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Bath, New Hampshire

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Bath is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States The population was 1,077 at the 2010 census1 Now a tourist destination and bedroom community for Littleton, the town is noted for its historic architecture, including the Brick Store and three covered bridges Bath includes the village of Swiftwater and part of the district known as Mountain Lakes


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Sites of interest
  • 5 Notable people
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


View of Bath c 1905

The town was granted to the Rev Andrew Gardner and 61 others on September 10, 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth, who named it for William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath It was first settled in 1765 by John Herriman from Haverhill, Massachusetts2 But the terms of the original grant were unfulfilled, so Bath was regranted on March 29, 1769 by Governor John Wentworth The first census, taken in 1790, recorded 493 residents3

Situated at the head of navigation on the Connecticut River, and shielded from strong winds by the Green Mountains to the west and White Mountains to the east, Bath soon developed into "one of the busiest and most prosperous villages in northern New Hampshire" 3 Intervales provided excellent alluvial soil for agriculture, and the Ammonoosuc and Wild Ammonoosuc rivers supplied water power for mills The population reached 1,627 in 1830, when 550 sheep grazed the hillsides2 A vein of copper was mined The White Mountains Railroad up the Ammonoosuc River Valley opened August 1, 1853, shipping Bath's lumber, potatoes, livestock and wood pulp By 1859, the town had two gristmills and two sawmills4 Other industries would include a woolen mill, creamery, distillery and two starch factories5

Bath before the 1872 fire

A disastrous fire swept through Bath village on 1 February 1872, destroying the Congregational church, Bath Hotel and several dwelling houses The church was rebuilt in 18736 By 1874, Bath was served by the Boston, Concord and Montreal and White Mountains NH Railroad6

But nearby Woodsville developed into a major railroad junction, and the region's commercial center shifted there By 1886, once thriving Bath was described as in decay3 But this economic dormancy of the Victorian era preserved much early architecture in the village, particularly in the Federal and Greek Revival styles The Brick Store, built in 1824, is today the oldest continuously operating general store in the United States7 The Moses P Payson Mansion 1810, designed by Alexander Parris, once dominated the town center But fire and neglect took a heavy toll; it is being dismantled for architectural salvage8 More fortunate is Bath's Upper Village, a cluster of Federal style houses based on the handbook designs of architect Asher Benjamin9


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 386 square miles 1000 km2, of which 377 square miles 976 km2 is land and 09 square miles 23 km2 is water, comprising 231% of the town10 The highest points in Bath are a trio of knobs on Gardner Mountain, all found near the northernmost point in town and all measuring slightly greater than 1,980 feet 600 m above sea level The Connecticut River forms the western boundary of the town; the Ammonoosuc and Wild Ammonoosuc rivers flow through the town Bath lies fully within the Connecticut River watershed11

Geologically, Bath is located at the northernmost extent of former Lake Hitchcock, a post-glacial lake that shaped the Connecticut River valley from this point south to Middletown, Connecticut12

The town is crossed by US Route 302 and New Hampshire Route 112 The village of Swiftwater is located along Route 112, near the town's boundary with Haverhill


Historical population
1790 498
1800 825 657%
1810 1,316 595%
1820 1,498 138%
1830 1,627 86%
1840 1,591 −22%
1850 1,574 −11%
1860 1,366 −132%
1870 1,168 −145%
1880 1,032 −116%
1890 935 −94%
1900 1,006 76%
1910 978 −28%
1920 838 −143%
1930 785 −63%
1940 686 −126%
1950 706 29%
1960 604 −144%
1970 607 05%
1980 761 254%
1990 784 30%
2000 893 139%
2010 1,077 206%
Est 2015 1,083 06%
US Decennial Census14

As of the census15 of 2000, there were 893 people, 350 households, and 253 families residing in the town The population density was 234 people per square mile 90/km² There were 450 housing units at an average density of 118 per square mile 45/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9933% White, 022% African American, 022% Native American, and 022% from two or more races

There were 350 households out of which 297% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 614% were married couples living together, 66% had a female householder with no husband present, and 277% were non-families 217% of all households were made up of individuals and 117% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 255 and the average family size was 296

In the town, the population was spread out with 243% under the age of 18, 67% from 18 to 24, 242% from 25 to 44, 292% from 45 to 64, and 156% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 42 years For every 100 females there were 976 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 971 males

The median income for a household in the town was $43,088, and the median income for a family was $47,000 Males had a median income of $27,679 versus $22,167 for females The per capita income for the town was $17,916 About 28% of families and 51% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15% of those under age 18 and 55% of those age 65 or over

Sites of interestedit

  • Bath's three covered bridges
  • Ammonoosuc Rail Trail, between Woodsville and Littleton

Notable peopleedit

  • Timothy Bedel, mill owner, military commandercitation needed
  • Raymond S Burton, longest-serving Executive Councilor in New Hampshire history
  • Henry Hancock, lawyer and land surveyor
  • Harry Hibbard, US congressman
  • James Hutchins Johnson, US congressman
  • Patti Page, singer
  • E Carleton Sprague, former New York state senator


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ a b Hayward's Gazetteer of New England 1839
  3. ^ a b c Hamilton Child, History of Bath, Gazetteer of Grafton County, NH, 1709-1886; Syracuse, New York 1886
  4. ^ Austin J Coolidge & John B Mansfield, A History and Description of New England; Boston, Massachusetts 1859
  5. ^ Bath: A Short History
  6. ^ a b Article in Statistics and Gazetteer of New-Hampshire 1875
  7. ^ Grafton County Heritage Sites -- Bath, New Hampshire
  8. ^ Moses P Payson Mansion -- Keeper Barn
  9. ^ New Hampshire History & Heritage Guide
  10. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data G001 - Bath town, New Hampshire" US Census Bureau American Factfinder Archived from the original on September 11, 2013 Retrieved November 10, 2011 
  11. ^ Foster, Debra H; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N; Medalie, Laura 1995 Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers US Department of the Interior and US Geological Survey 
  12. ^ http://desnhgov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/rivers/conn_riverhtm
  13. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-09-11 Retrieved 2008-01-31 

External linksedit

  • Town of Bath official website
  • Bath Public Library
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
‹ The template below Geographic location is being considered for deletion See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus ›

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