The central village in town, where 1,576 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Pittsfield census-designated place (CDP), and is located on the Suncook River near the junction of New Hampshire routes 28 and 107.
Pittsfield, New Hampshire
"The Gem of the Suncook Valley"
|• Board of Selectmen||Jim Allard, Chair|
|• Total||24.1 sq mi (62.5 km2)|
|• Land||23.9 sq mi (61.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2) 1.13%|
|Elevation||525 ft (160 m)|
|• Density||170/sq mi (66/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0873699|
For many years prior to its 1782 incorporation, this town was an unnamed parish of Chichester. Like Pittsburg in the north, Pittsfield was named for William Pitt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a great friend of the Colonies prior to the American Revolution. The town was settled in 1768 by several families originally from Hampton. Founder John Cram built grist and sawmills here in the late 18th century. Since 1901, Globe Manufacturing has made protective clothing for firefighters here.
The town claimed the Guinness World Record in July 2001 as the place where the most people wore Groucho Marx glasses at the same time (522). Before Pittsfield's attempt, no other town had tried to set the record.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.1 square miles (62 km2), of which 23.9 sq mi (62 km2) is land and 0.3 sq mi (0.78 km2) is water, comprising 1.13% of the town. Pittsfield is drained by the Suncook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed. The highest point in town is the summit of Catamount Mountain, at 1,331 feet (406 m) above sea level, southeast of the town center.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,106 people, 1,579 households, and 1,076 families residing in the town. There were 1,769 housing units, of which 190, or 10.7%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% white, 0.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.4% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 1,579 households, 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were headed by married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, 23.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.7% were from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.
For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $47,959, and the median income for a family was $63,631. The per capita income for the town was $23,910. 16.3% of the population and 14.8% of families were below the poverty line. 17.2% of the population under the age of 18 and 5.4% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.
In 1934, the American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000), who spent time with his maternal family members (specifically the family of the Reverend Walter Scott, his grandfather) in Pittsfield during his youth, wrote a fantasy for cello and piano entitled Legend of the Sunkook [sic] Valley (Op. 1, no. 4).
There are two public schools in the town. Pittsfield Elementary School serves students in pre-school to 6th grade, and Pittsfield Middle High School serves grades 7-12.
Brooks Young Band is a New England-based rock and blues band from Concord, New Hampshire fronted by lead vocalist/lead guitarist Brooks Young. Current band members include, guitar/backing vocals Mike Liane and bass guitar/backing vocals Charles (Chaz) Mitchell.
In April 2010, the Brooks Young Band released their first full-length studio album entitled Counting Down featuring the guitar work of Gibson Signature Artist Johnny A. on the title track of the album. The album was recorded at Rocking Horse Studio in Pittsfield, New Hampshire.
