Alton, New Hampshire
Alton, New Hampshire, is a bustling community of about 5300 people located in southern Belknap County. Set on the southern shores of Lake Winnepesaukee, the state’s largest lake, Alton and the village around Alton Bay attracts vacationers from all over New England as well as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and even from our neighbor to the north, Canada. Alton is a great starting point to any New Hampshire excursion and a great place to return to after a long day of experiencing all New Hampshire has to offer.
Alton was settled in the mid-1770’s, long after New Hampshire became its own province. Founded by a group of citizens from Roxbury, Massachusetts, the name of “Roxbury” was offered but refused since there were already two other “Roxburys” in New England at the time. The residents then named their town New Durham Gore because of the numerous rocky areas, or “gores” in the higher elevations. The town was later renamed, in 1796, for a prominent family from Roxbury named Alton.
The first people in town were farmers who tilled the rocky soils of the highlands, which were less likely to succumb to frost than the low-lying areas. Soon, though, merchants moved into the lower regions of the town and by 1840 the busy little village of Alton was up and running at full speed. Seven years later, the railway came to town and businesses really started blooming.
With additional commerce came tourism – it didn’t take long for word to spread about the beauty of Lake Winnepesaukee and the surrounding area. Soon people were filling the trains in an attempt to view this undisturbed wilderness and swim in a lake of which they could barely see the other shore. Campgrounds and hotels sprung up throughout Alton and tourism soon overwhelmed the area. The Mount Washington, Lake Winnepesaukee’s first steam-powered ship, was launched in 1872 giving tourist a yet-unseen view of the lake, the mountains and the wildlife that abounded. That ship burned in 1939, but a replacement was soon found and tours continue today. The railroad stopped visiting Alton in 1935, but with the advent of the auto, tourism in Alton is as strong today as it ever was. The train station still exists, but is used now as a community center for Alton residents.
Alton is a horseshoe-shaped town with Lake Winnepesaukee filling in the “U” to create the five-mile long Alton Bay. Alton Bay is the tourism center of Alton, with many restaurants, video arcades, ice cream shops, gift shops, miniature golf, a marina and much, much more. It’s easy to spend a weekend enjoying the sights and sounds of Alton Bay – which is why it’s such a popular vacation destination. For those who live in Alton, it’s just another charming part of their already wonderful community.
Alton is a member of School Administrative Unit #72 which operates the Alton Central School, educating Alton children from preschool age through the eighth grade. High school-age children attend the Prospect Mountain High School, also in Alton, which is run in cooperation with neighboring Barnstead, NH.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful location here in New Hampshire to settle down and raise a family. Retirees will love Alton for its seclusion and friendly environment – Alton has something for everyone. If you’re considering a move to New Hampshire, your first stop should be with Jim Miller of Bean Group. Call Jim at (603) 801-3987 to find out what homes are available, what each NH community is like, what the market is doing – anything he can do to make your home-buying experience less stressful, just ask. That’s why he’s here, that’s what he does. Call today – New Hampshire homes move quickly!
Alton Central School (p/k-8)
Prospect Mountain High School (9-12)
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Listing information last updated on April 3rd, 2020 at 7:52am EDT.