Franconia, New Hampshire

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Franconia is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 924 at the 2000 census. The 2009 population was estimated to be 1,045.[1] Set in the White Mountains, Franconia is home to Franconia Notch State Park. Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the east and south. The Appalachian Trail crosses the southern part.



The town was first granted in 1764 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth as Franconia,[2] a name widely applied to the region by 1760[3] due to the terrain's resemblance to the Frankish Alb in Germany. Upon claims that a settlement was not made within the time prescribed under the terms of the charter, it was regranted in 1772 by his nephew, Governor John Wentworth, as Morristown. By about 1782, after a legal battle over the two grants, the first grant was recognized and the original name of the town was resumed.[4][5]

The town sits on a rich iron deposit, and the region once produced pig iron and bar iron for farm tools and cast iron ware.

Franconia is home to the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, which rises to the 4,100-foot summit of Cannon Mountain. Built in 1938, it was the first passenger aerial tramway in North America.

The town was home to Franconia College during the 1960s and 1970s.

Notable residents


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 66.0 square miles (171 km2), of which 65.9 sq mi (171 km2) is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) is water, comprising 0.12% of the town. Franconia is drained by the Pemigewasset River, the Gale River, and the Ham Branch of the Gale River, in addition to Lafayette Brook. The north-western two-thirds of Franconia lies within the Connecticut River watershed, while the south-eastern corner lies in the Merrimack River watershed.[6]

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