Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Hillsborough, frequently spelled Hillsboro, is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,011 at the 2010 census.[3] The town is home to Fox State Forest and part of Low State Forest.

The main village of the town, where 1,976 people resided at the 2010 census,[4] is defined as the Hillsborough census-designated place (CDP), and encompasses the main urban area of the town, located along the Contoocook River at the junction of New Hampshire Route 149 with Henniker Street and Main Street. The town also includes the villages of Hillsborough Center, Hillsborough Upper Village, Hillsborough Lower Village, and Emerald Lake Village.

Hillsborough, New Hampshire
Houses in historic Hillsborough Center
Houses in historic Hillsborough Center
Official seal of Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°06′53″N 71°53′42″W / 43.11472°N 71.89500°WCoordinates: 43°06′53″N 71°53′42″W / 43.11472°N 71.89500°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
Hillsborough Center
Hillsborough Lower Village
Hillsborough Upper Village
Emerald Lake Village
 • Board of SelectmenChairman Jonathan M. Daley
James C. Bailey III
John P. Stohrer[1]
 • Town AdministratorLaura Buono[2]
 • Total44.6 sq mi (115.6 km2)
 • Land43.6 sq mi (113.0 km2)
 • Water1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2)  2.23%
636 ft (194 m)
 • Total6,011
 • Density138/sq mi (53.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-36180
GNIS feature ID0873625


School Street, Hillsborough Bridge, NH
School Street in 1907

The town was first granted in 1735 by colonial governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire Jonathan Belcher as "Number Seven", one in a line of nine Massachusetts towns set up as defense barriers against Indian attacks. The towns were renamed after the border between the two provinces was fixed in 1739, placing the towns in New Hampshire. Settled in 1741, the town was granted in 1748 by Governor Benning Wentworth as "Hillsborough", named for Sir Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough. It would be incorporated in 1772 by Governor John Wentworth.

Hillsborough was the birthplace of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States and the only president from New Hampshire. The Pierce Homestead was built in 1804 (the year of his birth) by his father, Benjamin Pierce, a general in the Revolutionary War, and twice governor of New Hampshire. Restored in 1925, the home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house is today a museum owned by the state, and operated by the Hillsborough Historical Society.

Five granite arch bridges built during the 19th century in Hillsborough are designated as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

Railroad service was supplied to Hillsborough by the Boston and Maine Railroad from 1878 to 1972. Rail service north to Henniker had ceased in 1942, and Hillsborough became the end point on a line that once stretched in an arc from Nashua to Concord, New Hampshire. The rails in Hillsborough were torn up in 1979. Hillsborough was once home to an iconic railroad covered bridge and a curved wooden trestle. The bridge burned due to arson in 1985, and the trestle was dismantled shortly thereafter. The Hillsborough Branch now ends at Bennington; the line from Bennington to Hillsborough is a rail trail.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.6 square miles (115.6 km2), of which 43.6 sq mi (113.0 km2) is land and 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2) is water, comprising 2.23% of the town.[3] The town center, or census-designated place, has a total area of 1.6 sq mi (4.2 km2).[4]

The highest point in Hillsborough is Thompson Hill, at 1,768 feet (539 m) above sea level, in the northern part of town. Hillsborough is drained by the Contoocook River, in addition to Beard's and Sand brooks. Part of Franklin Pierce Lake is in the southwest. The town lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[5]

Hillsborough is bordered by Windsor to the west, Washington to the northwest, Bradford to the north, Henniker to the northeast, Antrim to the southwest, and Deering to the southeast.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20175,945[6]−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Contoocook Mills, Hillsborough Bridge, NH
Contoocook Mills in 1907

As of the census of 2010, there were 6,011 people, 2,392 households, and 1,614 families residing in the town. The population density was 137.9 people per square mile (53.2/km²). There were 2,896 housing units at an average density of 66.4 per square mile (25.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.4% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.03% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 0.3% some other race, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.[8]

There were 2,392 households, out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were headed by married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51, and the average family size was 2.98.[8]

HillsboroughNH GovJohnButlerSmithHouse
Gov. John Butler Smith Mansion, now the Community Building

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 29.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.[8]

For the period 2007–2011, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $54,386, and the median income for a family was $67,621. Male full-time workers had a median income of $43,583 versus $32,030 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,232. About 7.1% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.5% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.[9]


Hillsborough is part of School Administrative Unit (SAU) 34. Public schools serving the community of Hillsboro include:

  • Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School
  • Hillsboro-Deering Middle School
  • Hillsboro-Deering High School

Sites of interest

Notable people


  1. ^ "Board of Selectmen". Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Town Administration". Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hillsborough town, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hillsborough CDP, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  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 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Hillsborough town, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  9. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2007–2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Hillsborough town, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  10. ^ Moore, William F. and Jane Anne, Collaborators for Emancipation: Abraham Lincoln and Owen Lovejoy, pg. 53

External links

Benjamin Franklin Keith

Benjamin Franklin Keith (January 26, 1846 – March 26, 1914) was an American vaudeville theater owner, highly influential in the evolution of variety theater into vaudeville.

Benjamin Pierce (governor)

Benjamin Pierce (December 25, 1757 – April 1, 1839) was a colonial soldier in the American Revolution and an American Democratic-Republican politician. He was the father of Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States. He served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1827 to 1828 and from 1829 to 1830.

Benjamin Pierce Cheney

Benjamin Pierce Cheney ( CHEE-nee; August 12, 1815 – July 23, 1895) was an American businessman, and a founder of the firm that became American Express.

