshire) was a Colonial American soldier. His name is preserved in the name of Goffstown, New Hampshire and the Goffe's Falls neighborhood of Manchester, New Hampshire.Joshua Friedel
Joshua E. Friedel is an American chess Grandmaster and was U.S. Open Champion in 2013. He has had notable wins against GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Boris Gulko, Ben Finegold, Timur Gareyev, and Gregory Serper.New Hampshire State Prison for Women
New Hampshire State Prison for Women is the only women's prison in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Department of Corrections facility is located in Concord.
The new prison open in 2018 after decades of legal battles concerning the services offered at the old Goffstown facility. It houses maximum, medium, and minimum security prisoners and overflow prisoners from the county prisons, which often lack appropriate facilities for women.
Since 2008, the Saint Anselm College Knights of Columbus and a group of women from the prison have started a recycling program within the prison. In 2009, Saint Anselm's Knights of Columbus Council #4875 won the National Community Activity Award from the Supreme Council in Connecticut. To date, the Knights and the women have recycled over 2,000 pounds of recyclable material.Person Colby Cheney
Person Colby Cheney (February 25, 1828 – June 19, 1901) was a paper manufacturer, abolitionist and Republican politician from Manchester, New Hampshire. He was the 35th Governor of New Hampshire and later represented the state in the United States Senate.Pinardville, New Hampshire
Pinardville is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Goffstown in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,780 at the 2010 census. Pinardville has existed since 1906.Recycled Percussion
Recycled Percussion is a Manchester, New Hampshire-based band. The group was originally formed in Goffstown, New Hampshire.Richard Backus
Richard Backus (born March 28, 1945) is an American actor and television writer. He has been nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards for writing and one for acting.Sandeep Parikh
Sandeep Parikh (born July 23, 1980) is an American writer, director, actor and producer of comedy currently residing in Silverlake in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his co-starring role as Zaboo on the award-winning web series The Guild. He is the founder of Effinfunny.com, a comedy video site focusing on alternative stand up comedy and the creation of original web series like The Legend of Neil (for Comedy Central and AtomFilms), which are currently available online.Uncanoonuc Mountains
The Uncanoonuc Mountains are two small mountain peaks in Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States. The north peak, the highest point in Goffstown, has an elevation of 1,324 feet (404 m) above sea level, and the south peak rises to 1,321 feet (403 m).The name may be derived from the Massachusett language term kuncannowet (Massachusett for "breast").The area was developed in the early 1900s as a resort with a hotel and incline railway. The mountains are still a good spot for hiking, snowshoeing, and scenic views of the nearby skyline of Manchester and even, on a clear day, the faint skyline of Boston.
They were the site of a small ski operation in the 1930s and 1940s, served by the incline railway that went up the south peak. With three main trails from top to bottom, it was a popular ski destination until 1941, when the railway was damaged by a fire.A new development was planned in the 1960s for the north peak, commencing in 1963. Chairlift and snow making equipment was ordered, several trails were cleared, but the project was halted by the town of Goffstown because of environmental concerns. In response to the failure, the city of Manchester opened its own area, McIntyre, in 1971.The south peak contains transmitting facilities for many of the broadcast stations serving the Manchester area.Upper Elementary School (Goffstown, New Hampshire)
The Upper Elementary School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Goffstown High School, is a historic school building located at 12 Reed Street in the center of Goffstown, New Hampshire. The building was constructed in 1925 and served as the town's first purpose-built high school until the opening of the present high school on Wallace Road in 1965. The building, renamed "Upper Elementary School", then served the town's intermediate-grade students until the opening of Mountain View Middle School. The building has since been converted into senior housing and is now known as The Meetinghouse at Goffstown. It was listed on the National Register in 1997.Villa Augustina School
Villa Augustina School was a private, pre-kindergarten through grade 8 Catholic school located in Goffstown, New Hampshire, United States, serving the town of Goffstown and the surrounding communities. In September 2009 the school had a total enrollment of 176 students. Villa Augustina School closed as of June 30, 2014.
Places adjacent to Goffstown, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States
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