THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF:
Life in Effingham has developed such characteristics as old fashioned virtue, a simple mode of living and a willingness to work. It's bounded on the north by Freedom (separated by the Ossipee River), south by Wakefield and Ossipee, east by Parsonfield, Maine and the west by Ossipee.
The Effingham and Freedom townships were formerly united. In 1749 Effingham was granted as Leavitts Town and in 1778 was incorporated under its present name. The section north of the Ossipee River was incorporated as North Effingham in 1831 and in 1832 assumed the name Freedom.
Some of the most serious obstacles encountered by the first settlers were the constructing of roads and bridges, and development of the beautiful but rocky terrain. A bounty was offered to entice people to settle in the area - however some of the land was unsuitable for farming and those people were given extra land.
The power of the river at Effingham Falls was harnessed in 1820 and sawmills and gristmills were erected. Soon roads, stores, a church, school and tavern were built. By 1858 Effingham was more populated than it is now! In 1830 James W. Bradbury (later United States Senator from Maine) took the Effingham Union Academy Building (1819) and established The First Normal School - the first college of its kind, designed for training teachers. Another historic landmark is "Squire Lords Great House" on Lord's Hill. The impressive 19th century architecture is throughout, even to the carriage house and stable.
Most of the people in Effingham are self-employed or own small businesses. Effingham is governed by town meeting and three selectmen. Town budgets are voted on in March.
With a population of 1,325, Effingham is our area’s smallest town.
Located south of Freedom and east of Ossipee, its inhabitants have
developed a character of old-fashioned virtue, simple living, and a
willingness to work. The town has many small businesses, including many
that have a strong
This year on Aug. 2, the Friends of the Effingham Library will host a
historic building tour as a fundraiser for the town’s public library.
The building was built in 1858 as the New England Masonic Charitable
Institute and is well known in the area for its beautiful murals.
Restoration work continues. Effingham has seen revitalization in their
community in recent years. A group of interested citizens has started
“Celebrate Effingham,” a community-wide event that
Annually, boaters on Province Lake have a boat parade, attracting
boaters of all sorts, from sail to power boaters, depending on the
Effingham Board of Selectmen
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Freedom, with its eastern boundary running along the Maine border and abutting Ossipee Lake. Freedom is a little town surrounding a small village well off the beaten path. Its name reflects its history: in 1831, the village of North Effingham voted to secede from Effingham, and in 1832, the new town celebrated its independence by changing its name to Freedom.
Sample the town’s history by visiting the historical society that maintains a charming museum, or by driving the back roads with its many historic houses. Each year near Christmas, a group in town hosts a historic house tour, where private individuals will open their beautifully decorated houses to visitors. Residents in town also have a “Ring in the Holidays” craft fair that is held at various locations throughout town.
Residents of present-day and from the past travel back to town every year for Freedom Old Home Week that takes place in August. The event was created to encourage people to come back to their roots to enjoy many different social events through the week.
New to town in the past few years is the town’s forest, Trout Pond Town Forest. This 2,600-acre parcel, located north of Ossipee Lake Road, was purchased with public and private donations to save it from development. With the pond located at its heart, it is an ideal place to enjoy such low-impact activities such as hiking, biking, and bird-watching in the spring and summer, and skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
In its continuing efforts to protect open space and to maintain responsible growth, the town’s planning board has updated the master plan and has made recycling mandatory for anyone using the town’s transfer station.
In the summer, the population of Freedom more than doubles when children from all over the country settle into the numerous summer camps located on the shores of Ossipee Lake for a summer filled with hiking, boating and swimming.
For complete schedule, visit www.freedomoldhomeweek.com.
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Life in Madison with a population of more than 2,000 people, is a charming and dynamic town that offers a touch of history with its many outdoor attractions.
While Silver Lake, located at the town’s heart, provides many
opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming, many find that
In its early years, farming and lumbering were the town’s main enterprises, and lumbering continues to be a major industry. In 1826, the Madison Lead Mine, on site of Goodwin Town Forest, was discovered, and for many years yielded zinc, lead, silver, and iron ore.
