Lancaster, New Hampshire

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Lancaster, New Hampshire
Town
Main Street
Main Street
Official seal of Lancaster, New Hampshire
Motto(s): 
"The friendly town in the friendly state"
Location in Coös County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 44°29′20″N 71°34′09″W / 44.48889°N 71.56917°W / 44.48889; -71.56917Coordinates: 44°29′20″N 71°34′09″W / 44.48889°N 71.56917°W / 44.48889; -71.56917
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
CountyCoös
Incorporated1763
VillagesLancaster
Coos Junction
Grange
South Lancaster
Government
 • Select BoardLeon Rideout
Shane Beattie
Troy Merner
 • Town ManagerBen Gaetjens-Oleson
Area
 • Total51.1 sq mi (132.3 km2)
 • Land50.0 sq mi (129.4 km2)
 • Water1.1 sq mi (2.9 km2)  2.19%
Elevation
863 ft (263 m)
Population
 (2020)[2]
 • Total3,218
 • Density64/sq mi (24.9/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
03584
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-40420
GNIS feature ID0873640
Websitewww.lancasternh.org

Lancaster is a town located along the Connecticut River in Coös County, New Hampshire, United States. The town is named after the city of Lancaster in England. As of the 2020 census, the town population was 3,218,[2] the second largest in the county after Berlin. It is the county seat of Coos County and gateway to the Great North Woods Region of the state. Lancaster, which includes the villages of Grange and South Lancaster, is home to Weeks State Park and the Lancaster Fair. Part of the White Mountain National Forest is in the eastern portion. The town is part of the Berlin, NH−VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The main village in town, where 1,941 people resided at the 2020 census, is defined as the Lancaster census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the junctions of U.S. Route 3 and U.S. Route 2, along the Israel River.

Lancaster is the site of the "PorcFest", an annual festival of the Free State Project that draws thousands of visitors each year.[3][4]

History[edit]

Granted as "Upper Coos" in 1763 by colonial Governor Benning Wentworth to Captain David Page of Petersham, Massachusetts, the town was settled in 1764 by his son, David Page, Jr. and Emmons Stockwell. It was the first settlement north of Haverhill, New Hampshire, 50 miles (80 km) to the south, and originally included land in what is now Vermont. Situated on the northern Connecticut River, the community endured many Indian hostilities. It would be named for Lancaster, Massachusetts, hometown of an early inhabitant. Reverend Joshua Weeks, a grantee of the town, was among the group of explorers who named the mountains of the Presidential Range. Other grantees were Timothy Nash and Benjamin Sawyer, who discovered Crawford Notch in 1771, making a shorter route to Portland, Maine, possible.

Many water-powered mills have come and gone, including sawmills, several potato starch mills, one of the largest gristmills in the state, and carriage factories. A granite quarry operated in the Kilkenny Range. With fertile meadows beside the Connecticut River, Lancaster was in 1874 the twelfth most productive agricultural town in the state. An extension of the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad shipped products to market, and brought tourists to the grand hotels in the area.

Just south of the village center is Mount Prospect, summer home to Senator John W. Weeks, who sponsored congressional legislation creating White Mountain National Forest. In 1910, he purchased several farms to assemble the 420-acre (170 ha) estate. It is now Weeks State Park, which features a fire lookout and his mansion, open for tours during the summer. A ski rope tow operates on the slope in winter. Many of the White Mountains and Green Mountains can be seen from the stone observation tower built in 1912 atop the 2,059-foot (628 m) summit. The Presidential Range is to the southeast, with the Franconia Range to the south. Mount Weeks, elevation 3,900 ft (1,200 m), is in the Kilkenny Range to the northeast. It is named for the senator, as is the Weeks Medical Center. Weeks Memorial Library, a Beaux Arts landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, was given by John W. Weeks in memory of his father, William Dennis Weeks.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.1 square miles (132.3 km2), of which 50.0 square miles (129.5 km2) are land and {{convert|2.9|sqkmi|order=flip} are water, comprising 2.19% of the town.[1]

Lancaster is drained by the Israel River, and is fully within the Connecticut River watershed.[5] The Connecticut River forms the northwest border of the town, as well as the border with Vermont. The town also includes Martin Meadow Pond. Lancaster's highest point is located on a western spur of Mount Cabot at 3,290 feet (1,000 m) above sea level.

Climate[edit]

Lancaster has a humid continental climate (Dfb) with warm summers coupled with cool nights, and cold, snowy winters with annual snowfall averaging 70.3 inches (179 cm).

