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Plainfield, New Hampshire

plainfield new hampshire county, plainfield new hampshire historical society
Plainfield is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States At the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 2,3641 The town is home to the Helen Woodruff Smith Bird Sanctuary and Annie Duncan State Forest

The central settlement in town, where 205 people resided at the 2010 census,1 is defined as the Plainfield census-designated place CDP and is located along New Hampshire Route 12A Plainfield includes the village of Meriden, home to Kimball Union Academy, a private preparatory school


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


The town was first settled by a group from Plainfield, Connecticut It was one of the towns incorporated by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1761, at the beginning of the reign of King George III A part of Plainfield known as Meriden Parish, named for the farm of Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher, became the site of Kimball Union Academy, built in 18132

Plainfield lies on the northern edge of the enclave known as the Cornish Art Colony, which existed between 1885 and 1930 Maxfield Parrish painted the stage backdrop in the Plainfield Town Hall3 Parrish purchased land close to his parents' estate in 1898, at the age of 28, and relocated after leaving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania He designed and built his home, The Oaks, over several years, eventually also designing and building an elaborate studio some distance behind the house Parrish lived in Plainfield for 67 years, with the exception of a several-month period in Arizona, and a nine-month period when he resided and worked in New York Citycitation needed In 1910, Ernest Harold Baynes founded the Meriden Bird Club, the first institution of its type in the nation


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 529 square miles 137 km2, of which 522 sq mi 135 km2 is land and 08 sq mi 21 km2 is water, comprising 142% of the town Bounded on the west by the Connecticut River, Plainfield is drained by Blood's Brook and Blow-me-down Brook Croydon Mountain is a high ridge that occupies the eastern edge of the town Grantham Mountain, a peak along the ridge, is the highest point in Plainfield at 2,660 feet 810 m above sea level

The town is crossed by the north-south state routes 12A and 120 Route 12A, serving the western part of the town, passes through the village of Plainfield Route 120, passing through the eastern part of the town, serves the village of Meriden


Historical population
1790 1,024
1800 1,435 401%
1810 1,463 20%
1820 1,460 −02%
1830 1,581 83%
1840 1,552 −18%
1850 1,392 −103%
1860 1,620 164%
1870 1,589 −19%
1880 1,372 −137%
1890 1,173 −145%
1900 1,114 −50%
1910 987 −114%
1920 853 −136%
1930 858 06%
1940 970 131%
1950 1,011 42%
1960 1,071 59%
1970 1,323 235%
1980 1,749 322%
1990 2,056 176%
2000 2,241 90%
2010 2,364 55%
Est 2015 2,352 −05%
US Decennial Census5

As of the census6 of 2000, there were 2,241 people, 844 households, and 663 families residing in the town The population density was 430 people per square mile 166/km² There were 877 housing units at an average density of 168 per square mile 65/km² The racial makeup of the town was 9808% White, 027% African American, 040% Native American, 040% Asian, 004% Pacific Islander, 027% from other races, and 054% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino of any race were 036% of the population

There were 844 households out of which 376% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 680% were married couples living together, 70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 214% were non-families 162% of all households were made up of individuals and 53% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 266 and the average family size was 298

In the town, the population was spread out with 254% under the age of 18, 50% from 18 to 24, 305% from 25 to 44, 290% from 45 to 64, and 102% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 40 years For every 100 females there were 1028 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 993 males

The median income for a household in the town was $57,083, and the median income for a family was $61,205 Males had a median income of $36,968 versus $29,491 for females The per capita income for the town was $26,062 About 18% of families and 28% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16% of those under age 18 and 47% of those age 65 or over

Notable peopleedit

  • Ethel Barrymore, actress summer resident7
  • Stephen Breyer, justice of the supreme court vacation homecitation needed
  • Edward and Elaine Brown, tax protesters
  • Ben Cherington, vice-general manager of the Toronto Blue Jayscitation needed
  • Kathryn Woodman Leighton, artist
  • Dennis Meadows, former director of UNH Institute for Policy and Social Science Research, coauthor of The Limits to Growth
  • Donella Meadows, farmer, MacArthur Fellow, author of The Limits to Growth8
  • Maxfield Parrish, artist and illustrator
  • Will Sheff, musiciancitation needed
  • Ellen Biddle Shipman, landscape architect
  • Evan Shipman, horse racing authority summer resident
  • Hollis Smith, businessman and Canadian politician
  • Peter C Whybrow, author, psychiatrist, and director of the Semel Institute at UCLA
  • Willard Metcalf, impressionist painter, seasonally between 1910 and 1920


  1. ^ a b United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. ^ Coolidge, Austin J; John B Mansfield 1859 A History and Description of New England Boston, Massachusetts pp 618–619 
  3. ^ Cornish Arts Colony in Cornish and Plainfield, New Hampshire 1885-1930
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing" Censusgov Retrieved June 4, 2016 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  7. ^ "AWAY FOR THE WEEKEND" NY Daily News Retrieved 2016-02-28 
  8. ^ Teltsch, Kathleen June 14, 1994 "5 New Yorkers Among MacArthur Recipients" New York Times Retrieved April 9, 2017 

External linksedit

  • Town of Plainfield official website
  • Philip Read Memorial Library
  • Plainfield Historical Society
  • New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
  • Plainfield, New Hampshire at City-Datacom
  • Kimball Union Academy
‹ The template below Geographic location is being considered for deletion See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus ›

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