Bradford is a town located in central New Hampshire in the Merrimack Valley region of the state. It is situated in the Western part of Merrimack County and encompasses a total area of 36 square miles, .7 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, Bradford was home to 1,650 people.
The land that comprises Bradford was originally granted by Governor Benning Wentworth in 1765. Settlement began in 1771 and, as many of the area’s new inhabitants hailed from nearby Bradford, Massachusetts, the town took on the name “New Bradford.” It was later known as Bradfordton until it was officially incorporated in 1787 as Bradford. In its early years, Bradford was home to a number of mills and factories, as well as line of the Concord & Claremont Railroad.
Less than 2 percent of Bradford’s total area is made up of water. The town includes the Warner River, Lake Todd and Lake Massasecum. Its highest point lies at a summit on Ayers Pond, where elevation reaches 2,096 feet above sea level. The area is also home to several other large hills, including Knights Hill and Rowes Hill. Over the years, Bradford has been called home by a number of notable peole, including former Massachusetts Governor John Q. A. Brackett, State Attorney General Mason Tappan and U.S. Senator Bainbridge Wadleigh.
The town of Bradford is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. It boasts a full-time police department, a full-time fire department and volunteer emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Colonial Woodworking, Bradford Machine Inc., Barns of Bradford, Bruss Construction and Kearsarge Regional Elementary.
Children in the area attend Kearsarge Regional School District, which also serves the nearby towns of Newbury, New London, Springfield, Sutton, Warner and Wilmot. For entertainment and recreation, residents of Bradford can take advantage of the town’s municipal parks, youth organizations, sports leagues, campgrounds, fishing and hunting areas, snowmobile trails and local beaches and waterfront areas.