Northfield, New Hampshire

Northfield is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,829 at the 2010 census.[1]

Northfield, New Hampshire
Hall Memorial Library c. 1905
Hall Memorial Library c. 1905
Official seal of Northfield, New Hampshire

"A Great Place to Live!"
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°26′15″N 71°35′35″W / 43.43750°N 71.59306°WCoordinates: 43°26′15″N 71°35′35″W / 43.43750°N 71.59306°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of SelectmenWayne Crowley
Glen Brown
Scott Haskins
 • Town AdministratorGlenn Smith
 • Total29.0 sq mi (75.2 km2)
 • Land28.8 sq mi (74.6 km2)
 • Water0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)  0.89%
440 ft (134 m)
 • Total4,829
 • Density170/sq mi (64/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-54260
GNIS feature ID0873686


Settlers first arrived in Northfield in the early 1700s. Initially Northfield was incorporated as part of Canterbury when that town was established in 1741. At the time it was a frontier town protected by a garrison fort erected on a hill close to Canterbury Center and commanded by Capt. Jeremiah Clough. Tradition has it that the first settlers of the "north fields" of Canterbury came from the scouts from this fort who patrolled the area in the 1740s.[2]

The north fields of Canterbury prospered. Farming was the principal industry. Additionally, dams along the Winnipesaukee and Merrimack rivers and several brooks powered early sawmills and gristmills. By the 1770s there was a substantial population in the north fields of Canterbury.

By 1780 the residents of the north fields found it increasingly difficult to travel to the center of Canterbury to attend to town business. On March 30, 1780, they filed the following petition with the State of New Hampshire (spelling left as printed in 1780):

Canterbury, March 30, 1780
"The humble petition of ye Subscribers Inhabitants of ye North part of sd Canterbury to ye Honorable ye President and members of Council and house of Representatives of said State. We your Humble Petitioners Living at a great Distance from ye Center of the Towne Some of us nine or ten Miles and Consequently at a very great disadvantage in joining with them all Publick Town affairs, being encouraged Partly by our Living in that Part of ye Town that was Laid out for what was called ye upper Parish and Partly by ye Kind Reception our Request met with which we made to ye Town for a dismission but more particularly by our Confidence in your Honors desire to Promote ye Happiness of every Part of ye State Humbly Pray that Honors would take our Case into your Serious Consideration and grant that we together with all those Live in sd Upper Part may be Erected and Incorporated into a body Politick and Corporate to have Continuance in ye Name of Northfield with all such Powers and Authorities Privileges Immunities and Franchises with other Parishes or Towns in this State in General hold Enjoy with your Petitions as in duty bound Shall forever pray."

The petition, signed by 43 residents, was approved by the state legislature, and the Town of Northfield was born.[2]

In 1848, the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad opened to Northfield, helping it develop symbiotically with Tilton across the river as a mill town. The Winnipesaukee River provided water power for mills, and by 1859, when the population was 1,332, Northfield had a woolen factory and a wrapping paper mill.[3]

Northfield continued to combine a strong industrial base with a healthy agricultural community throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries. Early sawmills and gristmills gave way to large textile and paper mills. As these industries died out in the area many old mill buildings were torn down. Others were used for the manufacture of other items, including optical lenses and lead batteries.


Nature's Beauty
View from the Winnipesaukee River Trail

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.0 square miles (75.1 km2), of which 28.8 sq mi (74.6 km2) is land and 0.3 sq mi (0.8 km2) is water, comprising 0.89% of the town. It is drained by the Merrimack River, primarily by way of the Winnipesaukee River and its tributary Williams Brook. The town is characterized by gently rolling hills, the highest point in town being the summit of Bean Hill at 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level, near the southern border. Two significant water bodies in Northfield are Sandogardy Pond in the southwest corner of town and Knowles Pond on the east side of town.

The village of Northfield is located in the northern part of the town on the south bank of the Winnipesaukee River. Directly across the river is the village of Tilton in Belknap County. The two villages together comprise the Tilton Northfield census-designated place.


Today Northfield is the home of more than 70 large and small businesses. Its proximity to the robust commercial development in nearby Tilton has precluded the development of a strong commercial base in Northfield, but development in other sectors have provided Northfield with a strong and diverse economy. Manufacturers including Eptam Plastics, Blouin Steel Fabricators, Freudenberg NOK, and PCC Structurals form the backbone of the town's manufacturing/industrial base. The service sector employs more than 400 people and constitutes 40% of the overall workforce.[4]

Although many of the town's residents travel to nearby commercial and business centers in Tilton, Concord or Manchester for employment, nearly a thousand people work in Northfield, according to the NH Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.[5]


Northfield is located in central New Hampshire and is served by several state and federal transportation routes. Interstate 93 runs through Northfield and serves the town with one partial exit and one nearby exit. Exit 19, closest to the center of town, allows for entry onto the southbound lanes of I-93 and exit from the northbound lanes. A full I-93 interchange, exit 20, is located less than a mile from Northfield, in the neighboring town of Tilton.

