Wakefield, New Hampshire

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Wakefield is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,252 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 4,871.[1] The town includes the villages of Wakefield Corner (the original town center), East Wakefield, North Wakefield, Sanbornville, Union, Woodman and Province Lake. Wakefield Corner, popular with tourists, is a picturesque hilltop village of antique buildings.



Settled by colonists from Dover and Somersworth, the town was granted in 1749 by the Masonian Proprietors. It was called East Town before being incorporated as Wakefield in 1774 by Governor John Wentworth. Wakefield, in Yorkshire, England, is near Wentworth Castle, the home of the Wentworth ancestors. It developed as an important sledge and stage stop between the seacoast and the White Mountains. The Wakefield Inn, built in 1804 beside the principal trade route through Wakefield Corner, remains operating today. [2]

Although the soil was considered "stubborn," farmers made it productive. Lumber became a chief product, and by 1859 there were five sawmills, five gristmills, and ten shingle, clapboard and planing mills. Shoemaking was another local industry. [2] When the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad arrived in 1871, [3] the center of Wakefield shifted from Wakefield Corner to Sanbornville, which today remains the retail district of town. [4]

Bridge Street in 1916 (Union)

Bird's-eye View in 1908 (Sanbornville)

Davis House Inn in 1909 (East Wakefield)


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.7 square miles (116 km2), of which 39.3 sq mi (102 km2) is land and 5.3 sq mi (14 km2) is water, comprising 11.91% of the town. Wakefield is drained by the Pine and Branch rivers. Province Lake is in the northeast corner of the town, Pine River Pond, Belleau Lake, Stump Pond (Balch Pond) and Sandy Pond in the center, and Lovell Lake, Union Meadows, Lake Ivanhoe, Great East Lake and Horn Pond in the south. Four of these lakes, Province, Balch, Great East, and Horn Pond span the Maine border. The highest point in Wakefield is the summit of Long Mountain, at 1,110 feet (340 m) above sea level, along the town's western border.

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