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Pittsfield, New Hampshire
Town green
Town green
Official seal of Pittsfield, New Hampshire
"The Gem of the Suncook Valley"
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°18′17″N 71°19′42″W / 43.30472°N 71.32833°W / 43.30472; -71.32833Coordinates: 43°18′17″N 71°19′42″W / 43.30472°N 71.32833°W / 43.30472; -71.32833
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Merrimack
Incorporated 1782
 • Total 24.1 sq mi (62.5 km2)
 • Land 23.9 sq mi (61.8 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)  1.13%
525 ft (160 m)
 • Total 4,106
 • Density 170.15/sq mi (65.70/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-61940
GNIS feature ID 0873699

Pittsfield is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,106 at the 2010 census.

The central village in town, where 1,576 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Pittsfield census-designated place (CDP), and is located on the Suncook River in the west-central portion of town, and consists of the built-up village centered on the intersections of Barnstead Road, Catamount Road, Carroll Street, and Depot Street.


Main Street, Pittsfield, NH
Main Street, looking east, in 1906

For many years prior to its 1782 incorporation, this town was an unnamed parish of Chichester. Like Pittsburg in the north, Pittsfield was named for William Pitt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a great friend of the Colonies prior to the American Revolution. The town was settled in 1768 by several families originally from Hampton. Founder John Cram built grist and sawmills here in the late 18th century. Since 1901, Globe Manufacturing has made protective clothing for firefighters here.

The town claimed the Guinness World Record in July, 2001, as the place where the most number of people wore Groucho Marx glasses at the same time (522). Before Pittsfield's attempt, no other town had tried to set the record.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.1 square miles (62 km2), of which 23.9 sq mi (62 km2) is land and 0.3 sq mi (0.78 km2) is water, comprising 1.13% of the town. Pittsfield is drained by the Suncook River. The highest point in town is the summit of Catamount Mountain, at 1,331 feet (406 m) above sea level, southeast of the town center.

The town center, or census-designated place, has a total area of 1.6 sq mi (4.1 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 888
1800 987 11.1%
1810 1,050 6.4%
1820 1,178 12.2%
1830 1,271 7.9%
1840 1,719 35.2%
1850 1,828 6.3%
1860 1,838 0.5%
1870 1,600 −12.9%
1880 1,974 23.4%
1890 2,605 32.0%
1900 2,129 −18.3%
1910 2,222 4.4%
1920 1,914 −13.9%
1930 2,018 5.4%
1940 2,183 8.2%
1950 2,321 6.3%
1960 2,419 4.2%
1970 2,517 4.1%
1980 2,889 14.8%
1990 3,701 28.1%
2000 3,931 6.2%
2010 4,106 4.5%
2017 (est.) 4,103 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
PittsfieldNH UnionBlockAndChurch
Union Block and Congregational church
Suncook River, Pittsfield, NH
Suncook River in 1908

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,106 people, 1,579 households, and 1,076 families residing in the town. There were 1,769 housing units, of which 190, or 10.7%, were vacant. The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% white, 0.6% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.4% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 1,579 households, 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were headed by married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 3.00.

In the town, 23.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 8.7% were from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.1 males.

For the period 2011-2015, the estimated median annual income for a household was $47,959, and the median income for a family was $63,631. The per capita income for the town was $23,910. 16.3% of the population and 14.8% of families were below the poverty line. 17.2% of the population under the age of 18 and 5.4% of those 65 or older were living in poverty.

Artistic tributes

In 1934, the American composer Alan Hovhaness (1911–2000), who spent time with his maternal family members (specifically the family of the Reverend Walter Scott, his grandfather) in Pittsfield during his youth, wrote a fantasy for cello and piano entitled Legend of the Sunkook [sic] Valley (Op. 1, no. 4).


There are two public schools in the town. Pittsfield Elementary School serves students in pre-school to 5th grade, and Pittsfield Middle High School serves grades 6-12.

Notable people

  • John M. Berry (1827–1887), Minnesota Supreme Court justice, legislator born in Pittsfield
  • Frank Ellsworth Blaisdell (1862–1946), professor of surgery, noted entomologist
  • Warren Chase (1813–1891), pioneer, reformer, politician; co-founder of Ripon College
  • Ebenezer Knowlton (1815–1874), congressman from Maine, Free Will Baptist minister, and co-founder of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine
  • Ed Siudut (c. 1947–2012), Holy Cross and professional basketball player
  • John Swett (1830–1913), founder of the California public school system
  • Harrison R. Thyng (1918–1983), US Air Force general, World War II flying ace
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