Northfield is also crossed by New Hampshire Route 132, which provides north–south access parallel to Interstate 93. New Hampshire Route 140 runs east–west and crosses the northern tip of town, connecting Tilton with Belmont, Gilmanton, and Alton. The combined U.S. Route 3/NH Route 11 runs east–west through Tilton, just north of the town line with Northfield.

Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is the nearest major airport, located 40 miles (64 km) to the south.

Distances to area cities:


Northfield is a member of the Winnisquam Regional School District. Elementary education is provided at Union Sanborn School and Southwick School, both located in Northfield. Winnisquam Regional Middle School and Winnisquam Regional High School are located in the adjacent town of Tilton. Along with Tilton, Northfield is home to the facilities of the Tilton School, an independent college-preparatory school serving grades 9 - 12. Northfield is also home to Spaulding Youth Center, a provider of educational, residential, therapeutic and foster care programs and services for children and youth with neurological, emotional, behavioral, learning or developmental challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and those who have experienced significant trauma, abuse or neglect.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20174,859[6]0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
Memorial Arch of Tilton 1882
Tilton Memorial Arch (1882) in Arch Hill Park in Northfield, offering a commanding view of the area

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,829 people, 1,843 households, and 1,309 families residing in the town. There were 1,969 housing units, of which 126, or 6.4%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the town was 96.6% white, 0.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.3% from two or more races. 1.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[8]

Of the 1,843 households, 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were headed by married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.7% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60, and the average family size was 2.98.[8]

In the town, 24.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.1% were from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.[8]

For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $65,536, and the median income for a family was $72,138. Male full-time workers had a median income of $51,056 versus $40,184 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,007. 6.7% of the population and 5.4% of families were below the poverty line. 12.9% of the population under the age of 18 and 1.3% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.[9]

Notable people


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Cross, Lucy (1905). History of Northfield 1780 - 1905. Concord, New Hampshire.
  3. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 604.
  4. ^ Town of Northfield
  5. ^ "Northfield, NH". NH Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  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". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (DP-1): Northfield town, Merrimack County, New Hampshire". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  9. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Northfield town, Merrimack County, New Hampshire". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2017.

External links

Albert E. Bodwell

Albert E. Bodwell (1851 – 1926) was an American architect and designer from Concord, New Hampshire.

Dartmouth Outing Club

The Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) is the oldest and largest collegiate outing club in the United States. Proposed in 1909 by Dartmouth College student Fred Harris to "stimulate interest in out-of-door winter sports", the club soon grew to encompass the College's year-round outdoor recreation and has had a major role in defining Dartmouth College.

Today the club has over 1500 student members (and almost as many non-student members) and acts as an umbrella organization for about a dozen member clubs which each specialize in an aspect of outdoor recreation. The DOC and its member clubs are student-run clubs for students, but many alums, faculty, staff, and community members participate in and contribute to the clubs. Anyone can become a member and non-members can participate in most activities.

Edward Dow (architect)

Edward Dow (11 July, 1820 – 1894) was an American architect from New Hampshire.

Hall Memorial Library

Hall Memorial Library may refer to:

Hall Memorial Library (Ellington, Connecticut)

Hall Memorial Library (Northfield, New Hampshire), listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Hall Memorial Library (Northfield, New Hampshire)

The Hall Memorial Library is the public library of Tilton and Northfield, New Hampshire. It is located at 18 Park Street in Northfield, in an 1887 Richardsonian Romanesque building. The building, one of the most architecturally distinguished in the region, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Joseph Libbey Folsom

Joseph Libbey Folsom (May 19, 1817 – July 19, 1855) was a U.S. Army officer and real estate investor in the early days of California's statehood. He is the founder of what is now Folsom, California. Folsom's controversial purchase of Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of a San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff remained tied up in litigation for many years, eventually reaching the Supreme Court of California after Folsom's death.

Lift accessed mountain biking

Lift accessed mountain biking is a summer activity that is spreading all over the world. Using the chairlifts or gondola lifts at a ski area, mountain bikers can get up to higher altitudes quickly. The bikers don't have to ride up, and the ski area operators can keep the hill more profitable during the summer. Most bike parks have a mix of dirtjumping, downhill and freeride terrain on the trails.

