Effingham, New Hampshire

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Effingham is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 1,273. The 2009 population was estimated to be 1,485.[1] Effingham includes the villages of Effingham Falls, Effingham (Lord's Hill), Center Effingham (Drake's Corner), and South Effingham. Pine River State Forest is in the south.



The town was settled by members of the Leavitt family of Hampton, led by Captain John Leavitt, a soldier whose father, Moses, was a prosperous Hampton tavern keeper. From them the settlement first took the name Leavitt's Town.[2] In 1749, the land was granted by Governor Benning Wentworth, and he renamed it Effingham for the Howard family, who were Earls of Effingham and who were related to the Wentworths by marriage. The town was incorporated in 1778. North Effingham would be set off in 1831 and incorporated as Freedom. By 1859, when the population was 1,252, Effingham Falls had developed into a small mill town, with a woolen factory, five sawmills, three gristmills, and a carriage factory. [3]

Effingham was home to the first normal school in New Hampshire, established in 1830 on the second floor of the Effingham Union Academy Building, erected in 1819. James W. Bradbury, later a Maine senator, took charge of the school only on condition that it should be for the "instruction and training of teachers." The idea was his own and, at that time, entirely novel.

Normal School in 1910

Post Office in 1908

Lord Mansion in 1908


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.7 square miles (103 km2), of which 38.5 sq mi (100 km2) is land and 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2) is water, comprising 2.80% of the town. Green Mountain, elevation 1,884 feet (574 m) above sea level, is the highest point in town. Effingham is drained by the Ossipee River and the Ossipee's tributaries, the Pine and South rivers. Province Lake lies partially within the town's borders to the south, and small portions of Ossipee Lake (Broad Bay and Berry Bay) are contained to the north. The community is bounded on the east by the Maine state line, and on the north by the Ossipee River. Effingham lies fully within the Saco River watershed.[4]

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