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Hollis, New Hampshire

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Hollis is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States The population was 7,684 at the 2010 census1 The town center village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Hollis Village Historic District


  • 1 History
    • 11 Town name
    • 12 First settlers
    • 13 Notable events
    • 14 Notable facts
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Climate
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 Historical population change
  • 4 Culture
    • 41 Old Home Days
    • 42 Hollis Strawberry Festival
    • 43 Hollis Apple Festival
  • 5 Government
  • 6 Education
  • 7 Notable people
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


Town nameedit

According to Samuel T Worcester's history2 which was commissioned by the town selectmen in 1878, the town was incorporated in the province of New Hampshire on April 3, 1746, "to have continence forever by the name of Holles"2

Worcester argues that, at the time of the charter, Governor Benning Wentworth was indebted to Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle for his appointment as governor According to Worcester, it was "very much the custom with Gov Wentworth" to name towns in honor of his friends and patrons Thus in the same year, the towns of Pelham and Holles were incorporated, and named after the duke Worcester cites a Mr Bancroft who,

"in his history, says of him Newcastle that he was of so feeble a head, and so treacherous a heart that Sir Robert Walpole called his name 'Perfidy'; that Lord Halifax used to revile him as a knave and fool, and that he was so ignorant of this continent, that it was said of him, that he addressed his letters to the 'Island of New England'"

Thomas Hollis 1659–1731 was a major benefactor of Harvard College According to Worcester, about the year 1775, town records started appearing with the town's name spelled as "Hollis", after Thomas Hollis Both spellings were used until about 1815, after which only the name "Hollis" appears, "while Holles, the name of the Duke of Newcastle, has passed into merited oblivion"

First settlersedit

Peter Powers settlement marker

Captain Peter Powers 1707–1757, his wife Anna Keyes 1708–1798, and their two children Peter 1729–1800 and Stephen b 1729 were the first settlers of Hollis in 1731 In 1732, the Powers birthed the first child in Hollis, a daughter, also named Anna3:230, 249 According to Spaulding's history,4:5 Powers "became a noted backwoodsman and colonial land surveyor," and eventually accrued approximately 1,500 acres 610 ha in the north part of Hollis Powers was also a militia officer in the French and Indian Wars and was commissioned captain by Governor Wentworth4:5

The younger Peter was the first college graduate from Hollis, matriculating from Harvard in 1754 He served as pastor of churches throughout New England and died at the age of 71 in Deer Island, Maine2:287

Notable eventsedit

  • From its charter in 1746 until about 1763, Hollis was engaged in a running border dispute with Dunstable now Nashua, New Hampshire over a small settlement at "One Pine Hill", near Flint Pond The General Court eventually resolved the dispute in favor of Hollis2:74-80
  • In 1769, a strip one and a quarter miles wide on the western border of Hollis was incorporated into the new town of Raby In 1785, the General Court granted a petition of Raby to annex an additional three-quarters of a mile of the western Hollis border In 1796, the name of Raby was changed to Brookline2:89-92
  • In 1770, by act of the General Court, Hollis annexed a portion of the town of Monson when its charter was repealed by its own request2:89
  • In 1773, Hollis acquired some 500 acres 200 ha more land from Dunstable in a dispute over the building and upkeep of a bridge over the Nashua River2:80-84
  • In 1794, the town of Milford was incorporated, subsuming an area of 1,000 to 1,500 acres 400 to 610 ha from the northwest corner of Hollis, resulting in a total size, by an 1806 survey, of some 3067 square miles 794 km2

Notable factsedit

The following is from Worcester's History of Hollis:

  • When Hollis was incorporated, the town tax list comprised 54 families
  • By 1760, that number had risen to over 105 families2:100
  • In 1767, two of the 384 slaves in New Hampshire resided in Hollis In 1775, four of the 656 slaves in New Hampshire resided in Hollis2:116
  • The first trial for murder in Hillsborough County was of Israel Wilkins Jr, of Hollis, for the murder of his father, Israel Wilkins Sr, on November 2, 17725 The elder Wilkins died of "a blow upon the headof the length three inches and the depth of one inch" Wilkins Jr was found guilty of man-slaughter, pleaded benefit of clergy, and was subsequently branded upon the thumb with the letter "T", and forced to forfeit all his goods to the King2:125
  • Two-thirds of the grantees of the charter for the town of Plymouth, New Hampshire, were from Hollis, causing Worcester to refer to it as "A Hollis Colony"2:
  • Eight Hollis residents were killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill2:154
  • 125 Hollis men were in the army in whole or in part during the year 1776, approximately one tenth of the population2:167
  • 22 Hollis men died while in the army during the Revolutionary War2:202
  • In 1820, Hollis had five grain mills, six saw mills, one clothing mill, two taverns and four stores By 1878, it had one grain mill, no saw or clothing mills, no taverns, and one store2:266


