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Holderness, New Hampshire

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Holderness is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States The population was 2,108 at the 2010 census1 An agricultural and resort area, Holderness is home to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and is located on Squam Lake Holderness is also home to Holderness School, a co-educational college-preparatory boarding school


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
  • 4 Town government
  • 5 Notable people
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The Squam Lakes were a trade route for Abenaki Indians and early European settlers, who traveled the Squam River to the Pemigewasset River, then to the Merrimack River and seacoast In 1751, Thomas Shepard submitted a petition on behalf of 64 grantees to Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth for 6 miles square on the Pemigewasset River The governing council accepted, and the town was named after Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness The French and Indian War, however, prevented settlement until after the 1759 Fall of Quebec The land was regranted as New Holderness in 1761 to a group of New England families, and first settled in 1763 As proprietor of half the town, Samuel Livermore intended to create at New Holderness a great estate patterned after those of the English countryside By 1790, the town had 329 residents, and in 1816, "New" was dropped from its name2

Holderness became a farming and fishing community, except for the "business or flat iron area" located on the Squam River, which has falls that drop about 112 feet before meeting the Pemigewasset River With water power to operate mills, the southwestern corner of town developed into an industrial center, to which the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad entered in 1849 But the mill village would be at odds with the agricultural community, especially when denied civic amenities including gaslights and sidewalks Consequently, in 1868, it was set off as Ashland2

Tourists in the 19th century discovered the region's scenic mountains and lakes Before the age of automobiles, they would depart the train in Ashland and board a steamer, which traveled up the Squam River to rustic fishing camps or hillside hotels beside Squam Lake Today, Holderness remains a popular resort area, where in 1981 the movie On Golden Pond was filmed


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 356 square miles 92 km2, of which 304 sq mi 79 km2 is land and 52 sq mi 13 km2 is water, comprising 1473% of the town Bounded on the northwest by the Pemigewasset River, Holderness is drained by Owl Brook Part of Squam Lake is in the east, and Little Squam Lake is in the center Mount Prospect, with an elevation of 2,064 feet 629 m above sea level, is in the north Also in the north is the highest point in Holderness, Mount Webster, elevation 2,076 feet 633 m and part of the Squam Range Holderness lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed4

The town is served by US Route 3 and state routes 25, 113 and 175


Historical population
1790 329
1800 531 614%
1810 835 573%
1820 1,160 389%
1830 1,429 232%
1840 1,528 69%
1850 1,744 141%
1860 1,765 12%
1870 793 −551%
1880 703 −113%
1890 595 −154%
1900 662 113%
1910 652 −15%
1920 602 −77%
1930 644 70%
1940 735 141%
1950 731 −05%
1960 749 25%
1970 1,048 399%
1980 1,586 513%
1990 1,694 68%
2000 1,930 139%
2010 2,108 92%
Est 2015 2,097 −05%
US Decennial Census6

As of the census7 of 2000, there were 1,930 people, 768 households, and 546 families residing in the town The population density was 635 people per square mile 245/km² There were 1,208 housing units at an average density of 398 per square mile 154/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9788% White, 047% African American, 005% Native American, 036% Asian, 010% from other races, and 114% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 041% of the population

There were 768 households out of which 307% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 612% were married couples living together, 59% had a female householder with no husband present, and 289% were non-families 215% of all households were made up of individuals and 73% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 248 and the average family size was 291

In the town, the population was spread out with 244% under the age of 18, 69% from 18 to 24, 245% from 25 to 44, 314% from 45 to 64, and 128% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 42 years For every 100 females there were 959 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 988 males

The median income for a household in the town was $47,895, and the median income for a family was $55,526 Males had a median income of $36,500 versus $26,116 for females The per capita income for the town was $27,825 About 28% of families and 49% of the population were below the poverty line, including 92% of those under age 18 and 40% of those age 65 or over

Town governmentedit

Holderness is governed in the traditional New England style, with a 5-member board of selectmen as its executive branch, and the traditional Town Meeting as its legislative branch Municipal elections and Town Meetings are customarily held in March

Notable peopleedit

  • Joan Blos, writer seasonal residentcitation needed
  • George Butler, documentary filmmaker Pumping Iron, The Endurance8
  • Moses Cheney, abolitionist, conductor on Underground Railroad9
  • Oren B Cheney, founder of Bates College10
  • Arthur Livermore 1766–1853, US congressman11
  • Samuel Livermore, US senator12
  • Hercules Mooney, officer in the Continental Army13


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ a b Coolidge, Austin J; John B Mansfield 1859 A History and Description of New England Boston, Massachusetts pp 529–530 
  3. ^ "The Asquaum House" The Independent Jul 6, 1914 Retrieved August 1, 2012 
  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" Archived from the original on June 2, 2016 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 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  8. ^ "George Butler" 2014 FOX News Network, LLC Retrieved 28 January 2014 
  9. ^ Metcalf, Henry Harrison and McClintock, John Norris 1879 The Granite Monthly: A Magazine of Literature, History and State Progress, Volume 3 JN McClintock p 65 
  10. ^ "Oren B Cheney" Bates College Retrieved 28 January 2014 
  11. ^ "LIVERMORE, Arthur, 1766 - 1853" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved January 14, 2014 
  12. ^ "LIVERMORE, Samuel, 1732 - 1803" Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved February 21, 2014 
  13. ^ "Hercules Mooney" 2009 Ancestrycom Retrieved 28 January 2014 

External linksedit

  • Town of Holderness official website
  • Holderness Free Library
  • Holderness Historical Society
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
  • Squam Lakes Association
  • Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
  • Squam Trail Busters Snowmobile Club
‹ The template below Geographic location is being considered for deletion See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus ›

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