Town History

Written by the Northwood Cookbook Committee

Northwood, a bucolic town in southeastern New Hampshire, was founded in 1773 when its first settlers successfully petitioned the Governor's Council requesting separation from Nottingham. Since this section of Nottingham had been known as the great north woods, the newly formed town was called Northwood.

The First New Hampshire Turnpike was built about 1800 to connect Portsmouth, New Hampshire's only seaport, with the state capitol, Concord; it runs the length of Northwood. Also called Route Four, the highway has been a major influence on the town since it was constructed. Throughout the nineteenth century, our many early taverns accommodated sledge and stage passengers. In this century travelers with speedier vehicles have enjoyed our summer boarding houses, overnight cabins, motels and restaurants. Other visitors, not seeking food or sleep, go antiquing in the dozens of shops along the road.

Though thousands of motorists each day see our town only as they hurry along our eight-mile "main street," some call it home. About 4279 (2013 census data) persons are full-time residents and about twice as many have second homes here. Though Northwood is sometimes called a bedroom community, there are more than one hundred small businesses in town, employing from one to twenty-five workers each.

Northwood is proud of its nine lakes and ponds, its mountain views, miles of country roads, and its many lovely old homes and public buildings.

The Northwood Historical Society

The Northwood Historical Society has their own website located at