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Conway, New Hampshire

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Conway is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States It is the most populous community in the county, and the most populous in the state north of Hanover The population was 10,115 at the 2010 census, more than 1/5 of the total population of Carroll County1 Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the west and north of the town Cathedral Ledge popular with climbers and Echo Lake State Park are in the west Villages within the town include Conway, North Conway, Center Conway, Redstone and Kearsarge, as well as a portion of the village of Intervale2


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Villages
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Government
  • 6 Education
    • 61 High school
    • 62 Elementary and middle schools
    • 63 Colleges
  • 7 Culture
    • 71 Theaters and museums
    • 72 Sites of interest
  • 8 Infrastructure
    • 81 Transportation
    • 82 Hospitals
  • 9 Media
  • 10 Notable people
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


Mount Kearsarge in 1910

The region was once home to the Pequawket Indians, an Algonquian Abenaki tribe Along the Saco River they fished, hunted or farmed, and lived in wigwams sheltered within stockades In 1642, explorer Darby Field of Exeter paddled up the Saco in a canoe, and would report seeing "Pigwacket," an Indian community stretching from present-day Conway to Fryeburg, Maine The Pequawket tribe dwindled from disease, probably smallpox brought from abroad In May 1725, during Dummer's War, 36 men from Dunstable, Massachusetts led by John Lovewell skirmished with the Pequawket The Pequawket losses are not known but the result of the day's battle was the withdrawal of the tribe from the area

In 1765, Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth chartered sixty-five men to establish "Conway", named for Henry Seymour Conway, Commander in Chief of the British Army To keep his land, a settler had to plant 5 acres 20,000 m2 for every fifty in his share, and to do it within five years The first roads were built in 1766 Construction of the first meetinghouse began at Redstone Never completed, it could only be used in summer, with services held whenever a minister visited Eventually, the partly finished meetinghouse was moved to Center Conway In 1775, the town raised small sums to build two schoolhouses, one in North Conway By 1849, however, the town had twenty school districts

By the middle-19th century, artists had discovered the romantic beauties of the White Mountains, and "Artist Falls Brook" became a favorite setting for landscape paintings King Edward VII would buy twelve White Mountain paintings to hang in Windsor Castle Among the artists to work here were Asher B Durand and Benjamin Champney, the latter known to paint Mount Washington while sitting in the middle of Main Street

Conway House c 1910

The Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad entered Conway in 1871 The railroad would be bought by the Boston & Maine, and joined in town by rival Maine Central They transported freight, mostly wood and wood products, away from Conway, and they brought tourists Numerous inns and taverns were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, and tourism remains today a principal business The first ski trail began operating in 1936 at Mount Cranmore, where Hannes Schneider of Austria would provide instruction starting in 1939 In 1959, the Kancamagus Highway opened, connecting Conway with Lincoln It travels through Kancamagus Pass, named for a Pennacook chief, and at 2,850 feet 870 m above sea level is the highest paved through-road in New Hampshire

Since the 1930s, the population of the nearby city of Berlin has decreased significantly, from 20,018 in 1930 to 10,051 in 2010 This decline, coupled with the population increase in Conway and the surrounding community, has led to higher levels of economic development in the Conway area than the rest of northern New Hampshire Conway has both a tourism-based economy and service economy As of 2002, the largest employer in the town was Memorial Hospital, employing 350 people, followed by the Conway School District, Hannaford Bros Co, Red Jacket Resorts, and Walmart3


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 717 square miles 186 km2, of which 694 square miles 180 km2 is land and 22 square miles 57 km2 is water, comprising 315% of the town4 Conway is drained by the Saco and Swift rivers The highest point in the town is Black Cap at 2,369 feet 722 m above sea level Conway lies fully within the Saco River watershed5


Conway is divided into a number of separate villages The largest and best known is North Conway, a popular destination for outlet shopping

The villages of Conway include:

  • Conway Village
  • North Conway
  • Center Conway
  • Redstone
  • Kearsarge
  • Intervale


Historical population
1790 574
1800 705 228%
1810 1,080 532%
1820 1,365 264%
1830 1,601 173%
1840 1,811 131%
1850 1,767 −24%
1860 1,624 −81%
1870 1,607 −10%
1880 2,094 303%
1890 2,331 113%
1900 3,154 353%
1910 3,413 82%
1920 3,102 −91%
1930 3,217 37%
1940 3,651 135%
1950 4,109 125%
1960 4,298 46%
1970 4,865 132%
1980 7,158 471%
1990 7,940 109%
2000 8,604 84%
2010 10,115 176%
Est 2015 9,948 −17%
US Decennial Census7

This article describes the town of Conway as a whole Additional demographic detail is available which describes only the central settlement or village within the town, although that detail is included in the aggregate values reported here See: Conway CDP, New Hampshire

Conway Grammar School c 1915

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,115 people, 4,479 households, and 2,638 families residing in the town The population density was 1457 people per square mile 563/km² There were 6,921 housing units at an average density of 997 units per square mile 385 units/km² The racial makeup of the town was 969% White, 03% African American, 04% Native American, 10% Asian, 004% Pacific Islander, 02% some other race, and 12% from two or more races 10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race8

There were 4,479 households, out of which 257% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 439% were headed by married couples living together, 104% had a female householder with no husband present, and 411% were non-families 321% of all households were made up of individuals, and 114% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 222, and the average family size was 2788

Bridge over Saco River in 1911

In the town, the population was spread out with 197% under the age of 18, 68% from 18 to 24, 243% from 25 to 44, 321% from 45 to 64, and 172% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 445 years For every 100 females there were 968 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 929 males8

