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Center Harbor, New Hampshire

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Center Harbor is a town located in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 1,096,1 a number which multiplies severalfold during the summer monthscitation needed It is situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Government
  • 5 Economy
  • 6 Education
  • 7 Notable people
  • 8 Culture
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links


Center Harbor separated from the town of New Hampton, and was first incorporated in 1797 The town gets its name from two sources: from its location, centered between Meredith and Moultonborough harbors, and also from the Senter family, who were owners of a large amount of property in the area The town was a landing place for lake steamers and stagecoaches, making it a popular summer resort Center Harbor was a favorite spot of John Greenleaf Whittier, and the home of Dudley Leavitt, author of the first Farmers' Almanac in 17972 Center Harbor is the winter home of the paddle steamer MS Mount Washington, the largest boat on Lake Winnipesaukee

Center Harbor witnessed the first intercollegiate sporting event in the United States, as Harvard defeated Yale by two lengths in the first Harvard-Yale Regatta on August 3, 1852 on Lake Winnipesaukee3


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 165 square miles 428 km2 134 sq mi 346 km2 of it is land, and 32 sq mi 82 km2 of it is water, comprising 1921% of the town It has several miles of shoreline on Squam Lake and another mile on Lake Winnipesaukee, where its main "harbor" lies The town center sits eccentrically near Center Harbor's northeast border, where it rises gently from the shore at the junction of New Hampshire Routes 25 and 25B The highest point in town, Sunset Hill, elevation 1,121 feet 342 m above sea level, overlooks the town center from the west Center Harbor lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed4

NH 25 passes through the eastern edge of town, including the town center, connecting Meredith to the south with Moultonborough to the northeast US Route 3 and NH 25 pass north-south through the western part of town, connecting Meredith to the south with Holderness to the northwest NH 25B leads from the town center west to US 3 and NH 25, forming a short-cut for through-travelers on NH 25

The Proctor Wildlife Sanctuary, owned by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, occupies 47 acres 19 ha of woodlands northwest of the town center Adjacent to this property is Center Harbor Woods, a 225 acres 91 ha conservation area owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and protected by a conservation easement held by the Squam Lakes Conservation Society and the town of Center Harbor The two properties abut a third conservation property in neighboring Moultonborough, resulting in a block of protected woodland comprising nearly 400 acres 160 ha


Historical population
1800 263
1810 349 327%
1820 486 393%
1830 577 187%
1840 584 12%
1850 543 −70%
1860 484 −109%
1870 446 −79%
1880 521 168%
1890 479 −81%
1900 422 −119%
1910 420 −05%
1920 422 05%
1930 382 −95%
1940 355 −71%
1950 451 270%
1960 511 133%
1970 540 57%
1980 808 496%
1990 996 233%
2000 996 00%
2010 1,096 100%
Est 2015 1,098 02%
US Decennial Census6
Nichols Memorial Library, 2007

As of the census7 of 2000, there were 996 people, 414 households, and 293 families residing in the town The population density is 744 people per square mile 287/km² There are 653 housing units at an average density of 488 per square mile 188/km² The racial makeup of the town is 9880% White, 100% Hispanic or Latino and 080% Asian

There are 414 households out of which 285% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 577% are married couples living together, 94% have a female householder with no husband present, and 292% are non-families 220% of all households are made up of individuals and 94% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older The average household size is 238 and the average family size is 275

Steamer Landing, 1906

In the town, the population is spread out with 215% under the age of 18, 52% from 18 to 24, 240% from 25 to 44, 319% from 45 to 64, and 174% who are 65 years of age or older The median age is 45 years For every 100 females there are 1004 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 1010 males

The median income for a household in the town is $51,806, and the median income for a family is $55,938 Males have a median income of $35,526 versus $24,231 for females The per capita income for the town is $25,627 67% of the population and 44% of families are below the poverty line Out of the total population, 134% of those under the age of 18 and 56% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line


In the New Hampshire Senate, Center Harbor is in the 2nd District, represented by Republican Bob Giuda On the New Hampshire Executive Council, Center Harbor is in the 1st District, represented by Republican Joe Kenney In the United States House of Representatives, Center Harbor is in New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Ann McLane Kuster


The Moulton House, c 1910

Aside from small dairy and truck farms, the community's main industry is tourism Restaurants and motels dot the shoreline, with a beach and playground at the town's center which is shared by residents of Moultonborough The economy is booming, with the historic EM Heath Grocery Store tripled in size, and now joined in town by Bayswater Book Co, Sam and Rosies Cafe and Bakery, Wild Meadow Canoe and Kayak Outfitter, Yikes Art Gallery, Keepsakes Quilters, and The Edge Handcrafted Boutique Upscale restaurants have opened, including Canoe and Lavinia's Relaxed Dining, established in a landmark building


Center Harbor's one-room schoolhouse closed in the 1970s, and students now attend Inter-Lakes Elementary and Inter-Lakes Junior-Senior High in Meredith, joining students from that town and from Sandwich During the period 1963 - 1973, a college existed in Center Harbor Named Belknap College, it occupied several locations in town, using old hotels for dorms, though the academic campus was located several miles away Anchored by a mansion now used for the New Hampshire Music Festival, and several other buildings, the campus was a center of activity

The town is also the home of Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, an all-male Roman Catholic boarding school, educating between 80-100 students from grades 7 to 12 It is sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ, a religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church

Notable peopleedit

  • Phoebe Foster, actress
  • Brad Leighton, driver with NASCAR
  • Maud Worcester Makemson, astronomer
  • Penny Pitou, Olympic downhill skier


Center Harbor hosts a Fourth of July celebration featuring a road race including a children's race around the library, parade, band concert, and fireworks over the lake The Center Harbor Town Band, founded in 1878, offers free concerts on Fridays in the summer In the winter, the town is a stop for snowmobile enthusiasts


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ "Dudley Leavitt of Center Harbor, NH" Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society Retrieved 2007-06-14 
  3. ^ McKenna, Robert 2003 The Dictionary of Nautical Literacy McGraw-Hill Professional Reference p 157 ISBN 0-07-141950-0 
  4. ^ 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 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-09-11 Retrieved 2008-01-31 

External linksedit

  • Town of Center Harbor official website
  • James E Nichols Memorial Library
  • Center Harbor - NHLiving Magazine
  • 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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