Orford is a town located in Western New Hampshire in the Dartmouth/Sunapee region of the state. It is situated in the Western portion of Grafton County and encompasses a total area of 48 square miles, 1.4 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, Orford was home to 1,237 people.
Orford was first incorporated as a town in 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth. At the time, it was simply known as “Number Seven,” as it was the seventh in a line of fort towns along the Connecticut River. Years later, its name was changed to Orford in honor of Robert Walpole, the Earl of Orford and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. By the late 1800s, Orford had become a successful milling town, boasting 10 saw mills, a tannery, a gristmill, two shoe factories and other industrial operations.
Less than 3 percent of Orford’s total area is made of water. The town is home to parts of the Connecticut River, Baker River, Pemigewassat River, Merrimack River, Jacob’s Brook, Upper Baker Pond and Lower Baker Pond. The town’s highest point lies at Mount Cube, where elevation reaches 2,909 feet above sea level, and it is served by New Hampshire Route 10, Interstate 91 and New Hampshire Route 25A.
Orford is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town boasts a full-time police department, a volunteer fire department and volunteer emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Rivendell Interstate School and Paragon Construction. Children in the area attend Rivendall Interstate School District, which also serves the nearby towns of Fairlee, West Fairlee and Vershire, Vermont.
For recreation and entertainment, Orford residents can take advantage of the town’s municipal parks, youth sports leagues, campgrounds, fishing and hunting areas, boating marinas, snowmobile trails and local beaches and waterfront areas.