For the period 2007-11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $44,700, and the median income for a family was $52,083 Male full-time workers had a median income of $36,337 versus $32,525 for females The per capita income for the town was $25,427 125% of the population and 56% of families were below the poverty line, as well as 162% of people under the age of 18 and 132% of those 65 or older9


Tourism plays a major role in Conway's economy, with the town providing access to the White Mountains There is one ski area, Cranmore Mountain Resort, in Conway and several others nearby North Conway is a major shopping destination with outlet and department stores Hotels, bed and breakfasts, and inns can be found in every village, including the historic Eastern Slope Inn in North Conway

In addition to tourism, the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council has been growing the technology industry through business parks and economic assistance10 The largest technology employer in the region is The Echo Group, an electronic health record software developer11

With 2115% of Carroll County's population residing in Conway, the town is the commercial center for the county as well as a large area of rural western Maine, with heavy development along the portion of US Route 302 and New Hampshire Route 16 that are co-signed through town In addition to the factory outlet stores, there are also big-box stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels


Conway has a selectman/town manager There are five selectmen and a town manager The town adopted this form in 1956

Earl Sires became the Town Manager of Conway in 2000 and has served continuously since then12


Library in Conway, New Hampshire

High schooledit

  • Kennett High School

Elementary and middle schoolsedit

  • A Crosby Kennett Middle School
  • Conway Elementary School
  • Pine Tree School
  • John Fuller Elementary School

A Crosby Kennett High School, built in 1923, was located at 176 Main Street in Conway village until 2007, when a new building opened near the village of Redstone The former high school building now houses the middle school

The White Mountain Waldorf School, an independent private school, offers grades 1 through 8, plus kindergarten and pre-school programs The school moved to its present 70-acre 280,000 m2 campus in 2008


  • Granite State College
  • White Mountains Community College13


Located in the center of the popular White Mountain National Forest, Conway is the major commercial center for Bartlett, Jackson, Madison, Chatham, Eaton, Hart's Location, and Albany, New Hampshire as well as Fryeburg, Brownfield, Lovell, and Stow, Maine There are a number of restaurants, two breweries, the year-round Cranmore Mountain Resort, over a hundred local and national stores, and several museums and theatres

Theaters and museumsedit

Arts in Motion Theater Company is resident at the Eastern Slope Inn M&D Productions is a local community theater group

The Mount Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center, located in downtown North Conway, provides information and interactive exhibits on Mount Washington and the weather that surrounds it, and affords visitors the opportunity to video-conference with observers on the summit

Sites of interestedit

  • Conway Scenic Railroad
  • Echo Lake State Park
  • Tuckerman Brewing Company
  • Salyards Center for the Arts
  • Eastman Lord Museum
  • New England Ski Museum Nordic Skiing Exhibit14



New Hampshire Route 16 is the primary road through Conway, connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Conway village, and continuing into North Conway where it intersects with US Route 302, which runs southeast to Portland, Maine The combined roads continue north into Bartlett The Kancamagus Highway connects Conway with Lincoln, New Hampshire

Public bus service is operated by Tri-County Community Action Program Inc The service, which is called the Blue Loon, operates five days a week15

A privately operated shuttle service is provided through North Conway village The Karmic Konnection Koach, operated by cab service Fast Taxi, is available 7 days a week on a "pay what you can" system16

The nearest airport is Eastern Slopes Regional Airport in Fryeburg, Maine Eastern Slopes is a general aviation airport Scheduled commercial service is available from Portland International Jetport in Portland, Maine and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire Bus service connects Conway and Manchester via Concord Coach Lines


Memorial Hospital is located in North Conway Memorial has a 24-hour emergency department


The free Conway Daily Sun is published in Conway Two other papers, The Carroll County Independent and The Mountain Ear also serve Conway A local Outside Television affiliate broadcasts from North Conway Several radio stations are based in or have outlets in Conway, including WHOM, WMWV, WOKQ, and WVMJ

Valley Vision, a public-access network, is available on cable channel 3 The Town of Conway airs programming on Valley Vision under the name Conway Community Television CCTV

Notable peopleedit

  • James Farrington, US congressman from New Hampshire17


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ US Geological Survey North Conway West 75 minute topographic map, from Topozone website Accessed December 24, 2007
  3. ^ http://wwwconwaynhorg/Master_Plan/CH_4htm Town of Conway Master Plan Chapter 4
  4. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data G001 - Conway town, New Hampshire" US Census Bureau American Factfinder Archived from the original on September 11, 2013 Retrieved November 7, 2011 
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  8. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data DP-1: Conway town, Carroll County, New Hampshire" US Census Bureau, American Factfinder Retrieved April 3, 2013 
  9. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates DP03: Conway town, Carroll County, New Hampshire" US Census Bureau, American Factfinder Retrieved April 3, 2013 
  10. ^ Mount Washington Valley Economic Council
  11. ^ http://conwaydailysuncom/indexphp/newsx/local-news/94009-30-million-venture-capital-for-high-tech-firms-coming-to-nh The Conway Daily Sun "Partnership looks to invest $30 million in start-up high-tech firms"
  12. ^ Town of Conway - Town Manager Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ WMCC Conway Campus Archived 2012-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ NESM - North Conway Exhibitpermanent dead link
  15. ^ Carroll County Transit Archived April 29, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Give your Karma a lift!
  17. ^ "FARRINGTON, James, 1791 - 1859" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved January 7, 2014 

External linksedit

  • Town of Conway official website
  • Conway Historical Society
  • Conway Public Library
  • Conway Fire and Rescue
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
  • North Conway Online

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