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Lancaster is a town in Coos Countymarker, New Hampshiremarker, USAmarker, on the Connecticut River named after Lancaster, Englandmarker. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 3,280, the second largest in the county after Berlinmarker. It is the county seat of Coos County and gateway to the Great North Woods Regionmarker. Lancaster, which includes the villages of Grange and South Lancaster, is home to Weeks State Park and the Lancaster Fair. Part of the White Mountain National Forestmarker is in the eastern portion. The town is part of the Berlinmarker, NH–VTmarker Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The primary settlement in town, where over 51% of the population resides, is defined as the Lancaster census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the junctions of U.S. Route 3 and U.S. Route 2, along the Israel Rivermarker.

History

Granted as Upper Coos in 1763 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth to Captain David Page of Petersham, Massachusettsmarker, the town was settled in 1764 by his son, David Page, Jr. and Emmons Stockwell. It was the first settlement north of Haverhillmarker, to the south, and originally included land in what is now Vermontmarker. Situated on the northern Connecticut River, the community endured many Indian hostilities. It would be named for Lancaster, Massachusettsmarker, hometown of an early inhabitant. Reverend Joshua Weeks, a grantee of the town, was among the group of explorers who named the mountains of the Presidential Rangemarker. Other grantees were Timothy Nash and Benjamin Sawyer, who discovered Crawford Notchmarker in 1771, making a shorter route to Portland, Mainemarker possible.

Many water-powered mills have come and gone, including sawmills, several potato starch mills, one of the largest gristmills in the state, and carriage factories. A granite quarry operated in the Kilkenny Range. With fertile meadows beside the Connecticut River, Lancaster was in 1874 the twelfth most productive agricultural town in the state. An extension of the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad shipped products to market, and brought tourists to the grand hotels in the area.

Just south of the village center is Mount Prospect, summer home to Senator John W. Weeks, who sponsored congressional legislation creating White Mountain National Forest. In 1910, he purchased several farms to assemble the estate. It is now Weeks State Park, which features a fire lookout and his mansion, open for tours during the summer. A ski rope tow operates on the slope in winter. Many of the White Mountainsmarker and Green Mountains can be seen from the stone observation tower built in 1912 atop the summit. The Presidential Rangemarker is to the southeast, with the Franconia Range to the south. Mount Weeksmarker, elevation , is in the Kilkenny Range to the northeast. It is named for the senator, as is the Weeks Medical Center. Weeks Memorial Library, a Beaux Arts landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, was given by John W. Weeks in memory of his father, William Dennis Weeks.

Image:Lancaster House in Lancaster, NH.jpg|Lancaster House in 1908Image:Main Street in Lancaster, NH.jpg|Main Street c. 1910Image:Weeks Memorial Library, Lancaster, NH.jpg|Weeks Library c. 1912

Notable residents



Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , of which is land and is water, comprising 2.28% of the town. The town center, or census-designated place, has a total area of , of which is land and the remainder (1.44%) is water.

Lancaster is drained by the Israel Rivermarker, and is fully within the Connecticut River watershed.. The town also includes Martin Meadow Pond. The town's highest point is located on a western spur of Mount Cabotmarker at above sea level.

Demographics

Mansion House in 1907
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,280 people, 1,286 households, and 866 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.5 people per square mile (25.3/km²). There were 1,501 housing units at an average density of 11.6 units/km² (30.0 units/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 98.08% White, 0.06% African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 0.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,286 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 10.5% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 32.6% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.94.

Mount Prospect c.
1905
In the town the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $40,305, and the median income for a family was $43,333. Males had a median income of $36,923 versus $21,458 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,905. 9.7% of the population and 6.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 10.6% are under the age of 18 and 14.8% are 65 or older.

Town center

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,695 people, 706 households, and 429 families residing in the main village, or census-designated place, of Lancaster. The population density was 825.0 people per square mile (319.2/km²). There were 803 housing units at an average density of 151.2 persons/km² (390.9 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 98.11% White, 0.06% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 1.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 706 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were married couples living together, 14.0% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 39.2% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the settlement the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household is $35,147, and the median income for a family was $41,328. Males had a median income of $37,708 versus $20,580 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,464. 9.7% of the population and 6.0% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 6.9% are under the age of 18 and 20.7% are 65 or older.

Utilities

Electric Supplier PSNH
Natural Gas Supplier No
Water Supplier Lancaster Water Department
Sanitation Municipal
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Yes
Solid Waste Disposal
Curbside Trash Pickup Private
Pay-As-You-Throw Program Yes
Recycling Program Voluntary
Telephone Companies: Fairpoint
G4 Communications
Cellular Telephone Access Cellular service has been expanded in Lancaster, NH by Verizon Wireless. [34855]
Cable Television Access Yes
Public Access Television Station No
High Speed Internet Service:
- Business G4 Communications
- Residential G4 MetroReach


Transportation

Lancaster is at the intersection of U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 3 and is also served by New Hampshire Route 135, which leads to Daltonmarker and points beyond. A seldom-used railroad track of the Maine Central Railroad skirts the Connecticut River, and a branch at Coos Junction leaves for Jeffersonmarker and Waumbek Junction. The Mount Washington Regional Airportmarker is located away in adjacent Whitefieldmarker. As of January 2006 Lancaster is also served by The Tri-Town Bus, a public transportation route connecting with Whitefieldmarker and Littletonmarker.

Sites of interest



References



External links




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