Washington, New Hampshire

Washington is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,123 at the 2010 census.[1] Situated in a hilly, rocky, forested area, and with 26 lakes and ponds, Washington is a picturesque resort area. It is home to Pillsbury State Park.

Washington, New Hampshire
Washington Congregational Church, Center School, and Town Hall (from left)
Washington Congregational Church, Center School, and Town Hall (from left)
Location in Sullivan County and the state of New Hampshire.
Location in Sullivan County and the state of New Hampshire.
Coordinates: 43°10′35″N 72°05′51″W / 43.17639°N 72.09750°WCoordinates: 43°10′35″N 72°05′51″W / 43.17639°N 72.09750°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
East Washington
 • Board of SelectmenTom Marshall
Jed Schwartz
Don Revane
 • Total47.6 sq mi (123.4 km2)
 • Land45.4 sq mi (117.7 km2)
 • Water2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2)  4.62%
1,507 ft (459 m)
 • Total1,123
 • Density24/sq mi (9.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code603
FIPS code33-78980
GNIS feature ID0873747


Church & School, Washington, NH
Congregational Church & School c. 1920
Washington NH Sign
The sign for Washington

Granted in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, the town was one of the fort towns designated to protect the colonies from Indian attack, named "Monadnock Number 8". In 1751, the town was granted by Governor Benning Wentworth as "New Concord". As the grant was never settled, the charter was revoked. Reuben Kidder of New Ipswich acquired the grant, naming it "Camden". The first settlers arrived in 1768 and built log houses. By 1773, the community had 132 inhabitants. On December 13, 1776, the newly established American revolutionary government incorporated the town as "Washington", after George Washington — one of the first named in his honor.[2]

By 1830, the population had grown to 1,135. Using water power from the streams, mills manufactured lumber, barrel staves, shingles, chair parts, bobbins, whip sockets, hosiery, bricks and washboards. Gristmills ground grain. Sheep farms, producing wool and mutton, were an important business. In 1840, there were 200 farms. Tubbs Union Academy was founded in 1849, and although it did not last long, the school once enrolled over 100 students from New Hampshire and beyond. The first Seventh-day Adventist church was established in Washington in 1862. In 1886, the town produced 53 tons of maple sugar.

The railroad era brought tourists, and hotels were built on the lakes and ponds; however, with 19th-century migration to the Midwest, the town's population dwindled. As of 1960, it contained only 162 inhabitants. Washington has grown since, as its scenic beauty attracts tourists and retirees. The town contains significant examples of early architecture, including the Town Hall, built as a meetinghouse in 1787, the Congregational Church built in 1840, and the first Seventh-day Adventist Church built circa 1843.[3]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.6 square miles (123.3 km2), of which 45.4 sq mi (117.6 km2) is land and 2.2 sq mi (5.7 km2) is water, comprising 4.62% of the town. Ashuelot Pond is in the southwest, and part of Highland Lake is in the south. Lovewell Mountain, elevation 2,496 feet (761 m) above sea level, is the highest point in town. As Edwin A. Charlton writes in New Hampshire As It Is (1855), the mountain "received its name from Captain John Lovewell, who was accustomed to ascend it for the purpose of discovering the wigwams of the Indians, and who, on one occasion, killed seven Indians near its summit." The Washington Town Common, elevation 1,507 feet (459 m), is the highest town center in the state. (The town hall of Clarksville is located at a higher elevation—1,980 feet (600 m)—but there is no other village development there.)

Washington is bordered by Goshen to the northwest, Newbury and Bradford to the northeast, Hillsborough and Windsor to the southeast, Stoddard to the south, Marlow to the southwest, and Lempster to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20171,106[4]−1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 895 people, 370 households, and 277 families residing in the town. The population density was 19.7 people per square mile (7.6/km²). There were 925 housing units at an average density of 20.4 per square mile (7.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.21% White, 0.34% Native American, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.45% of the population.

There were 370 households out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.8% were married couples living together, 4.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.9% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 21.9% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 32.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $43,125, and the median income for a family was $50,000. Males had a median income of $34,688 versus $26,333 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,540. About 3.1% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

Sites of interest


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ "Washington, Va., Oldest Of Name". The Free Lance-Star. Oct 3, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Washington, New Hampshire, Church". Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Review and Herald Publishing Association. 1976. p. 1575. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.

External links

Beards Brook

Beards Brook or Beard Brook is a 12.5-mile-long (20.1 km) stream located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the North Branch of the Contoocook River, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

Beards Brook begins at the outlet of Island Pond in the town of Washington, New Hampshire. The brook descends rapidly northeast to the village of East Washington, then turns south and enters Hillsborough. A significant tributary is Shedd Brook, entering from the west in Hillsborough. Beards Brook joins the North Branch of the Contoocook near Hillsborough village, just upstream of the Contoocook River.

