Gilmanton is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,777 at the 2010 census. Gilmanton includes the villages of Gilmanton Corners and Gilmanton Ironworks. The town became well known in the 1950s after it was rumored that the popular novel Peyton Place, written by resident Grace Metalious, was based on the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 59.0 square miles (153 km), of which 57.2 square miles (148 km) is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km) is water, comprising 2.98% of the town. A natural resources inventory published in 2004 noted the town’s nine town forests and other dry and wetland protected areas as well as significant plant species. The highest point in Gilmanton is Mount Mack, at 1,945 feet (593 m) above sea level, on the town line with Gilford. Crystal Lake is in the east, and Shellcamp Pond is in the west. Gilmanton lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.
The town is served by four state routes: 106, 129, 107 and 140. Route 107 is part of Old Province Road, an important road in New Hampshire’s early history, and Route 106 is a well-traveled connection between Laconia and Concord. Route 140 is an east-west highway leading from Tilton to Alton. The intersection NH 107 and NH 140 is at Gilmanton Corners, one of the two major villages. Gilmanton Corner (or simply “Gilmanton”, as shown on topographic maps) is the location of several historic buildings, including Gilmanton Academy and Centre Congregational Church. Gilmanton Ironworks is located in the eastern part of town along NH 140, near the outlet of Crystal Lake.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,060 people, 1,165 households, and 900 families residing in the town. The population density was 53.6 people per square mile (20.7/km²). There were 1,848 housing units at an average density of 32.4 per square mile (12.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.59% White, 0.10% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.29% of the population.
There were 1,165 households out of which 33.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% were married couples living together, 5.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.7% were non-families. 17.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.2% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 30.5% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $50,542, and the median income for a family was $51,712. Males had a median income of $37,077 versus $27,727 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,163. About 3.3% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 9.1% of those age 65 or over.