“Madison Corner,” as it was once known, prospered because it
was on a major stagecoach route connecting Boston and other
seacoast towns with the White Mountains. Then, in 1875, a
railroad was completed along the shores of Silver Lake, and many
new businesses opened in that area to accommodate the growing
tourist trade. Tourism is still a prominent part of Madison’s
economy with a resort, ski area, several inns and bed and
As with many towns in the area with a lake, Madison has a history of well-known people who summered in the area. One such person was E.E. Cummings, a poet famous for independence of style in his writing. Madison’s Old Home Week is the first full week in August, and brings many former citizens back home for a weeklong celebration of small town life. When in town, stop by the blacksmith’s shop or the new train museum by the post office, or take a swim in one of Madison’s many lakes. Visit www.madison-nh.org for complete schedule.
Madison Board of
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Encompassing the villages of Center Ossipee, Granite, Ossipee Corners, Water Village, and West Ossipee, is abundant with natural and historic points of interest. Home to the county seat for Carroll County, it shares its name with the Ossipee Mountains, once a range of ancient volcanoes, which border it on the west. The town is a geologist’s dream, with portions of the volcanic “ring dike” from the Ossipee Mountains still visible.
Ossipee was incorporated in 1785 after an active pre-Revolutionary War history of skirmishes between Native Americans and British settlers. Captain John Lovewell built a fort near Ossipee Lake in the early 1700’s using the foundation of a former fort which the English built in 1650 to assist the Ossipee Indians in their war against the Mohawks.
Today, Ossipee is a growing, thriving town made up of charming villages scattered throughout the hills. Shops filled with unusual crafts and antiques dot the country roads. Locals, summer residents, and guests enjoy all of Ossipee’s natural resources - fishing on Ossipee Lake, kayaking down the Bearcamp River, swimming at the town beach on Duncan Lake, hiking in the mountains, or visiting with friends and family at summer concerts at town hall. Snowmobiling is another popular sport in the area. Trails crisscross town and continue to all other parts of the state.
In 2005, the town became a Main Street community. The Main Street Program is busy year-round, with the goal of revitalizing the downtown area of Center Ossipee Village. The group hosts a variety of events and activities designed to raise funds for projects and bring people to the village. In 2007, Plan NH made recommendations for the design of the park and surrounding streets; the park property was graded, and repairs were made to the building. Take a moment to visit the Ossipee Historical Society Museum, or enjoy a “walking tour” of historic Center Ossipee. In the summer, watch a parade and enjoy the best fireworks display for miles around! Visit www.ossipeeoldhomeweek.com for a complete schedule
Town of Ossipee
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Sandwich is rich in natural beauty and historic interest, outdoor activities and cultural events year round. Craft demonstrations, classes, art gallery exhibits, and theatrical performances are offered to residents and visitors alike. Swimming, boating, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, skating, bird watching or just enjoying a picnic in a scenic spot along a boulder-strewn river are just some of the ways to experience Sandwich year round. The town lies sheltered by the Sandwich Mountain Range, with 17 listed peaks, including Sandwich Dome, and the newly expanded Sandwich Wilderness Area. Many beautiful hikes can be found in the area.
Chartered in 1763, Sandwich was named in honor of John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. The land was considered so inaccessible that the grant was enlarged, making Sandwich one of the largest towns in New Hampshire. After a peak of manufacturing and farming in 1830, many moved to the cities. What now attracts people to the area is its rural beauty and propensity for the artistic. The Sandwich Farmers Market has baked goods and produce available each Saturday morning from 9am-noon throughout the summer under the shade trees by the Sandwich Public Library. There is an Art Show on the Green in August during Old Home Week.
The Sandwich Fair runs during Columbus Day Weekend in October, drawing more and more people every year. Also, check the town website for more information on dog sled races in February. Visit: www.town.sandwich.nh.us
Sandwich Board of Selectmen
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Five picturesque villages - Tamworth, Whittier, South Tamworth,
Chocorua, and Wonalancet - make up the town of Tamworth.
Residents of all villages, with Mount Chocorua as their
backdrop, have not only the natural beauty of the surrounding
areas to appreciate but also a strong community. Tamworth
Village has been featured as a backdrop for many postcards,
calendars, and puzzles. Flowing brooks, scenic vistas, and a
broad network of hiking,
Tamworth Board of Selectmen
PO Box 323, Center Ossipee, NH 03814
Toll Free 1-(866)-683-6295
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Photographs in this site are used by permission of the photographers, Bruce Bedford, and Linda White.