Cutler River (New Hampshire)

The Cutler River is a stream located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the United States.

Approximately 1.8 miles (2.9 km) in length, it is a tributary of the Ellis River – a part of the Saco River watershed flowing to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine.

The river rises as two branches on the eastern slopes of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The western branch, identified as the main stem by some sources, begins in Tuckerman Ravine. The northern branch, shown as the main stem by the U.S. Geological Survey, flows out of Huntington Ravine. The two branches join approximately 0.5 miles (0.8 km) east of the Hermit Lake structures in Tuckerman Ravine and continue east down the side of Mount Washington, joining the Ellis River a short distance above Crystal Cascade, on the western slopes of Pinkham Notch.

Ellis River (New Hampshire)

The Ellis River is a 16.7-mile-long (26.9 km) river in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Saco River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine.

The Ellis River rises on the eastern slopes of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. Flowing south, it is quickly joined by the Cutler River flowing out of Tuckerman and Huntington ravines, passes over Crystal Cascade, and reaches the floor of Pinkham Notch.

The river leaves the level ground at the high point of the notch by dropping 64 feet (20 m) over Glen Ellis Falls. The falls are a short walk from Route 16, the highway through the notch. A U.S. Forest Service parking area, not far from the top of the falls, gives access to a well-maintained, hard-surfaced, short trail hugging the river to a point at the top of the falls, where there is a lookout nearly straight down into the gorge, and then the trail proceeds by a steep descent of stairs to the deep pool at the base of the falls.

The river continues south into the town of Jackson, New Hampshire, through a gradually widening valley, where it is joined by Wildcat Brook. Leaving the small intervale at Jackson village, the Ellis River drops over a hydroelectric dam at Goodrich Falls and reaches the Saco River near the village of Glen in the town of Bartlett.

New Hampshire Route 16 follows the Ellis River from the height of land in Pinkham Notch south to Glen.

Great Gulf

The Great Gulf is a glacial cirque, or amphitheater-like valley head formed from a glacier by erosion, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The cirque's walls are formed, from south to north, by the mountainsides of Mount Washington (6,288 ft/1917 m), Mount Clay (5,533 ft/1686 m), Mount Jefferson (5,716 ft/1742 m), Mount Adams (5,799 ft/1768 m), and Mount Madison (5,366 ft/1636 m). It is drained by the West Branch of the Peabody River.

The Great Gulf Wilderness is a protected wilderness area encompassing the cirque of the Great Gulf, and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Established in 1964, Great Gulf is New Hampshire's oldest and smallest wilderness area, comprising just 5,552 acres (22.47 km2).

Highland Lake (Stoddard, New Hampshire)

Highland Lake is a 697-acre (2.82 km2) water body located in Sullivan and Cheshire counties in southwestern New Hampshire, United States, in the towns of Washington and Stoddard. The lake has two outlets. The north outlet feeds Shedd Brook, while the south outlet flows through Island Pond to the North Branch of the Contoocook River. Water from the two outlets rejoins in the town of Hillsborough, approximately 8 miles (13 km) east of Highland Lake and one mile upstream from the Contoocook River. The northern end of the lake is only accessible by boat through a channel approximately 50 feet wide.

The lake has been a popular site for recreational boating during the summer and snowmobiling during the winter since before the 1960s. Waterskiiers are a frequent sight, and sea planes are known to occasionally use the lake. Most of the lakeside real estate has seasonal and year-round residences situated on plots of land smaller than .25 acres. The Highland Lake Marina (the waterway's only such establishment) is located at the end of Shedd Hill Road. It is open during summer weekends, and offers boat storage, docking, and recreational merchandise. There is also a diner attached.

The lake is classified as a warmwater fishery and is home to species such as black crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, horned pout, and white perch. The land surrounding Pickerel Cove is owned and protected by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

Lakes of the Clouds

The Lakes of the Clouds are a set of tarns located at the 5,032 ft (1,534 m) col between Mount Monroe and Mount Washington in the White Mountains of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The lakes form the source of the Ammonoosuc River, a tributary of the Connecticut River.The Lakes of the Clouds Hut, a rental hut and lodge for hikers operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club, is adjacent to the lakes, facing west. Lakes of the Clouds may be reached by hiking from Marshfield Station, on the Mount Washington Cog Railway, via the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail (in approximately four hours). The area is also traversed by the Crawford Path (part of the Appalachian Trail) and the Dry River Trail.

