Plainfield, New Hampshire

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Plainfield is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 2,241. The 2009 population was estimated to be 2,429.[1] Plainfield includes the village of Meriden, home to Kimball Union Academy, a private preparatory school. The town is home to the Helen Woodruff Smith Bird Sanctuary and Annie Duncan State Forest.



The town was first settled by a group from Plainfield, Connecticut. It was one of the towns incorporated by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth in 1761, at the beginning of the reign of King George III. A part of Plainfield known as Meriden Parish, named for the farm of Massachusetts Governor Jonathan Belcher, became the site of Kimball Union Academy, built in 1813. [2]

Plainfield lies on the northern edge of the enclave known as the Cornish Art Colony, which existed between 1885 and 1930. Maxfield Parrish painted the stage backdrop in the Plainfield Town Hall. [3] In 1910, Ernest Harold Baynes founded the Meriden Bird Club, the first institution of its type in the nation.

Meriden Congregational Church in 1914

View of Kimball Union Academy c. 1910

Baxter Hall c. 1922


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 52.9 square miles (137 km2), of which 52.2 sq mi (135 km2) is land and 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2) is water, comprising 1.42% of the town. Bounded on the west by the Connecticut River, Plainfield is drained by Blood's Brook and Blow-me-down Brook. Croydon Mountain is a high ridge that occupies the eastern edge of the town. Grantham Mountain, a peak along the ridge, is the highest point in Plainfield at 2,660 feet (810 m) above sea level.

The town is served by state routes 12A and 120.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,241 people, 844 households, and 663 families residing in the town. The population density was 43.0 people per square mile (16.6/km²). There were 877 housing units at an average density of 16.8/sq mi (6.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.08% White, 0.27% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.27% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.36% of the population.

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