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Tuftonboro, New Hampshire facts for kids

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Tuftonboro, New Hampshire
Melvin Village from Lake Winnipesaukee c. 1906
Melvin Village from Lake Winnipesaukee c. 1906
"The Diamond in the Heart of New Hampshire"
Location in Carroll County, New Hampshire
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Carroll
Incorporated 1795
Villages Center Tuftonboro
Melvin Village
Mirror Lake
Tuftonboro Corner
Union Wharf
 • Total 49.4 sq mi (128.0 km2)
 • Land 40.5 sq mi (104.9 km2)
 • Water 8.9 sq mi (23.1 km2)  18.06%
988 ft (301 m)
 • Total 2,467
 • Density 61/sq mi (23.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP codes
03816 (Center Tuftonboro)
03850 (Melvin Village)
03853 (Mirror Lake)
03894 (Wolfeboro)
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-77620
GNIS feature ID 0873741

Tuftonboro is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,467 at the 2020 census. Bounded on the southwest by Lake Winnipesaukee, Tuftonboro includes the villages of Tuftonboro Corner, Center Tuftonboro, Melvin Village and Mirror Lake.


Tuftonboro United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church in Tuftonboro

Tuftonboro was the only incorporated place in New Hampshire owned by just one man, John Tufton Mason, for whom the town was named. Following the 1741 separation of New Hampshire from Massachusetts, Mason was heir to the Masonian Claim, the undivided lands of northern New Hampshire. He sold them in 1746 to a group of Portsmouth merchants, thereafter known as the Masonian Proprietors. They disposed of the land via grants to prospective settlers prior to the Revolution.

The town was granted as Tuftonborough in 1750 by Colonial Governor Benning Wentworth, and first settled about 1780. It was incorporated by the legislature on December 17, 1795. By 1859, when the population was 1,305, the principal occupation was raising cattle and sheep across the hilly terrain. Other industries included 2 sawmills, one sash, blind and door factory, one carriage factory, and 2 gristmills.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 50.0 square miles (129 km2), of which 41.0 square miles (106 km2) is land and 9.0 square miles (23 km2) is water, comprising 18.07% of the town. Tuftonboro is drained by the Melvin River and Beech River. Mirror Lake is in the south, and Dan Hole Pond is in the north. The highest point in Tuftonboro is the south peak of Mount Shaw, elevation 2,930 feet (890 m) above sea level, on the town's northwest boundary.

Tuftonboro has miles of winding back roads, rolling fields, old homesteads and beautiful scenic views of the Ossipee Mountains to the northeast. New Hampshire routes 171, 109, and 109A cross the town, all generally in a northwest to southeast direction.

Melvin Village, a village of Tuftonboro, is a summer vacation spot on Melvin Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee. It has a marina and many lakeside homes and cottages that are for rent. It is also a popular spot for antique shopping. Melvin Village is in the western part of Tuftonboro, near the town of Moultonborough.

Also part of Tuftonboro are several islands in Lake Winnipesaukee including Little Bear Island and Cow Island among others.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 109
1800 357 227.5%
1810 709 98.6%
1820 1,232 73.8%
1830 1,375 11.6%
1840 1,281 −6.8%
1850 1,305 1.9%
1860 1,186 −9.1%
1870 949 −20.0%
1880 923 −2.7%
1890 767 −16.9%
1900 663 −13.6%
1910 612 −7.7%
1920 311 −49.2%
1930 505 62.4%
1940 586 16.0%
1950 697 18.9%
1960 678 −2.7%
1970 910 34.2%
1980 1,500 64.8%
1990 1,842 22.8%
2000 2,148 16.6%
2010 2,387 11.1%
2020 2,467 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

At the 2010 census, there were 2,387 people and 736 families in the town. The population density was 58.2 people per square mile (22.4/km2). There were 2,435 housing units at an average density of 49.1 per square mile (22.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.1% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% some other race, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.5% of the population.

Of the 1,029 households 26.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.5% were non-families. 22.8% of households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% were someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.32, and the average family size was 2.68.

Wawbeek Lodge, Melvin Village, NH
Wawbeek Lodge c. 1920

The age distribution was 18.9% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 18.1% from 25 to 44, 35.0% from 45 to 64, and 23.7% 65 or older. The median age was 50.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.09 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.17 males in the same age group.

For the period 2012–2016, the estimated median annual income for a household in the town was $54,770, and the median family income was $64,479. Male full-time workers had a median income of $46,346 versus $39,219 for females. The per capita income for the town was $29,554. About 5.0% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Site of interest

Notable people

  • Edward H. Brooks (1893–1978), US Army lieutenant general
  • Thomas Dreier (1884–1976), resident, an American editor, writer, and publisher who in the early twentieth century was the first editor of New Hampshire Troubadour, who wrote the 1933 book Sunny Meadows about his family's life in Melvin Village, and who had a column in the Nashua Telegraph
  • Charles D. Griffin (1906–1996), US Navy admiral

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