Conway, New Hampshire facts for kids

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Conway, New Hampshire
Town
Town Hall (right) in Center Conway, one of the villages of Conway
Town Hall (right) in Center Conway, one of the villages of Conway
Location in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Location in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Incorporated 1765
Area
 • Total 71.7 sq mi (185.6 km2)
 • Land 69.4 sq mi (179.8 km2)
 • Water 2.2 sq mi (5.8 km2)  3.15%
Elevation 465 ft (142 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,115
 • Density 146/sq mi (56.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 03818
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-14660
GNIS feature ID 0873570
Website www.conwaynh.org

Conway is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. It is the most populous community in the county, and the most populous in the state north of Hanover. The population was 10,115 at the 2010 census, more than 1/5 of the total population of Carroll County. Parts of the White Mountain National Forest are in the west and north of the town. Cathedral Ledge (popular with climbers) and Echo Lake State Park are in the west. Villages within the town include Conway, North Conway, Center Conway, Redstone and Kearsarge, as well as a portion of the village of Intervale.

History

Mount Kearsarge, North Conway, NH
Mount Kearsarge in 1910

The region was once home to the Pequawket Indians, an Algonquian Abenaki tribe. Along the Saco River they fished, hunted or farmed, and lived in wigwams sheltered within stockades. In 1642, explorer Darby Field of Exeter paddled up the Saco in a canoe, and would report seeing "Pigwacket," an Indian community stretching from present-day Conway to Fryeburg, Maine. The Pequawket tribe dwindled from disease, probably smallpox brought from abroad. In May 1725, during Dummer's War, 36 men from Dunstable, Massachusetts led by John Lovewell skirmished with the Pequawket. The Pequawket losses are not known but the result of the day's battle was the withdrawal of the tribe from the area.

In 1765, Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth chartered sixty-five men to establish "Conway", named for Henry Seymour Conway, Commander in Chief of the British Army. To keep his land, a settler had to plant 5 acres (20,000 m2) for every fifty in his share, and to do it within five years. The first roads were built in 1766. Construction of the first meetinghouse began at Redstone. Never completed, it could only be used in summer, with services held whenever a minister visited. Eventually, the partly finished meetinghouse was moved to Center Conway. In 1775, the town raised small sums to build two schoolhouses, one in North Conway. By 1849, however, the town had twenty school districts.

By the middle-19th century, artists had discovered the romantic beauties of the White Mountains, and "Artist Falls Brook" became a favorite setting for landscape paintings. King Edward VII would buy twelve White Mountain paintings to hang in Windsor Castle. Among the artists to work here were Asher B. Durand and Benjamin Champney, the latter known to paint Mount Washington while sitting in the middle of Main Street.

Conway House, Conway, NH
Conway House c. 1910

The Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway Railroad entered Conway in 1871. The railroad would be bought by the Boston & Maine, and joined in town by rival Maine Central. They transported freight, mostly wood and wood products, away from Conway, and they brought tourists. Numerous inns and taverns were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, and tourism remains today a principal business. The first ski trail began operating in 1936 at Mount Cranmore, where Hannes Schneider of Austria would provide instruction starting in 1939. In 1959, the Kancamagus Highway opened, connecting Conway with Lincoln. It travels through Kancamagus Pass, named for a Pennacook chief, and at 2,850 feet (870 m) above sea level is the highest paved through-road in New Hampshire.

Since the 1930s, the population of the nearby city of Berlin has decreased significantly, from 20,018 in 1930 to 10,051 in 2010. This decline, coupled with the population increase in Conway and the surrounding community, has led to higher levels of economic development in the Conway area than the rest of northern New Hampshire. Conway has both a tourism-based economy and service economy. As of 2002, the largest employer in the town was Memorial Hospital, employing 350 people, followed by the Conway School District, Hannaford Bros. Co., Red Jacket Resorts, and Walmart.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 71.7 square miles (186 km2), of which 69.4 square miles (180 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is water, comprising 3.15% of the town. Conway is drained by the Saco and Swift rivers. The highest point in the town is Black Cap at 2,369 feet (722 m) above sea level. Conway lies fully within the Saco River watershed.

Villages

Conway is divided into a number of separate villages. The largest and best known is North Conway, a popular destination for outlet shopping.

The villages of Conway include:

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 574
1800 705 22.8%
1810 1,080 53.2%
1820 1,365 26.4%
1830 1,601 17.3%
1840 1,811 13.1%
1850 1,767 −2.4%
1860 1,624 −8.1%
1870 1,607 −1.0%
1880 2,094 30.3%
1890 2,331 11.3%
1900 3,154 35.3%
1910 3,413 8.2%
1920 3,102 −9.1%
1930 3,217 3.7%
1940 3,651 13.5%
1950 4,109 12.5%
1960 4,298 4.6%
1970 4,865 13.2%
1980 7,158 47.1%
1990 7,940 10.9%
2000 8,604 8.4%
2010 10,115 17.6%
Est. 2015 9,948 15.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

This article describes the town of Conway as a whole. Additional demographic detail is available which describes only the central settlement or village within the town, although that detail is included in the aggregate values reported here. See: Conway (CDP), New Hampshire.

Grammar School, Conway, NH
Conway Grammar School c. 1915

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,115 people, 4,479 households, and 2,638 families residing in the town. The population density was 145.7 people per square mile (56.3/km²). There were 6,921 housing units at an average density of 99.7 units per square mile (38.5 units/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.2% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,479 households, out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.9% were headed by married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22, and the average family size was 2.78.

Bridge Over Saco River, Conway, NH
Bridge over Saco River in 1911

In the town, the population was spread out with 19.7% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.5 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

For the period 2007-11, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $44,700, and the median income for a family was $52,083. Male full-time workers had a median income of $36,337 versus $32,525 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,427. 12.5% of the population and 5.6% of families were below the poverty line, as well as 16.2% of people under the age of 18 and 13.2% of those 65 or older.

Culture

Located in the center of the popular White Mountain National Forest, Conway is the major commercial center for Bartlett, Jackson, Madison, Chatham, Eaton, Hart's Location, and Albany, New Hampshire as well as Fryeburg, Brownfield, Lovell, and Stow, Maine. There are a number of restaurants, two breweries, the year-round Cranmore Mountain Resort, over a hundred local and national stores, and several museums and theatres.

Theaters and museums

Arts in Motion Theater Company is resident at the Eastern Slope Inn. M&D Productions is a local community theater group.

The Mount Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center, located in downtown North Conway, provides information and interactive exhibits on Mount Washington and the weather that surrounds it, and affords visitors the opportunity to video-conference with observers on the summit.

Sites of interest

  • Conway Scenic Railroad
  • Tuckerman Brewing Company
  • New England Ski Museum Nordic Skiing Exhibit

Images for kids


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