Manchester Locomotive Works

Manchester Locomotive Works was a manufacturing company located in Manchester, New Hampshire, that built steam locomotives and fire engines in the 19th century. The first locomotive the company built was for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in March 1855.

Manchester purchased the locomotive manufacturing operation from the Amoskeag Locomotive Works in 1859. It acquired the steam fire engine business from Amoskeag Locomotive in 1876.In 1901, Manchester and seven other locomotive manufacturing firms merged to form American Locomotive Company (ALCO). Locomotive production ceased in 1913.

Mooning the Cog

Mooning the Cog is a tradition in which hikers bare their buttocks to the Cog Railway on Mount Washington, the highest peak in New Hampshire. It is most commonly done by thru-hikers, as they pass by on the Appalachian Trail. It is a twenty- to thirty-year-old tradition, in which, as the train passes the trail, many hikers choose to drop their drawers and moon the passengers. There are several theories as to the reasons for this tradition. One holds that it is an act of protest against the smoke, steam, and noise pollution generated by the railroad, which is known as the "Smog Railway" to some hikers. According to others, it is a reference to the train's original name, "The Railway to the Moon".

Mount Washington (New Hampshire)

Mount Washington, called Agiocochook by some Native American tribes, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft (1,916.6 m) and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.

The mountain is notorious for its erratic weather. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded a windspeed of 231 miles per hour (372 km/h) at the summit, the world record from 1934 until 1996. Mt. Washington still holds the record for highest measured wind speed not associated with a tornado or tropical cyclone.The mountain is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, in the township of Sargent's Purchase, in Coös County, New Hampshire. While nearly the whole mountain is in the White Mountain National Forest, an area of 60.3 acres (24.4 ha) surrounding and including the summit is occupied by Mount Washington State Park.

The Mount Washington Cog Railway ascends the western slope of the mountain, and the Mount Washington Auto Road climbs to the summit from the east. The mountain is visited by hikers, and the Appalachian Trail crosses the summit. Other common activities include glider flying, backcountry skiing, and annual cycle and running races such as the Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Road Race.

Mount Washington Auto Road

The Mount Washington Auto Road — originally the Mount Washington Carriage Road — is a 7.6 mi (12.2 km) toll road that extends from New Hampshire Route 16 in Green's Grant, just north of Pinkham Notch, westward across Pinkham's Grant and Thompson and Meserve's Purchase to the summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains of the US state of New Hampshire. The road climbs 4,618 ft (1,408 m) from an altitude of 1,527 ft (465 m) at the bottom to 6,145 ft (1,873 m) at the top, an average gradient of 11.6%. The road was completed and opened to the public in 1861.

Mount Washington State Park

Mount Washington State Park is a 60.3-acre (24.4 ha) parcel perched on the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. Summer seasonal amenities include a cafeteria, restrooms, gift shops, the Mount Washington Observatory and its museum. The historic Tip Top House is located adjacent to the summit building and is open (small fee) to visitors from early May to early October. The park is accessible by the Mount Washington Auto Road, the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the Appalachian Trail, or numerous other hiking trails from surrounding trailheads including Pinkham Notch, Crawford Notch and the Cog Railway base station.

The land forming the park was originally given to Dartmouth College in 1951 by the estate of the owner of the Cog Railway. Dartmouth sold 59 acres (240,000 m2) to the State of New Hampshire in 1964 for use as a park and then sold the final 8 acres (32,000 m2) in 2008 for $2.1M, after a long-term broadcasting lease had expired. A small segment of the summit is still owned by the Cog Railway and used as the upper terminus of the railway.

New River (New Hampshire)

The New River is a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) long stream in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of the Ellis River, part of the Saco River watershed flowing to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine. The river is within the townships of Sargent's Purchase and Pinkham's Grant in Coos County.

The New River rises in the Gulf of Slides, a small glacial cirque at the foot of Boott Spur, a southern extension of Mount Washington. Flowing northeast, the stream drops rapidly down the western slopes of Pinkham Notch, joining the Ellis River in the floor of the notch at the Route 16 crossing, just south of the notch's height of land.

Pillsbury State Park

Pillsbury State Park is a state park located mainly in Washington and partially in Goshen, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is home to the headwaters of the Ashuelot River. It contains one of the more rustic campgrounds in the state park system, with no electricity and limited running water. There are 35 campsites, most of which are reservable. Eleven of the sites are at "remote" locations, most of which are accessible by canoe. Hiking trails connect to the 51-mile-long (82 km) Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail.

