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Pelham, New Hampshire
The Congregational church in the town center
The Congregational church in the town center
Official seal of Pelham, New Hampshire
Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Hillsborough
Incorporated 1746
Villages Pelham
North Pelham
 • Total 26.9 sq mi (69.6 km2)
 • Land 26.3 sq mi (68.2 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.4 km2)  2.01%
154 ft (47 m)
 • Total 14,222
 • Density 540/sq mi (208.4/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-59940
GNIS feature ID 0873695

Pelham is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 14,222 at the 2020 census, up from 12,897 at the 2010 census.


Pelham was split from Old Dunstable in 1741, when the border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was settled. It was incorporated in 1746. The town is named after Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.0 square miles (69.9 km2), of which 26.4 sq mi (68.4 km2) is land and 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2) is water, comprising 1.93% of the town. The highest point in Pelham is Jeremy Hill, at 577 feet (176 m) above sea level. The town contains the southernmost point in the state of New Hampshire, at 42°41′49″N 71°17′40″W / 42.69694°N 71.29444°W / 42.69694; -71.29444, a location known as the "Old Boundary Pine", named for a pine tree that marked the difference in definition of the northern boundary of Massachusetts. This point is 3 miles due north of Pawtucket Falls, and marks the point where the straight-line border to the west meets the 3 mile buffer defined by the Merrimack River.

In addition to being New Hampshire's southernmost town, Pelham is the easternmost town in Hillsborough County. Three New Hampshire towns and three Massachusetts towns border Pelham: Tyngsborough to the southwest, Dracut to the south and east, Methuen to the east, Salem to the northeast, Windham to the north, and Hudson to the west.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 791
1800 918 16.1%
1810 998 8.7%
1820 1,040 4.2%
1830 1,070 2.9%
1840 1,003 −6.3%
1850 1,071 6.8%
1860 944 −11.9%
1870 861 −8.8%
1880 848 −1.5%
1890 791 −6.7%
1900 875 10.6%
1910 826 −5.6%
1920 974 17.9%
1930 814 −16.4%
1940 979 20.3%
1950 1,317 34.5%
1960 2,605 97.8%
1970 5,408 107.6%
1980 8,090 49.6%
1990 9,408 16.3%
2000 10,914 16.0%
2010 12,897 18.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

The earliest census data shows the town of Pelham having a population of 543 residents in 1767.

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,914 people, 3,606 households, and 2,982 families residing in the town. The population density was 412.9 people per square mile (159.4/km2). There were 3,740 housing units at an average density of 141.5 per square mile (54.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was:

  • 97.34% White (U.S. average: 75.1%)
  • 0.44% African American (U.S. average: 12.3%)
  • 0.22% Native American (U.S. average: 0.1%)
  • 1.04% Asian (U.S. average: 3.6%)
  • 0.25% from other races (U.S. average: 5.5%)
  • 0.71% from two or more races (U.S. average: 2.4%)

Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.96% of the population. (U.S. average: 12.5%)

In 2000, there were 3,606 households, with an average household size of 3.03 and an average family size of 3.33.

  • 43.6% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them. (U.S. average: 32.8%)
  • 71.8% were married couples living together. (U.S. average: 51.7%)
  • 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present. (U.S. average: 12.2%)
  • 17.3% were non-families. (U.S. average: 31.9%)
  • 12.9% of all households were made up of individuals. (U.S. average: 25.8%)
  • 5.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. (U.S. average: 9.2%)

In 2000, the town's population had a median age of 36 years (U.S. average: 35.3).

  • 28.9% under the age of 18
  • 6.1% from 18 to 24
  • 34.0% from 25 to 44
  • 23.2% from 45 to 64
  • 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older

For every 100 females, there were 98.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $68,608. (U.S. average: $41,994). The median income for a family was $73,365. (U.S. average: $50,046). Males had a median income of $47,685 versus $33,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,158. About 1.6% of families (U.S. average: 9.2%) and 3.0% of the population (U.S. average: 12.4%) were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.


Pelham is crossed by three New Hampshire state routes:

  • NH 38 enters the town from the south at the Massachusetts border, and curves to the northeast, exiting the town into Salem. It follows Bridge Street through town, and serves as the commercial hub of Pelham.
  • NH 111A begins at a junction with NH 128 just north of the Massachusetts border, going primarily northeast, exiting the town into Windham. It is known as Marsh Road and Windham Road within Pelham.
  • NH 128 is part of the larger Mammoth Road which connects Lowell, Massachusetts, to Hooksett, New Hampshire. It enters the town from the Massachusetts border and goes due north, along the western edge of the town, before exiting the town into Windham.

The closest Interstate highway is Interstate 93, which is accessed 6 miles (10 km) northeast of the center of Pelham in neighboring Salem. Pelham appears on that highway's signs for Exit 2. The U.S. Route 3 freeway that runs through Nashua is 8 miles (13 km) west of the center of Pelham, and Interstate 495 in Massachusetts is 9 miles (14 km) south of Pelham, on the south side of Lowell.

Pelham has no air or rail transport within the town limits. The nearest commercial airport is Manchester–Boston Regional Airport along the border of Londonderry and Manchester. The nearest rail service is the Lowell Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail which can be accessed at the Charles A. Gallagher Transit Terminal in Lowell. The nearest Amtrak station is Haverhill Station in Haverhill, Massachusetts.


Muldoon Park

The park is located northwest of the center of Pelham at 305 Mammoth Road (NH 128), just north of Nashua Road. The park's land area is surrounded by NH 128, two roads that branch off it, and a minor road which intersects NH 111A.

Muldoon Park offers many short walking trails, four variously sized baseball fields (ranging from t-ball to official), a soccer field, and a play area. Most of the trails lead to the park's two ponds, local roads and houses or to Beaver Brook, a small river. The town of Pelham completed an 18-hole disc golf course here, stretching over a quarter-mile, in September 2007.

The Pelham Parks and Recreation department has recently added two non-official sized baseball fields to the southwest corner of the park. Construction is complete on one field with the exception of dugouts, and the other field is still under construction, as of September 2013.

There is now an 18-hole disc golf course at this park. Many players from surrounding towns enjoy a round of disc golf set in the woods adjacent to the sport fields.


PelhamNH OldLibraryBuilding
The Pelham Library and Memorial Building, now home to the local historical society

Public schools are managed by the Pelham School District, School Administrative Unit #28, whose boundaries are coterminous with the boundaries of the town. The Superintendent is Chip McGee.

The schools in the district are:

  • Pelham Elementary School
    • Principal: Jessica VanVranken
    • Assistant Principal: Kelly LaBonte
    • Interim Assistant Principal: Kerry Struth
  • Pelham Memorial School
    • Principal: Stacy Maghakian
    • Assistant Principal: Katrina Mackey
  • Pelham High School
    • Principal: Dawn Mead
    • Assistant Principal: Adam Barriere

St. Patrick School was at one time a parochial school in the town.

Notable people

  • Josiah Butler (1779–1854), US congressman
  • Sean Caisse (born 1986), stock car driver
  • Ray Fox (1916–2014), crew chief and owner with NASCAR
  • Daniel Gage (1828–1901), the "Ice King of Lowell"; family for whom Gage Hill is named
  • Nick Groff (born 1980), paranormal investigator; graduate of Pelham High School (1999)
  • Richard M. Linnehan (born 1957), astronaut (NASA); graduate of Pelham High School (1975)
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