The Brooks Young Band has performed with notable acts including Grammy Award Winning, King of the Blues BB King, blues legend James Cotton, blues harmonica player James Montgomery, Violinist Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band and multicultural American funk and soul band Robert Randolph and the Family Band, J. Geils of The J. Geils Band, Huey Lewis and the News, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Barry Goudreau of Boston and Michael Carabello of Santana.In 2017 Brooks has added to that list such artists as Blues Great Robert Cray, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, 70's legends 3 Dog Night and Badfinger as well as Woodstock alum 10 Years After."Ebenezer Knowlton
Ebenezer Knowlton (December 6, 1815 – September 10, 1874) was a U.S. Representative from Maine, and Free Will Baptist minister.Ed Siudut
Edward F. "Ed" Siudut (c. 1947 – May 15, 2012) was an American professional basketball player. He was drafted by both the National Basketball Association and American Basketball Association, and played professionally in Italy.Fred Brice
Fred Mansfield Brice (December 6, 1887 – January 10, 1967) was an American football, basketball, and baseball coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Maine from 1921 to 1940, compiling a record of 79–58–9 and winning 10 Maine Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships. Brice was also the head basketball coach at Maine from 1925 to 1929, tallying a mark of 14–31, and the school's head baseball coach from 1926 to 1935, amassing a record of 67–60. Brice died at the age of 79 on January 10, 1967 at his home in Pittsfield, New Hampshire. He was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts.Harrison Thyng
Brigadier General Harrison Reed Thyng (April 12, 1918 – September 24, 1983) was a fighter pilot and a general in the United States Air Force (USAF). He is notable as one of only six USAF fighter pilots to be recognized as an ace in two wars. On retiring from the military, Thyng became a New Hampshire candidate to the United States Senate.Hiram A. Tuttle
For the Olympic horseman, see Hiram Tuttle (equestrian)Hiram Americus Tuttle (October 16, 1837 – February 10, 1911) was an American merchant and Republican politician from Pittsfield, New Hampshire who served as Governor of New Hampshire for two years.Jesse Milton Coburn
Jesse Milton Coburn (1853–1923) was a one-term Republican mayor of South Norwalk, Connecticut, from 1897 to 1898.John M. Berry
John McDonogh Berry (September 18, 1827 – November 8, 1887) was an American politician and jurist.
Born in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, Berry went to Phillips Academy and received his bachelor's degree from Yale University. He then studied law and was admitted to the New Hampshire bar in 1850. In 1853, Berry moved to Lanesboro, Minnesota Territory and then, in 1855, moved to Faribault, Minnesota. Berry served in the Minnesota Territorial House of Representatives in 1857. He then served in the Minnesota State Senate in 1863 and 1864. In 1879, Berry moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Berry then served in the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1865 until his death in Minneapolis in 1887.John Swett
John Swett (July 31, 1830 – August 22, 1913) is considered to be the "Father of the California public school" system and the "Horace Mann of the Pacific".Leo Fraser
Leo W. Fraser, Jr. (December 8, 1926 – August 9, 2013) was an American lawyer, businessman, and politician.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he served in the United States Marine Corps 1944-1946. He then received his degree from Northeastern University and his law degree from the New England School of Law. He was a claim adjuster in Boston. In 1970 he moved to Pittsfield, New Hampshire, serving as the New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner. In 1976 he established Fraser Financial Services in Pittsfield. A Republican, he served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991 and then in the New Hampshire State Senate from 1991 to 2002. He died in Concord, New Hampshire.Leon Chagnon
Leon Wilbur Chagnon (September 28, 1902 – July 30, 1953) was a professional baseball pitcher. He played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball, between 1929 and 1935, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Giants.Moses Norris Jr.
Moses Norris Jr. (November 8, 1799 – January 11, 1855) was a United States Representative and Senator from New Hampshire.
Born in Pittsfield, he attended the public schools and the Pittsfield Academy, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1832 and commenced practice in Barnstead. He returned to Pittsfield in 1834, was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1837 to 1840 and in 1842, and was a member of the Executive Council of New Hampshire in 1841-1842.
