Center Harbor, New Hampshire
|Center Harbor, New Hampshire|
|— Town —|
|Motto: Winter Home of the M/S Mt. Washington|
|Belknap County, New Hampshire|
|• Board of Selectmen||Charley Hanson, Chairman
|• Total||16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)|
|• Land||13.4 sq mi (34.7 km2)|
|• Water||3.1 sq mi (8.1 km2) 18.9%|
|Elevation||553 ft (169 m)|
|• Density||66/sq mi ( 26/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0873561|
Center Harbor is a town located in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 1,096, a number which multiplies severalfold during the summer months. It is situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake.
Center Harbor separated from the town of New Hampton, and was first incorporated in 1797. The town gets its name from two sources: from its location, centered between Meredith and Moultonborough harbors, and also from the Senter family, who were owners of a large amount of property in the area. The town was a landing place for lake steamers and stagecoaches, making it a popular summer resort. Center Harbor was a favorite spot of John Greenleaf Whittier, and the home of Dudley Leavitt, author of the first Farmers' Almanac in 1797. Center Harbor is the winter home of the paddle steamer MS Mount Washington, the largest boat on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Center Harbor witnessed the first intercollegiate sporting event in the United States, as Harvard defeated Yale by two lengths in the first Harvard-Yale Regatta on August 3, 1852 on Lake Winnipesaukee.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 16.5 square miles (43 km2). 13.4 sq mi (35 km2) of it is land and 3.1 sq mi (8.0 km2) of it is water, comprising 18.90% of the town. It has several miles of shoreline on Squam Lake and another mile on Lake Winnipesaukee, where its main "harbor" lies. The town center sits eccentrically near Center Harbor's northeast border, where it rises gently from the shore at the junction of New Hampshire Routes 25 and 25B. The highest point in town, Sunset Hill, elevation 1,121 feet (342 m) above sea level, overlooks the town center to the west. Center Harbor lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.
NH 25 passes through the eastern edge of town, including the town center, connecting Meredith to the south with Moultonborough to the northeast. U.S. Route 3 and NH 25 pass north-south through the western part of town, connecting Meredith to the south with Holderness to the northwest. NH 25B leads from the town center west to US 3 and NH 25, forming a short-cut for through-travelers on NH 25.
The Proctor Wildlife Sanctuary, owned by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, occupies 47 acres (19 ha) of woodlands northwest of the town center. Adjacent to this property is Center Harbor Woods, a 225 acres (91 ha) conservation area owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust and protected by a conservation easement held by the Squam Lakes Conservation Society and the town of Center Harbor. The two properties abut a third conservation property in neighboring Moultonborough, resulting in a block of protected woodland comprising nearly 400 acres (160 ha).
As of the census of 2000, there were 996 people, 414 households, and 293 families residing in the town. The population density is 74.4 people per square mile (28.7/km²). There are 653 housing units at an average density of 48.8 per square mile (18.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 98.80% White, 1.00% Hispanic or Latino and 0.80% Asian.
There are 414 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% are married couples living together, 9.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% are non-families. 22.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 2.75.
In the town the population is spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 45 years. For every 100 females there are 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 101.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $51,806, and the median income for a family is $55,938. Males have a median income of $35,526 versus $24,231 for females. The per capita income for the town is $25,627. 6.7% of the population and 4.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.4% of those under the age of 18 and 5.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Aside from small dairy and truck farms, the community's main industry is tourism. Restaurants and motels dot the shoreline, with a beach and playground at the town's center which is shared by residents of Moultonborough. The economy is booming, with the historic E.M Heath Grocery Store tripled in size, and now joined in town by Bayswater Book Co., Sam and Rosies Cafe and Bakery, Wild Meadow Canoe and Kayak Outfitter, Yikes Art Gallery, and Keepsakes Quilters. Upscale restaurants have opened, including Canoe and the Coe House, established in a landmark building.
Center Harbor's one-room schoolhouse closed in the 1970s, and students now attend Inter-Lakes Elementary and Inter-Lakes Junior-Senior High in Meredith, joining students from that town and from Sandwich. During the period 1963 - 1973, a college existed in Center Harbor. Named Belknap College, it occupied several locations in town, using old hotels for dorms, though the academic campus was located several miles away. Anchored by a mansion now used for the New Hampshire Music Festival, and several other buildings, the campus was a center of activity.
The town is also the home of Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, an all-male Roman Catholic boarding school, educating between 80-100 students from grades 7 to 12. It is sponsored by the Legionaries of Christ, a religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church.
Notable people 
Center Harbor hosts a Fourth of July celebration featuring a road race (including a children's race around the library), parade, band concert, and fireworks over the lake. In the winter, the town is a stop for snowmobile enthusiasts.
- United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- "Dudley Leavitt of Center Harbor, NH". Lake Winnipesaukee Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- McKenna, Robert (2003). The Dictionary of Nautical Literacy. McGraw-Hill Professional Reference. p. 157. ISBN 0-07-141950-0
- Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; and Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Town of Center Harbor official website
- James E. Nichols Memorial Library
- Center Harbor - NHLiving Magazine
- New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile