Newport, New Hampshire
|Newport, New Hampshire|
Center of Newport in 2016
|Nickname(s): "The Sunshine Town"|
Location in Sullivan County and the state of New Hampshire.
|• Board of Selectmen||Jeffrey F. Kessler, Chair
William T. Wilmot, Jr.
John H. Hooper II
|• Interim Town Manager||Paul J. Brown|
|• Total||43.7 sq mi (113.1 km2)|
|• Land||43.6 sq mi (112.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2) 0.18%|
|Elevation||814 ft (248 m)|
|• Density||150/sq mi (58/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0873684|
Newport is a town in and the county seat of Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. It is 43 miles (69 km) west-northwest of Concord. The population was 6,507 at the 2010 census. A covered bridge is in the northwest. The area is noted for maple sugar and apple orchards.
The central settlement in town, where 4,769 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Newport census-designated place (CDP) and is located next to the Sugar River at the junction of New Hampshire routes 10 and 11. The town also includes the villages of Kelleyville and Guild.
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Granted in 1753 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, the town was named Grenville after George Grenville, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and brother-in-law of William Pitt. But ongoing hostilities during the French and Indian War, as close as the Fort at Number 4 at Charlestown, delayed settlement. Nevertheless, in 1761 the town would be incorporated as Newport, for Henry Newport, a distinguished English soldier and statesman.
It was first settled in 1763 by pioneers from North Killingworth, Connecticut. Absalom Kelsey was one of the earliest settlers. The first blow in clearing the forests was struck by Absalom Kelsey on the D.F. Pike farm at the foot of Claremont Hill, Newport, New Hampshire. At that time, the Connecticut River was the only route for travel, until a road was cut through the wilderness to Charlestown in 1767. The following year, the first gristmill was established. But dissatisfied with treatment by the state government far beyond the mountains, Newport in 1781 joined 33 other towns along the Connecticut River and seceded from New Hampshire to join Vermont. George Washington, however, would dissolve their union with Vermont in 1782, and the towns rejoined New Hampshire.
With excellent soil for farming, and abundant water power from the Sugar River and its South Branch to run mills, Newport grew prosperous. The first cotton mill was established by Colonel James D. Wolcott in 1813. Local cabinet making flourished, producing much fine furniture. And then in 1817, perhaps inspired by the Erie Canal, businessmen proposed digging a canal to connect the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers—beginning with the Sugar River, and using its source, Lake Sunapee, as a reservoir. The plan was abandoned before it got started. In 1871, the Sugar River Railroad connected to Newport from Bradford.
But the river was recognized as central to industrial development, and in 1820, mill owners from Claremont, Sunapee and Newport united to create the Sunapee Dam Corporation, which built a dam to regulate the Sugar River's flow, running mill machinery even during drought. This plan worked, and over 120 water wheels would turn along the stream's course. By 1859, when the population was 2,020, Newport had three woolen mills and two tanneries. It also had the Sibley Scythe Company, established in 1842, which manufactured the scythes that cleared jungle during construction of the Panama Canal. It closed in 1929.
The venerable mill town has significant architectural landmarks, including the 1823 South Congregational Church designed by Elias Carter, the Newport Opera House built in 1886, and the Richards Free Library, built as the home of Colonel Seth Mason Richards in 1898.
Earliest settlers (1766)
During the summer and fall of 1765, six young men came to Newport from Killingworth, Connecticut, cleared six acres of land each, and, after getting in a crop of rye, returned home and spent the winter. The following year, in June 1766, these men having an addition of two to their number, making eight in all, five having families, came and made the first permanent settlement. No record or tradition is found showing the precise day of their arrival. All accounts agree that they arrived in town Saturday night; that they were detained by a bad place in the road on Pike Hill, where they camped for the night; and the following day, after accomplishing the remainder of their journey, they spent in religious worship under the shadow of a pine tree which stood just south of the A. Pease residence.
The following were among the earliest settlers, the first five having families.
- Zepheniah Clark
- Ebenezer Merrit
- Benjamin Bragg
- Samuel Hurd
- Jesse Wilcox
- James Church
- William Stanard
- Ezra Parmelee
- Jesse Lane,
- Jesse Kelsey
- Benjamin Giles
- Nathan Hurd
- Charles Avery
- Ephraim Towner
- Absalom Kelsey
- Amos Hall
- Roswell Hull
- Daniel Dudley
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 43.7 square miles (113 km2), of which 43.6 sq mi (113 km2) is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) is water, comprising 0.18% of the town. The central village of Newport, a census-designated place (CDP), has an area of 10.9 sq mi (28 km2), all land. Other settlements within the town include North Newport, Kelleyville (in the western part of the town), Guild (in the eastern part of the town), and Wendell, on the town's eastern border with Sunapee.
Newport is drained by the Sugar River and its South Branch, with the town center at their confluence. The North Branch joins the Sugar River north of Newport village and east of North Newport. The highest point in town is along its southern border, where an unnamed ridge has an elevation of approximately 1,920 feet (590 m) above sea level.
In 1900, 3,126 people lived in Newport; in 1910, 3,765; and in 1940, 5,304. As of the census of 2000, there were 6,269 people, 2,473 households, and 1,656 families residing in the town. The population density was 143.9 people per square mile (55.6/km²). There were 2,633 housing units at an average density of 23.3 persons/km² (60.4 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 98.01% White, 0.14% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 0.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,473 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 33.0% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $37,442, and the median income for a family was $45,508. Males had a median income of $31,807 versus $22,788 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,964. 14.4% of the population and 10.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 19.3% are under the age of 18 and 10.0% are 65 or older.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,008 people, 1,581 households, and 1,019 families residing in the central village, a census-designated place. The population density was 366.5 people per square mile (141.6/km²). There were 1,676 housing units at an average density of 59.2 persons/km² (153.3 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 98.13% White, 0.22% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.45% of the population.
There were 1,581 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 10.8% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 35.5% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.
The median income for a household is $35,788, and the median income for a family was $44,453. Males had a median income of $31,676 versus $22,146 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,389. About 10.7% of families and 16.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under the age of 18 and 12.9% ages 65 or older.
- Henry Albert Baker, 19th-century orthodontist
- George Belknap, US Navy rear admiral
- Edmund Burke, US congressman
- Horatio Hale, businessman and ethnologist
- Sarah Josepha Hale, editor and writer
- David Sargent, president of Suffolk University
- Edwin Obed Stanard, US congressman
- Mason Weare Tappan, US congressman and state attorney general
- Billy B. Van, vaudeville entertainer
- "Welcome to the Official Town of Newport, NH Website!". Town of Newport. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- Kelsey Genealogy Vol II. Clinton, CT: Kelsey Kindred of America. 1929. p. 58.
- Coolidge, Austin J.; Mansfield, John B. (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 602–603.
- Wheeler, Edmund (1879). The History of Newport, New Hampshire, from 1766 to 1878, with a Genealogical Register. Concord, NH: Republican Press Association. ISBN 978-1230249087.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- Newport business directory and advertiser, Newport, N.H.: The Business Men, 1870
- Town of Newport official website
- Richards Free Library
- New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau Profile
- Historical Chronology of Newport NH
- Newport Historical Society & Museum
- Newport Opera House
- Sugar River Recreational Trail