Pinkham Notch

Pinkham Notch (elevation 2032 ft. / 619 m) is a mountain pass in the White Mountains of north-central New Hampshire, United States. The notch is a result of extensive erosion by the Laurentide ice sheet during the Wisconsinian ice age. Pinkham Notch was eroded into a glacial U-shaped valley whose walls are formed by the Presidential, Wildcat, and Carter-Moriah ranges. Due to the volatility of the area's climate and rugged character of the terrain, a number of rare or endemic ecosystems have developed throughout the notch.

The notch was discovered in 1784 by Jeremy Belknap, but its isolation prevented further development for several years. The construction of New Hampshire Route 16 has led to increased accessibility and a rise in tourism. Its location makes it a hub for hiking and skiing.

Shedd Brook

Shedd Brook is an 11.3-mile-long (18.2 km) stream located in southern New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of Beards Brook, part of the Contoocook River and Merrimack River watersheds.

Shedd Brook begins at the north outlet of Highland Lake in Washington, New Hampshire. The brook flows east, crossing the small town of Windsor and entering Hillsborough. Hillsborough Upper Village is located where Black Pond Brook descends over falls to join Shedd Brook, which ends two miles downstream at Beards Brook.

New Hampshire Route 31 follows Shedd Brook in Washington and Windsor.

Tuckerman Ravine

Tuckerman Ravine is a glacial cirque sloping eastward on the southeast face of Mt. Washington, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Although it draws hikers throughout the year, and skiers throughout the winter, it is best known for the many "spring skiers" who ascend it on foot and ski down the steep slope from early April into July. In this period, the temperatures are relatively mild but the natural snowpack — which averages up to 55 feet (17 m) in a typical winter — is still adequate to ski most seasons. The record-setting high winds atop Mount Washington scour a massive amount of snow from the surrounding highlands and drop it here or in the adjacent Huntington Ravine.

Thousands of people have been known to ski Tuckerman in a single spring weekend. Skiing is not limited to this time, but the avalanche danger, peaking from late December to early March, requires special training and experience to assess and navigate the ravine safely during the winter. Avalanches have killed at least 10 people in the ravine since the 1960s.

The ravine is most easily accessed from the AMC lodge on Route 16 at Pinkham Notch, via the moderate 2.4-mile (3.9 km) lower section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. This trail is maintained in winter and spring as a "cat" trail, and parallels the Sherburne Trail used for ski and snowboard descents. It is a 1,850-foot (560 m) elevation drop from the foot of Tuckerman to the lodge.


WHOM (94.9 FM, "94.9 WHOM") is an American radio station which airs an adult contemporary radio format. WHOM is owned by Townsquare Media and transmits from atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which is its community of license. Mount Washington is the tallest peak in the Northeast. WHOM's signal is among the strongest FM signals in the world, and the station can be heard in five states and one Canadian Province. Under proper weather conditions, The station's signal can reach as far East as Acadia National Park in Eastern Maine, as far north as Southern Quebec in Canada, as far south as Boston, Massachusetts and as far West as the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Although the station can be heard all over Northern New England, WHOM broadcasts from and considers itself part of the Portland, Maine radio market. WHOM also agrees on its website and on the air that it has the largest coverage area of any FM station in the United States. Sister station WPKQ also broadcasts from atop Mount Washington, but its signal is not as strong as WHOM's.

WHOM promotes its programming as "safe for the whole family." In addition to local DJs, the station also airs the syndicated John Tesh radio show. From late November to December 25, WHOM switches to an all-Christmas music format.


WMTW, virtual and VHF digital channel 8, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Poland Spring, Maine, United States and serving the Portland, Maine television market, including southern Maine and eastern and northern New Hampshire. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of Hearst Communications, as part of a duopoly with Portland-licensed CW/MyNetworkTV affiliate WPXT (channel 51). The two stations share studios on Ledgeview Drive in Westbrook; WMTW's transmitter is located in West Baldwin, Maine.

WMTW also operates a low-powered digital fill-in translator (on UHF channel 26 or virtual channel 8 via PSIP) from the Time and Temperature Building in downtown Portland's Monument Square. The translator serves the immediate part of Portland and some surrounding areas to serve viewers that have difficulty receiving the main signal.

In addition to WPXT, WMTW shares common coverage areas with four other Hearst-owned sister stations in New England: fellow ABC affiliates WCVB-TV in Boston and WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire; and its duopoly of NBC affiliate WPTZ and CW affiliate WNNE in Vermont.


WPKQ (103.7 FM, "The Peak") is a country music radio station licensed to and based in North Conway, New Hampshire and is owned by Townsquare Media. It transmits from atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the tallest peak in the Northeast, alongside sister station WHOM. Despite primarily serving northern New Hampshire and western Maine, WPKQ's city-grade signal covers portions of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and Quebec.

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

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