Many ski resorts have embraced the sport, opening the chairlifts and building trails to rider in the summer. Lift-accessed bike parks are good because they offer the chance to make many more runs down a mountain than could be done without use of a lift.

List of New Hampshire locations by per capita income

In 2015 New Hampshire ranked fifth in terms of per capita income in the United States of America, at $34,362 as of the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-year estimate.

List of Presidents of the New Hampshire Senate

The position of President of the New Hampshire Senate was created when the New Hampshire Senate was founded in 1784.

Mary Cummings

Mary Phelps Cowles (Hall) Cummings (August 5, 1839 in Elyria, Ohio – December 23, 1927 in Woburn, Massachusetts) was a late 19th-century and early 20th-century philanthropist. She was highly educated for her time and among her family, husbands and their friends were prominent figures of the day.

Mary was the eldest child of Reverend John P. Cowles and Eunice Caldwell Cowles. John was an abolitionist and a professor of Greek, Latin, Syriac, French, German, and Italian. at Oberlin College shortly after its founding, from 1835 until he had a falling out with the President over the theory of Christian Perfection five years later. Eunice was from an old Ipswich, Massachusetts family and was educated at the original Ipswich Female Seminary. She was the first principal of Wheaton Female Seminary, now Wheaton College. She was also the Associate Principal at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College) at its founding by Mary Lyon.It appears she had two sisters and two brothers. Roxana Caldwell Cowles born in 1841 also in Elyria, Ohio. When Roxana died and left Mary money, Mary created a scholarship for Ipswich girls. John Phelps Cowles Jr was born in Oberlin, Ohio, in 1844. He married Sigourney Trask in Foochow, China on January 6, 1885, and disappeared in Nicaragua on his final return trip from China to Massachusetts in 1893. Sigourney asked for help from the State Dept. to locate John, but no trace of him was found. His children were in Mary’s will: “Henry T. Cowles of Porto Rico” (born in 1887 in Dover, Massachusetts and died in 1976 in Wellesley) and “Eunice Cowles Cooper of Barcroft, Virginia” (born 1885. She was deaf per a letter of her mother to Alexander Graham Bell.). Henry Augustine Cowles was born in 1846 in Ipswich and died a soldier in the Civil War in 1864. Susan was born in 1848 in Ipswich.

In 1844 Mary and her family moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts to reopen the Ipswich Female Academy upon the request of the town. She was educated at the Academy which was run by her parents until they closed it in 1876. Because her parents followed Lyon's philosophy of an academically rigorous education for girls, Mary received the equivalent of a college education. A history of the town describes her as the "brilliant daughter".From 1859 through 1862 Mary taught at Abbot Academy (founded in 1829 as the first school for girls in New England and merged with Phillips Academy in 1973) in Andover. On November 21, 1864 Mary married Dr. Adino Brackett Hall, a prominent Boston physician who was also an active member of the Boston School Board and councilor in the Massachusetts Medical Society. During the Civil War Dr. Hall had served as a volunteer surgeon in McClellan's Army. They lived in Boston until Dr. Hall died in 1880. Later, in 1885, Mary would donate the funds to build a library in her late husband's name, located in Dr. Hall's original hometown of Northfield, New Hampshire.On September 1, 1881 Mary Cummings married John Cummings, from a prominent Woburn family which owned so much land in the area it was called "Cummingsville". He himself owned a tannery and a farm which lay partly in Woburn and the larger part in neighboring Burlington. He had many ties to Boston including his job as president of the Shawmut Bank of Boston for nearly thirty years and as one of the founders of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its treasurer from 1872 to 1889. John Cummings also served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Massachusetts Senate representing Woburn. Besides being credited with saving MIT with his personal funds, his philanthropy also included providing land for a fire station in Woburn and donating his natural history specimen collection to the Woburn Public Library. After John died in 1898, Mary remained in their mansion and maintained the farm while traveling abroad.

Mary Cummings died on December 23, 1927 leaving her 236-acre (0.96 km2) farm in trust nevertheless, to the City of Boston for use as a recreational park for the public, now known as Mary Cummings Park. Along with the land, she left a substantial maintenance and care trust fund to be supported by income from an office building next to Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston.