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 323 square miles 84 km2, of which 318 sq mi 82 km2 is land and 06 sq mi 16 km2 is water, comprising 176% of the town The highest point in Hollis is the summit of Birch Hill, at 821 feet 250 m above sea level, located near the town's western border

The Nashua River flows through the southeast corner of the town out of Pepperell, Massachusetts and into Nashua The Nissitissit River flows through the western part of the town Hollis lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed6


Hollis is in USDA plant hardiness zone 5A7 The closest NOAA climate station is in Nashua The nearby table shows applicable temperature and precipitation data by month

Climate data for Hollis, NH Nashua, NH Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 334 365 454 570 691 775 825 806 724 614 498 381 586
Daily mean °F 228 256 349 456 570 659 708 690 605 491 394 283 474
Average low °F 121 146 244 341 449 542 591 573 486 368 289 184 361
Average precipitation inches 386 309 407 392 366 391 370 378 363 393 417 371 4543
Average snowfall inches 157 144 110 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 33 124 587
Average high °C 08 25 74 139 206 253 281 27 224 163 99 34 148
Daily mean °C −51 −36 16 76 139 188 216 206 158 95 41 −21 86
Average low °C −111 −97 −42 12 72 123 151 141 92 27 −17 −76 23
Average precipitation mm 98 785 1034 996 93 993 94 96 922 998 1059 942 1,1539
Average snowfall cm 399 366 279 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 84 315 1491
Average precipitation days ≥ 001 in 98 88 107 104 113 112 100 94 93 94 107 101 1211
Source: NOAA Climate Data for Nashua NH 8


Hollis population by age

  Under 18 296%   18 to 24 38%   25 to 44 285%   45 to 64 298%   65+ 83%

As with many of the towns on the New Hampshire border with Massachusetts, Hollis is rapidly changing from mixed-use farmland apple orchards, corn, pumpkins, and other vegetables to a bedroom community for the 54% of working residents who work elsewhere in New Hampshire, and the 30% who work out of state9 Significant new development projects continue to be started, to the concern of some of the longer-term residents who have concerns about pressure on the town's school system and impact on open spacecitation needed

As of the census10 of 2000, there were 7,015 people, 2,440 households, and 2,025 families residing in the town The population density was 2210 people per square mile 853/km² There were 2,491 housing units at an average density of 785 per square mile 303/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9659% White, 044% African American, 011% Native American, 165% Asian, 001% Pacific Islander, 017% from other races, and 101% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 093% of the population

There were 2,440 households out of which 420% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 749% were married couples living together, 58% had a female householder with no husband present, and 170% were non-families 134% of all households were made up of individuals and 48% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 288 and the average family size was 316

In the town, the population was spread out with 296% under the age of 18, 38% from 18 to 24, 285% from 25 to 44, 298% from 45 to 64, and 83% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 40 years For every 100 females there were 990 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 980 males

The median income for a household in the town was $92,847, and the median income for a family was $104,737 Males had a median income of $76,025 versus $46,161 for females The per capita income for the town was $44,936 About 28% of families and 26% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17% of those under age 18 and 36% of those age 65 or over

Historical population changeedit

Year Pop ±%
1767 809 —    
1775 1,255 +551%
1783 1,392 +109%
1790 1,441 +35%
1800 1,557 +80%
1810 1,529 −18%
1820 1,543 +09%
1830 1,501 −27%
1840 1,333 −112%
1850 1,293 −30%
1860 1,370 +60%
1870 1,079 −212%
1880 1,077 −02%
1890 1,000 −71%
1900 910 −90%
1910 935 +27%
1920 775 −171%
1930 870 +123%
1940 996 +145%
1950 1,196 +201%
1960 1,720 +438%
1970 2,616 +521%
1980 4,679 +789%
1990 5,705 +219%
2000 7,017 +230%
2010 7,684 +95%
2015 7,770 +11%
Source: US Decennial Census11
Historical Population of Hollis, NH

The table to the right and nearby chart, taken primarily from historical data from the US Census Bureau,12 shows the population of Hollis from 1767 through 201013 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

After nearly doubling in population over the last 33 years of the 18th century, Hollis' population consistently declined excepting only the decade of the 1850s and the first decade of the 20th century for 120 years, not returning to the levels of 1800 until sometime during the 1950s Since 1930, Hollis' population has consistently grown, particularly during the 1950s, '60s, and '70s


