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Franconia, New Hampshire

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Franconia is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States The population was 1,104 at the 2010 census1 Set in the White Mountains, Franconia is home to the northern half of Franconia Notch State Park Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the eastern and southern portions of the town The Appalachian Trail crosses the southern part


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


Old Man of the Mountain on the New Hampshire quarter

The town was first granted in 1764 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as Franconia,2 a name widely applied to the region by 17603 due to the terrain's resemblance to the Franconian Switzerland in the region of Franconia in Germany4 Upon claims that a settlement was not made within the time prescribed under the terms of the charter, it was regranted in 1772 by his nephew, Governor John Wentworth, as Morristown Sometime between 1779 and 1782, after a legal battle over the two grants, the first grant was recognized and the original name of the town was resumed56

The town sits on a rich iron deposit, and the region once produced pig iron and bar iron for farm tools and cast iron ware

Franconia is home to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, which rises to the 4,100-foot 1,200 m summit of Cannon Mountain Built in 1938, it was the first passenger aerial tramway in North America From the time of its construction in 1938 to its retirement in 1980, the original tramway carried 6,581,338 passengers to the summit of Cannon Mountain The original tramway was replaced by a new 80-passenger tram in 1979 Construction and testing of the new tram were completed in February 1980, and the red and yellow tram cars are still running year-round today7

Around 1940, actress Bette Davis vacationed in Sugar Hill, the town bordering Franconia to the west On a solo hike to Bridal Veil Falls at the western foot of Cannon Mountain, she got lost in the woods Arthur Farnsworth, who worked at Peckett's Ski School, found her and rescued her from the woods They fell in love and soon married8 Farnsworth died unexpectedly as a result of freak accident in Los Angeles Davis had erected in a rock on the trail to Bridal Veil Falls a plaque to commemorate Farnsworth, in which was inscribed the words "The Keeper of Stray Ladies," although Davis did not include her name in the plaque The plaque can be seen today on the Coppermine Trail to Bridal Veil Falls

Center of town celebrating Bode Miller's 2010 Winter Olympics gold, silver and bronze medals

The town was home to Franconia College during the 1960s and 1970s In the 21st century Franconia has been known as the home of skier Bode Miller who has accumulated several Olympic medals


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 660 square miles 1709 km2, of which 657 square miles 1702 km2 is land and 03 square miles 08 km2 is water, comprising 047% of the town9 Franconia is drained by the Pemigewasset River, the Gale River, and the Ham Branch of the Gale River, in addition to Lafayette Brook The north-western two-thirds of Franconia lies within the Connecticut River watershed, while the south-eastern corner lies in the Merrimack River watershed10

The area of Franconia Notch is well known for its natural features, including Profile and Echo lakes, the Basin, Mount Lafayette, Mount Lincoln, and Cannon Mountain Mount Lafayette, at 5,249 feet 1,600 m above sea level, is the highest peak in Franconia The Old Man of the Mountain, a profile-like cliff which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write The Great Stone Face, collapsed on May 3, 2003

In addition to the mountains around Franconia Notch, there are several other four-thousand footers within the town limits: Mount Garfield, Galehead Mountain, South Twin Mountain, and Owl's Head


Historical population
1790 72
1800 129 792%
1810 358 1775%
1820 373 42%
1830 443 188%
1840 523 181%
1850 584 117%
1860 708 212%
1870 549 −225%
1880 550 02%
1890 594 80%
1900 655 103%
1910 504 −231%
1920 440 −127%
1930 514 168%
1940 568 105%
1950 549 −33%
1960 491 −106%
1970 655 334%
1980 743 134%
1990 811 92%
2000 924 139%
2010 1,104 195%
Est 2015 1,117 12%
US Decennial Census12

As of the census13 of 2000, there were 924 people, 384 households, and 243 families residing in the town The population density was 140 people per square mile 54/km² There were 702 housing units at an average density of 107 per square mile 41/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9751% White, 011% African American, 065% Native American, 087% Asian, 011% from other races, and 076% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 032% of the population

There were 384 households out of which 271% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 534% were married couples living together, 78% had a female householder with no husband present, and 367% were non-families 289% of all households were made up of individuals and 86% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 223 and the average family size was 276

In the town, the population was spread out with 200% under the age of 18, 45% from 18 to 24, 219% from 25 to 44, 331% from 45 to 64, and 205% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 47 years For every 100 females there were 886 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 825 males

The median income for a household in the town was $40,114, and the median income for a family was $46,979 Males had a median income of $29,500 versus $24,000 for females The per capita income for the town was $20,351 About 78% of families and 89% of the population were below the poverty line, including 101% of those under age 18 and 49% of those age 65 or over

Sites of interestedit

  • The Frost Place, former home of poet Robert Frost
  • New England Ski Museum
  • Franconia Notch State Park & Cannon Mt Aerial Tramway
  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Profile House
  • Franconia Iron Works

Notable peopleedit

  • Elisabeth Elliot, Christian author and speaker
  • Jessica Garretson Finch, daughter of minister of the Congregational Church in Franconia, suffragette, founder of Finch College
  • Robert Frost, poet
  • Sel Hannah, skier and ski area architect
  • Bode Miller, Olympic gold medalist skier
  • Ernest Poole, author
  • Annie Trumbull Slosson, author and entomologist


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ The Franconia Charter, 1764
  3. ^ Herbert, Phyllis Bond The Early History of Franconia, NH, p 6
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry 1905 The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States Govt Print Off p 130 
  5. ^ Welch, Sarah Nelson A History of Franconia New Hampshire, p 32
  6. ^ Franconia Area Heritage Council Old Landmarks of Our Neighborhood, p 32
  7. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 2015-07-02 Retrieved 2016-02-06 
  8. ^ The Keeper of Stray Ladies
  9. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data G001 - Franconia town, New Hampshire" US Census Bureau American Factfinder Archived from the original on September 11, 2013 Retrieved November 10, 2011 
  10. ^ 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 
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Archived from the original on June 2, 2016 Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 2013-09-11 Retrieved 2008-01-31 

External linksedit

  • Town of Franconia official website
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce
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