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Effingham, New Hampshire
Lord's Hill Historic District, one of the village centers of Effingham
Lord's Hill Historic District, one of the village centers of Effingham
Location in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Incorporated 1778
Villages Effingham
Center Effingham
Effingham Falls
South Effingham
 • Total 39.9 sq mi (103.4 km2)
 • Land 38.8 sq mi (100.4 km2)
 • Water 1.2 sq mi (3.0 km2)  2.87%
597 ft (182 m)
 • Total 1,691
 • Density 44/sq mi (16.8/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-23620
GNIS feature ID 0873588

Effingham is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. At the 2020 census, the town population was 1,691, up from 1,465 at the 2010 census. Effingham includes the villages of Effingham Falls, Effingham (Lord's Hill), Center Effingham (Drake's Corner), and South Effingham. Pine River State Forest is in the south.


The town was settled by members of the Leavitt family of Hampton, led by Captain John Leavitt, a soldier whose father, Moses, was a prosperous Hampton tavern keeper. From them the settlement first took the name Leavitt's Town. In 1749, the land was granted by Governor Benning Wentworth, and he renamed it Effingham for the Howard family, who were Earls of Effingham and who were related to the Wentworths by marriage. The town was incorporated in 1778. North Effingham would be set off in 1831 and incorporated as Freedom. By 1859, when the population was 1,252, Effingham Falls had developed into a small mill town, with a woolen factory, five sawmills, three gristmills, and a carriage factory.

Effingham was home to the first normal school in New Hampshire, established in 1830 on the second floor of the Effingham Union Academy Building, erected in 1819. James W. Bradbury, later a Maine senator, took charge of the school only on condition that it should be for the "instruction and training of teachers." The idea was his own and, at that time, entirely novel.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.6 square miles (103 km2), of which 38.4 square miles (99 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) is water, comprising 2.98% of the town. Green Mountain, elevation 1,884 feet (574 m) above sea level, is the highest point in town. Effingham is drained by the Ossipee River and the Ossipee's tributaries, the Pine and South rivers. Province Lake lies partially within the town's borders to the south, and small portions of Ossipee Lake (Broad Bay and Berry Bay) are contained to the north. The community is bounded on the east by the Maine state line, and on the north by the Ossipee River. Effingham lies fully within the Saco River watershed. Effingham lies partially in the Ossipee River watershed, home to the largest stratified-drift aquifer east of the Mississippi River. Much of Effingham's land serves as aquifer recharge areas.

The town is served by state routes 25 and 153.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 154
1800 451 192.9%
1810 876 94.2%
1820 1,368 56.2%
1830 1,911 39.7%
1840 1,195 −37.5%
1850 1,252 4.8%
1860 1,209 −3.4%
1870 904 −25.2%
1880 865 −4.3%
1890 720 −16.8%
1900 600 −16.7%
1910 558 −7.0%
1920 393 −29.6%
1930 352 −10.4%
1940 377 7.1%
1950 341 −9.5%
1960 329 −3.5%
1970 360 9.4%
1980 599 66.4%
1990 941 57.1%
2000 1,273 35.3%
2010 1,465 15.1%
2020 1,691 15.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,273 people, 490 households, and 336 families residing in the town. The population density was 33.0 people per square mile (12.7/km2). There were 791 housing units at an average density of 20.5 per square mile (7.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.35% White, 0.39% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.39% of the population.

There were 490 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.4% were non-families. Of all households, 23.3% were made up of individuals, and 7.6% 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 2.88.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.0% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 106.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $36,000, and the median income for a family was $38,000. Males had a median income of $29,650 versus $22,188 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,089. About 8.1% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

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