Hollis has a number of town traditions and celebrations characteristic of old New England towns, including two harvest festivals and the annual celebration "Old Home Days"

Old Home Daysedit

Hollis Old Home Days is "an annual weekend celebration of the days of 'Hollis Past'"31 "Old Home Days" were originally established in New Hampshire in 1899, by then Governor Frank West Rollins, in an attempt to draw people back to New Hampshire towns Hollis Old Home Days was reestablished in 1996 in commemoration of the town's 250th anniversary32 The 2010 event included "amusement rides, parade, barbecue, silent auction, booths, fireworks, live music, balloon rides, pet parade, heritage craft demonstrations" and various other activities33 It is generally held over the second weekend in September at Nichols Field in downtown Hollis34

Hollis Strawberry Festivaledit

The annual Strawberry Festival each June comprises a concert by the town band accompanied by a variety of strawberry-based treats for sale including strawberry shortcake, pie and ice cream made from locally grown strawberries35

Hollis Apple Festivaledit

The Hollis Apple Festival is held each year in October and includes a concert by the Hollis Town Band3637 The festival previously included the Applefest Half Marathon, first run in 198338 In 2008, it was named "Race of the Year" by New England Runner39 The Applefest was co-hosted by the Hollis Women's Club36


As of 2010, Hollis was part of the following state and federal legislative and executive districts:

Body District Extent
New Hampshire House of Representatives Hillsborough 27 and 40 District 40 includes Milford, Mont Vernon, and New Boston40
New Hampshire Senate 12 Including Rindge, New Ipswich, Greenville, Mason, Brookline, Hollis, and part of Nashua41
Executive Council of New Hampshire 5 Southwestern New Hampshire from Swanzey to Hudson and north to Hillsborough42
US Congress 2 Western New Hampshire including Nashua, Concord, Plymouth and Keene and north to the Canada–US border43


There are four schools in Hollis, two of which are part of the Hollis/Brookline Cooperative School District Hollis Primary School serves kindergarten through third grade, and Hollis Upper Elementary School serves grades four through six Hollis/Brookline Middle School serves seventh and eighth grade and Hollis/Brookline High School serves grades nine through twelve For many years, the current primary school was known as Hollis Elementary School and served kindergarten through grade six The current Middle School known as Hollis/Brookline Junior High School until 2001 was formerly Hollis/Brookline High School but proved far too small for the number of students attending A new building was built and became the Hollis/Brookline Junior High School However, the three buildings were still insufficient, and a new high school was opened in 1998 The former high school became the current middle school, the former middle school became Hollis Upper Elementary, and the former Hollis Elementary became Hollis Primary Recently, with the finishing of the newly constructed Montessori building, a new method of education has opened with the school

The historic Farley Building formerly known as simply the "White Building" is the original Hollis High School built in 1877 and continued to be used as a school building through the 2005-2006 school year During this last year for the Farley Building, it contained classrooms for English, social studies, art, French, and Spanish The Town of Hollis acquired the Farley Building from the Hollis School District in August, 2007

Hollis Primary School K-3 Hollis/Brookline Middle School 7-8 The Farley Building Historic Hollis/Brookline High School 9-12

Notable peopleedit

  • Russell Findlay, first Chief Marketing Officer of Major League Soccer, grew up in Hollis
  • Frank Merrill, remembered for his command of Merrill's Marauders, officially the 5307th Composite Unit provisional, in the Burma Campaign of World War II
  • Endicott Peabody, former Massachusetts governor, spent his final years in Hollis after retiring from politics
  • Warren Rudman, former US senator from New Hampshire, also lived in Hollis after retirement from politics
  • Our Last Night, post-hardcore band


