Grafton, New Hampshire

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Grafton, New Hampshire
Grafton Center c. 1909
Grafton Center c. 1909
Official seal of Grafton, New Hampshire
Location in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°34′24″N 71°58′26″W / 43.57333°N 71.97389°W / 43.57333; -71.97389Coordinates: 43°34′24″N 71°58′26″W / 43.57333°N 71.97389°W / 43.57333; -71.97389
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
Grafton Center
East Grafton
 • Board of SelectmenSteve Darrow, Chair
Jennie Joyce
Cindy Kudlik
 • Total42.6 sq mi (110.4 km2)
 • Land41.7 sq mi (107.9 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)  2.19%
870 ft (265 m)
 • Total1,340
 • Density31/sq mi (12/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-30820
GNIS feature ID0873609

Grafton is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,340 at the 2010 census.[1]


Originally granted in 1761, and re-granted in 1769, Grafton, like the county it resides in, takes its name from Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton,[2] a relative of colonial governor Benning Wentworth. Grafton was incorporated in 1778.[citation needed]

Historically, Grafton's economic base consisted of subsistence farming, small-scale industry, and mining. Several mica mines and granite quarries once dotted the town's landscape, most notably Ruggles Mine.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.6 square miles (110.3 km2), of which 41.7 square miles (108.0 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) is water, comprising 2.19% of the town.[3] The highest point in Grafton is the summit of Melvin Mountain, at 2,177 feet (664 m) above sea level. Grafton Pond is in the western part of town. Grafton lies mostly within the Merrimack River watershed, though the western edge of town is in the Connecticut River watershed.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2017 (est.)1,330[5]−0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,340 people, 564 households, and 372 families residing in the town. The population density was 32.1 people per square mile (12.4/km2). There were 839 housing units at an average density of 20.1 per square mile (7.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% some other race, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.[1]

There were 564 households, out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were headed by married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.0% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.4% consisted of someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38, and the average family size was 2.84.[1]

In the town, the population was spread out, with 18.8% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 36.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.[1]

At the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the town was $38,654, and the median income for a family was $41,875. Males had a median income of $30,074 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,944. About 4.2% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.


Grafton is governed by a three-person select board.


Grafton County, within which the town of Grafton resides, ranks number 100 in terms of highest property taxes levied in the United States.[7] As of 2019, Grafton itself has the 16th highest property tax rate in the state of New Hampshire.[8]

Grafton was once an active hub for libertarians in the Free Town Project, an offshoot of the Free State Project. Grafton's appeal as a favorable destination was due to its absence of zoning laws and a very low property tax rate.[9] Grafton was the focus of a movement begun by members of the Free State Project that sought to encourage libertarians to move to the town.[10] The project ended in 2016.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Sites of interest[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Grafton town, Grafton County, New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  2. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 140.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001) – Grafton town, New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 10, 2011.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Grafton County New Hampshire Property Taxes - 2020". Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  8. ^ "New Hampshire 2019 Property Tax Rates | NH Town Property Taxes". Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  9. ^ "FAQ's about Property Taxes and Assessments". Town of Grafton, NH.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Hongoltz-Hetling, Matthew (2020). A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears). Public Affairs. ISBN 9781541788510.
  11. ^ Illing, Sean (2020-12-10). "How a New Hampshire libertarian utopia was foiled by bears". Vox. Retrieved 2020-12-11.

External links[edit]