Bedford, New Hampshire
Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
|• Town Council||Bill Duschatko, Chair|
|• Town Manager||Rick Sawyer|
|• Total||33.1 sq mi (85.8 km2)|
|• Land||32.8 sq mi (85.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2) 0.88%|
|Elevation||308 ft (94 m)|
|• Density||646/sq mi (249.4/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0873541|
Bedford is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 21,203 at the 2010 census and an estimated 22,458 in 2017. Bedford is a suburb of Manchester, the largest city in the state of New Hampshire.
In 1733, Massachusetts established Bedford as "Narragansett, No. 5" for the benefit of soldiers who fought against the Narragansett people in Rhode Island. The area was also known as "Souhegan East". The settlement was incorporated as "Bedford" in 1750, and was named for John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford. Lord Russell, a close friend of Governor Benning Wentworth, was the Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1748 to 1751, and his first wife, Diana Spencer, was cousin to the Duke of Marlborough.
The first settlers in Bedford were Robert and James Walker III. A monument dated 1737 stands on what is now known as Station Road (adjacent to Hawthorne Drive), marking the first settlement. Bedford's first moderator was Mayor John Goffe, son of Colonel John Goffe, for whom Goffstown was named.
In 1874, Bedford was served by Concord Railroad, and service by the Manchester and Ashburnham Railroad was being planned.
Like much of southeastern New Hampshire, Bedford grew rapidly in the last half of the 20th century. The 2000 population of 18,274 was over eight times the population in 1950 of 2,176. Every decade in that period had a substantial rate of growth, ranging from 33 percent between 1980 and 1990 to a 67 percent increase between 1950 and 1960. As of 2017 Bedford was the 12th largest municipality in the state, with an estimated population of 22,458.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.1 square miles (86 km2), of which 32.8 sq mi (85 km2) are land and 0.3 sq mi (0.78 km2) are water, comprising 0.88% of the town. The largest body of water other than the Merrimack River is Sebbins Pond, which is connected to smaller, neighboring bodies of water by Sebbins Brook. Bedford is bordered by the town of Goffstown and the city of Manchester to the north, by Manchester to the east across the Merrimack River, by the town of Merrimack to the south, and by the towns of Amherst and New Boston to the west.
A rock formation called Pulpit Rock (originally the Devil's Pulpit) is located in the northwest part of the town on New Boston Road and is the feature of the town-owned Pulpit Rock Conservation Area. The highest point in Bedford is Holbrook Hill, at 845 feet (258 m) above sea level, located in the extreme northwest corner of town. Bedford lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.
Two major highways run through Bedford. The Everett Turnpike runs north-south, and Route 101 runs east-west. The segment of the Everett Turnpike north of NH 101 and the segment of NH 101 east of the Everett Turnpike are designated Interstate 293; I-293 turns at this interchange.
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is one town away, in Manchester.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 21,203 people, 7,364 households, and 5,834 families residing in the town. The population density was 646.4 people per square mile (249.4/km²). There were 7,634 housing units at an average density of 232.7 per square mile (89.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.5% White, 0.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from some other race, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
There were 7,364 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.8% were headed by married couples living together, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 16.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 28.6% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 21.4% from 25 to 44, 31.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.
For the period 2006–2010, the median income for a household in the town was $116,299 (in 2010 dollars), and the median income for a family was $127,589. Full-time male workers had median earnings of $99,366 versus $53,286 for females. The per capita income for the town was $50,952. About 2.7% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 1.0% of those age 65 or over. Bedford had the fifth highest average personal income in the state between 2006 and 2010.
There are six schools in Bedford: Memorial (National Blue Ribbon School awardee in 2012) , Peter Woodbury and Riddle Brook (National Blue Ribbon School awardee in 2017) are neighborhood elementary schools and accommodate grades K through 4. McKelvie Intermediate School accommodates grades 5 and 6. In 2007, Ross A. Lurgio Middle School (grades 7 and 8) and Bedford High School (grades 9 through 12) opened.
Ross A. Lurgio Middle School and Bedford High School comprise one 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) building. This was done to support economies of scale (shared kitchen, auditorium, security), but they operate as separate schools with different entrances, bus schedules, start times and end times. Additionally, key-controlled access is required to move between schools.
A small number of athletic fields on the campus of Saint Anselm College are located in Bedford.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bedford, New Hampshire.|