Christopher Columbus Andrews

Christopher Columbus Andrews (October 27, 1829 – September 21, 1922) was an American soldier, diplomat, newspaperman, author, and forester.

David H. Goodell

David Harvey Goodell (May 6, 1834 – January 22, 1915) was an American inventor, manufacturer, and Republican politician from Antrim, New Hampshire.

Goodell was born to Jesse R. Goodell on May 6, 1834 in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

Five Stone Arch Bridges, Hillsborough, New Hampshire

Five granite arch bridges in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States are designated as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.The bridges were built during the 19th century when there was a need for sturdier construction to replace weaker wooden bridges. The design required exceptional skill by stonecutters. Each stone had to fit just right.

At one time there were 11 stone arch bridges in Hillsborough. The dedication of the five remaining structures by ASCE had much to do with their close proximity to one another.

Fred Rhyner, a member of NHASCE and a vice president at Haley & Aldrich Engineering in Manchester, filed the nomination application for historic landmarks. His interest in the remarkable cluster of stone arch bridges began while he was working on a New Hampshire DOT bridge project on the Second New Hampshire Turnpike in 1996. It took three years to gather all the information together. The application was filed in 1999.

The town is planning to create a public park surrounding the stone arch bridge near U.S. Route 202. Selectman Robert Buker described the park surrounding the stone arch bridge at Route 202 as an attempt to balance commercial growth on the west end of town with historic preservation.

Franklin Pierce Homestead

The Franklin Pierce Homestead is a historic house museum and state park located in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. It was the childhood home of the fourteenth President of the United States, Franklin Pierce.

Gov. John Butler Smith House

The Gov. John Butler Smith House, also now known as the Community Building, is a historic house at 62 School Street in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. The large Queen Anne Victorian is significant as one of few known residential works of a prolific New Hampshire architect, William M. Butterfield, and as the home of John Butler Smith, a principal owner of the local Contoocook Mills, who also served as Governor of New Hampshire 1893-95. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

James Frankland Briggs

James Frankland Briggs (October 23, 1827 – January 21, 1905) was an American politician and a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire.

James Hill (Wisconsin state legislator)

James Hill (15 February 1825, Hillsborough, New Hampshire – 26 January 1897) was a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and the Wisconsin State Senate. He was a member of the Assembly during the 1878, 1879 and 1880 sessions. During the 1882 and 1883 sessions, he represented the 24th District in the Senate. Additionally, Hill was a member of the Board of Supervisors of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. He was a Republican.

John Butler Smith

John Butler Smith (April 12, 1838 – August 10, 1914) was an American manufacturer and Republican politician from Hillsborough, New Hampshire who served as governor for two years and owned Contoocook Mills Company.

John Grimes Walker

John Grimes Walker (20 March 1835 – 16 September 1907) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served during the Civil War. After the war, he served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, head of the Lighthouse Board, and commander-in-chief of the Squadron of Evolution and of the North Atlantic Squadron. In retirement, he led commissions to investigate the construction of a Central American canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

John K. Stewart

John Kerwin Stewart (November 30, 1870 – June 1, 1916) was an entrepreneur and inventor. He founded the Stewart-Warner Corporation. In his lifetime he founded or purchased several companies and held 82 patents.

John McNeil Jr.

John McNeil Jr. (March 25, 1784 – February 23, 1850) was an officer in the United States Army. He distinguished himself in leading the bayonet charge which secured victory in the Battle of Chippewa. For his conduct in this battle, and in that of the Battle of Bridgewater, where he was severely wounded, he was successively brevetted as lieutenant colonel and colonel. In 1824 he received the brevet rank of brigadier general in recognition of his superior service as a brevet colonel for 10 years. He later received appointment as Surveyor of the Port of Boston, a post he held from 1830 to 1841. The husband of Elizabeth Andrews Pierce, son in law of Governor Benjamin Pierce, and brother in law of President Franklin Pierce, after retiring McNeil lived at the Pierce family home in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He died in Washington, D.C. on February 23, 1850 and was buried at Congressional Cemetery in Washington.

John S. Heath

John S. Heath (1807 – 1849) was an American physician and politician who served two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Ozias M. Hatch

Ozias Mather Hatch (April 11, 1814 – March 12, 1893) was an American politician. He was the 13th Illinois Secretary of State, serving under William Henry Bissell, John Wood, and Richard Yates Sr. During the governorship of Wood, Hatch handled most of the duties of Governor of Illinois.

Union Chapel (Hillsborough, New Hampshire)

Union Chapel is a historic chapel at 220 Sawmill Road in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Completed in 1887, it has been a center of local civic life since then, and is architecturally a distinctive local example of Stick/Eastlake design. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.


WTPL (107.7 FM, "The Pulse") is a radio station broadcasting a news/talk/sports format. Licensed to Hillsborough, New Hampshire, United States, it serves the Manchester, New Hampshire market. The station is owned by Bill Binnie's Binnie Media, through licensee WBIN, Inc. It airs a news/talk radio format in the daytime and carries the CBS Sports Radio Network at night.

Wilson Bethel

Stephen Wilson Bethel (born 24 February 1984) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Wade Kinsella on Hart of Dixie, as Ryder Callahan on the CBS daytime soap opera The Young and the Restless, and as Agent Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter on the Netflix original series Daredevil. He is also the star and creator of the web series Stupid Hype on the CW's new online platform CWD (CW Digital Studio).

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

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