Norris was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses (March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847). He was again a member of the State house of representatives in 1847-1848, and served as speaker. He was then elected to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1849, until his death. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Claims (Thirty-first Congress) and a member of the Committee on Patents and the Patent Office (Thirty-second Congress) and the Committee on the District of Columbia (Thirty-third Congress). He died in Washington, D.C. in 1855; interment was in Floral Park Cemetery, Pittsfield.Pittsfield Center Historic District
The Pittsfield Center Historic District encompasses the civic and commercial heart of Pittsfield, New Hampshire. This area is defined by a roughly square bend in the Suncook River, whose power provided an impetus for the development of the town in the 19th century. The dominant feature of the district is the 1827 Joy Cotton Mill, a four-story brick building at the base of Main Street. There are three churches, including the 1863 Gothic Revival St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, and the town office building, a significantly altered 1789 meeting house. The district also includes the main commercial district and some of the surrounding residential areas. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.Pittsfield was settled in 1770, when John Cram erected a sawmill on the Suncook River and built his house, now part of the Washington House at the central Washington Square. The first meeting house was built in 1789, roughly midway between his house and mill, the route between these points defining what is now Main Street. Taverns were built near the meeting house soon afterward, creating the nucleus of a town center. In the 19th century, the river's water power was harnessed for use by textile mills, resulting in the construction of both mills and mill worker housing. One boarding house, built in 1827 for single women who worked in an early textile mill, is among the oldest buildings of its type in the state. The arrival of the railroad in 1869 spurred another development boom, in which the shoe industry took hold.Rocking Horse Studio
Rocking Horse Studio is an audio, video and multimedia production company located in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, United States. The studio was established in 2003 by Brian Coombes of Tristan Park and his wife Michelle Coombes of Waking in the Blue, and designed by acoustician Michael Blackmer. Dave Pierog joined the company as Vice President and Head of Client Services in 2004. Since its establishment it has been house to musicians such as Another Animal, The Double Yellow, Theodore Treehouse, The Lucid, Godsmack guitarist Tony Rombola, singer/songwriter Christian Cuff, guitarist/songwriter Joe Mazzari, and singer/songwriter Will Kindler.
In 2009, Mix magazine selected Rocking Horse Studio for inclusion in its "Class of 2009" feature, which showcases the best new studios to open over the previous 12 months. (Rocking Horse had its official grand opening in April 2008.)Samuel Gardner Drake
Samuel Gardner Drake (October 11, 1798 – June 14, 1875) was an American antiquarian.Sharon Olds
Sharon Olds (born November 19, 1942) is an American poet. Olds has been the recipient of many awards including the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award, and the first San Francisco Poetry Center Award in 1980. She currently teaches creative writing at New York University.Suncook River
The Suncook River is a 35.7-mile-long (57.5 km) river located in central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Merrimack River, which flows to the Gulf of Maine.Vaughn Blanchard
Vaughn Seavey Blanchard (July 11, 1889 – November 26, 1969) was an American track and field athlete who competed in the 110 m hurdles and in the exhibition baseball tournament at the 1912 Summer Olympics. He attended Bates College in Lewiston Maine and later became a well known physical education proponent in Michigan.Blanchard was born in Franklin, New Hampshire in 1889 and graduated from Pittsfield High School in Pittsfield, New Hampshire in 1908. Blanchard graduated from Bates College in 1912 where he was the Maine intercollegiate champion for three years and won the junior low hurdles national championship in 1911. He then competed at the 1912 Summer Olympics in the 110 meter hurdles and in the exhibition baseball tournament. He studied at the YMCA Training College (Springfield College) from 1912 to 1913. He worked as a French and German teacher and track coach at the Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts from 1913 to 1915 and at New Hampshire State College in Durham in 1915. He then served as a track coach at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts from 1915 to 1919 before serving the YMCA overseas. During World War I in 1917 Blanchard trained troops at Camp Wadsworth in South Carolina in physical fitness and then temporarily taught at the University of Alabama before returning to Massachusetts to teach at Medford High School. In 1920 Blanchard moved to Michigan and worked at several schools in Detroit including Central and Cass High Schools. From 1929 to 1954 Blanchard served as director of the Detroit public schools' Health and Physical Education departments and at one point on the Board of Education in Detroit and received various national awards. Blanchard was a proponent of intramural sports and "believed that there was an overemphasis on competitive athletics. He favored a withdrawal from outside competition and endorsed the development of a program of greater intraschool, intramural activity" and he also supported students managing, coaching, and organizing the sports events. In the 1930s Blanchard served as a lecturer at the University of Michigan where he received a Master's degree in physical education in 1936, and he also was the athletic director at Wayne University.Warren Chase
Warren Chase (January 5, 1813 – February 25, 1891) was an American pioneer, reformer, and politician.
Places adjacent to Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties