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Grafton County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Hampshiremarker. As of the 2000 census, the population was 81,743. Its county seat is North Haverhillmarker, which is a village within the town of Haverhillmarker. Until 1972, the county courthouse and other offices were located in downtown Woodsvillemarker, a larger village within the town of Haverhill. Grafton County is part of the Lebanonmarker, NH–VTmarker Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The county is the home of Dartmouth Collegemarker and Plymouth State Universitymarker. Progressive Farmer rated Grafton County fourth in its list of the "Best Places to Live in Rural America" in 2006 , citing low unemployment (despite slow economic growth), a favorable cost of living, and the presence of White Mountain National Forestmarker, the state's only national forest.


Grafton was one of the five counties originally identified for New Hampshire in 1769. It was named for Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, who had been a supporter of American causes in Parliamentmarker, and who was serving as British Prime Minister at the time. The county was organized at Woodsvillemarker in 1771, and originally included the entire northern frontier of New Hampshire, including a number of towns that are now in Vermontmarker. In 1803, the northern area was removed for the formation of Coos Countymarker. The three counties to the south were Straffordmarker, Hillsboroughmarker and Cheshiremarker, and the eastern edge bordered the "District of Maine". In 1797, the county contained 50 townships and 17 locations, and had a population of 23,093.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (2.10%) is water.

Grafton County is heavily rural. About half of its total area is in the White Mountain National Forestmarker. Squam Lakemarker, featured in the film On Golden Pond, and the Old Man of the Mountainmarker landmark are located here, as are Dartmouth Collegemarker and the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forestmarker. Many of the 4,000-foot mountains of New Hampshire are within the county. The Appalachian Trail passes through parts of at least ten towns in the county.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Politics and government

In the 2000 U.S. Presidential election, Al Gore narrowly defeated George W. Bush, taking 47.41% of the vote to Bush's 46.81%. Other candidates got a combined 5.78%. In 2004 John Kerry defeated George Bush by a wider margin: Kerry received 55.74% of the vote, while Bush received 43.17%. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Grafton by a landslide, receiving 63.03% of the vote to John McCain's 35.45%. It was Obama's highest percentage by county in New Hampshire.

County Commission

The three districts of Grafton County's Commissioners and their party representations
The executive power of Grafton County's government is held by three county commissioners, each representing one of the three commissioner districts within the county.
District Name Hometown Party
District 1 Michael J. Cryans Hanover, NHmarker Democrat
District 2 Raymond S. Burton Bath, NHmarker Republican
District 3 Martha Richards Plymouth, NHmarker Democrat

In addition to the County Commission, there are also five directly-elected officials: they include County Attorney, Register of Deeds, County Sheriff, Register of Probate, and County Treasurer.

Office Name Party
County Attorney Ricardo St. Hilaire Republican
Register of Deeds Bill Sharp Democrat
County Sheriff Doug Dutile Republican
Register of Probate Rebecca Wyman Republican
County Treasurer Vanessa Sievers Democrat

Legislative Branch

The legislative branch of Grafton County is made up of all of the members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from the county. In total, there are 26 members from 11 different districts.
Affiliation Members Voting Share

Democratic Party 19 73%

Republican Party 7 27%
Total 26 100%


The 11 Legislative Districts of Grafton County, and the percentage of party representation in each.
District Name Party Hometown
District 01 Lyle E. Bulis Republican Littleton, NHmarker
District 01 Brian Ward Republican Littleton, NHmarker
District 02 Kathleen Taylor Democrat Franconia, NHmarker
District 03 Edmond Gionet Republican Lincoln, NHmarker
District 03 Susan Ford Democrat Easton, NHmarker
District 04 Robert Matheson Democrat Woodstock, NHmarker
District 05 Roderick Ladd Republican Haverhill, NHmarker
District 05 Paul Ingbretson Republican Pike, NHmarker
District 06 James Aguiar Democrat Campton, NHmarker
District 06 Carol Friedrich Democrat Wentworth, NHmarker
District 07 Mary Cooney Democrat Plymouth, NHmarker
District 07 Suzanne Smith Democrat Hebron, NHmarker
District 08 Margie Maybeck Republican Holderness, NHmarker
District 08 Philip Preston Democrat Ashland, NHmarker
District 08 Burton Williams Republican Bristol, NHmarker
District 09 Bernard Benn Democrat Hanover, NHmarker
District 09 Beatriz Pastor-Bodmer Democrat Lyme, NHmarker
District 09 Sharon Nordgren Democrat Hanover, NHmarker
District 09 David Pierce Democrat Etna, NHmarker
District 10 Suzanne Laliberte Democrat Enfield, NHmarker
District 10 Catherine Mulholland Democrat Grafton, NHmarker
District 10 Chuck Townsend Democrat Canaan, NHmarker
District 11 Susan Almy Democrat Lebanon, NHmarker
District 11 Gene Anderson Democrat Lebanon, NHmarker
District 11 Franklin Gould Democrat Lebanon, NHmarker
District 11 A. Laurie Harding Democrat Lebanon, NHmarker


As of the census of 2000, there were 81,743 people, 31,598 households, and 20,254 families residing in the county. The population density was 48 people per square mile (18/km²). There were 43,729 housing units at an average density of 26 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.76% White, 1.73% Asian, 0.53% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. 1.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 19.0% were of English, 12.9% Irish, 11.1% French, 7.8% Americanmarker, 7.5% German, 6.8% French Canadian and 5.5% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.1% spoke English, 1.5% French and 1.3% Spanish as their first language.

There were 31,598 households out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.40% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.90% were non-families. 27.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 21.90% under the age of 18, 13.50% from 18 to 24, 27.00% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,962, and the median income for a family was $50,424. Males had a median income of $31,874 versus $25,286 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,227. About 5.10% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.60% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

There are 38 towns and one city in Grafton County.

*City :**Unincorporated [[civil township]] :***Census-designated place

Radio stations in Grafton County

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