She was inspired by the park and playground movements that swept the country during the late 19th and early 20th century. In fact, Mary made the Playground and Recreation Association of America (later renamed the National Recreation and Park Association) as the alternate trustee in case Boston decided not to accept the terms of her trust. Joseph Lee, a son of another Boston banker and a contemporary of her later years, was the President of the PRAA for many years and considered the "Father of the Playground Movement". Mary also donated 6 acres (24,000 m2) for a playground in Woburn, later renamed Gonsalves Park.

Mary entrusted the park to the City of Boston, according to friends who were quoted in the newspaper after her death, because she believed that a Greater Boston would formally incorporate its suburbs just as New York City had incorporated the surrounding towns as boroughs and other American cities had followed a similar model. Boston had already incorporated several formerly adjacent towns such as Roxbury, Dorchester, Brighton and Hyde Park.

Although she specified the City of Boston as the trustee, the "public" are the beneficiaries, not exclusively Boston residents. She had a vision for her park that it was to be enjoyed by all.

Memorial Arch of Tilton

The Memorial Arch of Tilton, sometimes referred to as Tilton's Folly, is a historic arch on Elm Street in Northfield, New Hampshire, United States, on a hill overlooking the town of Tilton. The 55-foot-tall arch (17 m) was built by Charles Tilton in 1882; it was modeled after the Arch of Titus in Rome, its surfaces, however, modeled in the rustication that was currently a fashionable feature of Romanesque revival building. The Memorial Arch of Tilton was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Memorial gates and arches

Memorial gates and arches are architectural monuments in the form of gates and arches or other entrances, constructed as a memorial, often dedicated to a particular war though some are dedicated to individuals. The function is similar to that of a triumphal arch, with the emphasis on remembrance and commemoration, rather than celebration and victory, though some memorial arches perform both functions. They can vary in size, but are commonly monumental stone structures combining features of both an archway and a gate, often forming an entrance or straddling a roadway, but sometimes constructed in isolation as a standalone structure, or on a smaller scale as a local memorial to war dead. Although they can share architectural features with triumphal arches, memorial arches and gates constructed from the 20th century onwards often have the names of the dead inscribed on them as an act of commemoration.

Northfield Union Church

Northfield Union Church is a historic church on Sondogardy (also spelled "Sandogardy") Pond Road in Northfield, New Hampshire. Built in 1883, it is a fine example of modest Carpenter Gothic architecture, designed by Edward Dow, one of New Hampshire's leading late-19th century architects. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Richard S. Molony

Richard Sheppard Molony (June 28, 1811 – December 14, 1891) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.

Born in Northfield, New Hampshire, Molony studied medicine. He graduated from Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1838 and commenced the practice of his profession in Belvidere, Illinois. He served as delegate to the 1852 Democratic National Convention.

Molony was elected as a Democrat to the 32nd United States Congress (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1853). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1852. He moved to Humboldt, Nebraska, and engaged in agricultural pursuits 1866-1891. In 1882 he declined the Democratic nomination for United States Senator from Nebraska on account of ill health. He was again a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Chicago in 1884. He died in Humboldt, Nebraska, December 14, 1891. He was interred in Belvidere Cemetery, Belvidere, Illinois.

Robert Smith (Illinois politician)

Robert Smith (June 12, 1802 – December 21, 1867) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois, nephew of Jeremiah Smith and Samuel Smith of New Hampshire. Smith founded General Mills in 1856.Born in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Smith attended the public schools and New Ipswich Academy. He taught school. He engaged in mercantile pursuits in 1822 and in the manufacturing of textile goods in Northfield, New Hampshire in 1823. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced. He moved to Illinois and settled in Alton in 1832 and again engaged in mercantile pursuits.

Smith was elected captain in the state militia in 1832. He was an extensive land owner, and engaged in the real estate business. He served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1836-1840. He was elected enrolling and engrossing clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives in 1840 and 1842.

Smith was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses and reelected as an Independent Democrat to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1849). He served as chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals (Twenty-ninth Congress).

Smith was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857 – March 3, 1859). He served as chairman of the Committee on Mileage (Thirty-fifth Congress). He served as paymaster during the Civil War. He died in Alton, and was interred in Alton City Cemetery.

Smith attended an event in Greenville, Illinois in 1858 in which Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas gave speeches around the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Tilton Northfield, New Hampshire

Tilton Northfield is a census-designated place (CDP) representing two adjacent villages in the towns of Tilton in Belknap County and Northfield in Merrimack County in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The CDP encompasses the town centers of both Tilton and Northfield, located on either side of the Winnipesaukee River. The population was 3,075 at the 2010 census.

Places adjacent to Northfield, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States
Other unincorporated

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