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Worcester, Samuel T History of the Town of Hollis New Hampshire From its First Settlement to the Year 1879 University of Michigan: Press of OC Moore, Book and Job Printer 
  3. ^ Fox, Charles James 1846 History of the Old Township of Dunstable Google Books: Charles T Gill 
  4. ^ a b Spaulding, Charles S 1925 An account of some of the early settlers of West Dunstable, Monson and Hollis NH Harvard College Library: The Telegraph Press, Nashua NH 
  5. ^ "Bi-centennial of Old Dunstable: Address by Hon ST Worcester, October 27, 1873 Also Colonel Bancroft's Personal Narrative of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and Some Notices of Persons and Families of the Early Times of Dunstable, Including Welds, Tyngs, Lovewells, Farwells, Fletchers, Bancrofts, Joneses and Cutlers"; cited by Google Books
  6. ^ 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 
  7. ^ "USDA Hardiness Zone Finder" National Gardening Association Retrieved May 1, 2011 
  8. ^ "Cinematography of the United States No 20 1971-2000, Nashua 2 NNW, NH" PDF US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Environmental Satellite Data, and Information Service Retrieved May 1, 2011 
  9. ^ "Hollis NH" State of New Hampshire Retrieved 7 May 2011 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Archived from the original on May 12, 2015 Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  12. ^ Historical Census Data "Census of Population and Housing" US Census Bureau Archived from the original on 8 February 2006 Retrieved 2 May 2011 
  13. ^ See Worcester, pg 269, for data for the years 1767 through 1783, and also for 1810, 1830 and 1840
  14. ^ 1790 New Hampshire Census 1907 First Census of the United States 1790 New Hampshire Washington: US Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of Census, Government Printing Office p 9 
  15. ^ 1800 US Census 1801 Return of the Whole Number of Persons within the Several Districts of the United States according to 'An act providing for the second Census of Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States' PDF p 4 
  16. ^ 1820 US Census 1811 Census for 1820 Washington DC: Gales&Seaton p 29 
  17. ^ 1850 US Census 1853 The Seventh Census of the United States, Volume 5 Robert p 21 
  18. ^ 1860 US Census 1864 Population of the United States in 1860, compiled from the original returns of the 8th Census Washington, DC: Government Printing Office p 308 
  19. ^ 1870 US Census 1872 Ninth Census Volume 1, The Statistics of the Population of the United States Washington, DC: Government Printing Office p 200 
  20. ^ 1880 US Census 1885 Compendium of the 10th Census June 1, 1880, Part 1 PDF Washington, DC: Government Printing Office p 220 
  21. ^ 1900 US Census 1901 Census Reports Volume 1, Twelfth Census of the United States, Taken in the Year 1900, Population, Part 1 Washington, DC: US Census Office p 266 
  22. ^ Data for 1890 taken from 1900 census table
  23. ^ 1930 US Census "Fifteenth Census of the United States - 1930 - Population Volume 1 Number and Distribution of Inhabitants" p 704 Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  24. ^ Data for 1910 and 1920 taken from 1930 Census table
  25. ^ 1950 US Census 1952 A Report on the 17th Decennial Census of the United States, Census of Population: 1950, Volume 1, Number of Inhabitants Washington: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census pp 29–6 
  26. ^ Data for 1940 taken from 1950 Census table
  27. ^ 1960 US Census 1963 The 18th Decennial Census of the United States, Census of Population: 1960, Volume 1 Characteristics of Population, Part 31 New Hampshire Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office pp 31–9 
  28. ^ 1990 US Census "1990 Census of Population and Housing, Population and Housing Counts, New Hampshire" PDF US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census p 10 Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  29. ^ Data for 1970 and 1980 taken from 1990 Census table
  30. ^ American Fact Finder "Hollis town, Hillsborough County New Hampshire" US Bureau of Census Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  31. ^ "Old Home Days" Retrieved 13 May 2011 
  32. ^ Telegraph "Hollis Old Home Days focus on the best the town has to offer" The Telegraph, Hudson, NH Retrieved 4 May 2011 
  33. ^ Old Home Days "Hollis Old Home Days" Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  34. ^ Old Home Days "Old Home Days" Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  35. ^ "Hollis Town Band Strawberry Festival" Retrieved 13 May 2011 
  36. ^ a b "Hollis Town Band Apple Festival" Retrieved 13 May 2011 
  37. ^ "Applefest Half Marathon" GateCity Striders Retrieved 13 May 2011 
  38. ^ Applefest Half Marathon "Applefest Half-Marathon - Hollis, New Hampshire" Retrieved 3 May 2011 
  39. ^ New England Runner "Race of the Year - The Applefest Half Marathon" New England Runner Retrieved 4 May 2011 
  40. ^ "Political Districts: New Hampshire House of Representatives" PDF NH Office of Energy and Planning Retrieved April 14, 2017 
  41. ^ "Political Districts: New Hampshire Senate" PDF NH Office of Energy and Planning Retrieved April 14, 2017 
  42. ^ "Political Districts: New Hampshire Executive Council" PDF NH Office of Energy and Planning Retrieved April 14, 2017 
  43. ^ "Political Districts: US Congressional Districts" PDF NH Office of Energy and Planning Retrieved April 14, 2017 

External linksedit

  • Town of Hollis official website
  • Hollis Historical Society
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
  • SAU 41, Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District
  • Hollis Brookline High School
‹ The template below Geographic location is being considered for deletion See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus ›

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