Belknap County is located in the heart of New Hampshire, and is a great place to visit or live. It is bordered by Lakes Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam, and has a total area of 479 square miles. The county seat is Laconia, and other notable towns include Alton, Belmont, Gilford, Meredith, and Sanbornton. See list of counties in New Hampshire.
The area was first inhabited by Native Americans who were drawn to the area for its abundance of natural resources. In 1763 it was included in the newly formed Province of New Hampshire. The county was officially established in 1840 and named after Dr. Jeremy Belknap who wrote one of the earliest histories of New England.
Belknap County has a population of 60,000 people with a median household income of $53,000 per year. Unemployment is below the national average at 4%. The city boasts an excellent school system that consistently ranks among the best in the state with graduation rates above 90%.
The climate in Belknap County is typical for New England with hot summers and cold winters that can bring snowfall during late fall to early spring months. Summers are mild with average temperatures ranging from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit while winters can reach temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit on occasion.
The landscape of Belknap County features hills covered with lush forests dominated by oak, maple, birch and beech trees as well as plenty of open grasslands perfect for hiking or exploring nature trails. There are also numerous lakes throughout the county including Lake Winnipesaukee which offers fishing, swimming boating and more activities throughout the year.
Belknap County also has a vibrant arts scene with many galleries featuring local artisans as well as several performing arts centers that host concerts from local musicians throughout the year. There are also several museums such as The Wright Museum which celebrates World War II history or The Lakes Region Historical Society which explores local history from colonial times to present day life in Belknap County.
The city also offers plenty of shopping opportunities ranging from boutiques selling handmade crafts to antique stores filled with vintage finds from all over New England. There are also numerous restaurants serving up everything from pub food to fine dining experiences featuring locally-sourced ingredients like fresh seafood caught right off Lake Winnipesaukee’s shores or organic produce grown right here in Belknap County’s fertile soil.
Overall, Belknap County offers something for everyone whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation opportunities like hiking or fishing or cultural attractions such as museums and galleries or just want to relax on one of its many beaches along Lake Winnipesaukee’s shoreline this part of New Hampshire has it all.
History of Belknap County, New Hampshire
Belknap County, New Hampshire is located in the center of the state and is home to nearly 60,000 people. It is bordered by Carroll, Merrimack, Strafford and Grafton counties. The county was established in 1840 from parts of Strafford and Merrimack counties.
The area that would become Belknap County was first settled by colonists from England in 1725. The town of Gilmanton was the first to be established in 1727. Throughout the 18th century, more settlers arrived and more towns were established including Alton (1770), Barnstead (1773), Belmont (1799) and Center Harbor (1800).
In 1805, the town of Meredith was incorporated as part of Strafford County. In 1819, Meredith petitioned to become its own county but it wasn’t until 1840 that Belknap County was officially created. At that time it included all of what is now Belknap County plus parts of what are now Carroll and Grafton counties.
During the 19th century, many industries developed in Belknap County including logging and lumbering operations, granite quarries and small manufacturing operations producing items such as shoes, clothing and furniture. Agriculture also flourished with dairy farms being particularly successful due to an abundance of pastures for grazing cattle.
In 1861, Belknap County provided over 1000 men for service in the Civil War with many serving in regiments from other states due to a lack of organization within New Hampshire at that time. After the war ended there were numerous veterans’ organizations formed throughout the county providing support for those who had served their country.
At the turn of the 20th century tourism began to take off as people flocked to Lake Winnipesaukee for boating activities such as fishing or skiing on its crystal clear waters or simply admiring its beauty from one of its many resorts or grand hotels which had been built around its shores during this time period.
Belknap County has continued to thrive throughout much of the 20th century with a variety of industries developing throughout its towns including paper mills at Laconia and Franklin; gunpowder manufacturing at Alton; boat building at Wolfeboro; electronics manufacturing at Gilford; textiles production at Tilton; apparel making at Laconia; ski resort development at Gunstock Mountain; furniture production at Meredith; airport construction near Laconia; defense contracting near Gilmanton Iron Works; printing operations near Center Harbor; sporting goods making near Gilford ;and medical device manufacturing near Alton Bay . These industries have helped fuel economic growth within Belknap County while maintaining a strong sense of community pride amongst its citizens which continues today.