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Nelson, New Hampshire

nelson new hampshire contra dance, nelson new hampshire world war ii honor roll
Nelson is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States The population was 729 at the 2010 census1 Nelson includes the village of Munsonville


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


The Common c 1914

Originally named Monadnock No 6, the town was granted in 1752 by Governor Benning Wentworth It was first settled in 1767 by Breed Batchelder On February 22, 1774, the town was incorporated by Governor John Wentworth as Packersfield, after a major proprietor, Thomas Packer, the sheriff at Portsmouth The name was changed in 1814 to Nelson in honor of Viscount Horatio Nelson, British admiral and naval hero2

Located on the height of land separating the watersheds of the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers, Nelson became primarily an agricultural community The uneven surface proved good for grazing But with streams rising from four ponds to provide water power, it also developed industry The village of Munsonville, situated on the stage line at the outlet of Granite Lake, manufactured cotton cloth and chairs The L J Colony Chair Co produced between 25,000 and 30,000 chairs annually, hiring women and children from local farms to weave the rattan seats and backs At one time, Munsonville had 1,000 homesteads and 10 school districts The mills have since closed, and Munsonville is today a resort of summer homes3

Nelson is the home of a popular Monday night contradance Similar dances have been held for over 200 years in Nelson's town hall4 Many make the claim that this is the longest running public contradance in the world,5 6 though there have been no attempts to document this as an "official" record7 The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, a classical chamber music group which attempts to bring members of cultures in conflict such as Israelis and Palestinians closer together through music, is also in Nelson


Nelson is located in the eastern part of Cheshire County, in southwestern New Hampshire Its eastern border is the Hillsborough County line According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 232 square miles 60 km2, of which 219 sq mi 57 km2 is land and 14 sq mi 36 km2 is water, comprising 594% of the town The eastern part of the town drains towards the Contoocook River, a tributary of the Merrimack River and part of the Gulf of Maine watershed, while the western part of the town feeds tributaries of the Ashuelot River, part of the Connecticut River watershed draining to Long Island Sound Spoonwood Pond and part of Nubanusit Lake are in the east Part of Silver Lake is in the south, and part of Granite Lake is in the north The village of Munsonville is located at the outlet of Granite Lake The highest point in Nelson is the summit of Osgood Hill also known as Nelson Pinnacle, with an elevation of 2,253 feet 687 m above sea level

The town is crossed by the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, a 50-mile 80 km hiking trail that traverses the highlands of southern New Hampshire from Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey to Mount Sunapee in Newbury The trail passes directly through the center of Nelson

The town is crossed by New Hampshire Route 9


Historical population
1790 721
1800 977 355%
1810 1,076 101%
1820 907 −157%
1830 875 −35%
1840 835 −46%
1850 750 −102%
1860 699 −68%
1870 744 64%
1880 438 −411%
1890 332 −242%
1900 295 −111%
1910 231 −217%
1920 171 −260%
1930 162 −53%
1940 282 741%
1950 231 −181%
1960 222 −39%
1970 304 369%
1980 442 454%
1990 535 210%
2000 634 185%
2010 729 150%
Est 2015 717 −16%
US Decennial Census9

As of the census10 of 2000, there were 634 people, 247 households, and 162 families residing in the town The population density was 290 people per square mile 112/km² There were 400 housing units at an average density of 183 per square mile 71/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9748% White, 063% African American, 032% Native American, 016% from other races, and 142% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 158% of the population

There were 247 households out of which 336% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 595% were married couples living together, 40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 344% were non-families 263% of all households were made up of individuals and 65% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 257 and the average family size was 319

In the town, the population was spread out with 271% under the age of 18, 62% from 18 to 24, 297% from 25 to 44, 263% from 45 to 64, and 107% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 39 years For every 100 females there were 1052 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 1017 males

The median income for a household in the town was $41,250, and the median income for a family was $59,464 Males had a median income of $40,577 versus $25,000 for females The per capita income for the town was $31,625 About 92% of families and 122% of the population were below the poverty line, including 163% of those under age 18 and 32% of those age 65 or over

Notable peopleedit

  • Charles Eastman, Native American physician and writercitation needed
  • Alfred B Kittredge, US senator from South Dakota
  • May Sarton, poet and writer


  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ Austin J Coolidge & John B Mansfield, A History and Description of New England; Boston, Massachusetts 1859
  3. ^ Alan F Rumrill, The Power of Water: Munsonville from 1850-1950
  4. ^ http://wwwconcertinanet/forums/indexphpshowtopic=1136
  5. ^ https://wwwflickrcom/photos/jeanette_mill/2215963864/
  6. ^ http://wwwfosterscom/apps/pbcsdll/articleAID=2012701169949
  7. ^ http://wwwcowhampshireblogcom/2006/09/17/nelson-new-hampshires-moment-in-the-guinness-world-record-book/
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 

External linksedit

  • Town of Nelson official website
  • Olivia Rodham Memorial Library
  • Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music
  • Moving In Step: A Community Project
  • 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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