Bridgewater is a town located in Central New Hampshire, in the Lakes Region of the state. It is part of Grafton County and, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, is home to 1,083 residents. The town encompasses 21.5 square miles total, with just .2 square miles of that being water, and is located within the Merrimack River watershed. Its highest point is located at Peaked Hill, where elevation reaches 640 feet. The town line of Bridgewater follows Newfound Lake, along its eastern shore.
Bridgewater was originally part of a town called New Chester. In 1788, New Chester was separated into several new towns, including Bridgewater, Bristol, Hill, Danbury and Wilmot. It was then that Bridgewater was officially incorporated by John Sullivan, the then-president (governor) of New Hampshire. The town?s name was chosen because many of the area?s original settlers hailed from the town of Bridgewater in Massachusetts. Two years later, when the first census was conducted in Bridgewater, the area was home to just 281 people.
The town is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The Board meets once a week in Bridgewater?s Town Hall. Bridgewater also boasts a full-time police department, a volunteer fire department and volunteer emergency medical services. Children in Bridgewater attend schools in the Newfound Area School District. This district includes four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school.
Bridgewater is a primarily rural area, featuring forested areas, open spaces and many nearby bodies of water. There are various opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking, kayaking and mountain climbing in nearby cities, though the town of Bridgewater itself does not have a parks and recreation department. The area?s biggest employer is Bridgewater Steam Power, a local utilities provider established in 1988