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Bristol, New Hampshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bristol, New Hampshire
Central Square in 2012
Central Square in 2012
Official seal of Bristol, New Hampshire
"The Gateway to Newfound Lake"
Location in Grafton County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°35′28″N 71°44′12″W / 43.59111°N 71.73667°W / 43.59111; -71.73667
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
 • Select Board
  • Shaun Lagueux, Chair
  • Leslie Dion
  • Carroll Brown Jr.
  • Rob Glassett
  • Scott Sanschagrin
 • Town AdministratorChristina Goodwin
 • Total21.9 sq mi (56.8 km2)
 • Land16.8 sq mi (43.4 km2)
 • Water5.2 sq mi (13.4 km2)  23.60%
466 ft (142 m)
 • Total3,244
 • Density194/sq mi (74.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code603
FIPS code33-07700
GNIS feature ID0873552

Bristol is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,244 at the 2020 census.[2] It is home to Wellington State Park, Sugar Hill State Forest, and Profile Falls on the Smith River. Surrounded by hills and lakes, Bristol includes the lower two-thirds of Newfound Lake, a resort area.

The primary settlement in town, where 1,911 people resided at the 2020 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Bristol census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the intersection of New Hampshire routes 3A and 104.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    4 419
    2 176
    11 166
    2 962
  • Bristol NH S2E23
  • Gems of Newfound - Profile Falls
  • Gems of Newfound - Inspiration Point
  • Gems of Newfound - Newfound Lake
  • Bristol, New Hampshire



Bristol was taken from Bridgewater and New Chester (now Hill) and incorporated June 24, 1819. Colonel Peter Sleeper, Benjamin Emmons, and others commenced a settlement here in 1770.[3]

Extensive deposits of fine sand or clay similar to the "Bristol Sand" used in Bristol, England, to make fine china and pottery gave the town its name. Here the sand was used to make a superior quality brick, marketed as Bristol brick. With water power from the Newfound River, the town was a center of manufacturing in the early days for goods such as paper, leather, woolens, flannel, bedsteads and piano stools.[4]

On January 16, 1884, the town of Bristol voted to accept the gift of a library building and land from Josiah Minot and Solomon Sleeper and to manage and maintain a public library. The Minot–Sleeper Library became the first building erected to specifically house a public library in the Lakes Region at the time, when it was officially opened to the community in 1885. On August 15, 2012, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in celebration of the library's expansion. In February 2013, the new addition was ready for use.

Bristol is one of four towns with shoreline on Newfound Lake, which has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century. Farmers at first rented rooms and provided meals, but in the 1870s, hotels including the Hotel Bristol and G. G. Brown Hotel were built. In 1874, Bristol was the terminus of the Franklin and Bristol Branch railroad. The New Hampshire Central Railroad was planned to pass through Bristol.[3] In the 1920s, W. F. Darling created a compound of about one hundred cottages for rent, first known as Hiland Park and later as Bungalo Village. In 2004, the compound was sold to a proprietor who sold individual cottages to permanent owners.[citation needed]

In 2022, Bristol inaugurated a new solar array. Local media highlighted the array in the context of town's energy independence, which dated from the 1800s when hydropower provided all the town's energy.[5]


1884 bird's-eye view of Bristol

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.9 square miles (56.8 km2), of which 16.8 square miles (43.4 km2) are land and 5.2 square miles (13.4 km2) are water, comprising 23.60% of the town.[1] Bristol is drained by the Pemigewasset River (forming the southeastern boundary of the town), the Smith River (on the town's short southern boundary) and the Newfound River, draining Newfound Lake and most of the center of town. The highest point in town is Bristol Peak, elevation 1,803 feet (550 m) above sea level. Bristol lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[6]

Bristol is served by state routes 3A and 104.

Climate data for Bristol, New Hampshire(1991-2020)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 27.2 30.6 38.8 52.3 64.3 72.8 78.4 76.9 69.9 56.1 44.1 32.9 53.7
Daily mean °F 18.3 21.1 29.2 42.0 54.2 63.4 69.7 68.4 61.4 48.7 37.3 25.8 45.0
Average low °F 11.1 13.4 21.5 33.7 45.5 55.3 61.8 60.9 54.4 42.8 32.4 20.1 37.7
Average precipitation inches 2.98 2.72 3.55 3.83 3.51 4.47 4.29 4.11 3.59 5.43 3.90 4.36 46.74
Average high °C −2.7 −0.8 3.8 11.3 17.9 22.7 25.8 24.9 21.1 13.4 6.7 0.5 12.0
Daily mean °C −7.6 −6.1 −1.6 5.6 12.3 17.4 20.9 20.2 16.3 9.3 2.9 −3.4 7.2
Average low °C −11.6 −10.3 −5.8 0.9 7.5 12.9 16.6 16.1 12.4 6.0 0.2 −6.6 3.2
Average precipitation mm 76 69 90 97 89 114 109 104 91 138 99 111 1,187
Source 1: NOAA[7]
Source 2: Cliamte data(Temperatures)[8]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[2][9]

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,054 people, 1,283 households, and 851 families residing in the town. There were 2,488 housing units, of which 1,205, or 48.4%, were vacant. 1,089 of the vacant units were for seasonal or recreational use. The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% white, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.3% some other race, and 1.6% from two or more races. 1.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[10]

Of the 1,283 households, 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were headed by married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36, and the average family size was 2.81.[10]

In the town, 21.5% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.0% were from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.[10]

For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $50,080, and the median income for a family was $56,161. Male full-time workers had a median income of $43,627 versus $35,921 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,353. 8.7% of the population and 5.0% of families were below the poverty line. 15.4% of the population under the age of 18 and 4.3% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.[11]

The Newfound River descending from the town center


It is within the Newfound Area School District.[12] Schools in Bristol include Bristol Elementary School, Newfound Memorial Middle School, and Newfound Regional High School.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files – New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Bristol town, Grafton County, New Hampshire: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Article in Statistics and Gazetteer of New-Hampshire (1875)
  4. ^ Coolidge, Austin J.; John B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: A.J. Coolidge. pp. 429–430. coolidge mansfield history description new england 1859.
  5. ^ Enstrom, Kirk (August 19, 2022). "With activation of solar array, town of Bristol returns to its renewable roots". WMUR-TV. Retrieved November 19, 2022.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "NOAA NCEI US Cliamte Normals". NOAA. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  8. ^ "Bristol Cliamte". Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (DP-1): Bristol town, Grafton County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics: 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (DP03): Bristol town, Grafton County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "Central Office". Newfound Area School District. Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "Pattee, Fred  Lewis". Penn State Libraries. Pennsylvania State University. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 October 2023, at 08:30
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