Climate data for Lancaster, New Hampshire (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1892–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 62
(17)
64
(18)
81
(27)
90
(32)
91
(33)
95
(35)
95
(35)
94
(34)
93
(34)
82
(28)
73
(23)
62
(17)
95
(35)
Average high °F (°C) 25.3
(−3.7)
28.7
(−1.8)
38.1
(3.4)
52.2
(11.2)
66.3
(19.1)
75.0
(23.9)
79.5
(26.4)
77.9
(25.5)
70.3
(21.3)
56.5
(13.6)
42.9
(6.1)
31.1
(−0.5)
53.6
(12.0)
Daily mean °F (°C) 14.4
(−9.8)
16.2
(−8.8)
26.1
(−3.3)
40.2
(4.6)
52.8
(11.6)
62.1
(16.7)
67.0
(19.4)
65.3
(18.5)
57.7
(14.3)
45.5
(7.5)
33.9
(1.1)
22.0
(−5.6)
41.9
(5.5)
Average low °F (°C) 3.4
(−15.9)
3.7
(−15.7)
14.1
(−9.9)
28.2
(−2.1)
39.3
(4.1)
49.3
(9.6)
54.4
(12.4)
52.6
(11.4)
45.1
(7.3)
34.5
(1.4)
24.9
(−3.9)
13.0
(−10.6)
30.2
(−1.0)
Record low °F (°C) −39
(−39)
−40
(−40)
−28
(−33)
−1
(−18)
18
(−8)
28
(−2)
32
(0)
28
(−2)
21
(−6)
8
(−13)
−9
(−23)
−36
(−38)
−40
(−40)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.43
(62)
2.03
(52)
2.21
(56)
3.15
(80)
3.76
(96)
4.37
(111)
4.20
(107)
4.13
(105)
3.59
(91)
4.18
(106)
2.85
(72)
2.90
(74)
39.80
(1,011)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 17.9
(45)
17.8
(45)
11.6
(29)
4.0
(10)
0.1
(0.25)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.6
(1.5)
4.6
(12)
19.5
(50)
76.1
(193)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 14.0 11.2 11.9 13.0 13.5 14.5 13.2 12.6 11.2 14.1 13.6 16.2 159.0
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 12.6 10.2 7.1 2.8 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 5.3 12.5 51.3
Source: NOAA[6][7]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790161
1800440173.3%
181071763.0%
182084417.7%
18301,18740.6%
18401,31610.9%
18501,55918.5%
18602,02029.6%
18702,24811.3%
18802,72121.0%
18903,37324.0%
19003,190−5.4%
19103,054−4.3%
19202,819−7.7%
19302,8872.4%
19403,0957.2%
19503,1130.6%
19603,1380.8%
19703,1660.9%
19803,4017.4%
19903,5223.6%
20003,280−6.9%
20103,5076.9%
20203,218−8.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[2][8]
Mansion House in 1907

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,507 people, 1,399 households, and 880 families residing in the town. The population density was 70.4 people per square mile (27.2/km2). There were 1,687 housing units at an average density of 33.9 units/sq mi (13.1 units/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.03% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.4% some other race, and 1.1% from two or more races. 1.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[9]

There were 1,399 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were headed by married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 29.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35, and the average family size was 2.85.[9]

Mount Prospect c. 1905

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.9% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 20.2% from 25 to 44, 31.2% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.[9]

For the period 2007–11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $40,455, and the median income for a family was $53,542. Male full-time workers had a median income of $48,438 versus $30,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,245. 13.0% of the population and 10.4% of families were below the poverty line, including 12.7% of people under the age of 18 and 19.2% age 65 or older.[10]

Transportation[edit]

Lancaster is at the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 3 and is the northern terminus of New Hampshire Route 135, which leads to Dalton and points beyond. A seldom-used railroad track of the Maine Central Railroad skirts the Connecticut River, and a branch at Coos Junction leaves for Jefferson and Waumbek Junction. The Mount Washington Regional Airport is located 11 miles (18 km) away in adjacent Whitefield. As of January 2006, Lancaster is also served by the Tri-Town Bus, a public transportation route connecting with Whitefield and Littleton.[11]

Notable people[edit]

Benton Fountain in Lancaster, designed by Jacob Benton's wife, Louisa, in her husband's memory.

Sites of interest[edit]

  • John Wingate Weeks Historic Site & Lodge (1913)
  • Lancaster Historical Society Museum
  • Wilder-Holton House (1780)
  • Garland Mill (1856)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files – New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Lancaster town, Coos County, New Hampshire: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  3. ^ Hill, Kashmir. "The Free State Project: A Libertarian Testing Ground For Bitcoin, 3D Printers, and Drones". Forbes. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  4. ^ "The Free State Project's 11th Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival". The Free State Project. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  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. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "Station: Lancaster, NH". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Lancaster town, Coos County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Lancaster town, Coos County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 10, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  11. ^ "Tri-County Transit". Tri-County Community Action. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  12. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1893,' Biographical Sketch of Benjamin Goss, pg. 654
  13. ^ Sinclair Weeks at Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  14. ^ Proceedings - Grafton and Coös County Bar Association, New Hampshire By Grafton and Coos Bar Association, p. 351-358

External links[edit]