Cornish, New Hampshire

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Cornish is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 1,661 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 1,724.[1] Cornish has three covered bridges. Each August, it is home to the Cornish Fair.



Established in 1763, the town was once known as Mast Camp, because it was the shipping point for the tall masts floated down the river by English settlers. Incorporated in 1765 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, it was named for Sir Samuel Cornish, a distinguished admiral of the Royal Navy.[2] Cornish has historically been and continues to be a well-known summer resort for artists and writers. Seeking a studio away from the summer heat of New York City, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens began coming to Cornish in 1885. Artist friends followed him, and the area became center of the popular Cornish Art Colony.[3]

Cornish is the site of the second longest wooden covered bridge in the United States, and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River, was built in 1866 at an original cost of $9,000.

Blow-me-down Bridge in 1908, completed in 1888

Mount Ascutney from "High Court" estate c. 1910


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.8 square miles (111 km2), of which 42.1 sq mi (109 km2) is land and 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2) is water, comprising 1.68% of the town. The long ridge of Croydon Mountain follows the eastern boundary of town; the highest point in town is an unnamed knob on Croydon Mountain which reaches an elevation of 2,323 ft (708 m) above sea level. Cornish is drained by Mill Brook, Blow-me-down Brook, and the Connecticut River, which bounds it on the west. Cornish lies fully within the Connecticut River watershed.[4] The eastern part of the town is a portion of the approximately 25,000-acre (100 km2) Blue Mountain Forest Association private game preserve, also known locally as Corbin Park, named after its founder, Austin Corbin.

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