Gilford, New Hampshire

Coordinates: 43°32′51″N 71°24′26″W / 43.54750°N 71.40722°W / 43.54750; -71.40722
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Gilford, New Hampshire
Kimball Castle and Lake Winnipesaukee c. 1920
Flag of Gilford, New Hampshire
Official seal of Gilford, New Hampshire
Location in Belknap County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°32′51″N 71°24′26″W / 43.54750°N 71.40722°W / 43.54750; -71.40722
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Board of Selectmen
  • J. Kevin Hayes, Chair
  • Dale Channing Eddy
  • Gus Benavides
 • Town AdministratorScott Dunn
 • Total53.6 sq mi (138.7 km2)
 • Land38.8 sq mi (100.5 km2)
 • Water14.7 sq mi (38.2 km2)  27.56%
745 ft (227 m)
 • Total7,699
 • Density198/sq mi (76.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code603
FIPS code33-28740
GNIS feature ID0873603

Gilford is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 7,699 at the 2020 census,[2] up from 7,126 at the 2010 census.[3] Situated on Lake Winnipesaukee, Gilford is home to Governors Island, Ellacoya State Beach, Belknap Mountain State Forest, Gunstock Mountain Resort, and the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, a seasonal outdoor concert venue. The lakeside village of Glendale lies within Gilford's borders.


Settled in 1778 and originally a part of Gilmanton, the town was first called Gunstock Parish. In 1812, Captain Lemuel B. Mason, who had fought in the 1781 Battle of Guilford Court House in North Carolina during the Revolutionary War and subsequently retired to Gunstock Parish, successfully proposed incorporation of a new town to be named Guilford after that battle. The name would later be contracted by clerical error. The original parish name is used by Gunstock Mountain and the ski resort located on it.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 53.6 square miles (138.7 km2), of which 38.8 sq mi (100.5 km2) are land and 14.7 sq mi (38.2 km2) are water, comprising 27.56% of the town.[1] Belknap Mountain, elevation 2,384 feet (727 m) above sea level and the highest point in Gilford as well as Belknap County, is in the south. Much of the town is drained by the Gunstock River, a tributary of Lake Winnipesaukee. Gilford lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[5]

New Hampshire Route 11 crosses the town from east to west, connecting Alton and Rochester to the east with Laconia to the west. NH 11 joins U.S. Route 3 near the western border of Gilford, and together they turn south on the Laconia Bypass, which is largely within the Gilford town limits, traveling southwest towards Tilton and Franklin. New Hampshire Route 11A is an alternate east–west route to NH 11, passing through the center of Gilford and by the entrance to Gunstock Mountain Resort. New Hampshire Route 11B leaves NH 11 near Sanders Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee and proceeds northwest to Weirs Beach in Laconia.

Adjacent municipalities[edit]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[2][6]

As of the 2000 census,[7] there were 6,803 people, 2,766 households, and 2,019 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.6 inhabitants per square mile (67.4/km2). There were 4,312 housing units at an average density of 110.6 per square mile (42.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.32% White, 0.19% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.

There were 2,766 households, out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 21.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.7% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,658, and the median income for a family was $56,554. Males had a median income of $38,839 versus $27,325 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,667. About 2.2% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.


Gilford city election results from state and federal races
Year Office Results
2008 President McCain 50–49%
Senator Sununu 53–46%
House Bradley 52–47%
Governor Lynch 67–32%
2010 Senator Ayotte 67–30%
House Guinta 58–38%
Governor Stephen 50–48%
2012 President Romney 53–46%
House Guinta 50–46%
Governor Hassan 50–48%
2014 Senator Brown 53–46%
House Guinta 56–44%
Governor Havenstein 51–48%
2016 President Trump 54–42%
Senator Ayotte 53–44%
House Guinta 47–40%
Governor Sununu 55–41%
2018 House Edwards 51–48%
Governor Sununu 62–37%
2020 President Trump 52–47%
Senator Shaheen 52–47%
House Mowers 53–45%
Governor Sununu 73–26%
2022 Senator Bolduc 51–47%
House Leavitt 52–47%
Governor Sununu 68–31%

In the New Hampshire Senate, Gilford is in the 7th district, represented by Republican Harold F. French. On the New Hampshire Executive Council, Gilford is in the 1st district, represented by Republican Joseph Kenney. In the United States House of Representatives, Gilford is in New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, represented by Democrat Chris Pappas.

Sites of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files – New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Gilford town, Belknap County, New Hampshire: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  3. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  4. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. p. 500. coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
  5. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.

External links[edit]